Tag Archives: Clean Coal

Fracking protest message at Denver 350 rally cuts through nebulous “Forward on Climate” theme


DENVER, COLORADO- Score another success for Colorado Fractivists who crashed this weekend’s climate rally with their unequivocal anti-fracking message. The February 17 event was intended to urge President Obama “Forward on Climate”, to borrow his most recent campaign vagarity, but when official speeches began, and the prefab signs were distributed, it became unclear who might be trying to co-opt whom.

Gas
The 350.ORG sponsored march, coinciding with a rally and civil disobedience in DC, called specifically for a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline and Tar Sands extraction which climate scientists have dubbed “game over” for hopes of averting climate disaster, but the dominant signage spoke vaguely of “Climate Action” and “It’s Time to Cut Carbon” and “Big Coal Makes Us Sick”, all of which are slogans used by proponents of natural gas. 350-ORG has been raising awareness of the imperative to reduce carbon emissions, while recognizing that the groundswell driving environmentalists across the country is opposition to oil & gas hydraulic fracturing.

It’s all the same fight to reduce burning of fossil fuels, but moderate allies like the Sierra Club haven’t been prepared to denounce their new-found bed partners urging consumers to get “Beyond Coal.” To her credit, local 350-ORG coordinator Micah Parkin incorporated fractivist groups into the Feb 17 rally, but Democratic Party panderers didn’t get the memo. A representative read a letter of support from Senator Michael Bennet and was able to sneak past: “I stand with Obama” and even “in favor of US energy independence” although that’s code for oil & gas exports, dependent on construction of the XL pipeline. But when Mark Udall’s representative referred to “clean burning natural gas” the crowd booed. Even as he pleaded “we’re on your side,” the crowd wouldn’t relent, making sure his takeaway would be that fracking compounded global warming, among its other horrors.

The highlight of the rally occurred immediately afterward when the master of ceremonies, a twelve-year-old rapper and member of the Boulder based Earth Guardians, thanked Udall’s rep affably but then assured the audience that “of course there’s no such thing as clean natural gas!”


Occupy
A word about Occupy Denver’s part in Sunday’s march. Occupiers took the black-tie invitation to heart and turned up in black bloc attire with bandanas and balaclavas. OD then pushed the envelope to the consternation of parade marshals, stepping into the street at one point, blocking cars at another, in the spirit of their banner which read “ONLY DIRECT ACTION WILL STOP THE PIPELINE.”

To what end, creating friction during an event otherwise running smoothly? Who knows. The demonstration was uneventful and garnered scant media attention. Mixing it up might have helped, or not. The turnout was large but not up for a confrontation. Occupy didn’t push it.

The irony of 350-ORG supporters being upset by the antics of the Occupiers, was that behind the masks were many activists who’d actually gone to Texas to stop the XL pipeline, who’d gotten arrested, some out on $25,000 bond. How unfortunate that those troublemakers weren’t recognized from the stage. It was a real missed opportunity, this having been a rally to, um, STOP THE PIPELINE. These rowdy boring-party crashers were actually its unsung, veritable heroes. What the crowd wanted to mistake for infantile grandstanding, was really the infantile audacity that stops pipelines. Yes you get in trouble if you step off the sidewalk. Do you think the police are going to let you stop the pipeline?

“Clean” Coal on defensive, downplaying REAL Clean power

So they’re spending a few hundred million nationwide promoting their bid for MORE unsupervised unregulated Mountaintop Removal Coal (and other minerals) Extraction, with the accompanying subsidies they’ll get if WHEN the Tame Departments of Interior, Defense and Energy and the even Tamer Congress grant them the Official Clean Energy Okey-Dokey. They downplay wind and solar as not being viable (“the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow“) AND claim that even when they’re used they’ll “need” to Strip Mine and destroy the environment for the metals. Which is bullshit on several levels, there’s far more recyclable metals ready for harvest than can be gotten from any level of mining in the conceivable future. One Industry LIE down the tubes. With Solar and Wind producing their PEAK output at the same times of day that the PEAK demand is, there isn’t actually any need to build MORE coal power plants or start new strip mines. AND the production of Wind and Solar is going up even with a tiny fraction of a percentage of the Public Subsidies that the Coal, Oil and Gas industries have enjoyed for more than a century. Almost a century and a half.

