Friday, October 13, 2006

Green advertisement perhaps delivers an unintended message

‘Save 49 ponds a year’ says the big poster currently occupying the advertising hoarding at the bottom of our hill. It’s a British Gas advertisement urging us to turn our thermostats down by a degree.

We’re lucky; we live in an affluent suburb of an affluent town. An extra fifty quid a year wouldn’t make the slightest difference to any of our neighbour’s lifestyle. The message they’re possibly more likely to take is ‘it won’t cost me much if I turn the heating up a bit’.

That’s one problem with trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It needs lots of us to do quite small things that in financial terms won’t give us any benefit. In fact travelling by more environmentally friendly modes of transport often costs more and/or takes longer. Oh dear.

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