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Old 23-03-2006, 18:21   #1
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Post Public service ads aim to raise awareness about global warming

Your favorite TV show has ended. You've just seen the ads for Lipitor and light beer, and here comes another:

"Tick. Tick. Massive heat waves.

One after another, the faces of small children appear.

Tick. Tick. Severe droughts.

The kids look serious, maybe even upset.

Tick. Go to www.fightglobalwarming.com. While there's still time."

Yikes - did some ad exec get lost on a horror movie set? Not quite.

Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense, has teamed with the Ad Council, which has challenged social norms with public service campaigns like "Friends don't let friends drive drunk" and Nancy Reagan's "Just say no."

In a series of TV and radio spots that one publicist termed "edgy" - and that a global warming skeptic called "the ultimate triumph of propaganda over science" - the group is hoping to spawn a massive shift in social awareness that will send millions rushing to turn down their thermostats, inflate their car tires and recycle their plastic.

All in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, which many scientists say contributes to global warming.

The first ads in what will be a multi-year campaign are going out to TV and radio stations nationwide Thursday. As is the norm with public service ads, stations will run them at no cost, when they choose.

Krupp got the idea about a year ago. Struck by what he called a "cascade" of scientific evidence, he said he realized global warming is "the overwhelming environmental issue of our generation ... Our children's future is at stake."

He called Peggy Conlon, president of the Ad Council, who was intrigued. A global warming ad campaign would be a first, she said.

The council, which conducts public service ad campaigns with the help of volunteer agencies, stays away from politics. But it's big on mobilization - for seat belts, for father involvement, for youth volunteerism, against crime.

Environmental Defense had already worked with the Ad Council in the 1980s. Remember "If you're not recycling, you're throwing it all away"? Back then television and radio stations donated about $300 million worth of ad time, Krupp said. Recycling increased.

Another of the ads, all done by Ogilvy New York, shows a fragile plant growing near train tracks, then a speeding locomotive. A man appears. "Global warming," he intones over the "chugga-chugga of the train. "Some say irreversible consequences are 30 years away. Thirty years? That won't affect me."

He walks off. But behind him - right in the path of the train! - is a little girl, blonde curls framing her puzzled frown.

The ads steer viewers and listeners to www.fightglobalwarming.com, which also debuts Thursday and includes tips on how Americans can stick to a "low-carbon diet."

James Taylor, an editor with the Heartland Institute, a public policy organization that is skeptical of global warming, said the campaign is partisan and out of line with the Ad Council's stated mission.

"To the extent that the Ad Council says individuals should take advantage of opportunities to be energy-efficient in a general sense, that is quite admirable," he said. "But any implication that the scientific debate over global warming is settled ... is simply wrong."

He said the campaign "amounts to nothing more than an end-run around a skeptical Congress, a skeptical president and a sharply divided scientific community."

The Ad Council's Smokey the Bear "gave us advice on preventing forest fires," Taylor said. "He did not jump into the debate on national forest policy."

President Bush has declined to take action on greenhouse gas emissions, saying the case is unproven.

Many scientists have found indisputable evidence that the planet is warming. The Arctic polar cap is melting, and sea levels are rising. But there's debate over what's causing it and whether it's a short-term blip or a persistent trend.

Either way, is a viewing public fixated on March Madness and sitcoms really ready to confront the end of the planet as we know it and do something about it?

"They're up against a huge amount of clutter," says Los Angeles marketing consultant Larry Londre.

Besides, if people haven't turned down their thermostats by now, what's going to make them start? The public has heard most of this stuff for years - to spare not only the planet, but also their wallets.

There have been some successes. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program, which offers energy advice and labels products - especially home appliances - that are the most efficient.

Staffers there have been harping on energy since 1992. They are well aware of "how many times you have to be told something before it sticks," said Maria Vargas, a spokeswoman.

Eventually, however, it does. Last year, the EPA estimates, the program saved Americans $12 billion on energy bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to that generated by 23 million vehicles.

Krupp thinks that a survey Environmental Defense Commission commissioned shows people are primed for more action.

Of 1,200 people interviewed from Feb. 27 to March 2, seven in 10 Americans believe global warming is happening. Most believe it is due to human activity. And 59 percent think they can do something about it.

"This is big and important, but it's also solvable," Krupp said. "When you think about so many other major challenges we face, there comes a moment when we move from fear to action. We're at that moment now on global warming."

