ThinkProgress picks up on the latest round of in-your-face doublethink from Colorado’s own Independence Institute, the ideological pole star of the far right in our state:
One thing Earth Day celebrations have been lacking is a recognition of fossil fuels — at least according to the Independence Institute, a self-described “action tank” based in Colorado that receives funding from a litany of prominent conservative dark money groups.
“Enviros celebrate by planting trees but they never celebrate the trucks that deliver the trees, or the gas that powers that truck, or the plastic handles of the shovels they use,” an email from the organization reads. “Shouldn’t Mother Earth be thanked for making Earth Day events possible?”
Budding artists are encouraged to send their original works in by April 21 with the main requirement that it “should showcase the awesomeness of fossil fuels.”
A little more from the Independence Institute’s email announcing this captivatingly twisted stunt:
Join us in celebrating Earth Day by submitting your original artwork in our EARTH DAY FOSSIL FUELS ART CONTEST! Your entry should showcase the awesomeness of fossil fuels. We will be announcing two semi-finalists on Earth Day, April 22. The semi-finalists’ entries will be displayed at our Founders’ Night Dinner on Thursday, April 27. Guests at the event will vote and the winner will be announced at the event.
Both semi-finalists will receive:
• $75 in gift cards
• 1 ticket to our Founders’ Night Dinner ($250 purchase value)
The winner will also receive:
• One $100 gasoline gift card, suitable for framing and showing off to your smug in-laws.
It’s an event in keeping with the Independence Institute’s “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” party–which literally features alcohol, tobacco, and guns (hopefully not in that order, we’ve never been). While most of the world applauds sensible regulation of things that are bad for you/the planet, there are always the guys who celebrate the bad things. In Colorado, that’s the Independence Institute.
Yes, there’s an argument that talking about these kinds of antics only validates them. In this case, however, the antics are sufficiently laughable as to make a joke of much more than one state-based activist group. Something about the Koch Brothers paying for a celebration of fossil fuels on Earth Day elevates this to the level of a nationwide punchline.