#4. The “Reality Campaign” has terrific new Mad Men, the Coen brothers, but they still don’t have a coherent message
Joe Romm (on the conference call in full here) being a contrarian and keeping the carbon-free fire under all of our butts by calling into question the approach of the Reality Campaign’s approach.
First, c’mon guys and gals — a third mocking ad? There must be some reason why mocking ads are relatively rare on TV. And the few you do see — I’m a Mac, I’m a PC, come to mind — are usually comparison ads with brands, like Microsoft/PC, that are well, well established in people’s mind. “Clean coal” doesn’t have a brand precisely because it doesn’t exist. I don’t see how mocking is a good approach let alone the primary one.
The misstep here is thinking that “Clean Coal” isn’t a well-established brand. This is too long to go into, so again, full Huffington Post full exegesis here.
#3. Raw Story: Famed brothers Coen take on ‘clean’ coal in TV spoof
The Bronze for great, green geeky citations:
…last December, the United Nations put some “clean” coal initiatives on the “back burner,”said Popular Mechanics.
“However, burning coal produces about 9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year which is released to the atmosphere, about 70% of this being from power generation,” claims the World Nuclear Association. “Other estimates put carbon dioxide emissions from power generation at one third of the world total of over 25 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions.
“[Despite] some commercial demonstrations of such carbon sequestration technology, largely to help recover more oil from depleted fields, none have approached anywhere near the scale necessary to significantly impact the 9.3 billion metric tons of CO2 — and rising — emitted every year from burning coal,” study on the matter. Or this study by the International Energy Agency. Bear in mind these reports were written before the US government last year pulled out of FutureGen, its only large-scale R&D programme for carbon-capture technology,” wrote The Guardian‘s Fred Pearce, who called “clean” coal a “greenwash” and “the ultimate climate change oxymoron.”
#2. Minnesota Independent: Coen Brothers make mock clean-coal ad: Something in the hometown water?
Great stuff with the Al Franken + Coens’ home state tie-in that brings home the reality of 1) the nexus of local politics, 2) earning a living, and 3) pollution:
Like Al Franken, Joel and Ethan Coen grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. People say, wow, something in the water? Actually, yeah: coal pollution.
Coal could be personal for the Coens (who, like Franken, decamped to New York City but sometimes come back home for work). You might even say it’s in their blood. Coal trains rumble through St. Louis Park, and there’s a Superfund site where Reilly Tar & Chemical Corp. stood until 1972, offgassing polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – an acrid odor probably familiar to all three lads — and putting toxic pollutants into the groundwater.
“Clean coal” energy generation still produces harmful byproducts like carbon dioxide; likewise there are harmful byproducts created in the production of coal tar — a useful substance (it’s in dandruff shampoo) that’s itself a byproduct of converting coal to coke.
Franken has expressed general support for “clean coal,” but he questions the Mesaba Energy Project that his Senate-race rival Norm Coleman backs for Northern Minnesota. Last week, Franken told the Bemidji Pioneer (hat top Minnesota Brown):
“The idea of coal gasification where you can sequester the CO2 is a technology that we ought to develop.”
Only problem: That technology may not be ready until 2030, according to a report today in the Guardian