European Union

Achtung: Your Commute is Killing the Planet

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Via the International Herald Tribune, another stroke of regulatory genius from the folks in Brussels, the same people who brought mind-boggling horticultural rules on banana curvature to the continent's green grocers:

The European Parliament proposed last Wednesday that car advertisements in the European Union carry tobacco-style labels, warning of the environmental impact they cause. Under the plan, 20 percent of the space or time of any auto ad would have to be set aside for information on a car's fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, cited as a contributor to global climate change.

As could be expected from the bureaucrat-heavy EU, such a measure (proposed by the European Parliament and only enforceable by the European Commission) is likely to languish in some obscure committee. The measure was meant, says EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas, as "a warning shot across the bow." The auto industry is taking the hint:

Still, automakers and their ad agencies are taking the matter seriously, for fear that cars might go the way of tobacco or junk food. Cigarette advertising has been almost entirely stubbed out across Europe, and several countries have placed restrictions on ads for unhealthy fare.

Automakers account for more than €6 billion, or $8.6 billion, a year in annual ad spending in Western Europe, according to the European Association of Communications Agencies, a trade organization based in Brussels for the marketing industry. Lobbyists argue that some of that could dry up, hurtingcarmakers, ad agencies and media owners, if marketers were required to place a prominent environmental warning in their ads.

Full story here.

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  1. This is going to work just great. Clearly, cars are like junk food. People only buy them because of the slick advertising not out of any real need. It certainly has nothing to do with their usefulness or anything.

  2. Any bets on when the first class-action lawsuit against Big Car is filed?

  3. Why don’t governments just stop beating around the bush and put out an official “Guide to How to Live Your Own Fucking Life” book.

    It would make things a whole lot easier. And safer. For the childrens.

  4. Lets just replace cars and trucks with horses. In 1915 the USA had 21.5 million horses and 100 million people, today we have over 300 million people so we need about 65 million horses. 65 million horses won’t consume any resources or produce any pollution, will they?

  5. Cars are unhealthy.
    I look forward to the day when the commute to work is a daily Bataan Death March. Just think of how the planet will be smiling down on all of us.

  6. Next thing you know, they’ll be making them put that information on sheets stuck to the windows at the car lot.

    Oh, wait.

    Deep breaths, people.

  7. “Deep breaths, people.”

    Proving once again that there’s nothing the government in terms of regulation that joe just doesn’t have much of a problem with.

  8. check that …
    “… that joe has much of a problem with.”
    Meds.

  9. 65 million horses won’t consume any resources or produce any pollution, will they?

    They couldn’t drag me away, either…

  10. Cars kill more people each year than most things. Are they going to have to add that to the advertisements too?

    It’s amazing how the government just taxes the shit out of anything they please. What tax, you ask? Well, if I have to spend a portion of my ad, which I pay for, spouting something the government wants to get across, they are essentially taxing my commercial and using part of my spent money to send their message.

  11. Agares:
    eBay alone will require 500 million horses.

  12. What? Isn’t joe saying that, since the information is already provided freely to the consumer by the manufacturer, this sort of regulation (mandating 20% of advertising time and expense) is unnecessary and draconian?

  13. What exactly is the point of a banana or a cucumber curvature regulation? Does curvature effect the taste of either? Or is it a matter of aesthetics? If the latter, what business is of the government to classify fruits and vegetables based on aesthetics?

  14. Clearly, cars are like junk food. People only buy them because of the slick advertising not out of any real need.

    I live in Detroit, the Motor City, Motown. Let me tell you what we think about governments wise benevelent regulation of the auto industry.

    CAFE, @#$%&*!
    Air bag requirements, @#$%&*!
    Dumbass shit like this, @#$%&*!

    Any questions?

  15. This pisses me off so much, I can’t even spell. FUCK THE BUREAUCRATS! THE “CHILDREN” TOO!

  16. SofS:

    partial reason : originally was a form of technical trade restriction and a way to differentiate products and enable national producers to keep market power. It was in a whole list of the concessions when negotiating the various treaties. Denmark got concessions to allow it to maintain market dominance in beverage distribution and sales, for example.

    France got certain wine names locally branded, as has Hungary – so some of the harmonizations are also there to promote difference and preserve traditional (local) brands/names/ techniques.

    I don’t know about the specifics of the banana or cucumber (or – I would have said those were examples of joke/untrue harmonizations and not true) harmonizations. I honestly thought those were jokes and have never bothered to look into the matter.

    as you know, some harmonizations probably make sense, others are made up by euroskeptikers (and don’t exist), and others make no sense whatsoever and do deserve scorn.

