Nutty story of the day #3 – TV ads cause global warming

I suppose if the purpose of this is to say that we need less television advertising, I can go along with that. This is probably good news for the Ty-D-Bowl Man, who has been threatened by catastrophically rising and falling water levels all his career. – Anthony (h/t to Smokey)

TV ads cause carbon carnage

July 22, 2008 09:10pm


AUSTRALIAN television advertising is producing as much as 57 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hour, and thirty second ad breaks are among the worst offenders, according to audit figures from pitch consultants TrinityP3.

Carbon emissions are particularly strong during high-rating programs such as the final episodes of the Ten Network’s Biggest Loser, which produced 2135kgs per 30 second ad, So You Think You Can Dance at 2061kg for every 30 seconds, closely followed by the Seven News 6pm news at 1689kg and Border Security at 1802kg.

TrinityP3 managing director Darren Woolley said emissions are calculated by measuring a broadcasters’ power consumption and that of a consumer watching an ad on television in their home, B&T Magazine reports.

“We look at the number of households and the number of TVs, and then the proportion of TVs that are plasma, LCD or traditional, and calculate energy consumption based on those factors,” Woolley said.

TrinityP3 is formalising a standard carbon footprint measurement of advertising, which it claims will be the first of its kind.

“Most companies have been obliged to think through their strategies on reducing carbon emissions and they need to remember that their marketing strategies do have an environmental impact that needs to be included. This is not something that is easily able to be measured,” Mr Woolley said.

“Reality television is interesting as the more viewers and voters that tune in, the higher the carbon footprint. The more people vote, the more it adds to the CO2 in the atmosphere.

“When Big Brother launched in Australia in 2001, advertising in the program contributed over 1200kg of CO2 into the environment. By series eight this year, the decreasing number of viewers decreased its carbon footprint by 50%.

“However, the Biggest Loser is the biggest loser on the environment with a massive 57 tonnes of CO2 per hour produced by the advertising that ran during the final,” he said.

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Scott Walker
July 23, 2008 9:02 pm

Oh dear God. Are you sure this didn’t come from The Onion? These loons have gone beyond self-parody into the realm of performance art.

July 23, 2008 9:37 pm

Is this intentional? Are these psychos killing this theory by themselves? Not every human being who believes in AGW is dumb enough to support this story.

July 23, 2008 9:43 pm

As a viewer, I encourage environmentalists to create television sets which turn off during commercials. As a consumer, I encourage television stations to run together related commercials on products which I am presently shopping for. As a free marketeer, I encourage environmentalists to buy as much TV commercial time as they wish and broadcast whatever color uses the least amount of power. As a television operator, I tell environmentalists if they get rid of commercials and there are only 40 minutes of show per hour, I’m damn sure that I’m not going to turn off the TV for the 20 minutes that it is black. Maybe they should persuade tax-funded TV stations to stop broadcasting between shows — instead of their running several minutes of filler material; or better yet, stop spending tax money on broadcasting.

July 23, 2008 9:45 pm

Oh wow. Here we go again

July 23, 2008 9:48 pm

Flowers4Stalin — “Not every human being who believes in AGW is dumb enough to support this story.”
Guess again. Statistically speaking, half of us are below average.

Evan Jones
July 23, 2008 10:00 pm


Michael Hauber
July 23, 2008 10:10 pm

Does the average power usage when there is lots of loud noises and bright lights go up perhaps?
And the overall difference in power usage probably is 0.001% of the overall power usage, but if measured in kg for every tv in Australia sounds like a lot.
If 10% of the population watches the news and emits 1.7 tonnes of carbon, this is less than 1 gram of carbon per viewer.

July 23, 2008 10:41 pm

Global warming is the cause of everything bad and massive taxation of productive people and economies is the solution to everything bad. The sooner the we “deniers” realize this, the better it will be for the rest of the world.

July 23, 2008 11:01 pm

television reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
consumption is very low compared to people otherwise driving around with their cars or almost any other activity.

