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Who gets coal this Christmas? Surprise, coal industry (and others)

Lump of coalIn a world still addicted to carbon-emitting fossil fuels, there’s plenty of coal to go around this Christmas, but here are the ones we’d like to see receive a few lumps first:

  • The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE): Where to begin with this front group for the coal and energy industry? Some of the lowlights of its behaviour this year include its lobbyist sending forged letters to members of US Congress that expressed opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security Act and misrepresenting the pro-clean energy stance of veterans groups VoteVets and Operation Free to promote a “drill, baby, drill” message in a mass email.
  • US Chamber of Commerce: Really, where can we begin with this one? Long an opponent of a variety of environmental bills on the premise that such action is “anti-business,” the chamber has also called into question the science of climate change, with one official this year calling for a Scopes-like “monkey trial of the 21st century” on global warming. Fortunately, this was also the year that more reasonable heads prevailed, prompting a slew of high-profile chamber members to quit the organisation. While we’re sending them some coal, those pranksters The Yes Men beat us to the punch with a convincing press conference in which they posed as chamber officials announcing the group had reversed its stance on climate legislation.
  • The University of East Anglia climate email hackers: While most of the media’s attention has been focused on the hacked emails themselves  — do they or don’t they “prove” a climate conspiracy? — the real culprit is the hacker, or hackers, who broke into the university’s email system and stole the data. There’s been some speculation about the hacker’s identity, but no answers yet. There’s little doubt, however, that the act was “conveniently” timed for maximum fuss in the leadup to the Copenhagen climate summit.
  • Oil companies that go green … until they don’t: Shell and BP were among the oil giants that made great noise about their new investments in renewable energy, and later pulled the rug out from under those investments.
  • The right-wing noise machine: The so-called conservatives in the US have decided there’s nothing about clean energy and the environment they aren’t ready to fight tooth and nail, from cap-and-trade legislation to Van Jones’ nomination as President Obama’s green jobs “czar.”
  • Companies with deep pockets that make ridiculous requests for freebies: Yes, that means you EDF and Shell.
  • Dow AgroSciences: For asking permission (well, we guess it’s nice they asked first) to farm-test a substance that’s 4.780 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
  • US Senator James Inhofe, “Lord” Monckton and all the other climate science deniers: We’ll quote the Spiegel reporter on the lot of them: “You’re ridiculous.”

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