Rolling Coal: From Anti-Environmentalists in the U.S. to the ISIS in the Middle East
If you missed the media frenzy earlier this summer, “rolling coal" is the term for a rising trend among anti-environmentalist conservatives in the U.S. who alter their truck engines to emit massive black clouds of exhaust, often from smoke stack-like attachments. Owners of coal rolling trucks, who often hail from regions historically associating with coal production, see the trend as a very direct statement against sustainability—and its stereotypically liberal ties. A seller of smoke stack kits for trucks describes rolling coal as a “a way of giving them [liberals] the finger. You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.” Now, in a bizarre cultural crossover, Vice News has captured members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, “rolling coal” in a military tank. The group, intending to place Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of a restored caliphate, began making shockingly rapid advances across Iraq and Syria in June. Armed with cash and US weapons seized during its advances in Iraq, and exploiting control over critical water and energy supplies, the ISIS continues to exercise a stranglehold over the region.