Following the first public health warning from the Ministry for the Climate Emergency about the dangers of brain pollution – its new public health information campaign sheds light on the latest ‘commerciogenic’ disease plaguing our societies: ‘Planes on the Brain’.
The condition is chronic in modern societies and is the result of a deluge of advertising messages by airline companies promoting flights to faraway destinations, or short trips around Europe as if there were no climate emergency or better way to travel.
Global temperatures records were broken three times in the first week of July but that doesn’t stop airlines promoting the fastest way to fry the planet.
Their adverts make a deep imprint in our brains via slick marketing campaigns, and by doing so they further boost demand for flights despite the clear advice of official UK climate advisors who say demand urgently needs reducing in line with scientific guidance.
This new warning coincides with the upcoming ‘Fry-day’ on Friday 21 July (today), the last day of the English school term which is also the day when the year’s peak number of flights are scheduled to leave Heathrow airport.
While flights were dramatically reduced during the Covid pandemic, due to global travel restrictions, the aviation sector has largely bounced back and is now hitting new record growth figures.
The sector has a repeated history of missing environmental targets – 98 percent were missed between 2000-2021 – and despite the Government’s legally-binding carbon emissions reduction targets, its net zero strategy for the aviation industry, known as ‘Jet Zero’, is completely inadequate to set the UK on track to meet required targets.
Globally the industry plans to more than double passenger numbers while only even considering half of aviation’s climate impacts. Instead, as the latest government Climate Change advisory group report argues, there urgently needs to be a policy framework to reduce demand for flights.
This warning from the Ministry for the Climate Emergency is unequivocal. Adverts by airline companies are a danger to people’s health and that of our planet.
By promoting flying as a desirable activity – airline advertising further entrenches the public health and climate emergency worsened by aviation pollution. Research shows the impact of airline advertising adding up to 34 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. It is time that governments grounded this reckless advertising that fries our brains as much as the planet.