If every American household switched three regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, he said, they would save the equivalent of the emissions from 3.5 million cars.

The ads remind Tom Hollihan, associate dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, of the 1964 presidential campaign ad that featured a little girl plucking petals off a daisy. An unseen man spoke about the threat of nuclear holocaust if Barry Goldwater were elected.

"They're borrowing from the same playbook," Hollihan said. "The notion of a ticking clock, irreversible harm. It's a time-tested, persuasive strategy."
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Old 23-03-2006, 20:57   #2
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Belch

Latest issue of National Geographic has a good article on the consumption of coal. Some US plants use 25 tons an hour. Hopefully they will bring more clean burining units online sooner rather than later. There are still many folks in denial mode about this. Do we need the scientists to tell us the obvious. We can not mess with the natural order of things and expect nothing to happen. A study of Venus is very revealing, it is way to hot, some scientists are concerened it could happen here. Too complex for me.
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Old 24-03-2006, 01:41   #3
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actually, it was carl sagan, et. al who first observed the greenhouse effect on venus in the 1970s. mr. "billions and billions" was ahead of his time.

as one book i recently read put it: the earth spent billions of years sinking carbon into the soil in a process that made life possible; in a few hundred years man has taken much of it back out and thrown it back into the atmosphere.

they are already evacuating coastal settlements in papua new guinea. they are simply unsustainable with rising sea levels.
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Old 24-03-2006, 08:51   #4
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Carl Sagan

I used to watch him on telly and liked the way he presented things. He would say " there is a sail boat comming at you at 6 knots and a power boat comming at you at 20 knots, why don't we see the power boat first ? " and then he would explain why, with the knowledge we had so far.
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Old 24-03-2006, 17:58   #5
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I have trouble with global warming being blamed on humans. It's not a very scientific conclusion.

If you look at the history of the Earth, it has had enormous fluctuations in temperature - from ice ages, to points in time that were WARMER than we are now.

(See This Graph)
http://cruisersforum.com/photopost//...php?photo=1930

It sometimes seems very ego-centric to me that we as a people think we have so much effect on our climate. It has changed by more than 10x our recent "global warming trends" over history. So... who is to say we caused this?

While pollution is disgusting and causes much disease, leaves us with little water, and ruins our food supplies.... my bet is that the Earth is changing temperature just like it always did.
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Old 24-03-2006, 19:16   #6
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Warming

Are you saying that all the crap ( billions of tons ) we send up into the air has no effect ? It seems obvious to me that something should happen. This is an unprecidented event. The world may indeed have warmed up and cooled down. If it is warming up and we are helping it warm up there could be problems. There does not seem to be too much disagreement amongst the scientists that something nasty will happen. That they can not predict the future accurately does not bother me.
Consider what London was like about 100 years ago. A smoggy foggy place. They stopped burning coal and things improved immensly. There are many no burn areas of England. We know the coal burning is causing acid rain. I think in another post you mentioned the water supply. It does not appear to be getting any better. Europe has areas that are massively regulated. Many folks leave Holland because of it. In BC we can not put in a treated post if we are certified organic, otherwise we can use them by the hundreds. In Holland you can not use a treated post no matter what. Europe is going to run into some demographic problems with respect to workers and non workers. France is currently showing one such problem. Good luck.
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Old 25-03-2006, 13:21   #7
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Mike,

I agree that pollution is horrible... disgustingly horrible. It has ruined our air, our water, our food (fish!) and has us doing things like buying bottled water, etc... which we should never have had to do.

My problem is the fact that the Earth, on its own, has fluctuated in temperature to a much greater extent than it has during "global warming."

If you approach this from a scientific standpoint, you can't say for sure that pollution in the atmosphere is the CAUSE of the Earth's recent warming. The causality just isn't there. It's pure speculation, considering the Earth has been much hotter, and much much colder in the past.

But let's ban pollution for sure!
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Old 25-03-2006, 14:49   #8
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WEATHER MAKERS

I have been swayed myself that what we are witnessing has a lot to do with human capacity to change weather dramatically, and I do believe some trends will be irevesable.

