This slick new election-season ad from the coal industry mocks at least two or three popular memes—first the much-discussed 'Halftime in America' Super Bowl ad, then Occupy Wall Street. The message?
It's time to put aside silly things like idealism, or discontentment with pollution, and get back to reality. Hard, dirty, coal-stained reality. So listen up, Americans:
Lee Fang at Republic Report hits back:
The coal lobby thinks “reality” is a world dependent on their dangerous product. Coal-fired power plants kill at least 13,000 people a year by spewing over 386,000 tons of pollutants, including mercury, into the air. Coal is also the most significant driver of carbon emissions, making the industry responsible for global warming that will cause more extreme weather, droughts, famine, crop failures, mass extinction of various species, as well as flooding. Coal is hardly even a source of middle class jobs given efforts by major coal companies to bust their respective unions.Truuuuuth.
And I love how the expertly polished ad attempts to portray its industry as modern—the high-tech looking computers, the special effect-laden shots of cityscapes, the high production values. You almost forget that the technology used in most of the nation's coal plants is over fifty years old! These plants are ancient, rusted, polluting monstrosities that epitomize the opposite of modernity.
Oh yeah, and clean coal technology is a boondoggle.
Sorry fellas. It was a nice stab at a makeover, but there's no dressing up the fact that coal is hideously outmoded.