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Global Warming’s Daisy Ad

John on March 15, 2008 at 9:41 pm

In the 1964 campaign for President, one of the major issues was nuclear security. Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic candidate, frequently spoke about it in campaign speeches saying:

In the first nuclear exchange, 100 million Americans and more than 100 million Russians would be dead. And when it was over, our great cities would be in ashes, and our fields would be barren, and our industry would be destroyed, and our American dreams would have vanished.

As the campaign wore on, Johnson upped the imaginary death toll to 300 million. The DNC also created a campaign commercial on this theme which has come to be known as the “Daisy Ad”. Here’s a description of the ad:

A little girl, as pretty as anybody’s image of his own daughter, appears on the television screen. She carries an ice cream cone. It certainly looks good enough to eat—but is it? A hoarse, anxious, motherlike voice is heard: “Know what people used to do? They used to explode bombs in the air. You know children should have lots of vitamin A and calcium. But they shouldn’t have strontium 90 or cesium 137. These things come from atomic bombs, and they’re radioactive. They make you die. Do you know what people finally did? They got together and signed a nuclear test ban treaty. And then the radioactive poison started to go away. But now there’s a man who wants to be President of the United States, and he doesn’t like this treaty. He fought against it. He even voted against it. He wants to go on testing more bombs. His name is Barry Goldwater. If he’s elected, they might start testing all over again.”

The ad continues with a second little girl:

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The ad is now legendary in the annals of political fear mongering, despite the fact that it apparently was aired only once.

Now the Ad Council, the same group that created the “This is your brain on drugs” PSAs has created its own version of the Daisy Ad on the topic of global warming:

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The ad directs people to this website which has all the usual hype including a page on “Myths.” Here’s myth #1:


The science of global warming is too uncertain to act on.


There is no debate among scientists about the basic facts of global warming.

No debate whatsoever!

Under the heading “The Dangers” we’re given the story of a family devastated by a hurricane in Florida, along with the requisite mention of hurricane Katrina. Of course there is significant evidence that a one year jump in hurricanes (or pacific typhoons) has little to do with global warming.

Then you can click on a link to learn what you can do to stop this nightmare. There are three main categories, the first being “Use less energy” at home. The first item under this heading is “Change a bulb.”

In sum then, there is no debate on global warming and if you don’t buy compact fluorescent light bulbs immediately little girls will be run over by trains.

This is science?

[HT: Newsbusters for the ad]

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Category: Climate Change & Environment |

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