The Railroad Act, the Public Utilities Act, to name a couple. Military and civil grants to develop technologies specifically to use the products they’re first stealing and then selling. To their own Publicly Subsidized utility companies. And having the Military simply TAKE any coal, oil and gas that’s not offered at a price the Oil and Gas and Coal companies demand. The Police State apparatus they use to keep the Workers doing what Workers do and Corporate Leeches DON’T (which is, say it with me class: Actual WORK) by suppressing Unions and other private organizations, and also suppressing any Public Regulation of their own Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection.

The Mountaintop Removal mining which they also claim is safe and doesn’t affect anybody downstream has been proven wrong so many times it’s hardly worth mentioning, but the “Clean” Coal companies keep consistently LYING about it that it has to be mentioned.

The Male small-mouth bass turning into Female small-mouth bass downstream from their “safe and clean” mountaintop removal operations is just one example. The Mining Company TOXIC “gold hill mesa” Waste Dump here in Colorado Springs

Which is in the middle of OUR neighborhood spewing Toxins

and is being sold as a “Traditional Colorado Springs Community” yeah, right, if you count the many times the mining industry has poisoned this area of Colorado and everyplace downstream from it… sure, that’s a “Tradition” that the Mining Corporations and their Real Estate Accomplices have long practiced.
Another prime example of how “safe” their industry is to the people who, unlike the Corporate Executives, don’t make money off them poisoning us.

BUT… the fact that they’re running these ads and the very nature of these ads means they’ve got a chance of LOSING their fat Government Subsidies and they Know It.
That’s another project for the TeaBags, too,

Stop Sucking up to the Energy Corporations and start STANDING up to them. When Don Blankenship, Murderous CEO of Massey, shows up at your TeaBaggings, lynch the bastard. Take bricks with you and stone him onstage. Instead of treating him like some kind of rock-star and cheering every word that spews from his Lying Mouth.
Same with Sarah Palin, the Other Energy Corporate Suck who you treat like a rock star and cheer every word that comes out of HER Lying mouth.

If you can’t recognize who the REAL enemy are, then I’ll help you out, just like right now.
Stop lynching “liberals” in Effigy and use the ropes and torches to get the REAL enemy, who just by a weird coincidence SPONSOR your “grass roots” Astroturf Rallies.

They’re starting to show their True Colors, at the very least drag them out of their Corporate Suck hiding places and expose them fully for what they are. The way WE have been doing for a long time.

Otherwise you’ll be paying your taxes DIRECTLY to their corporate coffers and just skipping the middleman.

By the way, their Commercial Mouthpieces are the same ones who claim that Oil and Gas extraction in the oceans is “safe” and the same ones who LIE to you and say that forcing the Oil and Gas and Coal THIEVES to pay any measurable sum of their stolen money back in taxes is somehow going to harm oh, what was it BP’s Chairman called us, oh yeah “The Small People”.

11 more miners killed, 64 still missing

That might not include the 20 in the rescue party with whom contact was lost. A second explosion has now been reported at the Raspadskaya mine near Mezhdurechensk, and contact has been lost with a team of 20 rescuers. Mezhdurechensk, bet you can’t say that three times real fast.

The governor of Kemerovo, Aman Tuleyev, has taken charge of the rescue operation.

“The rescue work will continue when the atmosphere in the mine is restored, but to conduct rescue work now means to send people to their death,” he said.

Emergency teams are now trying to pump air into the underground shafts.

Mines in the region are noted for their poor safety record, not surprising as Capital has reared its ugly head in Russia, kept the KGB and assumed the very Worst parts of Capitalism… oh.. that’s right, there aren’t any GOOD parts to it.
Remembering that it was the underpinning (and eventual downfall) for the Roman Empire. And the Mafia.
The system is admirably well represented by the prestigious Wall Street Law Firm of Boyd, Dewey, Cheatham and Howe.

Bets on the major shareholders having a lot in common with the major shareholders of BP and Massey Energy? Say, I wonder what the statistics on percentage or raw numbers of employees in the Solar Panel Manufacturing killed or maimed on the job would be?

Since Einstein’s invention of the basic principle took place when the Internal Combustion Engine and the Turbine Generator were still relatively new inventions. Guess which ones were subsidized in every way possible, from government contracts for the products to outright grants of Free Land that just by a coincidence belong to Other Nations and had to be secured and maintained at Lots of Gunpoint.

Cable TV’s History Channel sucks coal

The History Channel - Empires of Industry series - The Legacy of CoalNeed further proof that The History Channel is Fox News for the archives? From rewriting the Vietnam War to mythologizing Harry Truman, The History Channel is determined to paint the televised record askew. For example, even in light of the current climate crisis, you will not find a more glowing tribute to America’s monarch of energy, especially its potential for continuing to supply America’s energy needs.

