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back to article Ad industry OKs climate porn

The UK advertising industry has bravely decided it can continue to accept millions of pounds from the state to create alarming climate advertisements, despite inaccuracies and a storm of complaints from parents. The principled decision, from the admen's self-regulatory body the ASA, follows 939 complaints about the UK energy …

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WTF?

overwhelming consensus

"overwhelming consensus in the global community of climate scientists"?

In the same way that there's "overwhelming consensus in the global community of turkeys that Christmas ought to be banned"?

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FAIL

95%+ = overwhelming consensus

the comment, which you accurately reproduced (and ignored) is that over 95% of climate scientists agree man is affecting that global climate change.

I'd call that an 'overwhelming consensus'.

The consensus falls if you include other scientists, e.g. psychologists.

But if you have fallen for the crap funded by Exxon-Mobil you'll ignore the evidence.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinion/ssi/images/Toles/c_02222010_520.gif

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Anonymous Coward

@ A.C. - source please

"over 95% of climate scientists agree"

Do you have a link to this definitive poll ?

kthxbai

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FAIL

Hmm...

Presumably it's the same 95% of climate scientists who would lose their funding if they stop producing compelling evidence for man-made climate change.

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Silver badge
FAIL

lol epic fail on the analogy

if we are the turkeys and climate change is the christmas....

then im all in favour of christmas for some :-D

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Coat

Sequel

I hear they have a live action version coming out.

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Anonymous Coward

that's it scare the kids

How DARE they turn up their thermostats without thinking of all the puppies they're drowning in the process.

And while we're at it, if there are any pensioners in this country who can actually afford to heat their homes, I believe they should have their central heating boilers confiscated or decommissioned. If the planet's natural temperature is too cold for them then too bad. They can just die.

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Bronze badge
Joke

Drown them

In fact, all puppies should be drown to save emissions of both CO2 and methane.

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And you're complaining

Fuck's sake, exactly what you're writing about, you're complaining about.

You are completely missing the point, tis not purely 'bout t'vertisng co's making £.

It is about saving the Universe.

Please, Stop Thinking So Small.

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FAIL

I wasn't aware...

...the entire universe was in danger.

Not even the Earth is in any danger: it doesn't give a toss whether it's a giant snowball or a Venusian-style hothouse.

Only *WE* care.

Some animals and plants may become extinct! OH NO! Save the WHALES! Save all the cute and cuddly animals! (But f*ck those icky insects, spiders and amphibians. Ewww!)

The "Climate Change" industry is a blatant con, and always has been. The climate has ALWAYS been in a constant state of flux. Sometimes, it can be quite stable for years on end. Sometimes it wigs out and goes apeshit for a (geological) moments.

It ain't about to stop this now, no matter how much we'd like it to. If we don't like the way the Earth is treating us, perhaps we'd better get a bit more serious about colonising space.

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Fail

So many bold statements and so little proof , not very scientific one could say !

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Stop

Ther Government has 0% credibility on CO2

If gov.uk really thought that CO2 emissions are a problem then:

Why were they encouraging people to scrap cars only ten years old when manufacturing new cars generates far more CO2 and other emissions than would keeping older cars running?

Why are they running street lighting on motorways in good visibility?

Why are they floodlighting public buildings?

Why are they permitting the use of electricity for non-productive and non-beneficial purposes such as advertising?

Why do they want to go ahead with airport expansion?

Why are councils allowed to build road humps and other traffic infuriating measures that increase emissions?

If the government wants us to take climate change seriously it should start by putting its own house in order.

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Anonymous Coward

That's like saying...

...if the Mafia in Italy wants to be thought community spirited it should stop selling dodgy cement to construction companies.

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Anonymous Coward

(3.5 per cent) of total CO[2] emissions

I don't know why you bother saying that. Anyone who is clever enough to understand percentages is clever enough to understand that what proportion "human" CO[2] emissions are of "total" CO[2] emissions is of no interest whatsoever. Obviously there's not much we can do about the CO[2] emitted by plants at night, or should we perhaps cut down all the rainforests to stop them emitting CO[2], or provide them with coal-powered artificial lighting perhaps?

