Nathaniel Ward

The Green Police

Perhaps the best advertisement of Sunday’s Super Bowl was also the funniest.

In one scene, a half-dozen “Green Police” officers surround a man who fails to sort his garbage correctly. Government agents also arrest homeowners for “offenses” like using unapproved light bulbs and running hot-tubs at impermissible temperatures. Later, agents shut down a highway to search cars for environmentally-unfriendly contraband. This is perhaps the best, and funniest, argument I’ve seen against the increasingly intrusive green agenda.

Yet the ad turns out to be for carmaker Audi and — implausibly enough — in support of the green agenda. At the end, an Audi driver bypasses the highway checkpoint because his car meets with government approval, and a tagline is superimposed: “Green has never felt so right.” Audi admits in a press release that the ad is tongue-in-cheek, yet they also praise the work of the “real Green Police,” the nanny-state bureaucrats around the world who enforce environmental pieties.

If Audi intended to draw on consumer sympathy for green technology to drive car sales, this ad missed the mark. What viewers are sure to remember are the images of the government devoting tremendous resources to impose arbitrary environmental rules on ordinary Americans. These images are sure to resonate all the more since the ad isn’t really so far-fetched: not only are there real “green police,” the federal government is considering new measures to enforce its intrusive emissions regulations. As one friend quipped, “I have never been so moved not to recycle.”

By Nathaniel Ward on