DeSmog

Shower Congress with Coal in America

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Filmaker David Novack never set out to make a film about the American coal industry, but he couldn’t help himself after he witnessed first hand what coal was doing our health and environment.

I first met Novack a couple of years back when I was planning a new project called Coal is Clean/Coai is Dirty. Novack was just putting the finishing touches on his film Burning the Future: Coal in America and he was kind enough to provide me with some footage I could use for my project.

I knew coal was bad in so many ways: increased asthma rates in kids, Mercury in breast milk, smog, climate change, mountain top removal, and the list goes on. But what Novack’s done with this film is bring the human voice to the dirty coal story. He makes it so real that you can’t help but get angry and want to do something about it.

Burning the Future is the Inconvenient Truth of the American coal industry and anyone who sees it will walk away with a seething passion to fight the coal industry and wail away at the “clean coal” propaganda machine.

And this brings me to my idea. I’m convinced that if we can get members of Congress to watch Novack’s film – or even just their staffers – we could open up a tiny window of opportunity that will allow for a reasonable conversation about an energy future in America that does not include coal. In my experience change never comes in the form of a single silver bullet idea, but from a series of meaningful actions that slowly builds to a tipping point. 

Buying Novack’s DVD, watching it and then walking it down (or mailing it) to the office of your member of Congress is one of these small but meaningful actions. Watch it first, so you can include a letter to your local representative telling them why they should watch this movie.

Here’s a trailer for Novack’s Burning the Future: Coal in America – watch it and get angry and then make sure you send it on to your local Congressperson and hopefully it will make them angry too:

Leave me a comment below or send me an email telling me which Congressperson you’re going to send a DVD to and I will keep track of who’s been sent a copy and who has not. My email address is: [email protected].

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. 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 DeSmog, 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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