Rolling Coal on Earth Day

rolling coalToday marks the 46th annual celebration of Earth Day. Since 1970, various communities, schools, churches, and organizations all over the world have come together to show support for this planet we all share.

In the transportation and trucking industries, we sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to environmental health, but there’s no reason trucking can’t be compatible with the environment. We’ve written before about ways in which the transportation industry is taking steps worldwide to make the world a greener place.

rolling coalSelf-driving trucks, mega-sized cargo ships, and even this German all-electric tractor trailer have hit the news as ways to make the trucking industry faster and friendlier, for drivers and for our planet. Some American trucking groups have even lobbied Congress for cleaner fuel research and to pass regulations on how trucks are utilized to minimize fuel consumption.

But not every driver is a fan of these regulations. Some owners of trucks and big rigs feel they are being unfairly targeted by environmental groups, and have taken their protest to the highways.

You may have seen such trucks, smokestacks high, a ‘Prius Repellent’ decal on the back windshield, spilling black smoke onto the highway. The practice is called ‘rolling coal,’ and it has its roots in the protest of environmental regulations. By intentionally tricking the engine into needing more diesel – either through disabling systems or installing special switches and smokestacks – the driver has the ability to shoot sooty exhaust into the air.

Targeting hybrid vehicle drivers and cyclists, the practice seeks to make a point about environmentalism – that some drivers like things just the way they are, and aren’t interested in Washington’s input.

One way or another – whether you’re a Tree Hugger or a Coal Roller – we can’t ignore that we’re all sharing the same floating chunk of rock in the solar system. This Earth Day, no matter where you stand on the politics, maybe we could treat each other – and our environment – as we would a roommate or a neighbor. Pick up a piece of litter and dispose of it properly; fix that leaky faucet; or sign up for a paperless invoice or two. But whatever you do, please…

…Don’t blow too much smoke this weekend,