In January, I was watching the Democratic Presidential Debate on CNN and I was surprised that there were absolutely no questions on global warming or energy policy. It seemed like a pretty huge oversight on the part of CNN given that we are currently fighting a 3 trillion dollar war that has cost nearly 4,000 American lives in lieu of having a domestic energy policy.
After about an hour CNN started cutting to commercial breaks. I thought, that's odd, the public owns the airwaves and this is a Presidential debate -- why are we having commercial breaks? As they went to break, CNN proudly announced that the debates were sponsored by the Orwellian-named Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) -- and again I thought, that's weird, since when are Presidential debates, sponsored by anyone other than the League of Women Voters? And CNN kept running these peppy commercials by ABEC telling people how great coal-fired power plants are! The commercials even used the song "Celebration" by Kool and Gang to put us all in that feel good mood!
It turns out that Americans for Balanced Energy Choices is a PR front group for the coal-fired power industry. ABEC is spending $35 million to try to get more coal-fired power plants built in the U.S. They have to spend $35 million on PR (and Kool and the Gang songs) because coal is a horrible energy source. Coal mining causes black lung, mining accidents, and destroys entire communities. Burning coal causes asthma, heart attacks, and shortens the lives of thousands of Americans (it may also cause autism).
The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. CNN should be ashamed of itself for taking money from these toxic monsters. And it's about time someone slapped ABEC for lying to the American people.
As it turns out, I was recording the debates. So I decided to remake the ABEC commercial with actual, real world facts about coal (and thankfully, I couldn't afford to license the Kool and the Gang song). I made two version, the funny version, and the serious version. Check 'em out:
Solar kick's coal's ass #2, Funny:
Solar kicks coal's ass, just the facts:
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Tomorrow I'll have more on ABEC and some ideas for ways to fight back against the coal-fired power industry.