Hoax ‘Peabody Initiative’ Offers Free Inhalers For Asthmatic Kids, Courtesy of Coal Company

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Image via CoalCares.org

It was really just too good to be true.

The website Coal Cares claims to be an initiative of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, offering coal-themed kids’ puzzles and free jazzy inhalers to children who lived within 200 miles of a coal plant and suffered from asthma. (Our favorites are The Bieber, which is an inhaler adorned with Justin Bieber’s face and the one that can be customized with personal engravings.)

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This site was, obviously, just too hysterically misguided to be legitimate. Peabody released a statement that threw some light on the site: “Earlier today, an activist group released a ‘spoof’ website claiming to be sponsored by Peabody Energy. The site is in fact a hoax, making inaccurate claims about Peabody and coal.”

Early predictions guess that the prankster group The Yes Men are behind the site, which actually trumpets the positives of coal energy while pointing out the dangers of solar and wind energy (sunburns and unnecessary bird deaths, respectively).

While Peabody isn’t quite as tone deaf as Coal Cares would suggest, it’s amazing how the site makes you believe, even if only for a moment, that they really could be that ridiculous. (via Fast Company and Steve Silberman)

MORE: A blow to coal in the Southeast

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