Leon Brozyna
July 23, 2008 11:25 pm

Here we go again ~ Give me a break!
So, if I’m watching TV and there’s a commercial for a Ford, the carbon charges would accrue to me for the entertainment portion of the show as far as the power usage of my TV. Also, the broadcast station gets charged for its operation. Now, if the advertiser {Ford} also gets charged for the time the ad runs, does the TV station get a credit? Do I? And if I purchase a Ford product as a result of the ad, does Ford also get an added charge because of the ad’s influence? Etc., etc., etc.
Let me shoot for something simpler and more relevant ~ how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Give me a break!

July 23, 2008 11:34 pm

You guys wouldn’t believe the level of sheer blithering idiocy being demonstrated on the “global warming” aka “climate change ” issue in Australia right now. The gibbering monkeys of the media and politics are all prancing around admiring the emperors new clothes. Not even spokespeople for heavy industry have the guts to speak up.

July 24, 2008 12:26 am

I have an idea. How about the only ads on television become Al Gore ads! Why? Because Al Gore pays carbon offsets for everything he does, and alerts the sheep-er, I mean, the public about capitalistic catastrophe, so there is no environmental damage from the all holy wise one! That would cool the whole planet down by a degree! Now we all know everyone here would love that weather, because it is normal!

July 24, 2008 1:01 am

Given that the media, including television, gives far greater coverage to the AGW point of view, pro-AGW TV carbon emissions must surely dwarf sceptical TV carbon emissions. For shame! 🙂

July 24, 2008 1:36 am

randomengineer (21:48:21) :
Guess again. Statistically speaking, half of us are below average.

Actually, statistically speaking, half of us are below or at the median. 🙂

Stef Pugsley
July 24, 2008 1:42 am

“Not every human being who believes in AGW is dumb enough to support this story.”
So they get to pick and choose whichever bits they want to believe, despite how many statistics they have to support the claims.
Hmm, that is a curious way to behave: “Well, I believe the IPCC when it says that CO2 is going to raise the temperature of the planet by 20 degrees this century, after all they have a consensus of 2500 scientists. But I don’t believe the IPCC when they say that sea levels show no sign of having risen, and will not rise by very much over the century. After all, not all of those 2500 scientists are in agreement, and half of them aren’t actually scientists. Instead I’ll choose to believe Al Gore who says that the see will rise by 10 metres, yet he continues to own a beach front property.”
So if shows like Big Brother have a higher carbon footprint because of more people watching and voting etc, have they bothered to take into account what those people would be watching if Big Brother wasn’t on? Last time I checked there was a finite number of people on the planet, and a finite number of TVs. So those people,if not watching big brother, would be watching something else.
On top of that, did they bother to check the CO2 footprint of the production of the shows/ads? Big Brother is live, with no editing overhead, or script writers, or anything else associated with a regular 1 hour show that takes a week to film etc. So it’s overall CO2 footprint is probably far lower.

Pierre Gosselin
July 24, 2008 1:48 am

That’s why I say public pressure ought to be applied to newspaper publishers to stop their hardcopy printing. The newspaper industry leaves a giant carbon footprint from
paper milling,
distribution etc.
If newspaper publishers felt real pressure to abandon their hardcopy prints, they’d probably start believing the real science, and whistle another tune.
You can start today by cancelling your subscriptions.

Pierre Gosselin
July 24, 2008 1:56 am

I’ve done this already with our local newspaper here, citing the huge carbon footprint their paper leaves, footprints which they bemoan in editorials on a daily basis. They were a little surprised to say the least.
Us sceptics often complain about the lack of media coverage our position gets. But, if the media’s own message turns against them, the media might take us sceptics more seriously.

Pierre Gosselin
July 24, 2008 1:58 am

Concerning TV, I stopped watching years ago.
One has to be awfully hard up to squander time watching the rubbish they have.

