Isn’t it weird how everyone’s getting so fat and dying of cardiovascular disease and cancers and diabetes? Why is that? I guess it’s genetics or something.
Meanwhile, I stumbled upon this in a folder of old unprocessed pictures. It was on New Cross Road back when I lived in that part of the world. There are a lot of billboards along the Old Kent and New Cross Roads, targeting the motorists who pass though, destroying and polluting other people’s neighbourhoods. Whether governments try to change our behaviour or not, you can bet that commercial interests will be doing their best, explicitly or subtly, and even by ensuring that our choices are restricted.
On the lower advert you can see a government nudge: the provision of information about the fuel efficiency of the car being advertised. The HoL Sci & Tech Committee report on behavioural change commented on this “information deficit” model of harmful behaviour, concluding that information provision on its own is generally insufficient to lead to behavioural change (though it can help to pave the way for more robust interventions). The real barriers to a low-carbon lifestyle are bigger than a lack of information about fuel use.
A more helpful move might be to prevent advertisers from making such absurd claims as that junk food is “all good” or that cars are anything other than life-sucking parasites. We don’t let tobacco and alcohol companies do it.