Mister Clean Coal

Mister Clean Coal is industry strength white-wash

My favorite of the ads debunking “Clean Coal” features a coal industry executive telling TV viewers that coal is so clean, it even smells clean.

clean-coal-smudge-reality-tv-spotExcept that having held the lump of coal to his nose, the exec has left a large black smudge.

Absolutely brilliant!

I count four literary allusions. The image invokes: Pinocchio’s duplicity undone by his growing nose; a lie as plain as the nose on his face, a thing so obvious as to lie right beneath his nose; and an embarrassing conceit staring at us like a big piece of spinach stuck between his lying teeth.

Except that embarrassment is Clean Coal.

Clean Coal is a fossil fuels Free Lunch

Clean Coal is a free lunchThere’s no such thing as Clean Coal. The concept is an ingenious public relations gambit like Clean-Skies, an No-Child-Left-Behind. Colorado’s supposedly progressive Governor Bill Ritter is an dirty backer. The attempted makeover of the dark fossil fuel has prompted an equal and opposite public reaction.

Laudably, the industry is trying to raise public awareness to “what lies behind the plug.” They ask energy consumers to face the reality that lights –their television even– have to be powered somehow. The image they use is a piece of coal being tapped by an extension cord. It certainly looks magically detached from any complication. Leaving alone that you have to burn the coal (imagine depicting steaks cooking on a stone cold barbecue grill), I’d defy anyone to handle the piece of coal without getting the orange plug completely smudged.

Of course, clean or not, coal is a fossil fuel, the consumption of which is one of the primary causes of Global Warming, aka Climate Change. “Clean Coal” is just a way for the oldest energy industry to get in on the alternative energy gravy train.

Clean coal is odorless shitThe Coen Brothers have directed a hilarious television ad which parodies the Coal Companies pitching their product as an air freshener, even as the aerosol spews pure smoke.

It’s absolutely dispiriting to see Barack Obama championing “Clean Coal” in a TV spot. Who would not like to think that American ingenuity can figure out a way to burn coal cleanly? If we can reverse osmosis, halt aging and make 0% fat fat, why disbelieve we can’t strip carbon of its essence?

At the America’s Power website, the coal industry promises to use Clean Coal to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and of course, to provide jobs. A US map reveals several Clean Coal research sites in Colorado. They are Boulder, Denver, Englewood, Littleton, Wheat Ridge, Nucla and La Vita.

colorado clean coal

Even if the lipstick on pig research is just a boondoggle to snag Federal funded jobs, aren’t there real alternative energy sources to pursue?

Cutting edge technology of wind power

You gotta love how wind power is the poster child for alternative energy. wind-power-turbines News segments about energy self-reliance begin with a depiction of wind turbines. Election ads about the imperative to invest in other energies, more wind turbines. Is energy from the wind a new technology? I’m not sure it isn’t actually the oldest, next to kindling wood. Wind might tie with the water wheel, another energy they’re lauding as alternative.

We’ve had windmills since man needed energy to push water against the tendencies of gravity. Man reversed the scheme when he needed to moving water to put muscle into his mechanical devices. Both came many millennium before steam and oil.

So what is the technology we need to invest in wind power, beside optimization of process, storage and transmission? Hahaha. The hurdle to overcome with wind power is the will to surround ourselves with windmills. Even if it means the quaint windmills of the Dutch lowlands, I’m not sure the public is prepared to despoil its open space, its peripheral view-shed, with lumbering omniscient propeller blades, squeaking when they need oiling.

What kind of landscape maintains its serenity with the constant grinding of wingless, flightless single-prop stick-planes going forever nowhere?

The call for alternative sources of energy is less about inaccessible technology. It’s about making compromises which we’ve already declined. Off-shore platform oil spills, no thank you. Nuclear reactors courting unthinkable cataclysm? No. Ungainly wind machines generating unceasing turbulence? Nimby. Coal. Choke. Clean Coal. Gag me with oxymoronic insolence.

The least palatable of all the unfortunate last resorts is the energy alternative never mentioned because it means less investment and fewer jobs. It’s the only remedy that doesn’t resemble a hammer to our environmental coffin nail, and it counters our consumer culture. Energy conservation. It may cast a cold shadow like a windmill, but isn’t it the only sustainable solution of the bunch?

If you don’t want a nuclear meltdown, nor large bird-slashing knives spinning your thinking space, nor toxin spewing coal, nor combustibles cooking the earth, why not invest your efforts in being personally energy independent. The logo for alternative energy should be a smart smiling face.