July 24, 2008 2:01 am

This is a very valid statement and is a well known phenomenon in the UK.
Whenever the adverts start everyone goes into the kitchen to make a cup of tea which involves a 3kW electric kettle QED

Robert Ray
July 24, 2008 3:38 am

Is the carbon footprint of a company that measures carbon footprints added to the carbon footprint of the company that hires them?

July 24, 2008 4:25 am

The Australian government is running ‘carbon pollution’ ads. What’s amazing is that I’d never heard of the term until 4 weeks ago and I actively follow the GW so called debate.
Anyway, I was active on a popular forum at the site above and responded to a couple of people saying carbon pollution causes global warming.
I told them carbon is indeed a common pollutant. However, it cannot possibly cause GW, because it’s a solid.* If you mean carbon dioxide , then say so, because there are thousands of carbon compounds.
And if carbon is a pollutant because its one component of carbon dioxide, then oxygen must be twice as polluting, because there are 2 oxygen atoms for every carbon atom in CO2.
* Actually, carbon could cause GW by changing the albedo of ice and snow, but it’s a safe assumption that anyone parroting the government ads wouldn’t know this.

July 24, 2008 5:05 am

Mike Borgelt (23:34:31)
That’s what y’all get for electing Kevin Rudd. And what we get for letting Boxer et al for having power. And so on, and so on, and so on. Now that I think about it, Their message has been spreading like that old shampoo commercial.
Seriously, I’ve thought for a while, as others here have said, as the evidence piles up, and the holes in their theory get bigger, they get more and more hysterical so they can get the controls in place while the public is still ignorant.
Have to fight back, and thanks to Anthony, Spencer, and many others, we have information to use when talking to people.

July 24, 2008 5:50 am

CO2 is our original sin.

Mike Bryant
July 24, 2008 5:57 am

I actually love this report. The TV stations are the main spreader of AGW idiocy. This hits them right in the pocketbook. The shoe is on the other foot.

Pierre Gosselin
July 24, 2008 6:22 am

Mike Bryant
Don’t forget the newspapers. They are spreaders of AGW nonsense, yet are big CO2 contributors. Cancel your subscriptions. Who needs a newspaper when you can just go online?
Tell your paper:
“Thanks for informing me about AGW, now I’m cancelling my subscription!”

July 24, 2008 6:59 am

Given that Global Warming threatens all the nice things in the world (cute penguins, fluffy polar bears) and encourages the nasty things (malaria, poison ivy, kidney stones), there is surely a danger of positive feedback taking over – dire reality-TV shows such as Big Brother contributing to GW and GW helping to spawn more bad TV, in turn. A runaway climate/televisual catastrophe in the making?

July 24, 2008 7:52 am

TerryS — “Actually, statistically speaking, half of us are below or at the median.”
Not in a gaussian distribution — which is what IQ is — meaning that the average and the median are the same thing.
(evil grin)
You chose an ironic way to prove my point, by the way. I liked it.
(/evil grin)
Stef Puglsey — “…have they bothered to take into account what those people would be watching if Big Brother wasn’t on?”
Yes they have. Obviously their baseline is “huddled in the dark with a candle.” If people were moral then they wouldn’t have TV’s, much less have them on and watching them. Of course given that greens are anti industry and anti farming ( what’s the pctg of vegans in that group? Seems pretty high to me ) I’m hard pressed to imagine from where we are supposed to get the candle. Obviously the proper counter is to offer to swap Big Brother for whale oil lamps.

