Updated: Rolling Coal or Why We Need Better Science Education in America!
Wingnuts are deliberately making their vehicles pollute more, to protest the government restricting their ability to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere! People are turning their cars and trucks into machines that spout black soot, and they’re calling it “Rolling Coal.”
My hope is that we can ban this state by state. It’s terrible, not only for its effect on climate change, but for people’s health in general.
According to Slate this thing as been around for awhile.
“Rolling coal” is not new. It grew out of the modifications people would do on their vehicles for truck pulls. It’s just only recently entered the online culture wars. I’d seen the memes and a couple of the trucks. But I hadn’t seen the left reply until this month, when Vocativ ran an expose of “pollution porn for dudes with pickup trucks.” Progressives reacted with disbelief to Facebook communities like “Rollin’ COAL” and (naturally) “Prius Repellent,” and to the sheer number of Instagram and Tumblr entries that recorded this stuff. They reacted with a mid-June surge of comments, sprinkled throughout these pages, all about the breeding patterns and penis sizes of the coal-rollers.
This is as dumb as it sounds. Maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise though. Save for some cranks like William Happer, ( Who isn’t even in a relevant field of study ) the overwhelming majority of scientists realize that global warming is real.
Yet there are people out there that “roll coal” and turn their car or truck into a black smoke spewing, polluting machine to protest “the Man.” They refuse to accept the harmful effects of what they’re doing.
NASA engineers recently created a satellite to monitor the amount of carbon dioxide we’re pumping into the atmosphere, as USA Today points out,
From its perch 438 miles above Earth’s surface, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 will be NASA’s first satellite with the sole purpose of measuring atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming.
During its two-year mission, the satellite will provide more-accurate readings of CO2 levels on global and regional scales, allowing scientists to better understand how natural processes and human activity affect concentrations of the greenhouse gas.
Unfortunately this, along with the news of the melting polar ice caps may not have any effect on climate change deniers, especially those that are “rolling coal”
Steven Colbert had the perfect response to this new wingnut trend.
Yet this is just a symptom of a much larger problem. Maybe if we had better science education, fewer people would do stuff like this. Instead of “rolling coal,” to protest restrictions that are actually perfectly justified to fight climate change, maybe some of these people would actually be trying to help solve the problem. If they knew better maybe they’d realize why this is bad for our future, not to mention everyone’s health including their own. I wouldn’t bring my lungs anywhere near one of these black smokers. That would be common sense, even if I didn’t know carbon dioxide causes global warming.
Update: 7/19/14 at 11:16 am
Randall Gross just posted some more information about the negative health effects in a recent comment
Forget about climate for a minute, all benzene ring compounds ( like those spewed by these exhausts) cause cancer and several other serious health problems:
CDC on Benzene:
Long-term health effects of exposure to benzene
The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. (Long-term exposure means exposure of a year or more.) Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.
Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is not known whether benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or fertility in men.
Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs.
How you can protect yourself, and what to do if you are exposed to benzene
First, if the benzene was released into the air, get fresh air by leaving the area where the benzene was released. Moving to an area with fresh air is a good way to reduce the possibility of death from exposure to benzene in the air.
If the benzene release was outside, move away from the area where the benzene was released.
Don’t forget to read the rest of what he has to say so you can see just how serious being exposed to the chemicals from one of these modified vehicles could be.
He also provided a link to CDC on the health effects of exposure to diesel exhaust that backs up everything he wrote.