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The Greenwash Brigade

I am the Lorax and I speak for the…coal?

Jim Nicolow Feb 2, 2010

Unbelievable. Dr. Seuss must be rolling in his grave. Three businessmen have hijacked the name of the Dr. Seuss environmentalist classic, “The Lorax” to greenwash a planned coal gasification and chemical plant: I bring you LoraxAg, “architects of clean technologies.”

It’s two-for-one: I’m offended both as an environmentalist and as an architect.

I am the Lorax and I speak for the… well, for the high sulfur coal…and synthetic fertilizer?

The company brochure (PDF) reads like a Twilight Zone version of the Dr. Seuss classic. Amid warm and fuzzy pictures of hands planting a seedling (and rail cars presumably full of ‘clean’ coal), the brochure boasts that the chemical plant will produce “ammonia, urea, and sulfuric acid” with “inexpensive high sulfur coal reserves” bringing “high paying, high skill jobs.”

Yeah, that definitely reminds me of the Lorax: The part about chopping down Truffula Trees and emitting Gloppity Glop and Schloppity Schlop in order to provide jobs for the Once-ler family. Guys, you’re not the Lorax. You’re Once-lers! ‘Once-ler-Ag’ would be a more fitting moniker, ‘architects of greenwash’

It’s barely February, and we already have a contender for greenwash of the year.

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