Food and Technology Blog

Friends of the Earth deals polluters a tough hand for April 1st, “Fossil Fools’ Day”

Posted Apr. 1, 2014 / Posted by: Kate Colwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For years, corporations and elected officials have stacked the deck and given bad deals to the environment. The worst jokers seem to hold all the cards and act like kings and queens of industry. This year, Friends of the Earth sheds light on these wildcards of pollution to ensure that our planet doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. On “Fossil Fools’ Day,” we hope to trump the industries that develop dirty energy, contribute to climate change and pollute our environment by assembling the worst into a deck of playing cards. Instead of the traditional suits, we’ve created a more appropriate tribute to their legacies: Ash (coal), Spills (oil), Leaks (pipelines) and Fracks (oil and gas). Are you not entertained?

“Our list contains government officials, industry leaders, CEOs and others most responsible for promoting fossil fuels and preventing the U.S. from moving forward on cleaner, greener energy solutions,” said Friends of the Earth director of the Climate and energy program Ben Schreiber. “These jokers are treating the environment like a game. But the problem with every game is that someone loses, in this case the planet is holding 2-9 off-suit, while the polluters have aces up their sleeves.”

The “Fossil Fools’” deck calls out those who flout the laws and will of the people like kings, queens and jacks. Numbers don’t lie as the deck’s data reveal. But what deck is complete without jokers? Friends of the Earth reserved two very special cards for the most egregious polluters and dirty fuel offenders: the Jokers.

A detailed breakdown of each suit and complete decks are available for download from Friends of the Earth.

  • Ash: The coal industry, with its massive carbon footprint, air pollution and toxic ash leaks was an obvious choice. These cards dismiss the spin of “clean coal” and provide readers with information on the true costs of coal to our health and our environment. It also identifies those who turn blind eyes to its pollution and who profit from its lobbyists.
  • Spills: While big oil does its best to promote an illusion of control over oil development, spills happen with alarming frequency, and with consequences to wildlife, water tables and public health; ever-increasing our addiction to liquid dinosaurs. This suit explores the realities of spills that contaminate our water, adversely affect the livelihoods of millions and produce effects that linger for decades.
  • Leaks: Fossil fuel proponents often tout pipelines as a safe delivery method. They aren’t fooling anyone. Pipelines fail often and with explosive or catastrophic results, most of which aren’t readily detected. This suit gives a reality check to pipeline enthusiasts who want to bisect the United States with a bigger, hotter pipe carrying the dirtiest sludge on the planet. No thanks.
  • Fracks: From hundreds of trucks, a tremendous waste of fresh water and toxic chemical cocktails, all evidence points to fracking as a huge source of air and water pollution, while creating severe health and environmental hazards. Many are also shaken up about the recent earthquakes linked to fracking – pun intended. All for more liquid dinosaurs and gas. Fracking has no place in a clean energy world, and the facts are mounting to prove it.
  • Jokers: These are the biggest fools of all, those who do the most to advance fossil fuel industry interests, perpetuating climate change and placing profits over people. In a world demanding innovative renewable energy solutions, they try their best to promote outdated fuels that push us closer to irreversible climate catastrophe.

Click here to download your own deck or to view the cards on Flickr.

Click here to see the sources of the card statistics.

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Contact:
Ben Schreiber, Climate and energy program director, (202) 222-0752, bschreiber@foe.org
EA Dyson, Communications director, (202) 222-0730, edyson@foe.org

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