On the other hand, it is faintly interesting and perhaps slightly useful to know that 40% of "human" CO[2] emissions come from "ordinary every day [sic] things", though it would help if it were explained exactly what that means.

Sometimes I wonder if some of the so-called "climate sceptics" are actually agents provocateurs because they're about as credible as scientologists or those people who go on and on about HIV not causing AIDS.

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I wss one of the Complainants...

And I'm not at all surprised at this cowardly verdict. I really didn't expect the ASA to come out against their paymasters, but - hey - it was worth a try. It's truly pathetic that a huge swathe of public opinion is almost totally ignored, dismissed and/or belittled simply because it doesn't follow the Government line. We are not 'climate change deniers' - we don't deny the existence of naturally occurring climate change - we simply dispute the causes.

The ASA should feel ashamed of themselves - not for not finding in favor of my complaint, but because they willfully seek to continue to propagandize on behalf of their paymasters in Government and business, ignoring the arguments and strongly-held views of thousands of 'deniers'.

Well, now I know that's another puppet organization I shan't have to bother with again. I can just see the smug b*stards on the BBC reporting this one. Still, patience... patience. The truth will out in the end. It always does.

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Anonymous Coward

reminds

Reminds me of russel howards good news. heh oh well.

We Need MOAR FEAR, terrify those children, "YOU'RE KILLING PUPPIES! YOU WILL DIE! DIE LITTLE CHILD DIEEEEE"

"this is you drowning becouse of climate change and it's all your fault!"

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Bronze badge

Typical

Like politicians the ASA thinks telling lies is fine as long as (in their opinion) they are good lies.

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Grenade

Is this bollox a good usage of the expensively

borrowed cash that HMG is currently running on?

I say No.

1/ It's annoyingly patronising pseudo scientic claptrap.

2/ If we have to borrow cash I say use it to improve infrastructure. Not for this tosh or indeed for buying votes for Labour. Amongst the client state of the economically non productive or public sector.

How many anti cancer drug courses of treatment could have been bought with the cash pi55ed away on this crap. Or potholes filled. Or snatch landrovers replaced.

The sheer waste of our borrowed cash is criminally stupid and must stop.

I'd also want to see the anti smoking , anti drinking and virtually every other Government PR cash sperlunking completely stopped for good. Let Quentin and Jeremy PR consultants pay for their own Coke.

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Gold badge

Get a life, people

These are /adverts/. Therefore, they contain lies, misrepresentations and anything else they like as long as it doesn't run foul of libel laws (which in the UK are not to be messed with). It might be nice if people weren't allowed to grossly mis-represent the situation in order to fleece unsuspecting customers of their cash, but I've been living in the UK for a few decades now and I can't remember a time when ads could be trusted. It clearly doesn't bother our political leaders and it isn't going to change just because the whole future of the world (or something) is at stake.

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Unhappy

I was astounded...

when I received my copy of the adjudication (yes, I DID complain!). Now I discover that "the chair of the ASA, Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, also chairs the Environment Agency, and is currently working closely with DECC," I'm not surprised one little bitty bit now.

So, clearly the ASA feels that as long as the 'facts' have been 'qualified' (had they really? I don't think so, and I'm sure I'm NOT the only one), then it's ok if the 'facts' aren't 'absolute'. (not 'facts' then!)

I remember the ASA's own self publicising ad campaign of some time ago, based on the four principles;

"Legal, Decent, Honest, Truthful"

I for one think that the ASA have failed to uphold at least two of those 'principles' in this case.

Still, another fine example of the depths to which the Holy Church of Envirogeddon will stoop to promote 'the cause'

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And I'm glad to see...

some people don't like what I'm saying here. Meh! Time to turn up the central heating, pass my regards to EnviroPope Gore.

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Anonymous Coward

So let me be clear

CO2 is increasing, that is measured and I can verify that by a simple common sense test, (we burn petroleum which is trapped carbon, that is not being replaced faster than we make it, ergo we're adding to CO2 by using petroleum).

Trees make petroleum given enough time, hence they must be slightly carbon negative as is anything else that goes into making petroleum. So nature traps carbon without us, (in petroleum, coal, peat, Kerogen, shale tar, etc. everything else we are using up faster than it is produced).

