Debate Magazine

A Survivor from a Parallel Apocalyptic Universe Speaks...

Posted on the 03 August 2020 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC:
A new campaign called "Badvertising" is demanding an immediate end to adverts for large polluting cars...
Andrew Simms, one author, said: "We ended tobacco advertising when we understood the threat from smoking to public health. Now that we know the human health and climate damage done by car pollution, it’s time to stop adverts making the problem worse. There’s adverts, and then there’s badverts, promoting the biggest, worst emitting SUVs is like up-selling pollution, and we need to stop."

I've no sympathy with people who drive unnecessarily large vehicles (whether gas guzzler or SUV, it's all just conspicuous consumption and a pain in the arse for pedestrians and people in sensibly sized cars), but I doubt that an advertising ban is going to make the slightest bit of difference.
The car manufacturers probably won't care too much. The main purpose of advertising is to retain market share and not increase the size of the overall market. So it's an arms race and an advertising ban is a straight cost-saving.
But it gets funnier. The Stigler, on Twitter, asked:
Andrew Simms? The bloke from NEF who was saying we only have 100 months to save the planet from irreversible climate change back in 2008?
Presumably.


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