Clean Coal, Healthy Cancer & Evil Jesus – Did I Mention Safe Green Nuclear?

In an attempt to locate “the good old days” I went back in the Creative Greenius time machine yesterday, but I could only afford enough gas to get us to January of 2008.  It seems like so long ago, doesn’t it?  We all looked so much younger then… when the Botox prices were still affordable.  Back in January, “the problems in Georgia” were still about Michael Vick and dog fighting; Hillary Clinton and John Edwards each still thought they’d be the next President; while John McCain was trying to decide between Polident or Fixodent.  I could wax nostalgic for January all post long… but I digress.

I originally wroteClean Coal, Healthy Cancer & Evil Jesusin January of 2008, but since then things have only gotten worse, while people have only gotten dumber. While most folks have been distracted by the scary high costs of gasoline and food, the nonstop con job about “Clean Coal” continues.

Even though you hear both Presidential candidates talk about “clean coal” as part of their energy plans they might just as well be talking about using a flux capacitor to go back to the future, because that technology is just as real and viable as clean coal technology.  If the major cable and network news outlets didn’t rake in tens of millions of dollars from the coal industry to run those phony clean coal commercials, do you think they might question the validity of this myth of their poison being good for you?  Probably not…

As energy costs continue to go up, so does the desperation of consumers who in their panic become willing to believe fairy tales and legends –  like car engines that run on water, nuclear waste that’s nothing to worry about, and turning the toxic waste that  coal produces into something we can safely capture and store in the ground.  You can smell that kind of desperation growing in the United States and you can feel it being manipulated by forces both sinister and sleazy, a lethal combo indeed.

So today I’m updating this critical story and now asking the question:

Will You Sell Your Soul For Coal?

If any terrorist organization ever caused the kind of damage to our nation and our people that the coal industry does every day, those terrorists would declare victory and be firing their guns into the air and dancing in celebrating on the Al Jazeera network. And our government would be proclaiming coal an unacceptable weapon of mass destruction and declaring war on coal.  We might even have to invade West Virginia in order to save them.

Does that sound a little over-the-top to you? Are you concerned that this is hysterical thinking and not a rational argument? If only…
I’ve been reading about, researching and tracking this coal issue for a while now and the truth is coal is your mortal enemy if you are fighting global warming and climate change.

So then, let’s calmly consider these indisputable well-supported facts:

According to EPA data, annual carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants are greater than the emissions from all cars, trucks, planes, trains, and other forms of transportation combined. 34% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US come from coal – making coal the King of Carbon.  Think of them as a big nasty King Cobra snake who wants to kill your kid sister and your mom on behalf of the devil – just before he has the IRS audit you.

The drop dead serious as a heart attack environmental and public health impacts of coal-generated electricity include damage, death and destruction from – sing them along with me as you click on each:

Coal mining
Air pollution
Coal plant waste
Water use

Coal is dirty every step of the way.  It’s the dirt bag of energy fuels.

There are now about 600 conventional coal plants in the US burning on average about 1.4 million tons of coal each every year. There are also over 150 new CO2 belching coal-fired plants on the drawing board in the US.

Coal has gone a long way by being a cheap, dirty leg date who puts out.

There are currently over 1,000 new coal-fired electric plants being built in China with a new one going on line every single week and bringing the planet that much closer to the climate change point of no return.

There is nothing clean about any of those coal power plants.  They come in only two flavors.  1.  Stinking filthy deadly dirty or 2.  Stench-spewing lethal disgusting dirty.  Which would you prefer?

While enlightened state and local governments, grassroots coalitions and organizations like the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and environmental groups large and small are all making the case with citizens and uniting to stop new plants from being built or open, the coal industry is spending millions on a blatant and aggressive propaganda campaign using scare tactics, misdirection and pushing the fairy tale of “clean coal.”

Do you think they do this because they don’t believe that coal does the damage that scientists say it does?  Or do you think they do it because they’re just sell outs who are willing to have YOU suffer the consequences just so they can make the money?  I vote for sell outs

How could you run an ad campaign claiming to have “clean coal” and not say a single word about coal’s role in global warming?

The FTC won’t let companies lie in their erectile dysfunction commercials but the coal industry is held to a “harder” standard of truth.

