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It’s not easy selling green


 

Magazines with environmental-themed covers are selling like, well, magazines with opposition-party-themed covers. I’m sure this isn’t a bad omen at all.

(hat tip)


 

It’s not easy selling green

  1. I’m perfectly willing to believe green special issues have lost their appeal after the 100th such issue (you’d have the same effect with other topics – say, the Conrad Black trial).

    However… almost all of these issues were published in the month of May, which would be hitting the stands just before or at about the same time as the considerable Earth Day coverage of the daily newspapers. Wouldn’t that affect newsstand sales?

    Finally, just to make sure – May isn’t a normally low months for magazine sales, is it? I know nothing about magazine sales, but I guess you’d have an idea.

    Final Spin
    http://finalspin.wordpress.com/

  2. Personally, I used to flip to the last page of magazines to see what they were writing about before making a purchase decision. How fickle we have all become.

    The “good omen” may be for those writers who don’t write substantively, on green.

    But a data point does not a trend make. It could be that by jumping on the bandwagon, magazines as well as other companies have stretched their credibilities. Maybe subscription readers are less fickle.

    On this specific issue, I’d like to see similar sales for May for some of the traditional enviro mags before jumping to any conclusions (as personally fulfilling as some may find them)

  3. Haven’t we been told that going green is in fact an easy sell these days?

    It’ll be interesting to see if this is part of a larger trend and, if it is, figuring out what might be causing it.

    Could it be a combination of overkill and evidence that global warming has hit a pause button?

  4. And in other news, a former politian was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his climate change efforts and won an Oscar for his little green flick…

  5. ..and never sent his Kyoto plan to Congress for ratification because it couldn’t pass.

  6. Blues Clair The fact they awarded the ‘Peace’ prize to Gore, and not one of two science prizes they give out, tells you all you need to know about the quality of the movie.

    I think the green movement has become too earnest. It’s like that story you posted the other day about pb&j sandwiches and whether having a hamburger instead is going to contribute to global warming.

    We are in recession territory and people want upbeat news, not gloomy stories about how we are all going to die if we continue to eat roast beef sandwiches. I also think Dennis has hit on something: the continuing evidence that global warming is not actually happening.

  7. Dennis and jwl:

    I’d love for you to point me in the direction of “the continuing evidence that global warming is not actually happening.” The last time I checked, the scientific community seemed pretty clear on this one. Some people have questioned whether the problem is man-made or not, but they rarely back it up with the kind of evidence that the climate change scientists have at their disposal. So, I’d love to see this new evidence. Please show me where I can find it.
    I agree that the economy must be an important consideration while developing green plans (I’ll still be eating burgers), I wonder what the world economy looks like when New York and large chunks of China are under water?

  8. Please ignore the above comma splice.

  9. JWL: I’ve been outside several times this year. It’s been crazy hot where I am – temperatures are way above normal, and have been pretty much all year. Mind you, I don’t live in your immediate backyard, so you may make of that what you will.
    As an aside, a link to an article that re-confirms we’re facing a long term increase in average global temperature is not what I would have chosen when trying to make the case that there is “continuing evidence that global warming is not actually happening,” but I’m funny that way. Vive la difference!

  10. Sorry, I confused Dennis and JWL. Mock away!

  11. D Jones Anthony Watts’ Watts Up With That? site and Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit are two good places to start but they are tough reads for us non-scientists.

    Christopher Booker, in UK newspaper Daily Telegraph, had an interesting article on Saturday about NASA having to make up numbers to prove global warming was happening. In Canada, Lorrie Goldstein and Lorne Gunter write a lot about this topic in an understandable way for the non-scientists.

  12. Paul Wells and JWL, I’m no fan of Gore, never seen the movie, don’t contemplate if he should of won the Nobel, and don’t care if you didn’t sent his koyoto plan to congress. I was just saying… look at him now.

  13. @Dennis:

    Interesting article you linked to. Some quotes:

    “However, temperatures will again be rising quickly by about 2020, they say.”

    “His group’s projection diverges from other computer models only for about 15-20 years; after that, the curves come back together and temperatures rise.” (the part after the semicolon, especially.)

    “The projection does not come as a surprise to climate scientists…”

    “We expect man-made global warming to be superimposed on those natural variations; and this kind of research is important to make sure we don’t get distracted from the longer term changes that will happen in the climate (as a result of greenhouse gas emissions).”

