The 'Carbon Belch Day' Conundrum

The 'Carbon Belch Day' Conundrum
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We have received a lot of emails asking our thoughts on the so-called “Carbon Belch Day” being pushed by a right-wing grassroots organizer named Steve Elliot and his website Grassfire.

Normally we try not to stray too far into the left vs. right side of the global warming argument, however in this case it is hard to ignore. To say Elliot is “right-wing” is an understatementaccording to his bio, Elliot “has rallied citizens on a host of grassroots issues, including border security, tax reform, abortion, traditional marriage, supporting our troops, exposing media bias and defending the Pledge of Allegiance.”

It’s also hard to ignore the irony in Elliot’s call for people to do “[their] best to increase [their] CO2 output and unleash a Carbon Belch on the planet.” Elliot claims that people can “do this with no fear or concern that [they are] destroying the planet.”

The irony lies in the fact that whether Elliot believes the world’s leading scientists at the top institutions in the world that the climate is warming due to our overuse of carbon intensive fossil fuels like coal and oil or not, he is advocating against one of the sacred cows of the right-wing idealogy: America’s movement away from over reliance on foreign energy imports.

Urging Americans (the largest per-capita consumer of energy on the planet) to needlessly waste more energy ensures the continued reliance on oil imports from the Middle East. Not even the most stalwart Republican or neo-conservative will agree that this is a good thing.

An effort such as Elliot’s is sure to be seen by most as an Anne Coulter style publicity-through-shock stunt, and by some as a funny way to stick it to Al Gore and those stuffy left wing liberals. But the bottom line is that Elliot’s “Carbon Belch Day” flies right in the face of what most people believe regardless of their ideology.

If Elliot is aiming for far-right fringe status then Carbon Belch Day looks to be his best bet.

Besides ideological motivations, there is also the question of where Grassfire gets its money – we’ve sent an email to Mr. Elliot, and we’ll let you know what he has to say.

The 'Carbon Belch Day' Conundrum

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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