why this climate-skeptic book is being promoted in train stations

Twitter screenshot and edits by Gunner This climate-skeptic book is currently undergoing a large poster campaign in the French transport network.

Twitter screenshot and edits by Gunner

This climate-skeptic book is currently undergoing a large poster campaign in the French transport network.

CLIMATE – A book that questions scientific truths displayed large in the corridors of the RER and the Parisian subways. best seller in the United States, in the chart of best sellers in France, Climate, the share of uncertainty it makes a lot of noise. The climatosceptic work, written by physicist and former science adviser to Barack Obama, Steven E. Koonin, purports to provide keys against the“climate alarmism”.

The book actually challenges the consensus of IPCC climate experts, in particular by stating that global warming is not like that “alarming”. Page after page, thus instilling doubts about human responsibility for climate change.

“The climate is changing, but the why and how are not as clear as we think, nor the exact measure of human responsibility”, writes the man who led America’s investments in climatology. Also report the disinformation » media and science on the subject.

Ethical checks

Without a basic understanding of the physics and evolution of climate, it is difficult for the reader to identify the climate-sceptic theories contained in this work. However, book promotion has taken an important place in the public space in recent weeks. In Paris, huge posters promote it, especially in RER and Metro stations and SNCF stations, as you can see in the tweet below.

But how, in the midst of the COP 27 on the climate, and after a summer marked by drought and record heat waves, can advertisements for a book that denies the climate crisis still be displayed in the public space? The Huffpost contacted the Ile-de-France network which sold the advertising space.

“Dedicated teams carry out visual checks”assures Alexandra Lafay, director of sustainable development and communication of MediaTransport, an advertising agency specializing in communication in public transport. These teams are responsible for overseeing an arsenal of legislation and regulations, such as the Photoshop decree or legal notices.

Subsequently, a second check is made on the content of the messages according to the rules of the Professional Advertising Regulator (ARPP) which constitute the “ethical framework of advertising expression. » In particular, the supervisory authority issues prohibitions to guarantee the protection of minors, safety, respect for individuals and languages. Since 1 August 2020, it has also established recommendations on sustainable development.

Advertising may not contravene recognized scientific conclusions

Among the rules established on advertising messages related to environmental protection, the ARPP indicates that “Advertising may not use scientific evidence or conclusions that are inconsistent with recognized scientific work.” The authority also writes in chap “eco-citizen impact” that advertising shouldn’t “discredit the principles and objectives, no more than advice or solutions, commonly accepted in terms of sustainable development”.

Does promoting a climate-skeptic book questioning the IPCC’s conclusions fit into this picture? No, I still insure the huffpost Alexandra Lafray explaining that the role of advertising agencies is not to ” take part “. “On this type of works, the sale of which is fully authorized, we are free to express ourselves and have no moral judgment or biased opinion on the content”, says the director of sustainable development. Even if the ARPP deems that such posting contravenes its deontological rules, the advertising agency would not in any case risk any sanction.

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