Thursday, March 18, 2010

Climate Change: Too Hot for TV?

Is climate change still so hotly debated that ads explicitly warning of what will happen in a warming world should be censored? Britain's Advertising Standards Association thinks so. After receiving 939 complaints about the British government's "Act on CO2" campaign of four print ads and a TV spot, the ASA issued this muddled response:
Because, in a European context, there was a probability of greater than 90% for some events but a probability of greater than 50% for other events and because all statements about future climate conditions were based on modelled predictions, which the IPCC report itself stated still involved uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change, we concluded that the claim "Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heatwaves will become more frequent and intense" in ad (b) and the claim "extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and storms will become more frequent and intense" in ad (c) should have been phrased more tentatively to reflect that.
In other words, the ASA thinks climate science isn't exact enough to warrant some of the print and TV claims. The government plans to continue the ads, but you can judge for yourself whether this TV spot is too scandalous for television. Read more.

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