Well, it had to happen eventually, I’ve been “coal rolled”…well, sort of.
The photos embedded within the story that follows are sad examples of “coal rolling,” a “practice of intentionally disabling the Clean Burn Programming of a computer controlled diesel engine, and/or installing a “defeat device” similar to the one Volkswagen illegally and secretly developed for millions of its vehicles. This device illegally allows the vehicle to emit an under-aspirated fuel-rich sooty exhaust that visibly pollutes the air.
Practitioners tamper with their vehicles’ emissions controls in open defiance of environmental regulations that require all gas and diesel powered vehicles to have emission control devices and systems that reduce the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere. It also may include the intentional removal of the particulate filter. Practitioners often additionally modify their vehicles by installing “smoke switches,” huge tailpipes, and smokestacks. Modifications to a vehicle to enable it to “roll coal” may cost anywhere from $200 to $5,000…or more. Rolling coal is a form of conspicuous pollution. Targets of rolling coal often include owners of hybrid vehicles (and now EV’s) as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. (From Wikipedia)
A few days ago I was driving my 2012 Nissan Leaf through the small town I call home when I pulled up to a traffic light to wait for it to change. After sitting silently in traffic for a moment I began to hear the unmistakable sound of an idling diesel engine growing louder to the left rear quarter of my Leaf. I glanced in my rear view only to see a large, raised, black, pick up truck with over-sized tires and a huge chrome exhaust pipe sticking out of the undercarriage in front of the right rear wheel (clearly he must have been compensating for something…). A red alert klaxon Captain James Kirk would be proud of went off in my head: COAL ROLLER! I rolled up the windows and set the climate control on recirculate to keep the inevitable black clouds of toxic carcinogenic diesel soot and ash out of my car’s cabin and out of my lungs. The light changed and I made a split second decision to take action and remove myself from the situation so I dropped out of Eco mode, actuated the accelerator firmly to the deck plate, and was silently, smoothly, and rapidly suctioned into the future leaving the quaking dinosaur-like diesel danger far behind in my clean, statically charged dust while grinning ear to ear the EV grin. I moved silently through traffic for a few moments and was unfortunately stopped behind a slow-moving old vehicular construct from the 1970’s and yet another traffic light. A few seconds later the gaudy environmental perpetrator idled up beside me rolling and rumbling slowly forward to get his behemoth of a truck in just the right position to angle his tailpipe in the direction of the front left corner of my Leaf.
We sat there waiting for the light to change: in one lane a massive, towering, shaking Goliath of a vehicle that Mad Max would have been proud of. It was idling so roughly that I could see the entire truck vibrate with the controlled internal combustion chaos going on in the climate science and common sense denier modified, oil-soaked innards of its massive, Cummings turbo-diesel powerplant. In the other lane, I sat, like the proverbial David, in my tiny, silent, futuristic, 100% electric car. When the light changed Mr. Diesel dropped all the ancient dinosaur juice and testosterone filled spite he had into his illegally modified, anti-environment, fossil burning, ultra-conservative, big wheeled statement and out came…a tiny, rather insignificant, little puff of black smoke. I grinned -something had clearly gone wrong with his truck’s coal rolling modifications and with his attempt to drench my Leaf in billowing clouds of dirty black diesel smoke. I couldn’t stop grinning as he sped away thinking he had made some sort of an anti-green, anti-Obama, anti-environment, anti-EV, hateful statement. From my perspective, Mr. Diesel’s childish display of blowing smoke seemed to backfire on him miserably and for that, I am forever grateful. Did he learn a lesson from our encounter…highly doubtful. He probably returned home to boast and brag about his (failed) knuckle-dragging childishness to all his diesel soaked friends while posting stupid memes online likes the ones below.
This was my first Coal Rolling experience since owning my Nissan Leaf so I decided that “retaliation” was in order so instead of flying off the handle and doing something as idiotic as the “coal rolling” infant by chasing him down and repeatedly stepping on the maggots face – I did some in-depth research on the topic and report it below.