July 24, 2008 8:12 am

Wow, I wonder if they could calculate the world carbon footprint of The World Cup Finals?
Should we cancel the Olympics and the World Cup because less people will be watching TV and therefore the global temperature will decrease?
I am willing to sacrifice what the world calls football on the alter of AGW. I mean we all have to be willing to sacrifice, right?
[sarc off]

Bruce Cobb
July 24, 2008 8:17 am

You can start today by cancelling your subscriptions. I cancelled our subscription to the Sunday paper a while ago, telling them I could no longer support a paper that continually espoused AGW propaganda, plus would be needing any money I can save to help pay what will certainly be an enormous heating bill this coming winter. Either that, or it can help pay for the cellulose insulation we will be having blown into the attic, bringing the R value up from 19 or less to 49. The Concord Monitor should be happy about this, and I’m sure will be encouraging others to cancel their subscriptions as well, if nothing else than to cut down on all the “carbon pollution” emitted in the production and transport of their rag.
According to AGW theology, ads of any kind should be outlawed, because they encourage people to buy things, and as we know, consumption of any kind other than what is entirely necessary simply causes further “carbon pollution”.

Retired Engineer
July 24, 2008 8:28 am

These TV ads are very bad. We need to tax them as they are destroying the planet. And if people stop watching TV, we will assume they are producing CO2 in some other evil way, so we’ll have to tax that.
We’ll spend all the tax revenue on ‘green’ projects, after extracting the usual 50% overhead for all the dedicated people running the programs. We can’t expect them to work for free.
If the world cools down, we will obviously need to raise taxes to address that issue.
No politician sleeps well at night, worry that they might have left one dime untaxed.

Bill Illis
July 24, 2008 8:30 am

While this story sounds a little out-there, it is nevertheless true that the majority of our activities are adding GHGs to the atmosphere.
The warmers think we can just tax the oil companies and the problem will just miraculously disappear.
When the fact is, we all have to:
– drive 90% less,
– watch 90% less TV (and 95% less TV commercials),
– spend 90% less time on the computer (and 95% less on RealClimate),
– buy 90% less stuff transported from other locations, and
– grow 90% of our own food in our own yards.
And that is just the beginning, the list gets longer and longer.

July 24, 2008 8:33 am

I’m typing this in braille. I can’t see because, while reading this, my eyes rolled so far in the back of my head they got stuck there.

July 24, 2008 8:49 am

“If 10% of the population watches the news and emits 1.7 tonnes of carbon, this is less than 1 gram of carbon per viewer.”

The only solution for that is for the viewers of the news to stop breathing while they watch the news. Unfortunately, that tends to make them stop sequestering the carbon which is in their bodies.

Fred Gibson
July 24, 2008 9:05 am

Take a look at this story:,25197,24036736-7583,00.html
Keep up the good work.
Fred G.

Evan Jones
July 24, 2008 9:10 am

So, if I’m watching TV and there’s a commercial for a Ford
Talk about your positive feedbacks.

July 24, 2008 10:30 am

I’m laughing too, but I can’t say I blame them for some of this concern.
Are you all aware that one particular brand of Plasma TV can pull a continuous 12 Amps? (I won’t name it here, but I’m sure any home theater sales department will tell you which it is… hint: 120Hz, not Sony). That means it needs its own 15 amp breaker just to operate! That’s actually more than most people are using on everything else in their home, including lighting, heating and A/C.
And hey, when your country is busy dismantling power generation and refusing to build new, well, those TVs would definitely add up in a hurry. This probably explains the recent “news item” about GHG’s being emitted during the manufacture of these things.

Pierre Gosselin
July 24, 2008 11:05 am

Bruce Cobb,
Excellent! Now ask the Concord Monitor if they’d like to buy the CO2 credits you’ve earned by cancelling the subscription.
I really think if people started cancelling their subscriptions in droves to reduce CO2 emissions, newspapers would suddenly pay attention to the real science.
Remember how a newspaper told us not to buy bottled water. Well newspaper production and distribution is a heck of a lot worse.

Pierre Gosselin
July 24, 2008 11:08 am

Bill Illis,
First cancel all AGW cheering newspaper subscriptions and go online.

