Dear Mr. Coal Baron (From: A Friend)

Dear Old King Coal (ha ha, I do jest, I know you are really a baron and not a king – but it is nice to pretend sometimes, isn’t it?),

Ol’ Jed Bickers here, your pal from ‘palachia. I was running some ‘speriments in my backyard laboratory, and I believe I may have just made some strides forwards in clean coal technology. Since you are basically depending on clean coal as a desperate long-shot towards the feasibility of your industry, I thought you might be mildly interested in my results.

As you can see from the attached charts, graphs, and that picture of my dog, immersing the coal in my swimmin’ hole and scrubbing vigorously produces a sort of black offscrub-powder which tints the water and stains my legs. While I am still waiting for the results of my rigorous eye-for-an-eye-’til-everyone’s-blind experimental procedures, tentative results suggest that the coal should be much cleaner than before. After all, did I not just scrub it for nearly half an hour? And anyway, I’m dirty now, so I guess it must have worked.

What’s more, and unlike any of your other shots at clean coal technology, this technology could be ready in the near term e.g. when it could actually help prevent problematic climate change. In fact, as soon as I can figure out how to get the coal to light, I think it should truly be clean, burning coal. I tried drying it off with a towel, but no good. I used to have some lighter fluid around here, but I think my pig drank it. (She breathes fire now. It’s awesome, and I have no other explanation.)

Of course, if these coal-cleaning techniques prove excessively long in development, or not actually that climate-friendly, you could always just use your huge advertising machine to spin it such a way in which it sounds better than it is. I expect you have lots of experience with this, so I’ll leave it up to you, but I did have a few suggestions… if it’s taking too long, you could say it’s “Truly a technology with our distant future in mind,” or that it’s “A Long Term Solution: Not a Short Term Solution.” Or maybe “a technology that won’t be ready for many years… in bed!” Wait, that sounded better in my head.

I do not ask for money for my idea; I am happy merely to strike a blow against our c’mmon ‘nemy, the hippie ‘iberal pinko c’mmie socialist f’sc’sts who want to ration our climate gasses. I can only assume this would also mean a fart tax of some sort, presumably staggering. (Then again, if you’re staggering while passing gas, you might want to get that looked at.)

With our combined efforts, and just a little more time spent in research, I believe this can be the wave of our future. I look forwards to taking this technology out of the literal swimming hole and into the proverbial hollering hole. Shout its praises from the mountaintops; and then, remove them!

They laughed at me! Ah, but I too have studied the science-tific method – I attended Community Highschool for nearly a semester and got my Associate’s Diploma in Green Energy: Energy That Is Green. But just because I don’t pronounce the first several letters of ‘palachia, and for that matter, hoot and holler around town on every second Saturday of the month wearing nought but a barrel, they mocked me! They called me mad, MAD! Well, I am a little now, but I wasn’t before.

Those left-fielders won’t know what hit ‘em. Together, we will make sure that’s the last tree they ever hug, and in an unrelated note, kill them. (At least metaphorically.)

Also, protesting (and/or most forms of environmental direct action) is just as much a form of terrorism as strawman is a form of argument. And for that they should be SHOT.

Yer faithful mad rural scientist,
Jed Bickers, PhD

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