The pollution caused by coal is serious business, as are the devastating affects coal pollution has on our health, our mountains, our air and water and our planet. But sometimes the claims made by coal boosters are truly absurd, and the Sierra Club has just launched a new series of videos spoofing industry attempts to dismiss the very real harm that coal pollution causes.
I may be dating myself here, but I grew up watching the PBS classics, and so one of my favorite videos in the series is the one featuring painter Bob Ross. He always made it look so easy to plant those happy little trees. In our new video, a coal executive does a voiceover for Bob Ross as he paints a mountain: "Now, you can see where we've blown the mountaintop, exposing the coal. Scrapey scrapey, good bye lakey! And all the rivers and creatures as well."
I hope you'll check out the full set of videos here, and then share them with your friends -- we launched these two videos this week, and we'll be releasing three more in the coming weeks. You can also "like" Mr. Coal on Facebook and follow him on Twitter for more of his crazy talk.
These videos underscore how truly ridiculous it is for the industry to claim coal is safe and harmless. After all, every year, coal pollution contributes to 13,000 premature deaths, triggers 200,000 asthma attacks, and exposes 300,000 newborn babies to dangerous levels of mercury. Mountaintop removal operations have blown up over 500 mountains, and buried over 2,000 miles of streams with rock and debris.
That's why Americans have rejected 166 new coal fired power plants, and why over 100 plants are now announced for retirement. America is moving beyond coal to clean energy solutions like energy efficiency, wind and solar that are creating tens of thousands of jobs, and sparking innovation that will power our country and our economy in the 21st century.
So help us spread the word. Enjoy these videos, and tell your friends -- coal will say anything!
This post originally appeared on the Sierra Club's Compass blog.