Gary Hladik
July 24, 2008 11:35 am

When randomengineer brought up the topic of IQ, it reminded me yet again that the whole “catastrophic AGW” flap is only one example of the fuzzy thinking that abounds in our so-called “sapient” species. It’s probably no more valid to describe “intelligence” by a single number (“IQ”) than it is to describe “the earth’s climate” by its “average temperature”. The precise mathematical terms “average” and “median” would seem to have no meaning in describing something that AFAIK has yet to be adequately defined, let alone measured.
Sometimes I just get sooooo discouraged… 🙂

Gary Hladik
July 24, 2008 11:37 am

Dang, forgot about parentheses and smilies again.
Now I’m even more discouraged. 🙂

July 24, 2008 12:06 pm

as we are on the edge of the end of analog terrestrial broadcasting in the US I’ll note that the most energy is consumed when an analog transmitter is transmitting ‘black’
for digital transmitters its the same amount of power regardless of the content and as CodeTech pointed out the large plasma sets are not nearly as green as they would like you to believe – and that’s just on the power consumption – lets not get too deep into the manufacturing process or eventual disposal

July 24, 2008 12:52 pm

Winter rolls on in the southeast
Matt Pearce, Monday July 14, 2008 – 19:43 EST
The winter of 2008 is shaping up to be a more “classical” winter across southeast Australia, marked by frequent cold fronts, strong westerly winds and deep low pressure systems.
After June was marked by the dominance of a blocking high pressure system, July has been much more volatile. The ski resorts are nearing snow depths of a metre already, and signs are good for the days and weeks ahead.
An intense low which pummeled the South Australian coastline with wind gusts of up to 120km/hr is now dissipating over western Victoria.
However, the next front is due in on Thursday, and will bring another burst of showers and winds.
Then, an even stronger series of fronts and lows will move across the southeast over the weekend. An extended period of gales is likely, as well as an inch or two of fresh snow.
Although it’s still early, Winter 2008 is shaping up as one to remember.

July 24, 2008 1:13 pm

Winter weather hits China’s lychee harvest hard
This year’s crop of one of China’s favorite fruits, the lychee, is likely to drop by as much as a quarter due to the severe winter weather earlier in the year. Agriculture officials from around south China, the main lychee growing center, heard the news at a conference on lychee and longan production and marketing.
The conference in Qinzhou city, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, heard that only the province of Fujian was expected to see an increased harvest of the juicy tropical and subtropical fruit, up by 7,400 tons from last year to 118,000 tons. However, Guangdong Province is expected to harvest 700,000 tons, a drop of 260,000 tons from last year; Guangxi 390,000 tons, down by 106,000 tons: while Hainan is expecting 50,000 tons, down by 30,000 tons.
The drastic fall in output was blamed on unfavorable conditions, cold temperatures, prolonged precipitation and less sunlight, in January and February, which adversely affected flowering of lychee trees.
Publication date: 6/16/2008

July 24, 2008 1:55 pm

Well as a Boston area person I just heard the ObammaMessiah tell 100,000 Germans that us driving around in Boston was melting the icecaps and flooding the beaches.

July 24, 2008 2:09 pm

Have you notice how we went from Emissions Trading to Carbon Trading to Carbon Pollution to Pollution here in the merry old land of Oz?
You can see the ajenda unfolding right before your eyes…

July 24, 2008 2:22 pm

Gary, re your comment about IQ and the measurement of “average temperature”, I’m reminded of a (tongue-in-cheek) quote by psychologist Edward Boring: “Intelligence is what intelligence tests measure”. Perfectly true, perfectly circular and not particularly helpful to anyone trying to figure out what is really going on. If someone is trying to measure something that has never been properly defined in the first place, the results obtained will always have a certain distance from the real world.

Scott Covert
July 24, 2008 2:32 pm

Thanks for the comic relief Anthony!
The comments are a riot.
On the down side repeating this tripe helps support it….. Naaaa it was worth it!

Scott Covert
July 24, 2008 2:38 pm

I wonder if Barbara Boxer is aware of the carbon footprint the wine and cheese industry has?
Beer on the other hand has social value that by far offsets it’s emissions (Including gastric CO2).
We need quantitive analysis on the wasted energy required in being smug.