There is no such thing as clean coal.  There never has been.  It is a scam to tell people there is.

It is a myth. (You know, like George Bush’s military record or John McCain’s military skills or Hillary Clinton’s sniper-dodging skills.)

No grid-connected power plant anywhere in the world is a clean coal plant and no technology currently exists to build or operate a clean coal plant. People wish it did, but I wish I could eat all the Ben & Jerry’s I want to without becoming a big fat tub of goo, but that’s just not happening.  Neither is clean coal and we should be able to bitch slap the next spin doctor who claims it is.

I don’t know a single U.S. politician on the national scene who tells it like it is when it comes to coal.

Too many billions of our tax dollars have been spent to try and invent clean coal but no breakthrough has happened. And we are not close to a breakthrough. An unproven theory about carbon sequestration is being pushed by the coal industry but no such technology currently exists.

The coal industry will never tell you the truth about this because their executives have gotten rich off of this scam.  They make the tobacco industry executives look like Boy Scouts.

Here’s a brilliant concept to remember (and don’t forget where you heard it first) – The ONLY time coal can be considered “clean coal” is when its left in the ground untouched, because it’s full of carbon that’s being kept out of the air. Coal in the ground is its only proven form of carbon sequestration. It has worked for thousands of years. The minute you start to mine it, move it and especially burn it in any way it becomes dirty, polluting and a global warming enemy.

Coal is promoted as America’s cheapest and most abundant energy source, but coal’s price needs to include the true cost of coal’s impact on our environment and our health.

And then when you’re done adding those fair and balanced costs you can add the newly inflated price of coal, which as of this month of August has doubled in just the last year alone and is now driving up electric rates in places like Ohio by 45%.

The truth is – our entire planet will be better off when all the electricity currently generated by coal-fired power plants is generated instead by renewable energy – wind, solar, biomes, geothermal, wave power and other now proven, reliable and grid-ready alternatives. The sooner we make that move, the better off everyone -except the coal industry – will be.

In my Creative Greenius energy plan, every single penny of tax dollars being spent chasing “clean coal” would be spent on real, honest clean energy. The technology is ready. The people are ready. The only thing   lacking is for our leaders to show some courage and do the right thing. There is no sign of that happening soon.

Especially during this campaign season when both Obama and McCain are talking nonsense about clean coal.

I’d rather every single dollar spent on coal was instead spent on solar thermal plants like the one in this photo.

Is it so wrong of me to dig this technology more because it doesn’t kill people and change the climate?  I don’t think so.

The coal industry should be spending their own money if they want to chase the myth of clean coal, just as they should be spending their own money cleaning up the damage they have done. Instead, they’re spending their money trying to scam people and trying to influence elections so they can get still more tax breaks, more sweetheart legislation, more blood money.

Your Greenius says let’s declare creative war on coal and coal’s evil overlords.

Let’s TMZ them and shine the high definition spotlight on them and creatively tell their story in a way that will expose their brand as empty and without value. Coal is the Andy Dick of the energy world and it’s time their mug shot got some mainstream hype.

Even though you never see them on Entertainment Tonight or Extra, Extra, the world’s most respected and accomplished climate scientists will tell you that the smartest, most beneficial and logical use of our tax dollars at this point in the climate change calendar is to spend them on replacing ALL coal-fired electric plants with renewables.

That’s certainly a lot less smoke and mirrors than the phony fantasy of “clean coal”.

The sooner we get started, the sooner we can begin mitigating the damages of climate change and the sooner we can begin building a thriving, growing new economy.  Of course we could always wait another 12 months and just say WTF like our government has done for the last 7 1/2 years.

But one thing is certain, the coal industry and their minions will be doing business as usual till the bitter end.  They have never done the right thing and it’s not in their DNA to ever change.  When it comes to telling the truth, the coal industry has proven that they will say anything to keep raking in the billions of dollars they reap while their product acts like a weapon of mass destruction all around the globe.

