The Western Energy Alliance (WEA) may sound innocuous which lobbies for oil and natural-gas interests, has kicked off a marketing and social media campaign called "Fossil Fuel Free Challenge," and subtlety isn't its strong point. The idea behind the campaign is to challenge people to see if they can go a week without using anything that requires fossil fuels. This goes far beyond filling up the gas tank, however. Electricity, plastics, and rubber are all products and services that often require use of fossil fuels. In short, the campaign suggests a poorer, sicker, less educated, and wholly deprived world without fossil fuels. The campaign starts September 28th.

The WEA says:

Eliminate fossil fuels! We hear it all the time.
Sounds easy, right? Then pledge to live fossil fuel free for a week and see what it's really like.
The nationwide Fossil Fuel Free Week is set for September 28th - October 2nd. Are you willing to take the challenge?

Writing at Treehugger, Derek Markham argues that the interests behind the campaign choose not to see the forest through the trees, noting that government policies, subsidies and the existing economy pretty much ensure that Big Oil has the proverbial wind at its sails, and alternatives face an uphill battle. What's also pointed out are the so-called "externalities" (i.e. pollution, declining water quality) that aren't factored into the economic equation of using fossil fuels.

Treehugger isn't alone, of course. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the theatrical release of Pump: The Movie, which chronicles the world's addiction to oil as well as suggestions on how to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. A challenge indeed, and one that we will not be surprised at all when it gets subverted by people showing that they can, indeed, live without fossil fuels. Because no corporate social media campaign has ever gone awry, right?


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