Dirty Coal makes unwanted appearance

Computer screen shot of a coal propaganda web site.Ah, the wonders of “targeted” advertising, and advertising in general.

Yes, you might have noticed that SolarChargedDriving.Com does run ads.

Frankly, I’m a little ambivalent about running ads. But, on a practical level, we could really use money to:

a)  help pay for our solar system, because, damn it, while solar pays off in the long run, it is very expensive up front – and even its strongest advocates need to be honest about this;

b)  help pay for a future EV; right now, simply put, we do not have the money to buy an EV; instead, we have a 17-year-old Acura Integra and a hand-me-down 14-year-old Toyota Camry from my brother. Yes, once again, let’s be honest: EVs and PHEVs are going to be expensive, very expensive. And, therefore, will only be accessible to economic elites at the start. We’re not economic elites, but I really want to play a direct role in driving solar-charged driving forward, so I hope we can find a way to fund the purchase of an EV.

So, there you have it, the fundamental reason why SolarChargedDriving.Com is running ads is to help us to afford that for which we are advocating: solar-charged driving.

We don’t want ads for Dirty Coal
just because we have ‘sold out’ to advertising, doesn’t mean we want to accept all types of advertising on our site.

And, guess what, Google AdSense (no, I don’t expect to get rich off of Google AdSense ads), which I just added to SolarChargedDriving.Com three days ago, is delivering ads for “Dirty Coal” onto some of our pages.

We definitely do NOT want to be running ads that link to Dirty Coal propaganda, which is what you’ll get if you happen to see the Google AdSense ad for americaspower.org and click on that link.

SolarChargedDriving.Com wants advertising from solar companies, green companies, energy efficiency products, and for EVs/PHEVs and energy-efficient automobiles.

That way, we can help promote solar, EVs/PHEVs and green companies and products on two fronts, the editorial and advertising fronts.

And, if we ever make any money from advertising on our site – not a certainty by any means, that money will go directly back into those products, solar and EVs/PHEVs, which will help to grow the growing solar and EV/PHEV movements, not to mention the green economy.

Until now, Google AdSense has been mostly delivering these types of solar and EV/PHEV ads, plus an assortment of ads for various battery technologies.

In fact, several of the ads – which I can’t click on, of course, or I’ll be run up on charges of ‘click fraud’ – lead to very interesting URLs and even story ideas for SolarChargedDriving.Com. For instance, an ad for Fordstory.com, which is using Jay Leno to help promote its new BEV.

Carbon obsession blog entry brings in Dirty Coal ad
When I wrote a SolarChargeDriving.Com editorial on “Carbon obsession” and posted it to the site yesterday, Google AdSense picked up some keyword, or set of keywords in that editorial and suddenly began delivering an ad for Dirty Coal in the SolarChargeDriving.Com right-hand sidebar.

That was enough to get me to surf to my AdSense account (which currently shows $0.00 earned, by the way 😉 and investigate what, if anything, I could do to block americaspower.org from advertising on SolarChargedDriving.Com. (Yes, I’m aware of the paradox that in criticizing americaspower.org in this entry that I’m also giving them free publicity, though you can’t say it’s positive publicity).

Well, coal is cheap if you don’t count the cost of clean-up of the toxic ash waste it produces or the cost of fixing the  global warming fiasco for which coal is partially responsible and if you ignore the environmental costs of mountaintop removal, mercury run-off, etc.

Well, turns out there is a way to do this. But, get this, Google AdSense advertises this function on your AdSense manager account under the header, “Competitive Ad Filter.”

Basically, this is supposed to be used by you, the web site owner/administrator, to filter ads that might appear on your site from competitors.

There’s no mention of using it to filter ads that clash with your site and/or which you found politically unpalatable.

Go figure.

Anyway, I just entered americaspower.org into the Competitive Ad Filter. I hope this will prevent the ad from appearing on SolarChargedDriving.Com – the site’s dedicated to passing coal off as “clean” and, of course, claims coal is “cheap”.

The true costs of coal
Well, coal is cheap if you don’t count the cost of clean-up of the toxic ash waste it produces or the cost of fixing the  global warming fiasco for which coal is partially responsible and if you ignore the environmental costs of mountaintop removal, mercury run-off, etc.

Once again, a simplistic, front-end, short-term only conceptualization of “cost” is at work on this “pro” Dirty Coal site. No surprises there.

That’s our society’s dominant, and just plain incorrect, definition of “cost”, and — go figure – this definition serves the interests of powerful individuals, groups and industries. They don’t want people to be thinking back-end costs too. No, those back-end costs should either: a) be ignored; b) passed on to the taxpayers, whose money will be needed to clean up the inevitable, and costly, back-end costs of the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels.

In any case, given this blog entry, I bet americaspower.org – which, of course, has millions of dollars behind it, as opposed to the hundreds of dollars of personal money that’s currently behind SolarChargedDriving.Com – won’t want its ad running on my site after this critical commentary.

In fact, I wonder what control they have in terms of ad display from their end. Or if Big Brother Google’s watching my site to patrol for exactly this type of conflict.

The Google AdSense patrol?
I bet Google’s not doing that, but only because it would require too many resources, and would cost too much money.

If they are, hope they won’t ban me from the Google AdSense network for lambasting an un-welcome advertiser.

I doubt they will, because they’re plenty of advertisers that I want on my site, but Dirty Coal ain’t one of them.

And, if I can just generate a bit of an audience for SolarChargedDriving.Com – these advertisers, solar companies, green companies, auto companies advertising EVs/PHEVs, etc. are going to make Google AdSense some money, certainly more money than they’ll generate for me.

Touche americaspower.org – and, hopefully, if this Competitive Ad Filter works the way it’s supposed to – good riddance too.