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Why You Can’t Trust The Guardian: Coal Is Bad, Except When It’s Socialist And Subsidised

The recent recession in Europe, and the cuts imposed on those countries who seemed to believe governments could just spend their way to a brighter future, have shone light on an interesting aspect of liberal media and how it works. This is the Janus-faced nature of their arguments.

Take coal for example. We are told time and time and time again by the liberal media that coal is an evil fossil fuel that kills people through pollution, heats up the atmosphere by Co2 emissions, and whose existence is only kept going by shadowy lobbying of government by “big coal”. Capitalism and big coal, it is strongly implied, are destroying the environment and preventing the renewable revolution that would lead to millions of “clean energy” jobs.

For example, here’s what The Guardian had to say about those banks who financed coal power plants. These evil, capitalist banks were, the article quoted “killer banks” that were destroying the planet:

Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC are among the top banks that have lent billions of euros to the coal sector – despite their much-vaunted environmental credentials, a new investigation has found

Financing coal is controversial, because it is the dirtiest fossil fuel and responsible for billions of tonnes of emissions of carbon dioxide globally, as well as other pollutants such as soot particles and mercury.

The Guardian: Coal Study Names Top 20 ‘Climate Killer’ Banks.

So, according to the ‘liberal’ media, coal is evil, destroying the planet, and any moves to cut coal production would be welcomed and celebrated right?

Well, not quite. When the EPA, under the Obama administration makes it “nearly impossible” to build new coal power plants, that’s a good thing according to The Guardian. But look at the response when Spain’s new centre-right administration recently announced cuts to subsidies for coal production in a socialist area of Spain. When a right wing administration wants to cut subsidies for coal production, the outcome, apparently, is very different:

Ana Sánchez is on her knees, saying goodbye to her three-year-old goddaughter Marina. Sánchez has worked as a miner for nine years, at the María Luisa mine. She is one of four women from the Asturian valley who will join the march. “I have to do this for my unborn granddaughter. I will do whatever it takes.”

Pepe Pérez, 45, a miner from Cerredo, adds: “The cuts approved by the conservative government would suffocate mining to the point that it would disappear. These subsidies have already been approved, so it is like we are being robbed. They want us to starve, and we cannot allow it. We must fight.”

The Guardian: Spain’s Desperate Miners Gather for a Protest March on the Capital.

Spot the difference? When it’s a right-wing administration cutting subsidies for coal production, we hear about “unborn granddaughters”, starving villagers, pregnant women marching on the capital to protest against what are described as “savage cuts”. There are heart-rending accounts of elderly villagers weeping as their families go off to protest against the possible loss of coal production in the area. This was just one of a number of articles bemoaning the plight of the coal miners in Spain, and supporting their protests in highly emotional terms.

So. I hope this helps to explain how ‘liberal’ media works, and helps clarify the party position on coal: when it’s affecting Republican voters in places like West Virginia, then it’s an evil fossil fuel that is being corruptly sanctioned by big money interests. It must be stamped out. But when it affects socialist voting areas of Europe, and it’s a right-wing administration cutting subsidies, then pity the unborn grandchildren, the weeping elderly and the heroic miners who will “starve” on the streets because those evil capitalists won’t fund coal.

I hope that’s all perfectly clear now.