Environmentalists’ bizarre attraction to coal and oil wearables



In Juneau and elsewhere on Saturday, groups called Rise Up and 350.org staged protests about climate change, the wrongs of oil, and the rights of renewables. They hoisted signs that promoted keeping bad oil in the ground and using good renewables.

But the irony was everywhere. In Juneau, every protestor was wearing coal and oil, and most, if not all, were carrying electronic devices with metals mined in third-worth countries — possibly by children.

Poly-pro fabrics keep people warm in a cool climate like Juneau, and have been all the rage for decades. Even old-time Juneauites wouldn’t give up their puffy Patagonia jackets and return to wool long johns and smelly halibut jackets of yore. Not for all the coal in China.

Soy-based ink? Protesters in Juneau don’t even want a gasline. This can’t be good for Gov. Bill Walker. A gasline is his signature project.

The Juneau climate change protesters were addressed by former President Barack Obama climate change adviser Don Wuebbels, who was the lead author on the National Climate Change Assessment Reports.

Wuebbels is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois, which presumably means he likely flew to Juneau to stand on the steps of the Alaska Capitol for 15 minutes and address the 100 people gathered as part of the Rise for Climate rally.

He also spoke at the University of Alaska Southeast that evening at the invitation of his former Obama White House colleague Beth Kerttula. There’s no word on the carbon footprint of his visit.

As part of the event, the protesters stood for a photo in front of an artificial whale that is breaching from an artificial pond on an artificial island next that was built next to the Douglas Bridge.

The whale is made up of 13,000 pounds of bronze. That’s more than twice the weight of two large trucks or SUVs.

Front and center in the climate change protest is Juneau mayoral candidate Saralyn Tabachnick, with 100 of her waterproofed coal-and-oil wearing fellow Juneauites. Photo from 

Bronze is made up of copper and tin alloys; 50 percent of the world’s tin comes from China mines, and 40 percent of the world’s copper comes from Chile and China.

China and developing nations that produce these metals have, unlike mines in the United States, wretched records for environmental protections.

To learn more about how polyester is made, click here.

To read about tin mining and human exploitation in Indonesia, click here.

There’s not enough irony to go around here, but this author is expecting that next year, protesters all show up in wool and leather, just to keep the narrative “on point.”


  1. Fleece is the source of “micro plastics” which is worse then regular plastics. I’m a conservative but I go rid of all my fleece even though I am on my own septic. Most liberals and environmentalists don’t own mirrors.

  2. Wearing clothing derived from petroleum is not incompatible with creating diverse energy and economic systems across our state. Oil has given many gifts to Alaskans, but it has also provided some rather spectacular economic roller coaster rides over the years.

    Oil is great for many things, including clothing. But we’ll all be better off if we pursue a more diverse and stable energy system based on renewable resources. Better for our local economies. Better for our climate. Better for our children.

  3. … and let me guess. You folks rode your bikes to the demonstration then headed home to your solar heated house. Lead by example.

    • Many of those in the photo rode bikes, walked or drove in their hydroelectric powered electric cars to the event.

      When it comes to renewable energy, and reducing our carbon footprint, many in Juneau do lead by example. Because they care.

      • Actually, Juneau has the benefits of hydroelectric power as a result of a MASSIVE federal subsidy of the Snettisham project. In contrast, many a Juneau resident has resisted the construction of similar and larger facilities in Southcentral Alaska which would ultimately be paid for by ratepayers. Thanks a lot, Juneau.

  4. Oh the irony of the greenie-lefties so into high-end gear and equipment made from petrochemicals. No doubt they know that the oil was sourced from environmentally responsible developments like Nigeria, Venezuela and Russia but certainly not Alaska.

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