    (the car thing seems like a fairly significant non issue- the %185 sales tax on cars in Denmark, weight tax, and road damage tax make the consumers aware of some damage. But cold war era Skodas, Trabis, etc. with leaded gasoline were commonly seen back when I lived there – so there was a hyperwillingness to address some costs, not others)

  17. carbon monoxide
    nitrogen oxides
    Formaldehyde
    PAH
    sulphur dioxide
    acrolein
    Carbon dioxide

    Given the list of things that come out the tailpipe, maybe this CO2 warning is some kind of inside joke.

  18. J sub D needs to careful or he is going to get himself on a list of pedaphiles.

  19. as you know, some harmonizations probably make sense

    Oooh Oooh! Like the cross-walk signs for pedestrians! That was a good call on their part.

  20. J sub D needs to careful or he is going to get himself on a list of pedophiles.

    Yeah, the magazine solicitations alone are just plain gross.

  21. In all reality, why don’t they just require the car-seller not to sell it to you, since if you had any sense you’d clearly not want it anyway.

  22. Agares, Taktix?

    Would you like cholera with that?

  23. Given the list of things that come out the tailpipe, maybe this CO2 warning is some kind of inside joke.

    Here’s what else comes out of it:

    Wealth generation
    Individual freedom and mobility
    Economic growth
    Individual choice and opportunity
    Increased standard of living

    Yeah, a real knee slapper.

  24. Syloson of Samos. Lets say I am a supermarket in London and I order a load of top quality cucumbers to arrive from Turkey next week, but when they arrive they are what sells locally as second graders, I have lost my market position as the retailer of the best cucumbers. Having some standards lets everyone know what is expected.

    This is a real example which I have been studying where I live in London. It enables a small local retailer in North London to compete with a general grocery oligopoly which operates in the UK and includes a subsidiary of Wal-Mart and directly compete with the fourth largest supermarket chain in the UK.

    http://archipelago-of-truth.blog.co.uk/2007/10/12/the_turkish_shop~3124370

  25. Like the cross-walk signs for pedestrians!
    When I was the wise and mature age of 5, I knew how to cross the street at the light. This was BEFORE there were those expensive and counterproductive (they allow some stupid people to survive and breed) Walk/Don’t walk signs. Thanks, Reinmoose, for keeping my bile flowing. ;-(

  26. How dare thee speak against any GOVERNMENTAL regulations. Thee shalt not blaspheme against thy GOVERNMENT for the GOVERNMENT is omnipotent. It protects thee from all harm. It feeds thee when thou art hungry. It shelters thee when thou hast no place to live. Thy GOVERNMENT is a jealous GOVERNMENT. Thou shalt not have any Government before IT. Here endeth the lesson.

  27. I think they should just show a bunch of public service ads with a crying Eskimo. Something like that worked really well with my generation.

  28. Lets say I am a supermarket in London and I order a load of top quality cucumbers to arrive from Turkey next week

    So, the EU is anti-local food!

    Seriously, here in the U.S., I see examples of small retailers who manage their own suppliers and do quite nicely at it. Sure this isn’t government bureaucracy looking for an excuse, and crowding out opportunities that would be filled by “middle men” in a laissez faire market?

  29. What exactly is the point of a banana or a cucumber curvature regulation? Does curvature effect the taste of either?

    I’m guessing that the women and gay men who care about the degree of curvature of bananas and cucumbers aren’t planning to eat them afterwards, so the taste seems irrelevant.

  30. How long are we going to listen to governmental BULLSHIT!!!They can suck my dick.FUCK’M

  31. LOLz. The European Union is some wacked-out conspiracy theory. I can’t believe you’re even reporting on this.

    Everyone knows the European Common Market is just an informal meeting of bureaucrats that does innocuous things like regulate baby food.

    I bet next you’ll be printing that urban legend about the super Euro-Chunnel as fact!

  32. “Supreme” reasoner-

    The creation of the European Union was public and well-known for several decades, with the various European governments in complete control of the process. If it was controlled by your scary global elites the constitution would have been approved last year, no?

  33. Don’t knock the DONT WALK signs, J sub D. (I’ve never figured out why they couldn’t fit a friggin’ apostrophe in there!) They also let the people sitting at the adjacent red light know when the cross traffic is about to get a yellow.

    Also, for wide streets, it would be quite easy to start crossing when the light is green and still be in the way of traffic when your light has turned red.

  34. Regulations on banana curvature? So unnecessary. Everyone knows Jesus already designed bananas to be in the perfect shape.

    (I imagine many of you have seen that, but if you haven’t, please please watch it. It’s life-changing hilarious).

  35. Anonymo the Anonymous,

    Thank you, you’ve just made my decade…

  36. And God made the peels slippery because He just laughs and laughs when one of his children falls on his arse?

  37. Lobbyists argue that some of that could dry up, hurtingcarmakers, ad agencies and media owners, if marketers were required to place a prominent environmental warning in their ads.

    bullshit.

  38. the modern libertarian’s motto: “It’s just one goddamned thing after another.”

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