Coal 'Smells good, too!' [video]

Tue, 2008-12-23 07:46Page van der Linden
Page van der Linden's picture

Coal 'Smells good, too!' [video]

Did you know that coal is so clean that it even smells good?

Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection/“Reality” coalition has put out a new ad.  It’s the sequel to their first ad, which revealed the truth about clean coal.

Watch it:

Mmmm… I’m off to buy some for the whole family!

Happy Holidays!

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An Earthbeat podcast “Combating So-Called Clean Coal” interviewed Rob Perks of the NRDC about these Reality coalition ads.  “We’re essentially pushing back against Big Coal’s big lies about clean coal.  There is no such thing and we want people to know that and we’re out there busting the myth with our own multimillion dollar grassroots ad campaign in TV and newspapers….”

As you know, I think it is a mistake to use the same tactics as your opponents who are behaving as if it does not matter that the planet is killed.  By the same tactics, I don’t mean putting out a message by spending millions on TV and other media advertising,  It is the distortion and lies that have come back on the “movement” in the past, and will be coming back over this eventually.  Climate change is too serious of an issue for this, if it could ever be said it was reasonable to lobby using distortion or lies. 

Many scientists such as those who wrote the IPCC Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage, describe CCS techology as “well understood”, and “economically feasible” and in commercial use right now where a suitable carbon tax is in place.  Those who say CCS “doesn’t exist” are using the arguments industry normally uses when it wants to delay or oppose installation of a pollution control technology, i.e. this technology is not ready, it will be too costly, it will be too dangerous, and it won’t be possible at the scale that is necessary.  Arguments normally used against industries who oppose controlling their pollution are arguments for laws requiring them to do so, or for taxes making it too expensive for them to continue.  By “revealing the truth” that CCS technology doesn’t exist, Al Gore, the NRDC, the RainForest Action Committee, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and DeSmogBlog “reveal” themselves to be the propagandists that they are.

It looks like the “Big Green” groups are going to be an obstacle rather than being helpful on climate if things like this continue. 

Consider what James Hansen is saying in the letter he is having Obama’s Science Adviser John Holdren convey to Obama once he is President: 

“urgency now dictates a personal appeal.  Scientists at the forefront of climate research have seen a stream of new data in the past few years with startling implications for humanity and all life on Earth”….

“there is a profound disconnect between actions that policy circles are considering and what the science demands for preservation of the planet.  A stark scientific conclusion, that we must reduce greenhouse gases below present amounts to preserve nature and humanity, has become clear to the relevant experts”. 

He states if Obama has any doubt that there is too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere already the National Academy of Sciences will back him up.  He calls for no more coal plants unless they have CCS, and he calls for urgent R&D into what he calls 4th generation nuclear power, i.e. the Argonne National Lab breeder design, and a steadily increasing carbon tax.  Here is how he deals with Gore’s anti “clean coal” campaign: 

“There is no such thing as clean coal at this time, and it is doubtful that we will ever be able to fully eliminate emissions of mercury, other heavy metals, and radioactive material in the mining and burning of coal.  However, because of the enormous number of dirty coal-fired plants in existence, the abundance of the fuel, and the fact that CCS technology could be used at biofuel power plants to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide, the technology deserves strong R&D support”

As opposed to Rob Perkins, who explains on the Earthbeat podcast:  “they’re gonna have to clean up their act.  They need to carbon capture their greenhouse gas pollution, they don’t want to invest the money to do that, they want the government to do this, so the audience in large part are the decision makers here in Washington which is why they’re spending so much money on their advertising…”. 

What industry ever controlled its pollution without being forced by law, regulation or taxes?  The stated basis of the Reality campaign is that Big Coal should have done so by now, no matter that there is no carbon tax, and there are no regulations.  Obviously, Big Coal has done their best to stop a carbon tax and regulation but they are behaving identically to every other industry that ever faced an issue like this.  Hansen, who is seeing more clearly than almost anyone else how serious climate change is, makes sense:  put in a carbon tax, come up with whatever R&D that might be required as CCS is moved from pilot to full scale, and seriously investigate going nuclear.  The Big Green groups, it looks like their heads are in the sand, don’t seem to understand how serious or immediate climate change is, dump on CCS techology itself saying it doesn’t exist, leaving everyone with the impression it couldn’t possibly be implemented,  for decades, if ever.  Hansen’s full letter to Obama:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20081229_DearMichelleAndBarack.pdf

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