July 24, 2008 2:53 pm

leebert (05:50:26) : CO2 is our original sin.
Yes, and if you tend to walk barefoot through coal mines it will leave a black mark on your sole.

July 24, 2008 2:59 pm

What about the ads themselves? I saw a plea today on EPSN to “stop global warming” because GW melts Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Talk about being pea-Nutty!

July 24, 2008 3:23 pm

Talking of black marks and soles, in the UK we have had government TV ads showing “people doing everyday activities that produce carbon dioxide, such as watching TV, taking a bath and flying but leaving behind them black, sticky tar-like footprints.”
This article in the Guardian has a link to a video of the ad – cool music, dodgy science.

peer reviewer
July 24, 2008 3:36 pm

Loki’s castle or unexplained artic warming, another IPCC forcing not accounted for
Many miles inside the Arctic Circle, scientists have found elusive vents of scalding liquid rising out of the seafloor at temperatures that are more than twice the boiling point of water.
The cluster of five hydrothermal vents, also called black smokers, were discovered farther north than any others previously identified. The vents, one of which towers four stories high, are located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Greenland and Norway, more than 120 miles farther north than other known vents.
Remotely operated vehicles photographed the scene as part of an expedition led by Rolf Pedersen, a geologist at the University of Bergen in Norway.
Black smokers have been found in many deep-sea locations, including on the Juan de Fuca Ridge off Washington and British Columbia. Despite the lack of sunlight to power life in the abyss, the vents often support unique communities of creatures that live off their warmth and chemicals. Some scientists think the vents would have been great locales for the origin of life on Earth.
Dissolved sulfide minerals that solidify when vent water hits the icy cold of the deep sea have, over the years, accumulated around the newfound vent field in what is one of the most massive such deposits ever found on the seafloor, said expedition member Marvin Lilley, a University of Washington oceanographer.
The vents are created where the seafloor spreads apart. The farther north one goes along the ridge, the slower the spreading is.
“We hadn’t expected a lot of active venting on ultra-slow spreading ridges,” Lilley said.
The active chimneys in the new field are mostly black and covered with white mats of bacteria feasting on the minerals emitted by the vents. Older chimneys are mottled red as a result of iron oxidization. All are the result of seawater seeping into the seafloor, coming near fiery magma and picking up heat and minerals until the water vents back into the ocean.
The whole deposit is about 825 feet in diameter at its base and about 300 feet across on the top and might turn out to be the largest such deposit seen on the seafloor, Lilley said.
“Given the massive sulfide deposit, the vent field must surely have been active for many thousands of years,” he said.
The field has been named Loki’s Castle partly because the small chimneys at the site looked like a fantasy castle to the scientists. The Loki part refers to a Norwegian god renowned for trickery.

old construction worker
July 24, 2008 8:22 pm

Scott Covert (14:38:13)
“I wonder if Barbara Boxer is aware of the carbon footprint the wine and cheese industry has?”
I don’t know about the carbon footprint , but i’ll bet there’s an increase in methane footprint. LOL

Stef Pugsley
July 25, 2008 1:13 am

Maybe we should all be a bit more open minded about this story.
If it means the government forces TV bosses to stop making ‘Reality’ TV shows, then surely this is a good thing?

July 25, 2008 6:54 am


> Yes, and if you tend to walk barefoot through coal mines
> it will leave a black mark on your sole.

And if you blaze long into the abyss, the abyss will blaze back into you.

Dan McCune
July 25, 2008 10:00 am

Here’s a candidate for Nutty Story #4
Global Warming Could be Causing a Kitten Boom, Experts Say
Tuesday, July 22, 2008 :: infoZine Staff
By Alyse Knorr – Global warming and kittens. While it may seem hard to see the connection between the two – a climate phenomenon that melts glaciers and acidifies oceans, and cuddly, 4-ounce balls of fur – experts say there could be one.
Washington, D.C. – Scripps Howard Foundation Wire – infoZine

August 1, 2008 6:01 am


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