CO2 traps infra red emitted from earth and re-emits in all directions, i.e. half of it is sent right back to earth. That's more difficult, I can verify that with H2O because cloudy nights hold in the warmth, so I've experienced the H2O effect.

But the CO2 effect I can't see. So lets get an absorption spectrum to check it, yep CO2 does absorb infrared:

http://hosting.soonet.ca/eliris/remotesensing/bl130lec3.html

Next up, does it also absorb it on the way to earth, perhaps it balances out. Well yep, same page shows the foliage in orange where it's IR is emitted, and this is confirmed in the emission spectrum of foliage. Thus more IR is emitted from earth than is received from the Sun.

Next up, does it make us warming measurably? Or is it some insignificant effect?

The moon is the same distance as the earth from the sun, if it had 1 bar pressure wouldn't it have the same temperature? Then why do space suits with 1 bar need heating on the moon?.. Me thinks the gain from a big atmosphere full of CO2 and water is noticeable on cloudy nights and so yes, I think it's clear.

Yeh OK, so we need to reduce carbon based fuel use. Well we need to do that anyway since they're running out. And where's the big problem here?

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Space suits?

And you were doing so well, right up until the point at which you threw it all away...

"The moon is the same distance as the earth from the sun, if it had 1 bar pressure wouldn't it have the same temperature? Then why do space suits with 1 bar need heating on the moon?.. Me thinks the gain from a big atmosphere full of CO2 and water is noticeable on cloudy nights and so yes, I think it's clear."

Point 1. Apollo suits weren't pressurised to 1 bar - less than a third of that.

Point 2. The pressure inside a space suit is irrelevant anyway. It isn't in any way analogous to having an atmosphere when it comes to the effect of solar heating - the comparison doesn't even begin to be valid, for dozens of reasons so blindingly obvious that it isn't worth listing them here.

If your evidence for AGW is based on comparing Apollo space suits with the Earth's atmosphere, you clearly don't understand enough to comment.

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Go

Cheap Crude

The problem is the increasing profitability of oil in particular (and to a lesser extent in other fossil fuels) and the lack of any credible alternative, particularly for the military.

And now it is time to get back to building-up those Mad Max skills I've been neglecting since my days in the young offenders institute.

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Anonymous Coward

And yet we're not cold

"Point 2. The pressure inside a space suit is irrelevant anyway. It isn't in any way analogous to having an atmosphere when it comes to the effect of solar heating - the comparison doesn't even begin to be valid, for dozens of reasons so blindingly obvious that it isn't worth listing them here."

Indeed blindingly obvious that even if the suit was 1 bar it wouldn't be at the same temperature as the earth, even though he's standing on a rock the same distance from the sun as the earth.

Hence the direct radiation isn't responsible for the temperature of the earth. And it isn't inherent nature of the gas in the suit.

Yet if the man was in his suit, down on the earth, in the earth's atmosphere, he would not be cold.

"If your evidence for AGW is based on comparing Apollo space suits with the Earth's atmosphere, you clearly don't understand enough to comment."

Are you cold?

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Unhappy

Maybe, maybe not...

Here's another simple observation that could throw a spanner in the works...

In a controlled laboratory mini-arboretum, increasing the concentration of CO2 in the air also increases the rate at which the trees grow. In turn, the Increased rate of tree growth decreases the concentration of CO2 in the air.

A fool could quite easily conclude that increasing levels of man-made CO2 emissions mean that trees and plants will grow more vigorously, and eventually the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will balance out, while the rate of petroleum generation increases.

Unfortunately for this theory - and for yours - there's a great deal more to science than making a few simple observations then drawing a logical conclusion.

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Anonymous Coward

Are there more trees?

"A fool could quite easily conclude that increasing levels of man-made CO2 emissions mean that trees and plants will grow more vigorously, and eventually the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will balance out, while the rate of petroleum generation increases."

So could a scientist, there must be many balancing effects like that, otherwise the earth CO2 and temperatures would shoot off so far out of kilt that life wouldn't have time to adapt to the change. Thus there must be balancing effects that slow changes down to adaptable timescales.

