Greenwashing of Fossil Fuels

It is almost unbelievable that we fall for some greenwashing marketing techniques. For example, green washing of fossil fuels blows my mind. Coal, oil, and gas, three of the most environmentally-detrimental resources are being framed as ‘cleaner’ or ‘more green.’


One example of a “Deadly Sin” of greenwashing in this sense is the Sin of Hidden Tradeoffs. Some producers claim that Palm oil is extracted in a sustainable manner, but what they don’t tell you is that to continually harvest palm oil, environmentally sensitive forests will be destroyed, along with their biodiversity. In the long run, this will drastically increase carbon in the atmosphere.

Another example is ‘clean coal’ from GE. This exemplifies the Sin of Lesser of Two Evils. While 1. increasing efficiency from the same amount of coal, or 2. capturing gases that would normally escape to use for energy, or 3. washing fuels to make them ‘cleaner’ all sound like a better way to burn coal, it takes away from the point that they are still burning coal. The extraction of coal is the worst for the environment of any natural resources. The burning of coal is one of the worst for the environment of any natural resources. The fact that a company could make it slightly less worse does not take away from the damage it is already doing.


This piece of art is called “The Fossil Fuel Greenwash” which features David Koch, climate change denier and oil billionaire, who is also one of the board members and the biggest sponsor of the American Museum of Natural History.


Chelsea Walters



The Fossil Fuel Greenwash



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