Incendiary 9/11-On-Steroids Ad Widely Condemned; Philly International Joins ‘Trusted Traveler’ Program

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NEW YORK TIMES: The World Wildlife Fund on Tuesday condemned an unauthorized advertisement that depicted dozens of planes heading into Lower Manhattan, with a tag line reading, “The Tsunami Killed 100 Times More People Than 9/11.” The ad had been pitched to the Brazilian branch of the World Wildlife Fund by an advertising agency and rejected, said Steve Ertel, a spokesman for the group. “It was a concept to our office in Brazil and it was rejected. From that point, we have not been able to get a hold of the agency to find out how it got out.” MORE

ADVERTISING AGE: What’s surprising is that so many people actually thought this ad came from WWF. It’s not wwflogo.thumbnail.jpgknown for insensitive advertising or PETA-style tricks. Aside from the ridiculously crass imagery, the biggest tip-off for me was the copy. In the version on Advertolog, the copy (in English) reads, “The Tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11.” Uh, which tsunami? It continues: “The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.” That last line is troublesome on a few accounts. First, as one fellow Twitterer pointed out, it sounds like something that would come from the old WWF — the World Wrestling Federation. Secondly, it’s insensitive. Thirdly, it shows the creators not only to be tone-deaf but also to be scientific idiots: Tsunamis, after all, have nothing to do with preservation or conservation. MORE

tsunami-formation.gifSCIENCE DAILY: The shock and awe resulting from the massive tsunami that hit Indian Ocean nations Dec. 26 [2005] has left many wondering what could have caused such a disaster and if there is anything humans can do to control or mitigate future events. Some quickly suggested that an increase in the frequency of natural disasters like the tsunami were a harbinger of what we have in store due to the increase of Earth’s greenhouse gases resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. Nothing could be further from the truth, said Daniel Sarewitz, a professor of science and society and director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University. In an article in the current issue of The New Republic, “Rising Tide–The Tsunami’s Real Cause,” Sarewitz and Roger Pielke Jr., of University of Colorado, Boulder, say that tying the tsunami and other natural disasters to human induced climatic change “is both scientifically and morally unsupportable.” MORE

INQUIRER: For a $100 nonrefundable application fee, U.S. travelers who pass a background check will be able to terrorist.gifbreeze through customs in less than a minute for up to five years thanks to a new “trusted traveler” program that officially begins there [at Philadelphia International Airport] this morning. It is an expansion of a program U.S. Customs and Border Protection rolled out in June 2008 at three airports – in New York, Washington, and Houston – to try to alleviate the waiting, waiting, and more waiting that has come with air travel since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Global Entry, as it is known, allows U.S. citizens or those holding lawful permanent residence (green) cards to skip the customs lines and, instead, use an automated kiosk to get official approval to reenter the country. MORE

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