So oil is 60 million years old, so we're burning 60 million years of hydrocarbons in a few hundred years. Hence our petroleum use is the likely rapid change that the trees and other balancing effects can't balance fast enough. Difficult to see how trees took 60 million years can fix a problem in a few hundred.

"Unfortunately for this theory - and for yours - there's a great deal more to science than making a few simple observations then drawing a logical conclusion"

Yet making observations and drawing logical conclusions from them is the only tools I have to exist in the world, and they seem to serve me well.

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Anonymous Coward

@Cheap crude

Not sure it's so cheap, I read an estimate that the tar sands the Canadians are digging up are only profitable for prices greater than US$70/Barrel. If you read the Saudi's numbers, they're increasingly digging shale, Venezuela the same, and I was really disappointed to find how small the middle Asian states contribution was.

e.g. Uzbekistan's production:

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=UZ

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It depends on the observation...

But it depends on the observation.

If we're looking at a straight comparison between the surface of the Earth and the Moon, both of which are at the same distance from the Sun, it is clear that there must be something to explain why one is warm enough for us to live on without heating, whereas the other one isn't, even if one corrects for the difference in atmospheric pressure.

Whilst the exact workings of the atmosphere are very complex when examined in detail, the existence of greenhouse effect, which is derived from the basic physical principles of the elements involved, does clearly explain why one is hot and one is not.

Do you have a different explanation for this phenomenon?

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WTF?

You must think we're stupid

So anyone who disputes the greenhouse effect must also dispute the theory that manmade emissions are the LARGEST forcing in recent climate activity?

KER-LUNK.

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Anonymous Coward

@One is hot the other not

"Whilst the exact workings of the atmosphere are very complex when examined in detail, the existence of greenhouse effect, which is derived from the basic physical principles of the elements involved, does clearly explain why one is hot and one is not."

But the spaceman in his suit isn't there as the basis of a complex climate model, he's there to confirm that the effect of atmospheric warming is *large*. Something the clouds keeping the heat in at night also confirms.

Thus we have a large effect that has kept us warm for a large part of earths history and we make a change to it from 320ppm CO2 in the 1960s to 390ppm CO2 in 2010:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

Thus we make a *significant* (+20%) change, by a mechanism I understand, to a *large* effect in a *short* space of time (50 years in this case) relative to the effects that can compensate for it (less than even 1 lifecycle of a tree). And since it's petroleum and other carbon based resources we're using up, it's also man made.

Ergo the science passes all the tests I throw at it.

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Coat

CO2: a trigger & not the gun nor bullet

I'm not a palaeontologist, but...

On Earth CO2 doesn't even warrant rounding up to 0.01% of the atmosphere, with most of that being replenished by life on Earth, but traditionally that is released as part of a relatively stable cycle. For the past 250 years the amount of CO2 has risen above and increasingly beyond the natural cycle's ability to make use of the additional CO2 released due to human activity. The increase due to human activity isn't massive (<10% of the atmospheric CO2), but the argument for climate change is that this leads to more weather/water-in-the-atmosphere, which is where the real warming takes place. Of course more cloud cover is good for reflecting radiation and the uncertainty as to whether we get denser clouds or more cloud cover is part of the uncertainty in the predictions. The rest of the uncertainty is how much damage to the CO2 cycle will happen as life tries to adapt to a (relatively) rapid change (on a scale of decades and not centuries) and what happens if other stores of CO2 (other than fossil fuels) such as the Siberian permafrost comeback online.

The uncertainty of prediction might for some be a reason to scoff, but the trend of temperature and rainfall is rising consitently and we don't know where it is going and at what rate so I'm concerned. Must be what a Toyota owner feels like.

The temperature and rainfall are both on the raise and consistently, the greenhouse effect is increasing and we really can;t predict

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Anonymous Coward

20% since 1960

I don't disagree, just some of your numbers are out and some details.

I think that it's 20% since 1960 (from the Nasa measurements of CO2 above). And it all must be human activity since coal, petroleum etc. are all *made* by nature, and *used* by US. So it must be steadily removing CO2 that we're putting back by using those fossil fuels up.

