If you were watching the Super Bowl last night, whether for the game or the commercials, you might have seen the little ad above by Audi. For those that haven’t seen it or can’t watch the video, the ad featured the “Green Police” arresting people for “crimes against the environment.”
A man is arrested for choosing plastic over paper (bags). A man is led away in handcuffs for using an incandescent light bulb. Roadblocks stop motorists cold while the GP monitor their gas mileage. Over these scenes and more, a light, bouncy soundtrack cheers on the GP in their crime-busting spree.
Cute? Yeah. Funny? Sure. But also more than a little creepy, given that there are plenty of people out there who would look at this commercial and say “hey, that’s a good idea”? Certainly.
We’d like to say this commercial is clever satire, but we’re not sure that’s the case. After all, the ugly truth is, big business gains the most from excessive government regulation and interference. Who gained from banning incandescent bulbs? Large companies like GE and Phillips that make CFL bulbs and suddenly have a government effectively mandating the purchase of their products. Who gains from legislation that imposes mandatory fuel standards? Companies like Audi that would see competitors forcibly removed from the market.
After all, we live in a world where a leftist Congress and a supposedly conservative President already conspired to effectively outlaw most incandescent bulbs (never mind their potentially serious health risks and dubious overall benefit to the environment). This is a country where some people thought it was the givernment’s business to micromanage churches’ (or other charitable organizations’) bake sales, garage sales and thrift stores, and restaurant menus.
This is a country where one major political party wants to impose its “Green Police” policies on every industry in the nation.
We’d like to say that this commercial is harmless. A bit of humor that might hit too close to home, perhaps, but nothing more. But let’s face it–you can get more people to accept something with a laugh, a wink, and a smile that you can with an order handed down from on high. It would be funny if there weren’t too many environmentalists that really do think like this. It would be funny if it weren’t entirely too possible.
Laugh, sure, but also think. Is “cap and tax” that different? After all, if the government can tell big business what their allowed “eco-behaviors” are, they can just as easily do it to individual citizens.