Monday, November 1, 2010

Climate change really kills - read this piece in the Guardian

Oxfam climate change ad cleared by regulator

Poster stating that people are dying because of climate change 'was not misleading', rules Advertising Standards Authority
Oxfam climate change adView larger picture
Oxfam's climate change ad which was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority. Click bottom right to see full image
Oxfam has won the right to continue to claim in marketing campaigns that climate change is directly responsible for killing people, after the advertising watchdog dismissed complaints that the assertion could not be proven.
The charity ran a poster advertising campaign that stated: "People dying thanks to climate change is a long way off. About 5,000 miles, give or take ... Our politicians have the power to help get a climate deal back on track."
The Advertising Standards Authority received four complaints that the statement linking people dying to the impact of climate change was misleading and could not be substantiated.
Oxfam said that a number of reputable organisations, including the World Health Organisation, had published research proving this was true.
The ASA investigated the claim, looking at work from bodies including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and considered that there was "robust consensus" that there was "extremely strong evidence for human-induced climate change".
"We noted that Oxfam's claim was reasonably restrained in that it stated deaths were occurring at the present time as a result of climate change but that it did not claim specific numbers of deaths were attributable and it did not speculate about future numbers of deaths," added the ASA.
"Because of that, and because of the consensus that we considered already existed amongst climate scientists that there was extremely strong evidence for human induced climate change, and because of a similar consensus that climate change was now resulting in people dying, we concluded that the ad was not misleading."
Oxfam said it hoped the ASA ruling would help people realise that climate change was having a real impact across the world.
"The ASA also noted consensus among climate scientists that there is extremely strong evidence for man-made climate change," said Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam. "We hope that this finding will help boost confidence among the wider public of the reality of climate change and that we can all play a part in helping to reduce its effects in the future if we act now."

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