The carbon from trees comes from the air and ends up mostly in the air, minus the bit trapped to make fossil fuels, so trees are better than carbon neutral. They trap CO2 slightly.

And of course the increase in temperature is measured (0.5 celsius since 1960):

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/earth_warm.html

"Of course more cloud cover is good for reflecting radiation and the uncertainty as to whether we get denser clouds or more cloud cover is part of the uncertainty in the predictions"

I think that's straightforward too, when I look at the emission of IR from foliage it's higher in the infra-red than the suns rays coming in. So more infra red out of earth than into earth.

So any process that captures CO2 in one direction and scatters it in all directions will affect 'out' more than 'in', i.e. a warming effect for earth.

The models, well I can see it's increased 0.5 degrees in 50 years, say we keep the current rate of excess production and hold it there, then it would increase by at least that in the next 50 years.

It would take a long time for extra foliage to grow etc. to compensate and balance that CO2 production rate. Clearly the biosphere it didn't manage it in the last 50 years and our excess CO2 seems to have increased a lot since then.

0.5 in 50 years was measured (1960 to 201), next 50 years is 0.5+0.5 (the same amount plus the new increase from the new CO2), next 50 0.5+0.5+05 = 2.5 total increase over the coming 100 years just by holding the rate of growth of CO2 to todays.

Sure it's a quick crude check, but then I'm just testing the 3 degree a century UN model to see it is makes sense and sure it seems to be about right.

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FAIL

"Ergo the science passes all the tests I throw at it."

Except the real, simple one: where you distinguish between causation and correlation.

Keep it up, though. Listening to guys like you talk about science and use Latin expressions is like watching those US talent shows where some trailer trash Mom swears their dog can talk because it can say "Roooof".

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Anonymous Coward

@Ergo

"Except the real, simple one: where you distinguish between causation and correlation."

No, that's was the CO2 absorption, reemission dealt with higher up.

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Headmaster

Woooooooooooooosh!

It's a clear day with good visibility. See that silvery thing, high high in the sky?

That's the point. Flying over your head.

You really should come and play here more often.

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Boffin

So sad

Go live in Mammoth Mountain Volcano Ski Resort in California and watch this so claimed beneficial gas kill all local flora and fauna with absolute ease , where in fact USGS actively maintain a number of which gas monitoring stations for what reason again ?

The science set in concrete on this greenhouse gas is as follows :-

1/ 1% concentration = drowsiness !

2/ 2% concentration = mild narcotic sympton !

3/ 5% concentration = dizziness , confusion and headaches !

4/ 8% concentration = severe headache , loss of consciousness and ultimately death

US health regulations stipulate that a normal healthy person shall not be exposed to this beneficial gas in concentrations exceeding 0.5% or 5000ppm and maximum exposure level shall not exceed 3% or 30,000 ppm in a normal eight hour working day !

How soon you conveniently forget about the unfortunate Lake Nyos tragedy in 1988 when a CO2 burp killed 1700 villagers and all the livestock surrounding this valley lake .

Such inconvenient real world truth is it not .

(facepalm)

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Coat

Dog Drowning?

Surely the dog would be the stronger swimmer when the other choice is a cat? (No disrespect to our undomesticatable friends).

Insightfully written as ever, with points to chew on that no one else bothers to raise, and a welcome reminder to be vigilante/sceptical, but not really doing much to undermine Climate Change for me. I won't deny that dependence upon political/corporate whims for funding hasn't hurt the independence of science and the perception of a politically motivate conspiracy, but simply complaining that the elephant is actual a horse and backing the evidence up with scientists deeply employed by the French meat industry is not helping. What would be helpful are historical examples of the (seemingly) David and Goliath story the climate sceptics are involved in to differentiate climate sceptics from R. Murdock/Nixon-like paranoia.

I want to not believe, but my understanding that the polar ozone hole is the only major defence against faster melt and a much altered North European weather pattern remain unshaken. Of course my dream of running a pineapple (a truly Scottish fruit) farm in the Highlands also biases me towards climate change too.

P.S. I was serious about wanting to see a list of prior examples to support the scepticism as this seems little more than a globally distributed Chewbacca defence.