They will pretend that only coal can give us the power-filled future we all want and can afford. They will even pretend that using their deadly product makes us somehow “more secure.” They count on our ignorance and fear to keep us from seeing them for who they really are. That’s the way criminals and terrorists work… I’m just saying…

More evidence of the true unethical nature of the coal industry are the record fines leveled against Massey Energy Company. Massey is the country’s fourth-largest coal producer, and they’re being forced to pay a $20 million fine to settle federal charges that they repeatedly dumped dangerous amounts of mine waste and sediment into creeks and rivers in three Appalachian states over a seven-year period.

They got off pretty easy based on all the harm they caused. But typically they admitted no wrong doing. How could they when they’re busy telling us that coal is “an American resource that will help us with vital energy security” and “the fuel that powers our way of life?”

The coal industry will resort to the worst levels of FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – to position a carbon tax as an economy killer.  They should see it for what it really is – a sin tax they so richly deserve to have levied.

But you say you just don’t like the thought of a tax, even on someone who is trying to kill you?  Okey-doughkey.  Don’t think of it as a tax.  Think of it as a Carbon Cost, a valid part of coal’s business budget. A bottom line cost you must pay if your product produces greenhouse gasses.

And you should pay double that fee if you’re going to use double talk like “clean coal” with a straight face.

So now you know why I start thinking about creative concepts like Healthy Cancer and Evil Jesus when I hear the words, “Clean Coal” and why you should start thinking of other ridiculous cynical oxymorons when you hear blatant greenwashing designed only to con you and your family.

Maybe you’ll think of “That Idiot Einstein!” the next time one of those GE Ecoimagination commercials comes on. Perhaps GM’s farcical claims to be the environmentally green car company will instantly make you or one of your kids blurt out “Soothing Mayhem!” or “Powdered Water!”

Mocking and derision are powerful tools to use against bullies, con artists and grifters because their scam relies on you playing the role of clueless sucker. Well I’m here to offer you the much more fun and rewarding role of enlightened creative greenius. We’re going to make our voices heard above the FUD and make sure our leaders at the local, state and federal level hear us. Word-of-mouth and the Internet are the most powerful and effective communication tools today. I’m using it right now and you need to as well.

One final thought – If you want to know how bad coal really is, consider that the “green” nuclear power industry is counting on Americans finding coal so self-abusive to use that we’ll be willing to turn to nuclear energy to replace it.

They’re hoping we’ll be so frightened and panicked over global warming that we’ll be willing to overlook the issues of radioactive waste, terrorist attraction or their industry’s practice of living up to the Homer Simpson standard of worker excellence.

It’s the nuclear industry’s own track record that makes me think of glowing neon green radioactivity when I hear about the “green nuclear energy.” All you need to do is read the newspaper to learn the truth. In January the San Onofre nuclear plant just a couple of hours south of here was busted for safety and security violations “including a worker who falsified records for more than five years to show that operators made hourly fire patrols when they had not.”

Last December a Canadian nuclear power plant that supplies critically needed radioactive medical isotopes for cancer patients was shut down over other serious safety violations. “A significant risk to the successful completion of the project has been the unresolved technical issues related to operating in compliance with regulatory requirements,” the federal auditor general warned.”Since then, for the last 9 months now  thousands of cancer patients aren’t receiving their treatments as a result.

And the hits just keep on coming for the comedy clowns of the nuclear industry around the world.  Last month, in July, the French had an accident at one of their nuclear plants that “contaminated” 100 workers with radioactivity.  You don’t hear a lot about all the screwups at nuclear plants across the country but suffice to say they make “Heck of a job, Brownie” look like an efficiency expert.

True to form, the nuclear industry didn’t accept responsibility for any of their screwups or offer any real hope that they’ll do better in the future. They’re too busy lobbying in DC for billions in additional ax breaks and fast track approval for new nuclear plants. “Aging hippies,” “Al Gore worshippers” and “treehugging granola eaters” is how the nuclear industry looks at those of us who don’t trust them and who call attention to their lousy record.

That’s right – they go right to the Montgomery Burns playbook. It’s only right – the Simpsons offers the most accurate and honest look at the nuclear power industry ever produced. Monty Burns is as green and credible as the United States nuclear power industry has ever been.

Which begs the question which cartoon character best represents the coal industry…

3 thoughts on “Clean Coal, Healthy Cancer & Evil Jesus – Did I Mention Safe Green Nuclear?

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