Last week the Onion had a little fun with the American coal industry and the American wind energy industry. The satirical news organization put together a segment in which a fake coal lobby claimed that the wind industry was putting the planet in danger. The problem, according to the segment: wind turbines were going to push the Earth out of its orbit.
While the spoof was, well a spoof, in true Onion fashion the satire was not far from reality. The claims alleged against “Big Wind” came from fake coal lobbying groups. The coal groups claimed that the wind industry is placing propellers around the Earth and that “propellers make things move.” This was the scientific basis for the claim that the Earth could be shifted out of its orbit.
And what’s an inside-the-Beltway campaign if it doesn’t include a film made by a front group? To satisfy this qualification, the Onion included a new spoof of an anti-wind film titled “Terminal Wind.” The segment also included a panel of anti-wind talking heads who said, among other things, they are sick of “wind fat cats,” and Americans “sucking on the wind teet.” The end of the segment included a claim that the solar industry is sucking the sun dry — and then a panelist ate a delicious coal snack bar.
This was all in good fun, of course, but in many ways the segment hit close to home. After all, the out-of-left-field claims weren’t far from real politics these days. There were good sound bites, fake issue-oriented films and discussions based on anything but science. The only difference was the Onion story was worthy of plenty of belly laughs. Take a look at the video below: