Thursday, December 11, 2008

the root of dc's problems is dirty

Underneath all the pleats, Blackberry holsters and bad tailoring, the true root of why The Anti DC is so anti-DC rests in the dark underbelly of this city's economy -- lobbyists. If ever there was a larger contingent of soulless assholes, that place must indeed be actual hell.

Really, being a lobbyist is kind of like being a professional liar. Or at least a professional truth bender. And, although, we all bend the truth to fit our own personal needs (as I clearly just did because I'm pretty sure not all lobbyists are soulless assholes), when lobbyists test the physics of facts, it actually affects the way of the world. When I test the physics of facts, I just sound like bitch, which means nothing is radically different from the norm.

I'll admit, I've always had a deep distrust of all things wealthy and powerful, as well as all things poor and weak, but this morning when I found a link in my Inbox that led to a Web site sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (which is a joke because "clean" coal is pretty much just as big of a pollutant as regular, dirty coal in its CO2 emissions, as well as its environmentally devastating harvesting, which involves REMOVING MOUNTAIN TOPS), my amygdala lit up causing me to tumble over in pain from feeling so sick to my stomach.

The link in question:

Someone probably got paid a six-figure salary to come up with this. For whom? For children? I mean, who else gets a kick out of dressing up seven pieces of cartoon coal and making them sing bastardized carols to what looks to be some gigantic waspy family?

OK, I got a slight kick out of it, but only because the coal pieces look legitimately retarded (I think it's the crossed, googly eyes). Overwhelmingly, though, this just made my regular snarl of disdain even snarlier. The audacity and egocentricy of the coal lobby is truly astounding. Don't believe me? Please to peep this group's version of Adeste Fideles, better known as "O Come, All Ye Faithful" to those of us who speak English.

Abundant, affordable, fueling our country;
Clean coal is the source we depend on for power.

Technology's making clean coal even better;

And we can count on clean coal,

And we can count on clean coal,

And we can count on clean coal,

For years to come!

Compare that to its church-going equivalent:

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.

Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!

Clearly, the "clean" coal lobby is going straight to hell. But that's not even what I find most offensive, since I'm not all that actively religious. I can forgive substituting the word "power" for "Bethlehem." What I can't forgive, however, is what these pollution loving assholes did to Frosty the Snowman, my favorite Christmas carol of all goddamn time!

Frosty the Coalman is a jolly happy soul;
He's abundant here in America and he helps our economy roll;

Frosty the Coalman is getting cleaner every day;

He's affordable and adorable and his workers keep their pay;

There have must be some magic in clean coal technology
For when they looked for pollutants there were nearly none to see;
O Frosty the Coalman is a jolly happy soul;

He's abundant here in America and he helps our economy roll;

Thumpity-thump-thump-thumpity-thump, look at Frosty go;

Thumpity-thump-thump-thumpity-thump, towards energy independence we will go!

Not only is that far inferior to the original, which talks about Frosty the Snowman who dresses like a straight pimp (Old silk hat? Check. Pipe? Check. Bitch-slapping broomstick? Check.), but it's also chock full of lies. Frosty the Coalman probably has the black-lung; he's definitely dirty as all goddamn hell; and, moreever this magical "clean" coal technology they talk up doesn't really even exist.

The world clean in "clean" coal refers to the way it is burned, not the way it is mined, meaning it still degrades the environment in the same way as old-school dirty coal. And speaking of dirty, coal mining isn't even the biggest problem -- it's the burning of it and, surprise, to harness energy from "clean" coal, you gotta burn it, which releases the same pollutants (mainly CO2, the biggest contributor to global warming) as regular coal. The difference, or the "magic" as the "clean" coal lobby loosely deems it, is in how it's burned. "Clean" coal burning methods don't get rid of most of the pollution, they simply move it to a different type of waste stream, one that still gets into our environment. Moreover, these mythical technologies don't even really exist yet. They're still in the lab, meaning it will take probably billions of taxpayer dollars and tens of years to even make it slightly viable. Maybe it's just me, but perhaps those billions of dollars could be spent elsewhere looking for truly clean technologies. (As to what? Don't look at me for that. I'm here solely to point out problems, not provide solutions. Duh.)

More importantly, the "clean" coal lobby needs to stop raping Frosty the Snowman through song. He's been favorable to you. He has coal for eyes, for power's sake! But using him to spread your lies is dirtier than his corneas. And for that, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, you get The Anti DC's highest seal of shame -- Jean-Claude the Sexy Traffic Cone judging you.

BURN! (Pun definitely intended.)


nate said...

What about the lobbyists that work for the good guys? Are they idealistic hippy crusaders or souless assholes that just made bad career decisions? I mean, I'm pretty sure that big tobacco and the NRA pay a hell of a lot better than the American Cancer Society.

BTW, considering my souless assholeish nature and moral flexibility, I think I would have made a fine lobbyist. oh well...

Skywalker said...

I'm related to lobbyist work for the Tribes - which somehow is "different" from other lobbyists (I laugh). So I'm used to it.

When I worked for a state legislator, lobbyists were as common as hondas. They were everywhere. I considered it once when I was in grad school but you have to be on point all the time (dress, contacts, in the know) - I couldn't do that.

greg said...

One minor correction: "clean coal" originally was coined by people working on carbon sequestration for coal-fired generation (capturing and pumping the CO2 in the ground). Since it got such good buzz, industry and politicians have re-appropriated it to mean just about anything relating to making coal generation slightly less polluting, but still evil.

There is one demonstration sequestration plant in Oz (not the mythical one), but it's small scale and not ready for prime time at all. There was going to be one in the US, but funding got axed this year with congressional budget foolishness. Basically, it was going to cost an astronomical amount and they balked. So anytime "clean coal" gets talked about now, it is what you described: bunk.

Anonymous said...

Yes lobbyist are soul less and so are a lot of lawyers. I work in a law firm and lobbyist there are making about 500k per year. It's sickening.

Marissa said...


I kind of want to start my own lobbyist group. To lobby against lobbyist groups. Meta-tight!


You forget to mention one important criterion -- douchebagosity.


Good info. I've heard of the Australian plant...I've heard that it sucks.


It's a rough world. As long as you can sniff out the bullshit though, you can avoid the grossness.

LiLu said...

The Coneman really is approriate (read: SEXY) for any occasion, isn't he?

maryjanejeff said...

Lobbyists coming into Law Firms making $500K right off the start, that can't make the 6-10 year associates too happy now. Can it?