Climate ads running on TV

Television advertising may be pivotal in the coming debate about climate legislation in the U.S. Senate. Analysts believe that 20-25 senators may still be undecided on how they will vote on an energy/climate bill later this year. That leaves room for TV ads like this one from Clean Energy Works, a coalition of environmental and labor organizations, to make a difference:

At a time of rising unemployment, the emphasis on “clean energy jobs” may be particularly effective. Another ad produced by VoteVets.org shows war veterans highlighting national security concerns.

Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund just launched a series of ads that point out the environmental risks of climate change with specific versions that target undecided senators in Alaska, Indiana, Maine, Montana, and North Dakota.

These ads represent a new development in the modern environmental movement, which in its 40-year history has rarely had the resources to advertise on television. Now the proliferation of cable TV channels and more precise audience targeting are giving environmental groups new access to the airwaves.

Opponents of climate legislation, including oil and gas interests, are already out in force with their own ads (see this announcement from the National Association of Manufacturers). And they will spend a lot more money (probably 5-10 times as much) than environmental groups. But at least viewers — and some senators — will see both sides.

Thirty-second ads aren’t the best way to explain an issue as complex as global climate change. However, to the extent advertising can shape public opinion and influence votes by elected officials, we had better pay attention.

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  1. dennis mchale - September 16, 2009

    Hello, I am supprised that no one has talked about the simple elementry school knowledge that it takes 2 mols of o2 to burn 1 mol of c. At the present rate of consumerism the planet cannot make enough o2. The ACES bill needs some refinement but nothing or status quo is a non option, I’m thinking. Cap and trade will be the underbelly were the attack dogs will focus. I would hope we all continue to keep focused on the true value required, reduction of the ppm in the air of everything, ‘cus we have yet to make a Fuller dome that can cover this entire planet and HVAC system the size of France. thxs

  2. Garrett - September 16, 2009

    I encourage people to click on the National Association of Manufacturers link. They predict a GDP loss over 18 years (starting in 2012 of course) of 1.2% each year. And all of the dire predictions listed are for 2030- clearly based on assumptions that could sway those numbers greatly (imagine trying to predict today’s economy in 1990). These are weak arguments at best. I especially like the prediction that energy bills will be 50% higher. So what? Do they not realize how much higher those bills will be if we do nothing?
    I hope we can overcome the blatant ignorance of arguments like these.