Trucks modified to spew exhaust, make political statement

Some large vehicle owners eager to make a political statement about all things green are pushing more smoke out of their engines.

David Weigel at Slate covers the rise of the protest movement. Diesel engines can be modified to force more fuel through the engine, which emits more black smoke. It is an old practice done for fun and aesthetics, but Weigel tracks how the practice came to represent a political statement and a meme: #rollingcoal.

“Rolling coal” is not new. It grew out of the modifications people would do on their vehicles for truck pulls. It’s just only recently entered the online culture wars. I’d seen the memes and a couple of the trucks. But I hadn’t seen the left reply until this month, when Vocativ ran an expose of “pollution porn for dudes with pickup trucks.” Progressives reacted with disbelief to Facebook communities like “Rollin’ COAL” and (naturally) “Prius Repellent,” and to the sheer number of Instagram and Tumblr entries that recorded this stuff.