Re: Spying on the enemy
- Jennifer Dotson wrote:
And until NPR stopped them, the Car Talk guys were doing a "Live Larger,
Drive Smaller" campaign with Stonyfield Farms Yogurt. The campaign was to
get people to not drive SUVs. Evidently NPR has a "policy" of no advocacy.
I found that a bit surprising, after listening to how many years of ADM and
other commercials during NPR shows. I guess NPR really means that in order
to advocate for something, they want money. Unlike most public TV, ads are
ok on NPR but PSAs aren't.
Ken Kifer replies:
NPR has changed quite a bit over the years, although superficially it's the
same. I find in recent years 1) a greater tendency to focus on news events
rather than on features, 2) a much greater tendency to repeat the same
information every half hour rather than longer, indepth news reporting, 3) fewer
opinions, more commentators and two-people debates, 4) much more information
from the right and from the libertarians (for a while, the Cato Institute was
half of every debate), 5) more gossip and speculation, especially during the
Clinton years, and 6) quite a few ads, especially on the local stations. NPR
has been running very hard towards the right to avoid future funding loss, and
this change best explains all the other changes and the often muddled messages.
Jennifer Dotson also wrote (in part):
Not that I think buying new cars at all is the way to go, but this
information suggests that encouraging purchases away from SUVs will also
affect automakers' profitability.
Ken Kifer replies:
To me, the argument away from SUV's to other cars is not a great deal of
The problem of profitability is a problem of the entire environmental movement.
We can argue at some times that making environmental changes will save money and
at other times that making those changes will create jobs -- but -- it's pretty
difficult to imagine such changes producing large amounts of income for big
The way to make lots of cash is through waste and exploitation. Wealth was once
created mostly by enslaving people, and now it is created mostly by degrading
Nature. I admit that the last boom and bust cycle exploited virtual reality to
a large extent, but I can't imagine a economic boom created by reducing global
warming and environmental damage. Something that benefits everybody does not
create large profits. It's true that fads create lots of money, but they are
unstable, do not last long, and end up producing waste.
If we imagine an idyllic future post-industrial time, when people use bicycles
for local transportation and light rail for longer distances and for freight,
when power is produced by the sun, wind, and water, when most industries are
local (the only advantage to producing goods on the other side of the world is
cheaper labor), and the products produced are not damaging to the environment,
then there is no remaining role for giant corporations.
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