    “As with the unusually cold weather seen recently in much of the northern hemisphere – linked to La Nina conditions – he emphasises that even if the Kiel model proves correct, it is not an indication that the longer-term climate projections of the IPCC and many other institutions are wrong.”

    Now, perhaps you could post some quotes from that same article that would support your implicit claim that this article debunks the “myth” of global warming? Or otherwise explain how it’s relevant?

  14. “I’ve been outside several times this year. It’s been crazy hot where I am – temperatures are way above normal, and have been pretty much all year.”

    Mark Anecdotes are not data. It has not been crazy hot where I live, Southern Ontario, so what does that prove exactly?

  15. JWL: I’m in full agreement on the value of anecdotal evidence – the “it’s hot where I am” bit was actually intended for Second Thots, thus my second post.

  16. It was a long and cold winter, the spring was cool, and the summer has been mostly devoid of heat waves. This is in direct contrast to previous years.

    Remember, we’re trying to account for the green magazine issues not selling like hot cakes. I’m suggesting it might be the actual weather, which global warming alarmists like Jack Layton were all too willing to point to when people were wearing shorts in November.

    As for the article I linked to, it points to a sudden ten-year pause for a threat we were told was right around the corner. Again, it might not contradict global warming alarmism, but it might trigger some skepticism in the public.

    Or maybe people just don’t like a green coloured edition of Time. Who knows?

  17. Oh, and Darren, I referred to a pause, not a myth, which is exactly what the article was explaining.

    If you want to get the facts on global warming right, I suggest you get the facts about what I wrote right, too.

  18. Interesting. Hopefully it’s because everybody thinks they already understand the problem and are sick of reading about it.

  19. Legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens and others are repackaging “green issues” as “blue issues” (or red perhaps in U.S.) – national security through energy independence. His approach centres on investing heavily in windfarms etc.

    In many cases, the objectives are the same – a move away from fossil fuels to renewables and increased efficiencies.

    Fortunately (or unfortunately depending upon your perspective) in terms of energy independence, Alberta oilsands are considered by many in the US as part of the solution of reducing American dependence on “foreign” oil.

    That being the case, security trumping trade, you’d think it wouldn’t be difficult to pass any future carbon tax based in Canada onto the US refiners who are investing heavily to process Alberta bitumen/crude.

  20. Jason is right.

    People are less inclined to read news/commentary material on a subject that they feel they 1. already know about, 2. know what the material is going to tell them 3. already have a very strongly formed opinion about.

    The Environment, and climate change as a subset of that topic, is increasingly becoming one of these issues, which is borne out by many of the comments to this post.

  21. …and, it couldn’t/wouldn’t pass because the Republicans (deniers) had a huge majority in both Congress and Senate…..

  22. Besides Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and the rest of the important and interesting people are what the big read is today……

  23. ..and a lot of company. You could have looked up the Hagel-Byrd Resolution (short version: “Don’t even think about it, Al”) which passed the Senate 95-0. That’s almost the same as ninety-five to zero, for anyone who’s counting:

    http://www.nationalcenter.org/KyotoSenate.html

  24. I don’t know – has the world changed in 11 yrs? Not for some. So, let’s go back in time – remember the axiom “What’s good for GM is good for America”?

    Ford and GM, faced with staggering losses (market share as well as bottom line), are retooling their vehicle fleet – getting rid of their dependence on SUVs and trucks and going to smaller more fuel efficient vehicles – in some cases importing designs from their European subsidiaries.

    So, if we are to accept the premise of the blog, that green marketing is on the wane, this should be readily apparent in the types of ads that Ford and GM etc use to market their vehicles – either based on style, speed, economical etc. and less on the environment.

    This remains to be seen.

  25. Aesthetically, Green needs a few more subplots to keep people’s interest. More personal ecstacy, more speaking in tongues, more adult baptism, less lame-o “someday you get to go to heaven” stuff. Environmentalists, politicians, journalists, and Jerry Bruckheimer really need to put their heads together on this.

  26. Dennis, my apologies. Since the link you posted was in response to a comment from D. Jones to point to evidence that global warming is not happening, I thought you meant it as such. Apparently, you are not contesting the reality of global warming, so I’m glad we can agree on that.

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