Who Are the Fools Here? Sierra Club Launches Disgusting April 1 “Joke”

            While coal ash recyclers are in a fight for survival against attacks by anti-coal “environmentalists,” the Sierra Club is spending big bucks on an April Fools’ Day joke that is neither clever nor funny. (“Environmentalists” is in quotation marks because these misguided efforts to label coal ash as “toxic” and “hazardous” will harm our environment more than help it.)

            Visitors to the Sierra Club web site on April 1 were greeted by a giant banner proclaiming:  “Have They No Shame? ‘The Scrubber’ is an outrageous new iPhone app from the coal-industry. See it for yourself!”  Click on the banner and you’re whisked away to YouTube, where the executive director of the Sierra Club demonstrates the purported offense by the coal industry. Of course, an attack on coal ash features prominently.

            You have to watch the video until the end, copy down another Sierra Club web address, and then physically go to that address before the Sierra Club admits: April Fools! The coal industry didn’t dream this up. We did!  Ha ha!

            What makes the “joke” doubly offensive is that the phrases attributed to the coal industry are purely inventions of the Sierra Club.  Type “coal ash” into their toy and it will tell you that the coal industry would call it “balanced energy-mix leftovers.”  That phrase has never been used by anyone. Seriously, Sierra Club, is that the best you can do? After all, you are an organization that routinely uses the phrase “toxic ash” to describe a material that fails to meet the EPA’s own toxicity definition for “hazardous waste.” Talk about playing word games…

            The prank is only the latest in a series of “environmentalist” stunts that trivialize one of the most important issues facing the recycling industry in history.  Another example is – a web site sponsored by (well, the “About Us” doesn’t really make that clear) – that attacks the office of the White House that has had the temerity to ask whether classifying coal ash “hazardous” just might be a bad idea.  The site depicts the chief of that office poking his head out of a garbage can and makes ample use of people in Oscar the Grouch costumes.

            By unjustifiably labeling coal ash as hazardous, these groups threaten to wreck the ability to continue recycling the materials – which will lead to tens of millions more tons of material going to landfills and millions more tons of greenhouse gases being emitted.  And that is supposed to be good for the environment?

            If the Sierra Club wants to enhance its credibility as “environmentalists,” it should jettison this expensive, offensive prank and add a section to its web site describing the environmental benefits that are attained when coal ash is recycled safely and responsibly.  Until then, we should just consider them another batch of Fools.

Posted by: on: Apr 02, 2010 @ 12:10