The genius Lily Tomlin once noted how hard it is to be funny these days, when satire can’t keep up with the number of people who miss it entirely and use it as a script rather than a warning.

A few days back, Grey posted this great short video:

Just one day later, a group that has done tremendous work in the past — a group I give to monthly and normally love, Redefining Progress — sent me the letter below (after the jump).

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It’s grim. Despite the throwaway “we don’t mean to encourage more shopping,” the site sure looks like it does.

Dear JMG,

Earlier this year, I wrote to let you know that I was spearheading a new venture for Redefining Progress that is aimed at mobilizing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in consumer spending to stop climate change. I’m pleased to announce that the new venture is named Cooler and we’ve launched a Web site ( that enables consumers to eliminate the global warming impact of the goods and services they purchase online.

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Here’s how it works. Cooler has partnered with hundreds of the Internet’s most popular stores to provide a shopping portal that offers millions of products and services. We’ve calculated the global warming impact of these products and services, and when someone starts their online shopping through Cooler, the store returns a percentage of your purchase price which we invest in renewable energy or pollution prevention projects that eliminate the global warming impact of the purchase. The calculations as well as the projects we invest in follow strict guidelines set by a group we formed of the world’s best known environmental groups (Environmental Defense, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and others).

When you shop at Cooler, we track the impact that you and your friends are having in the fight against global warming. Best of all, it’s free to join, the prices are the same low prices offered by the stores themselves, and it makes a big difference.

Our goal is not to encourage more shopping; it’s to help consumers make smarter choices when they shop for products and services every day. And in the spirit of finding solutions that ensure a sustainable and equitable world, I want to personally invite you to become a Cooler member, shop through the site, and invite your friends and family to do so as well.

Join Cooler, start shopping, and invite your friends at

Together, we all can make a big difference!


President, Redefining Progress
CEO, Cooler