According to many readily available articles: the “Coal Rolling” culture is a juvenile attempt to build up the egos of anti-environmentalists and toxically masculine often ultra-conservatives who feel that their “God-given freedoms” are being trodden upon. Many of these misguided individuals are afraid that the stricter pollution regulations imposed by the recent advances in technologies, the Obama administration, and common sense in general, may cause them to lose some of their access the ultra consumptive, garishly ignorant lifestyles they have become accustomed to.
Another possibility is that with more and more people becoming more and more informed and conscious of the damaging realities of air pollution and the links between diesel exhaust and many forms of cancer, and the indisputable scientific facts and findings in support of global climate change being caused primarily by our daily actions of burning fossil fuels for energy, and with more people becoming aware of their own carbon footprints and their resulting impacts on the environment – and therefore many are now switching to hybrid and electric vehicles, tiny houses, renewable energy sources, dropping meat from their diets, and growing their own food–all of this common sense goodness could be yet another huge cause for concern for the Coal Rolling crowd. They see that their “kind”, their “people,” as a soon to be endangered species that are going the way of the very dinosaurs that power their toxic smoke belching giant wheeled phallically compensatory beasts so it is possible that their childish coal rolling displays are a visible way of rebelling against the inevitable change closing in from all sides. IMHO coal rollers are just grown up children throwing temper tantrums because they do not want to grow up and face the facts of life.
Whatever the juvenile and narcissistic reasons behind why they “roll coal,” what they are really doing are celebrating an act of the pre-meditated polluting of theirs and everyone else’s shared atmosphere. Coal rolling is a blatant disregard for the safety and health of the perpetrator, other drivers, pedestrians, wildlife and the environment and in every way, this practice should be illegal and banned everywhere.
This may happen sooner rather than later as the coal rollers obviously do not think before they roll. Proof can be found in this article where New Jersey Assemblyman and Leaf driver Tim Eustace was targeted by a Coal Roller and now Eustace aims to work to make it illegal in his state. He has announced a bill that forbids coal rolling. Read more about it here. In fact, it is now illegal everywhere according to the EPA as reported in this article –
It is a violation of the [Clean Air Act] to manufacture, sell, or install a part for a motor vehicle that bypasses, defeats, or renders inoperative any emission control device. For example, computer software that alters diesel fuel injection timing is a defeat device. Defeat devices, which are often sold to enhance engine performance, work by disabling a vehicle’s emission controls, causing air pollution. As a result of EPA enforcement, some of the largest manufacturers of defeat devices have agreed to pay penalties and stop the sale of defeat devices.
The CAA prohibits anyone from tampering with an emission control device on a motor vehicle by removing it or making it inoperable prior to or after the sale or delivery to the buyer. A vehicle’s emission control system is designed to limit emissions of harmful pollutants from vehicles or engines. EPA works with manufacturers to ensure that they design their components with tamper-proofing, addresses trade groups to educate mechanics about the importance of maintaining the emission control systems, and prosecutes cases where significant or imminent harm is occurring.
So there you have it, the act of deliberately modifying your vehicle’s emission control system/engine to emit clouds of smoke is in fact illegal so if you are a coal roller you are intentionally breaking the law so it is time you face the facts – you and your garish disregard for others will soon go the way of the dinosaurs.
If you drive an EV, Hybrid, bicycle, horse, or are just out for a stroll or run, keep your eyes and ears open for these small minded, backward thinking, environmental scofflaws full of toxic masculinity piloting their giant trucks because they target not only EV’s, hybrids and other small, fuel-efficient vehicles but also pedestrians, officers of the law, and even the elderly. They clearly have serious mental issues and need some serious help. If you are “coal rolled” try your best to get a description of the vehicle, tag number, and report it to the police. If enough people report this insanity to the authorities, hopefully, the perpetrators will slowly become extinct like the dinosaurs they love to burn.
Funnyman Stephen Colbert did a hilarious and revealing commentary on Coal Rolling here: http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/bfvmgh/coal-rolling
Another good article from Slate.com
From TYT University on Youtube:
If Coal Rollers continue to participate in toxic actions like this individual, they will quietly be weeded out of the gene pool by natural selection – and they should all win Darwin Awards for their ignorance.
