March 14, 2010

Banned Milliband

Minister's global warming nursery rhyme adverts banned for overstating the risks

By Sara Nelson

Two government advertisements which use nursery rhymes to warn of the dangers of climate change have been banned for exaggerating the threat.

Commissioned by Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, the adverts are based on children’s poems Jack and Jill and Rub-A-Dub-Dub and assert that climate change will cause flooding and drought.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled the adverts – which attracted 939 complaints - made exaggerated claims which went beyond mainstream scientific consensus.

One advert read: ‘Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. There was none as extreme weather due to climate change had caused a drought.’

Beneath this was written: ‘Extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and storms will become more frequent and intense.’

The other read: ‘Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub – a necessary course of action due to flash flooding caused by climate change.’

It added: ‘Climate change is happening. Temperature and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves will become more frequent and intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different.’

The watchdog stated the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) should not publish the adverts again, ruling that the text accompanying the rhymes should have been phrased more tentatively.

Using reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as reference, the ASA determined it was not possible to make such definitive statements about Britain’s future climate, the Times reported.

As a result the adverts were found to have broken the code on substantiation, truthfulness and environmental claims.

The ASA said: ‘All statements about future climate were modeled on predictions, which the IPCC report itself stated still involved uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change.’

The watchdog found that other elements of the campaign, including a TV and cinema advert in which a father read his daughter a bedtime story about a world affected by climate change, did not breach its guidelines.

Mr Miliband said his department had been ‘comprehensibly vindicated’ by the ASA but promised to more accurately reflect scientific uncertainty about global warming in future campaigns.

The ruling comes amidst the fall-out from the leak of more than 1,000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s controversial Climatic Research Unit.

The emails, which dealt a severe blow to the credibility of environmental science, were seized upon by global warming skeptics as evidence that academics were massaging the figures.

Since the leak, belief in global warming has fallen from 41 per cent to 26 per cent

H/T Air Vent

No comments:

Post a Comment