29 May 2011
Heaven and Hell
Watching commercial television in a community that is probably the most representative of America, I am struck by the number of advertisements for oil, coal, and natural gas. Even on the news programs, there is almost no discussion of viable renewable alternatives, and little discussion of climate change. Advertisement works, otherwise corporations wouldn't engage in it. This is what substitutes for education in this culture, a kind of saturation bombing of thought. Meanwhile there is no alternate voice. This distorts the issue. Instead of rational planning, it comes down to a matter of opinion, a war won by those with the money to put their viewpoint across.
A couple of thoughts...
I am an advocate of free speech. I would not want to place a gag on anyone. But in this case, the concentration of money effectively silences the voice of the majority. A gag on advertisement appears to have been effective in reducing smoking. Packages of cigarettes are likewise required to sport very visible information on the health consequences of use. Could such a gag be mandated for products that produce greenhouse gases? Since they have potential health consequences for many people.
Heaven and Hell have been effective tools used by the church to influence behavior successfully for two millennia. Could simple heaven and hell ads be effective at describing the alternatives? The anti-smoking ads appear effective. Why shouldn't we scare the crap out of people? It seems that the population is not nearly worried enough.