UPDATE: The madness continues. On March 20th, 2018 I witnessed the following and wrote about it on my Facebook page:
“I am not a violent person in any way. I think of myself as a gentle human being, a rational, thinking person who does not see violence or aggression as a way to fix anything.
Today I witnessed an event that made me want to just grab the perpetrator and throttle them until they were a bloody pulp! What did I witness that enraged me past the tipping point?
Picture this. I was driving along in 25 mph traffic and see on the opposite side of the road a female bicyclist that appeared to be in her mid-20s peddling the opposite direction. Next, a large, raised, black pickup truck with huge tires and dark tinted windows pulls up alongside the cyclist, slows down, drops the truck into a lower gear and, as I watched, a massive cloud of sooty, black diesel smoke billows out of the truck’s grossly-oversized-obviously-compensating-for-something exhaust orifice covering the cyclist with a cloud of toxic diesel exhaust along with the garish noise of ten thousand flatulent Elephants!! The cyclist was coughing and waving her arm as she steered off of the road in obvious fear!!
It was clear that the action was 100% intentional and directed at the cyclist. It was also obvious that the small-minded, infantile, knuckle dragging, coward had modified his childish toy truck to emit toxic clouds of thick, black, smoke on demand in order to attack innocent pedestrians so they can get his jollies in whatever childish, demented way that harming other people and our shared environment provides him with.
The stupid toy truck and it’s cowardly inhabitants sped away as cowards always do and me, being logical and not reactionary, instead of chasing the slimy piece of maggot-ridden filth down and repeatedly stepping on his face – I promptly called the Highway Patrol and reported the incident. The officer stated that it was out of his jurisdiction however it could be considered some form of assault and should be called into 911 but in this case too much time had elapsed since the incident to do so. So f-ing frustrating!!!
This may be a free country but we are not free to commit crimes such as this that are designed to target and harm others or our shared environment. Nor are we free to tamper with the emission control systems on our vehicles for any reason and we are not free to commit these acts of stupidity that those that modify their vehicles to do so call “coal rolling” or “rolling coal”, – this is an absolute hateful premeditated attack on others and on the environment and it should not go unpunished!
If you see this happen to try to get all the details including the license number if possible and then call 911, the sheriff, police, etc.
Lastly, if you participate in this “coal rolling” madness you are a simply a complete and total dumbass!“
Just to highlight the ignorance of those who participate in the infantile act of “Coal Rolling” or “Rolling Coal” or whatever they call it – I offer up this recent comment by an angry coal rolling diesel smoke vomiting individual who did not like the reflection of themselves seen within the words of my article so I have calmly answered their insults in bold within their heated comment below:
“So the truck ended up NOT being illegally modified since in your words only a puff of smoke came out as he sped off..(while I have no facts to support any internal modifications of the truck – the outward appearance of the vehicle – giant tires, lift kit, grossly over-sized exhaust pipe exiting in a non-factory placement, audibly modified engine sounds suggesting internal modifications to said engine, and the driver’s actions of attempting to align his exhaust with my vehicle’s window – twice – strongly suggest otherwise. I believe his vehicle was modified to “roll coal” but that something malfunctioned at the moment he was attempting to perpetrate his dastardly deed upon my Nissan Leaf) and therefore he did absolutely nothing for you to be against him and that was still enough for you to sit down and take the time to write this snooze-fest of an insult?? (Yes, his actions – and yours – demanded my response. No response would make me part of the problem.) You do realize that in order to produce your Leaf they cause way more harm to the environment in getting the batteries then a diesel will cause in a lifetime of use. (This is an incorrect statement that is not supported by any real peer-reviewed facts. The actual facts can be found here: https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions and the update here: http://blog.ucsusa.org/dave-reichmuth/new-numbers-are-in-and-evs-are-cleaner-than-ever and I encourage you to read and learn.) Also, diesel trucks run at lower RPM’s throughout their lifespan causing them to last longer than any other vehicle on the road (While this may have been a fact in days past – days before mass-produced electric vehicles – it