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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Alphabet Game

Cross-posted from

How many acronyms does it take to trick politicians and the media into thinking coal is really a clean energy choice? Well, let's just go through them, shall we?

ABEC stands for Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, a coal industry campaign that has spent more than $40 million to promote "clean coal" technologies on the campaign trail. Their members include your friendly neighborhood coal companies like Peabody Coal, Arch Coal, Duke Energy as well as rail companies like Burlington Northern Santa Fe. ABEC ran an "astroturf" campaign in New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania extolling the virtues of coal to presidential campaign staff, volunteers, supporters, and even the candidates themselves. ABEC has sponsored nearly every televised presidential debate and is now...gone forever, partly due to the work of grassroots climate campaigners, big enviros and a group called ABECC.

ABECC is an NRDC-sponsored parody, focused on exposing the coal industry's disinformation campaign. The tag line, Coal Power: Warming America, Warming the Planet, and the design parodying ABEC's own website,, make the Alliance for Burning Every Chunk of Coal a pointed voice in an increasingly volatile debate. With more than 65 victories against proposed coal plants around the country, ABECC, climate and community activists are a serious roadblock in the way of the coal industry.

In fact, organizers have done such a good job tarnishing the image of "clean coal" and ABEC, that the coal industry, and front group CEED (who funded the ABEC campaign) have invented yet another acronym, ACCCE. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is expected to use many of the same tactics as ABEC, attack green collar jobs, invade the blogosphere and the airwaves and spend much more money touting the technology of the day after tomorrow, "clean coal." Expect to see ACCCE representatives in a community near you, spreading misinformation and trying to buy votes and candidates.

Maybe it's time to say WTF to these guys and send them on their way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How to play

The teacher chooses a letter. The students then complete the first column of the table with words which begin with that letter.

Everyone must have played this game at some point. In my opinion this game does not have great educational value however anything that students like and makes them think in English can't be bad. This game is best played in the last 10-15 minutes of a class. Print a few copies of the game, keep them in your bag and you will always be prepared for any contingency. Sarah has a much better opinion of this game than John does.

Students work individually or in groups (better in small groups).

E.g. If the letter chosen is B, they must write an adjective beginning with A, an animal beginning with B, etc.

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