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Coal cares!


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Coal cares!


A small group of American medical experts and other activists took on the coal industry with the launch, yesterday, of the fake charitable initiative and website coal cares. With the offer of special branded inhalers to take the stigma out of childhood asthma and helpful debunking of the myths of alternative energy supply, it’s a potentially controversial way to generate media interest by lampooning the culture that it challenges.

This has been followed up with press releases quoting statistics from the American Lung Association showing that polution kills 13,000 people each year in the US and making explicit links to cancer prevelance.

Developed through the YesLab, the forum for developing media grabbing activist projects, and in tandem with the Yes Men, who have had high profile successes with similar stunts challenging big corporations such as Dow Chemical, Exxon and Halliburton, it would be interesting to know what the pick-up rate across US media has been. But meanwhile, I’ll leave you with an interesting fact from their Asthma Trivia section…

Piggy, from Lord of the Flies, didn’t die from an asthma attack
Piggy (the “fat kid”) did have terrible asthma, but he sure didn’t die from it! Rather, he perished from a boulder dropped on his head by a group of his frustrated peers.

 
 

1 Comment

  1. Peabody Coal have responded: see here http://www.coalcares.org/peabodythreat.pdf

    and the Yes Lab have responded to them…

    Dear Andrew Baum, Foley Lardner LLP, and Peabody Energy,
    Thank you for your thoughtful letter demanding that we remove Peabody’s name from http://www.coalcares.org and cease falsely suggesting that Peabody cares about kids made sick by coal.
    Your threat, although entirely baseless (see this response, and the EFF’s blog post later today), did make us realize one thing: that Peabody, despite being our country’s largest coal producer, and one of the largest lobbyists against common-sense policy, accounts for a mere 17% of U.S. coal production. The remaining 83% comes from 28 other companies, who are, every bit as much as Peabody, giving kids asthma attacks and other illnesses.
    As even you may agree, the root of the problem is not Peabody, but rather our system of subsidies, regulations, and lobbying that lets your whole industry continue its lethal work. To make this clear, we have changed every instance of the word “Peabody” on http://www.coalcares.org to a rotating selection of the names of other large U.S. coal producers who, like Peabody, also need to be stopped from killing kids.
    Very truly yours,
    Coal is Killing Kids and the Yes Lab
    coalcares@yeslab.org, (314) 472-5539
    P.S. You suggest in your letter that “Peabody has a First Amendment right not to be involved with the dissemination of a message with which it does not agree,” a statement which, while completely untrue, does recall the World Resources Institute’s longstanding demand that you cease falsely attributing to them the nonsense statistic that “for every 10-fold increase in per-capita energy use, individuals live 10 years longer.” As the WRI notes:
    First, WRI has never made such an assertion and has never done analysis to that effect. Second, this conclusion ignores critical factors related to energy production and human health. WRI’s longstanding support for a global transition to cleaner, low-carbon energy is well-documented.
    We would be grateful if you would stop misquoting WRI and issue a corrective statement within the next 24 hours.

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