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Set of controversial billboards erected across US spark heated debate: 'The public needs to understand'

The boards feature a large map of the country.

Billboards erected across US spark heated debate

Photo Credit: iStock

Historically, billboards have been a popular way to bring attention to important issues, such as wanted criminals, missing children, and the like. Billboards going up in several U.S. cities, including Fresno, Phoenix, and Austin, are bringing attention to another pertinent issue for all Americans: the changing climate. 

These controversial boards were created as a part of a marketing campaign by Fossil Free Media, an advocacy group that seeks to educate the public about the corporate role of the changing climate. The boards feature a weather map of the country with heat wave temperatures and the message: "Brought to You by Big Oil" with a URL to ThankYouBigOil.com.

The message comes as a response to record high temperatures across the country this summer. 

According to information from NASA, July 2023 was the hottest month on record since 1880, with average temperatures 0.43 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than any other July on the agency's record. Equally as concerning, the agency reported that the five hottest Julys since 1880 have been within the last five years. 

The results of this summer's warmth have been tangible to folks across the country, as illustrated by the billboards and data collected by government agencies. 

The increased temperatures and extensive heat waves in areas, especially those in the southwestern U.S., have caused delays to air travel, deaths from heat stroke and cardiovascular complications, and substantial alterations to everyday life for folks living in the affected regions. 

These billboards are just a reminder that dirty energy companies continue to profit as temperatures continue to warm. In 2022, a record $1.4 trillion of public funding was funneled into dirty energy subsidies by 20 of the world's biggest economies. 

Fossil Free Media believes its billboards will increase public awareness about the connection between dirty energy companies and the relentless heat they've experienced this summer. 

"The public needs to understand that this summer's brutal heatwave was Brought To You By Big Oil," wrote Fossil Free Media's founder Jamie Henn on X, formerly known as Twitter, along with some photos of the billboards. 

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