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December 19, 2014
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That’s absurd


I am writing this a few days after Irene left town. Nearly twice the size of a typical hurricane on August 26, she joins nine others weather disasters so far this year that have each caused one billion dollars in damages and 589 deaths. The New York Times called Irene “one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nation’s history.”

But the mainstream media kerfluffle before, during and after the storm consistently failed to state the obvious. Amid the many “experts” giving their expert opinions, not one acknowledged what the nation’s leading scientists have predicted for 30 years–that global warming produces more storms of severe intensity.

But pseudo-scientists are given credence in an International Business Times story with this alarming headline: “Global Warming Could Prompt Alien ‘Preemptive Strike’ on Earth.” The article is so zany that I wish I could quote it in its entirety. Here’s a choice morsel: “Scientists studied several scenarios where earth might encounter extraterrestrial life, with the most alarming potential outcome being the total destruction of the planet to stave off humans polluting the rest of the galaxy.” I didn’t make this up.

I’ve collected additional absurdities and incongruities from the media and offer the following fossil-fuel follies for your consideration.

Come again? The not-for-profit corporation, Coal Education Development and Research (which sports the nifty acronym, CEDAR), works to improve the image of the coal industry by holding events like a Coal Fair and offering grant money and lesson plans to teachers “to facilitate the increase of knowledge and understanding of the many benefits the Coal Industry provides in our daily lives.” Mountaintop removal anyone?

Bottoms up. During a keynote speech at a Colorado Oil and Gas Association conference, Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar invited an unnamed executive (a.k.a. The King’s Taster) to drink a glass of what was he claimed was CleanStim, the company’s newly developed (and so flavorful!) hydrofracking fluid. Lesar didn’t touch the stuff himself. But you can trust him. I know you can trust him.

Clean skies smiling at me. The mission of the non-profit group American Clean Skies Foundation is “to provide all the facts on clean energy—particularly natural gas and other clean fuels such as wind and solar—and about the need for greater energy efficiency.” Guess who founded it? Aubrey K. McClendon, the billionaire CEO of Chesapeake Energy. How comforting to know he’s on the case.

Preposterous. The sinister Bill McKibben, along with scientist James Hansen, now have criminal records for sitting in front of the White House in an effort to raise consciousness about the implications of our addiction to fossil fuels.

Color me skeptical. Talisman Energy offers to our children a coloring book titled, “Talisman Terry’s Energy Adventure.” It features Talisman Terry, the Friendly Fracosaurus. The book assures kids that hydrofracking is safe and patriotic and fun! On the “Before Drilling” page, kids can color a picture of birds, and trees, and deer, and a smiling sun and even a rainbow! The “After Drilling” picture is exactly the same, but this one has a gas well in it!

Everything’s just fine!