The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elliott Negin,Media Director,

New Disinformation Ads Argue for More Carbon Dioxide


An article in today's Washington Post exposed the coal and oil industry interests behind recent anti-climate-change advertisements.

In a "smoking is good for you" twist on reality, the ads
actually call for higher levels of carbon dioxide, the primary
heat-trapping gas driving global warming. The Competitive Enterprise
Institute, an industry-funded libertarian think tank, released similar ads last year.

The ads are reminiscent of tobacco companies' attempts to hide the
dangers of smoking. A decades-old Chesterfield ad informed viewers that
test subjects "were not adversely affected" by smoking during a short period of observation. And Camel ad campaign from the same era claimed "more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette."

While carbon dioxide does exist naturally, excess carbon
dioxide from burning fossil fuels is a problem. Similarly, there are
health benefits to drinking wine, too, but not eight glasses a
night. And while we need calories to survive, no doctor would endorse a
10,000-calorie-a-day diet.

In fact, a recent assessment
of climate change consequences in the United States from 13 federal
science agencies found that global warming from higher levels of carbon
dioxide is "already affecting water, energy, transportation,
agriculture, ecosystems, and health." The report notes that
dramatically reducing heat-trapping emissions will help us avoid the
worst consequences of climate change. These findings are consistent
with research from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change as well as statements from the National Academy of
Sciences and the world's most prominent scientific societies. And a
recent United Nations Environment Programme review of the scientific literature concludes "the pace and scale of climate change may now be outstripping even the most sobering predictions."

Climate change can be hazardous to your health and so can disinformation campaigns from oil and coal companies.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.