Check out this story -- it is an interview with a former Australian skeptic who finally looked at research and came up with his book Weather Makers. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5293273

The interview is excellent -- and a few of his observations were striking:

He concludes that high altitude, white jets from air traffic (the white lines you see on the sky) have a cumulative effect on global weather -- Apparently after 9/11, when for 2-3 days there was no air traffic (other than FBI planes getting Saudis out of the country -- but here I diverge...) -- there was a noticeable increase in global temperature which was immediate. (The white casts a huge shadow and filters enough of the sun light, reflecting much of it back to space). I thought that was quite colossal. It would follow that were we to actually close off ALL carbon emmissions for a month, we would probably be able to measure a decrease in temperature, or we could close the entire argument what we're actually contributing to the problem. However no country would agree to stopping production for even one day... Still -- the data COULD be observed, and the theory is probably provable if scientific study was an actual perogative. So to
skeptics I would say this:

Nobody really believes there's no global warming. Since we'll live through some big consequences, even if WE wern't the cause, it would be good to rule us out, and to see if anything we can do would make a positive change. Hence some actual experiment should be created to make observations possible.

In terms of cruising, I have said that we probably won't have that long before weather will start being too unpredictable to actually cruise -- that is to say, most historical data will be meaningless (piloting charts etc) because if enough of the polar ice cap will melt (for whatever reasons) it will trigger a change in ocean currents -- hence weather.

Anyways, if anyone would listen to the link above, I would be curious what anybody thinks -- especially with respect to sailing community.

Eugene
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Old 25-03-2006, 18:23   #9
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Eugene,

Very good points. I often think about how the changes in climate (man made or otherwise) will affect weather patterns and also cruising. I read "World Cruising Routes" and think to myself that some of what I'm reading might be changing. Already we see hurrican/monsoon/cyclone seasons behaving a little differently.

I do recall that article regarding the jet contrails. I also remember reading somewhere that pavement is one of the worst killers for global warming. The difference between hot pavement and a cool field in the amount of heat reflected back off the planet is huge. The pavement just soaks up all the heat.

Anyway... I am probably as concerned or more concerned than most about these issues. It's just the trained scientist in me that says:

In light of the fact that the Earth has been much colder and much hotter all by itself, there is no evidence that what we are doing is heating or cooling it in any way it wouldn't already be heating or cooling itself. But I am nearly an agnostic on this one. I am not saying we are or aren't causing the latest rise in temps... just that I haven't seen hard evidence to say we definitely are.

Also, I believe the Earth has a large capacity to act akin to a buffer in chemistry. Things will even back out... either the climate change is natural and will swing back and forth... or it's man-made and we'll have a lot of problems. If it's the latter, it will still balance back out as people die and stop polluting.

Somehow, if we are causing this, I think it will take massive death to convince anyone to stop polluting. People are just too darn greedy.

Fun discussion. Very interesting. Not too much about sailing, but sometimes it's fun to talk philosophical on here.
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Old 25-03-2006, 18:57   #10
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Yeah, it does makes you wonder with all this pollution that we have been pumping into the air since the start of the "Industrial Age". It makes one wonder where the end to this is?

And how much damage this planet can really take before it becomes totally lifeless. And making this planet totally unhabitable?

As for the rising oceans. I have no loss of sleep there. It just means more water for me to sail around on!!
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Old 25-03-2006, 23:41   #11
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And tomorrow the earth could crack in half

What ever happen to all the natural grass/forest fires, the smoking volcanoes, black oil spewing up and polluting ground water?

The earth has pretty much taken care of itself. All humans are is a bunch of parasites infesting the skin of the earth. Some call it Mother earth. Sometimes she has PMS.

Yes! There will be disasters that will wipe out part of the population. How about the tsunami 15 months ago. And the black plague a few hundred years ago. Earthquakes in Iran and Pakistan make less people to drive those climate-warming vehicles.

Green People complain about cars but I never hear them say a thing about airplanes. I don't know the stats on their fuel consumption per person but I'll guess it's not much different then an automobile traveling the same distance but done in a lot shorter period of time.

If you look at some of the coastal cliffs, you'll notice they are sand stone. How does one think all that sand got up that high? Global warming, I would guess.

We all need to learn to live with the changes in the earth’s environments, now that we have been recording history for a while. But, still being good stewards of the environment for man's sake.

A nice size meteorite sure could ruin everyones day. Do you think NASA would tell us if a big one were coming???

Dooms day attitudes are pretty much a negitive attitude. Jimmy Jones and the likes of him can mess up a lot of minds.

Rant, rant , rant ! Why bother! All man can do is their part and teach their chidren to do the same......................_/)
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Old 26-03-2006, 13:52   #12
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Just teach them to be more into conservation?

Recycle all that jazz?
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