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(16,246 posts)
Sun Jul 9, 2023, 09:33 AM Jul 2023

Advertising, excess consumption and climate change [View all]

Recently, it occurred to me that few connections are ever made between advertising and climate change. Attention is paid to individual effort like buying energy star appliances or lowering your thermostat or recycling, and corporations have sustainability initiatives and/or greenwashing. But advertising as a generator of unnecessary material consumption that contributes to climate change? I personally had never heard this connection being made (or proposals to mitigate it) in public forums.

Is the connection so obvious that there’s no point in discussing it?

Corporations want growth, so they advertise. The industry I came from is a prime example of the damage that results: aviation is virtually all based on fossil fuels, and the path to sustainable commercial aviation is not clear. But growth matters to the airline industry, so they advertise, and convince more people to travel more. People who woke up this morning having no inclination or plan to travel are struck with a desire to fly to the Bahamas or else plan their third trip to Paris.

Is it possible to tax or reduce advertising -
-> in order to reduce consumption
-> in order to reduce resource extraction and energy consumption
-> in order to fight climate change?

How would you do it?
What obstacles would be encountered?
Should you give up on it because there are obstacles?

Perhaps differentially tax, based on carbon impact or category of industry?

Among the many climate-change-fighting initiatives, why is this never discussed?

I personally feel that it is a giant blind spot in climate discussions.

What do you think?

By the way, I found a couple articles on the topic when I searched today, in case anyone wants to read further:

International Journal of Advertising: Perspectives: Advertising and climate change – Part of the problem or part of the solution? Abstract: The advertising industry has a direct carbon footprint but also contributes to climate change by stimulating unsustainable economic growth, promoting climate-harmful consumerism, and greenwashing polluting products and companies. However, advertising can also play a pivotal role in fighting climate change

The Guardian: The advertising industry is fuelling climate disaster, and it’s getting away with it

The Drum blog: Is advertising causing climate change? Actually, it’s worse than that

11 votes, 1 pass | Time left: Unlimited
A giant blind spot and a good opportunity for change
11 (100%)
Irrelevant - the economy needs ads so there's little point to discussing it
0 (0%)
Impossible - the drive for wealth will kill any shift away from ads
0 (0%)
Pointless - sustainable fuels and recycling will get us there
0 (0%)
I've seen plenty on this topic, it gets the attention it should
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
29 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
This is a really important observation. It's astonishing what advertisers have convinced Americans Scrivener7 Jul 2023 #1
I see myself in a lot of those stats lostnfound Jul 2023 #3
I can see how it would be difficult during child rearing years. But you are right that a lot of Scrivener7 Jul 2023 #4
ADDING: I think you might have inspired someone. It's a great conversation and I'm glad Scrivener7 Jul 2023 #6
I can vouch for number 2. Hugin Jul 2023 #18
Years ago I read a book, "Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic," CrispyQ Jul 2023 #20
Just ordered it from the library! Thanks! Scrivener7 Jul 2023 #24
K&R Doc Sportello Jul 2023 #2
The techniques are the same as the 20s and the sophisticated tech has enabled it to be targeted lostnfound Jul 2023 #21
Here's the problem. roamer65 Jul 2023 #5
Six billion miracles are enough. CrispyQ Jul 2023 #8
I think its finally starting to get through to the millennials and Gen Z. roamer65 Jul 2023 #9
That article is in line with what I'm hearing from millennials and Gen Z. femmedem Jul 2023 #16
I have been adopted by a niece and nephew. roamer65 Jul 2023 #17
That's so sweet of them! femmedem Jul 2023 #23
I try. roamer65 Jul 2023 #26
As a way of assessing our economy, the GDP is the fastest track available to a dystopian future. Magoo48 Jul 2023 #7
You are definitely on the right track! Think. Again. Jul 2023 #10
Bill Hicks had a great bit about marketing. JanMichael Jul 2023 #11
Our current model: Comfort, Convenience, Consumption. Ron Green Jul 2023 #12
Nice slogan lostnfound Jul 2023 #22
Yup. Magoo48 Jul 2023 #28
And maybe we should publically fund anti-consumption messages. femmedem Jul 2023 #13
Advertising is the function for establishing standards and impossible-to-attain ideals Auggie Jul 2023 #14
Advertisers have been unable to sell me a private jet leftstreet Jul 2023 #15
The economist John Kenneth Galbraith made the point that advertising skews capitalism c-rational Jul 2023 #19
I agree Cherokee100 Jul 2023 #25
I've removed advertising that moves or makes noise from my personal universe. hunter Jul 2023 #27
Does it make sense to fight a battle that's already been lost? Kaleva Jul 2023 #29
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