Global warming and climate change
Advertising – No Thanks!
The advertising industry’s carpet bombing offers destruction of household economies of any size.
Many people have mixed feelings about shopping. Do we really need new clothes because fashion has changed again this month? Is the 32 inch TV really too small when the whole family watch movies together? Is it true that the grandchildren do not appreciate gifts at a value below DKK 500?
In 2018 there was much debate on climate change, sustainability and environmental responsibility. The situation is serious and something radical must be done, now. In Scandinavia, 2018 was consequently the year when we bought recycled goods for Christmas gifts instead of new things! Should there be an alternative list of gift ideas, where the gifts are listed according to the CO2 emission that their production entails? Maybe 2019 will be the year when we quit the shopping frenzy, dismiss gift-giving obligations and go for a walk in the woods instead and enjoy live Christmas trees, absolutely free.
It is necessary and good that the climate debate is intensified. It is necessary and good that we all take responsibility for our behavior, eg. our consumption. But it is also necessary that we realize that in a climate change perspective we are NOT all in the same boat. There are somebody throwing somebody else overboard!
If the Earth’s 3 billion poorest people did not exist, our planet would still be threatened by increasing CO2 concentration in the air, increasing global warming and increasing extinction of animal and plant species. In the metaphor with the boat, it is these people who are thrown overboard.
It is not you who buy new clothes instead of buying reused clothes who cause the polar bears to soon have no ice flakes to stand on (you should still buy reused clothes, though).
The coal and oil industries live on producing global warming and climate change. It’s not just an unfortunate side effect, it’s part of the whole concept.
The fashion industry lives on inventing new non-existent needs. The fact that it has become common to find the two words “sustainable” and “fashion” in the same sentence does not indicate that the fashion industry has changed course, it is just a name for a new fashion trend.
Back to Christmas gifts: You DO NOT need the new fashion collection. The TV is big enough and it’s great to sit the whole family close together and watch a good movie. The grandchildren need a responsible and progressive worldview. The advertising industry does not humbly inform us of necessary products, but is hired by the industry to create needs that do not exist.
In 2003, American author Michael Dawson wrote in the book “The Consumer Trap” that in the US, the cost of advertising was twice as big as the total cost of education, public as well as private. In 2016, many of the children and young people who went to school in 2003 obtained the right to vote. Not surprisingly they elected a distinct climate change denier for president.
Looking towards increasing global warming and climate change, let’s abandon advertising and build another kind of school.