The print advertisements, commissioned by UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Secretary Ed Miliband, are part of a taxpayer-funded public awareness campaign called Act on CO2. They play off popular nursery rhymes Jack and Jill and Rub-a-Dub-Dub.
The Jack and Jill ad reads: "Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water. There was none, as extreme weather due to climate change had caused a drought." The ad goes on to say, "Climate change has serious implications for our way of life. For example, extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and storms will become more frequent & intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different."
The DECC take-off on Rub-a-Dub-Dub is equally devoid of rhyme and quips, "Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub, a necessary course of action due to flash flooding caused by climate change." It warns, "Climate change is happening. Temperatures and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heatwaves (sic) will become more frequent and intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different."
ASA cited reports from the scandal-ridden Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in ruling that it is not possible to make such definitive claims as these. ASA did not ban the other ads in the campaign. They include two more nursery rhyme print ads encouraging readers to decrease their "carbon footprints," as well as two billboard placards and a television commercial.
According to ASA, the other ads did not break the agency's codes for substantiation and truthfulness in environmental claims, which led Miliband to boast the ASA has "comprehensibly vindicated" his DECC campaign. The Daily Mail reports that the Energy secretary also promised to "more accurately reflect scientific uncertainty about global warming in future campaigns." ASA plans to publish its full report on Wednesday at www.asa.org.uk.
UK European Parliament member Godfrey Bloom harshly criticized DECC. "What is truly nauseating is that the government wasted £56 million on this propagandist rubbish," said Bloom, a member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He believes that far more than the reported 939 people complained to ASA about the ads. "When I went to their website to make my own complaint I was met with a message telling me not to bother, they had already received so many."
The UKIP calls for an end to all government contributions to the IPCC, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and any EU climate-change policies such as the Emission Trading System. It wants to halt government subsidies for "global warming" research, repeal the UK Climate Change Act, and close DECC. In its place, it would like to establish a Royal Commission under a High Court judge to allow honest debate and research on climate science. The party has also fixed its guns on Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, hoping to ban it from being shown in schools.
Thumbnail photo: From UK global-warming TV commercial