Thursday, May 18, 2006

My propaganda wins

Oh, goody. A group I've never heard of called the Competitive Enterprise Institute has come up with a commercial extolling the benefits of a greenhouse gas. The idea is to counter some of the alarmist climate change stuff coming out in the media - most notably, the documentry featuring Al Gore called "An Inconvenient Truth".

Apparently the ad starts off like this:

A little girl blows away dandelion fluff as an announcer says, "Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution; we call it life".

Yup, that waste product left over when our bodies have gotten all the oxygen goodness out of it is part of life. Mind you, our bodies creates a variety of other waste products as well and I'm not sure that I'd happily accept having an excess of that stuff around in my "ambient environment" just because it was a byproduct of some useful industrial process... I won't even to get started listing chemicals that are vital for life and which are poisonous at high exposure levels.

"The fuels that produce CO2 (carbon dioxide) have freed us from a world of back-breaking labor, lighting up our lives, allowing us to create and move the things we need, the people we love," the ad runs. "Now some politicians want to label carbon dioxide a pollutant. Imagine if they succeed -- what would our lives be like then?"

I'm guessing that the alternative they're implying is something out of the dark ages. We'll have no light,ever, be forced to eat everything raw, and have walk miles to our workplaces (uphill both ways, and we won't even have any good hiking boots because they're probably all made in China).

I humbly offer an alternative view: phased-in green power including hydroelectric and wind power coupled with development of efficient products (heard of the Energuide?), reduction in electricity use (ahem, could we turn off the office lights overnight, please?) , embracing locally-grown produce, and designing communities that encourage walking and cycling.



Heather said...

Ah, but all power sources have their issues, take wind turbines for example, they screw up the natural air currents pretty badly causing all sorts of problems. Solution? The mini vertical roof top ones, the air currents are already screwed around cities anyway - why not take advantage of the unnatural wind tunnels created by office buildings? Like the one that blew me off my bike yesterday...

Jordan said...

Are you sure that campaign isn't tongue-in-cheek?

People have been burning stuff for thousands of years... I guess the issue is that now more people are burning more stuff more frivolously.

Happy Owl said...

Nope, it's not tongue in cheek - they're serious. That's why I had to comment on it. From their website:

"The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of free enterprise and limited government. We believe that individuals are best helped not by government intervention, but by making their own choices in a free marketplace."

They also have something called the "cooler heads coalition" which appears to be designed to counter global warming research - the latest newsletter notes that EU emissions trading programs aren't working, the disadvantages of wind power, and describes some new evidence that the warming is natural.

I think that both sides of this type of debate are often full of, er, human waste (hence the title of my post!) - as Heather says, there ARE problems associated with any source of energy you can think of. This ad caught my eye because it seems so... irrelevant... to the real issues - but at the same time I think the message would appeal to a lot of people.


Caroline said...

Sounds just like the tobacco industry!