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Thumb Down

Ok, so....

if 3.5% of all CO2 released is due to human activities, and 40% of that 3.5% is due to "Normal, everyday activities", that equates to all this effort and bollocks being put into reducing around 1.4% of the global CO2 emissions... is that really going to make a difference? Really? no, really really?

No.

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Yes

Check out the science before you deny it.

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cyanide

Try drinking a litre of water with 3.5% cyanide if you want to think like that and let us know how it works out.

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FAIL

Re: Cyanide

Dave, if the atmosphere is a glass of water, and the CO2 is cyanide, what we're actually talking about here is the difference between drinking a 0.037% concentration of cyanide or manually topping it up to a 0.038% concentration of cyanide.

Of course, the atmosphere is nothing like water and CO2 is nothing like cyanide, which is probably for the best.

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We have checked it out

And there isn't any science.

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FAIL

"The ASA believed the IPCC to be objective and independent"

Then the ASA is fucking stupid or lying or both.

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Rationality and reason rule

Your unnecessary use of such foul language betrays your lack of reason. You obviously have not examined the basis of the IPCC.

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Boffin

Not wrong though

The IPCC is a political organization, it was created to influence policy makers for a particular bunch of policies.

So it's not a surprise to find it's a bunch of sleazy activists reviewing their own work. That's what the Doctor ordered.

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WTF?

Political Seepage

More like freezy-activistys since the IPCC was invited in at Copenhagen while the activists (and quite a lot of journalists) where kept out while world leaders got busy with doing nothing.

The IPCC are government mandated scientific advisers put in place to save the politicans the headache of understanding the output of 1,000s of climate scientists that keep stumbling in to evidence like cow-pats in a field. The IPCC is supposed to influence governments explicitly and by definition, but given Copenhagen (where governments just did their own thing) and the shear number of actual working climate scientists, the actual influence of the IPCC is on par with an opinion poll for a local council election. Zzzzzzzzzzz. And it's not like the IPCC has any real incentive to misadvise since (as the last UK drugs impact assessment fiasco highlighted) governments just make up their own advice at the end of the day.

Politicians hate being lied to, mislead, and (in the specific case with scientists) being made to look like morons by the nerds/geeks they bullied back in school. If the IPCC was in anyway playing a game or pushing an arbitrary agenda I'm sure their heads would have rolled long ago.

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WTF?

If rationality and reason ruled...

Then we wouldn't be talking about how we're being shown drowning cartoon dogs in order to increase the level of fear & concern amongst an increasinly apathetic public, especially the youngsters at whom the ad seems to be targetted, using emotional shock tactics to destroy any reasoned debate. Just like anyone who questions the tactics of the state-sponsored "wars" on terrorism, child porn, drugs, ASB etc, if you question any of the (proven to be dubious at best) "evidence" then you're obviously in favour of whatever the "war" is against. And the ASA has proven links to the IPCC, as other people have discussed elsewhere in this comments thread.

And if you seriously believe "Your unnecessary use of such foul language betrays your lack of reason." then you haven't been around here very long, or else you've been reading both articles and comments with your eyes closed. Seriously - there's even a "WTF" icon! Does that mean that El Reg, as a whole, is also demonstrating their lack of reason with an unnecessary use of foul language? If so, why are you here?

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Sneaky ASA hides eco-bias by ruling against green ads

So, the ASA rejected the complaints about the TV ads, but upheld the complaints about the posters. On what basis then do you conclude they’re in the pockets of the government-fuelled advertising industry? Or is it only the half of the judgement you disagree with which was a conspiracy by crooked, greedy green lobby?

You’re right though; its terrible when sources we’re supposed to trust leave out information which doesn’t fit with their own bias. I particularly enjoyed your coverage of last week’s Met Office report on the strengthening evidence for AGW.

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FAIL

There's one born every minute

If the Chairman of the Ad Standards body was also the Chairman of Shell, you'd be crying hell about conflicts of interest. But because he's also working for the Global Warming Ministry, pushing a line you agree with, then that's OK.

Well, that's your credibility well and truly blown.

Now get your coat.

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