“ I feel it’s important to have hydrocarbons equally represented.”

CREDIT: Independence Institute.

I, uh, uh, oh gods, there’s so much wrong here, that it … oh, wrong, wrong, wrong. Along with the wrong, the co-opting of phrases expressing specific concepts has been turned into a rotten, fermenting word salad crawling with maggots. I, oh. I sincerely hope that no artists participate in this travesty.

One thing Earth Day celebrations have been lacking is a recognition of fossil fuels — at least according to the Independence Institute, a self-described “action tank” based in Colorado that receives funding from a litany of prominent conservative dark money groups.

“Enviros celebrate by planting trees but they never celebrate the trucks that deliver the trees, or the gas that powers that truck, or the plastic handles of the shovels they use,” an email from the organization reads. “Shouldn’t Mother Earth be thanked for making Earth Day events possible?”

Budding artists are encouraged to send their original works in by April 21 with the main requirement that it “should showcase the awesomeness of fossil fuels.”

I can’t even. Just can’t. Think Progress has a full breakdown on the monies backing this monstrous reality denial.

Amy Cooke, executive vice president and director of the Energy Policy Center at the Independence Institute, has been critical of Colorado’s renewable energy standard, arguing that clean energy sources should be expanded to include clean coal, natural gas, hydroelectric power, and nuclear. Late last year, Cooke was named to the Trump administration’s EPA “landing team,” and wrote of her excitement for the future of the EPA under Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt (both have been clear about their intent to cripple the agency, slashing its budget and immediately gutting policies to fight climate change).

Cooke told ThinkProgress that the organization’s fossil fuels art contest is rooted in inclusivity. “Fossil fuels seem to get left out of the Earth Day celebration,” she said via email. “As an energy feminist — pro-choice in energy sources — I feel it’s important to have hydrocarbons equally represented.”

Fossil fuels get left out of Earth Day celebrations because they have a lot to do with destroying the earth, habitats, species, poisoning water and so forth, you godsawful excuse for a person. “Energy feminist.” “Pro-choice in energy sources.” Okay, I have to get past my overwhelming desire to smack her.

In regard to Independence Institute’s donors — and their history of working against climate action — Cooke avoided specifics. “In general, people and organizations support us because of the work we do including being energy agnostic,” she said. “We encourage innovation instead of over regulation. It’s actually kind of liberating because we aren’t boxed in by an either-or cynical choice paradigm.”

“Energy agnostic”. Uh huh. Oh you’re boxed in, alright – all you want is destruction. Jesus Fuck.

Full story at Think Progress.


  1. blf says

    Nonsense like this has happened before, perhaps not on such a scale but involving schoolchildren. In 2013 Utah’s state-endorsed Earth Day poster contest had the theme Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?†, and in 2012, How Do YOU Use Oil, Gas, and Mining?. At the time, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported (Endorsed by Utah, Earth Day poster contest sparks outrage):

    Poster competition asks kids to tout the benefits of fossil fuels.
    According to contest rules, the posters should illustrate how mineral resources support our quality of life.

    For instance: Coal, oil and natural gas provide most of the energy we use for heat, light, and electricity. We use mined materials and petroleum products every day in gasoline, cars, computers, skateboards, home-building materials, and tools, the rules state.

    Also see Schoolchildren Asked To Celebrate Fossil Fuels And Mining Through Art On Earth Day.

      † My quick first idea for a poster for that theme would be side-by-side photographs from as close to the same vantage point, etc., as possible, labeled “Without” and With, the With showing a ruined wasteland of strip mines, etc., and the “Without” how it was before the mines, etc., existed. However, I rather suspect that would not have been what the nutters wanted.

  2. says

    Yes, I know there have been small scale efforts, mostly, as you note, aimed at brainwashing kids. This is very different, when you look at the money and power backing it, and combine this push with the gutted EPA and all the regulation rollbacks.

    It’s not just the Koch bros, it’s Adolphe Coors, the NRA, the Bradley foundation (John Birch nuts), and more.