is not a fact any longer. Diesel, gasoline – any kind of internal combustion engine needs hundreds to thousands of perfectly meshing interconnected parts that must work together with perfect timing and equilibrium. If any one part becomes misaligned or malfunctions – the entire system fails. The more complexity – the more chances of failure and inefficiency. The electric power-train of an EV has very few moving parts, therefore, it is vastly more reliable, stable, and efficient than anything powered by an internal combustion engine. “Basically these things don’t break,” Tony Seba, a clean energy expert and the founder of RethinkX, a think tank that forecasts changes in the transportation industry. “They have 20 moving parts, as opposed to 2,000 in the internal combustion engine, and even those 20 are electromagnetic, which means they don’t touch and don’t break down and, therefore, are far cheaper to maintain.” ) Once your batteries inevitably can’t hold a charge anymore they will need to be replaced impacting the environment greater then any fossil fuel powered vehicle will in its entire lifetime. (This is yet another incorrect statement that is not supported by any real peer reviewed facts. Again, the actual facts can be found here: https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions and the update here: http://blog.ucsusa.org/dave-reichmuth/new-numbers-are-in-and-evs-are-cleaner-than-ever and in another of my blog posts where I look deeply into that very issue so I encourage you to read them and learn and become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.) Reading this god awful article has inspired me to flip a $5 switch which turns off my turbo and annihilate the next Nissan Leaf i see while I’m driving down the road, and I’ll laugh at how minuscule of an effect some unburnt, water-soluble soot (That un-burnt, water-soluble soot you speak of is highly toxic to life and has been proven to cause cancer in humans…I assume you are a human and you are therefore harming yourself and any friends, family, pets by your close association to your diesels exhaust.) has compared to a battery powered pos Nissan Leaf. I hope the next diesel you see does the same and you have to scrub that soot off with your liberal tears.” Your last childishly hateful statement supports all of my reasons for writing this blog posting and more. I truly feel sorry for you and hope that one day you will dig yourself out of the toxic waste, hate, and fear filled hole you have created for yourself. I hope you will find a way to – just for once – drop all your venomous hatred of anything outside your comfort zone and just go take a ride in a Tesla Model S, 3, or X or even a humble little Nissan Leaf or better yet something more your style – a Bollinger B1 or Tesla Semi (once they go into production) or even the 2020 Tesla Roadster. After you have taken a ride in an EV – any EV – I would hope you will be inspired to grow out of your childish love for the toxic toys of the past and once and for all detach yourself from the subscription to dependency that is feeding your solid attachment to the fossil fuel squirting teats of big oil and evolve into the future of transportation with the rest of us forward thinkers. But…if you are unable to remove yourself from big oils toxic teats…there will come a time very soon where you will find that the oil-soaked teats will dry up and your internal combustion powered whatever will be totally worthless – a stranded asset…an over-sized paperweight. The rest of the world will have gone EV and you will be stuck in the past with a worthless dinosaur that nobody wants. It will be valuable only to collectors, internal combustion engine museums, or for its scrap value. Its fuel will be grossly overpriced and overtaxed. You will be forced to pay carbon taxes and pollution taxes just to turn on its out-dated engine so you can get your juvenile jollies listening to it rumble and watching it pollute the air with its effluent. It will be very hard to find parts and when you do find them they will be very expensive. It will be very hard to find the precious fuel that makes it work because most of the mom and pop stations will be forced to stop selling liquid petroleum due to the skyrocketing costs and all the others will have switched to EV quick charging stations like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wkc7PUSyR0
I know these predictions sound way out there but they are supported by facts, trends and findings by many sources…some I have included below:
And then there is my take on why Max was mad and the end of gas.
Even Cummins Diesel is working on electric power-trains…
So my friends the times they are a-changin’ and you can either choose to adapt and evolve with the rest of us, or you can stay the same, stagnate, and go the way of the dinosaurs that power your outdated old fossil powered machines.
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