  3. Holms says

    One thing Earth Day celebrations have been lacking is a recognition of fossil fuels — at least according to the Independence Institute, a self-described “action tank”…

    I’ll take that as a tacit admission that they know they are useless at thinking.

  4. StonedRanger says

    I wish I were an artist. I would submit something that had smoke stacks in oil refineries, an oil rig fire, pipeline leaking, tankers run aground in Alaska, things like that. Im pretty sure that wouldn’t get picked for anything. But it would send the appropriate message about what fossil fuels do for us.

  5. says

    StonedRanger --
    Why not buy something beautiful -- pretty much anything -- and dump some asphalt liquid on it.

    Come to think of it, I wonder if they’d accept a submission that was just a cardboard box with a plastic bag full of oil. That wouldn’t make too much of a mess, would it?

    It’s probably illegal. Which would make it especially good art.

  6. says

    I do not know wheter I am in minority here or not, but I think that oil and coal are very good and useful resources for all kinds of things.

    Synthetic materials have big advantages over biological materials like wood, leather etc. Firstly the habitat disruption and animal suffering is very probably smaller per ton of material produced (definitively for leather substitutes). Thusly produced materials have longer durability, are lightweight and allow for for for esample easier sterile packaging/manufacturing. And they have much more consistent properties over natural materials.

    However to use oil and coal to their fullest and strongest potential, we should stob burning them and we should do our best to recycle what we already dug up so we do not need to dig up more. As they are used now they are a finite resources whose current use of them prepares huge problems for the future -- starting with climate change, ending with garbage patches in the ocean.

  7. blf says

    I do not know wheter I am in minority here or not, but I think that oil and coal are very good and useful resources for all kinds of things.

    I have no idea if you are in the minority or not, but I broadly concur. However, as you note, there are huge problems with the current usage cycle (I’m thinking here primarily of petrochemicals but the point can be expanded). The exploration-for, extraction-of, refining, distribution, and a huge part of the usage (such as, but not limited to, the burning and, quite possibly, use as fertilizers) all leaves a tremendous amount to be desired. Add to that human ecopolitics — such as, but not limited to, the weak environmental concerns and protections, and the massive subsidies the already quite profitable corporations get (both producers and some consumers) — and I find it hard not to use the same description as applied to religions, “poisons everything” (Christopher Hitchens).

    Which is massively frustrating because the stuff is extremely useful and, whilst tricky to handle, could (as far as I know) be both handled and used far less destructively and far far less wastefully.

  8. says

    Oh, I totally agree. I think we simply cannot afford to waste oil by burning it. Since Mr works in the chemical industry I know a little about what oil is needed for. It is needed to a million things that make energy efficiency even possible.
    I’m also not against plastic. There’s a lot of plastic around here: reusable bottles, lunch boxes, cooking utensils including steam pots for the microwave. What I hate: the plastic you throw away, but here’s the thing: I can hate it as much as I want, I cannot avoid it. I have no solution for this. I cannot spend twice the money and time of buying food.*

    *Recently there was one of these idiotic “challenges” on the kids’ TV: one week without plastic or tin. They bought their rice at a speciality food store, because that’s totally feasible and also transport there happens by magic.

  9. says

    The main advantage of plastic packagings, whether reusable or not, over virtualy every other kind, is their extremely low weight compared to the volume/weight of goods packaged. For example when transporting drinks in glass bottles, approximately 10-20% of the transported goods is the packaging. With plastic bottles it is maybe like 1%.

    Therefore it is actually more environment friendly to use plastic bottles than glas bottles, because the use of energy for transport (and therefore CO2 emissions) is that way much, much lower.

    What is not environmentaly friendly is then to toss the bottle away in the forest or the river. However this are stupid people doing even with glass bottles and those are not completely environment-friendlyt too, they are a fire hazard and traps for small animals etc. etc.

    So probably the greatest problem is human stupidity ans shortsightedness. As per usual…

Leave a Reply