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Greenpeace activists climb a 700-ft coal plant smokestack to denounce Bush's dirty power plan. The Hatfield's Ferry Power Station is a symbol and an example of the Bush administration's dirty energy policy that favors polluting fossil fuels over clean energy sources.

United States

The saying, "If you not part of the solution, you're part of the problem", is a massive understatement when it comes to the Bush administration and climate change. With less than 5 percent of the world's population, the US is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases and is responsible for nearly 25 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

And yet, the Bush administration has withdrawn from the onlyinternationally binding measure to tackle climate change - the KyotoProtocol.  Instead, the policy of the Bush administration, and itslegislative allies, is business as usual but only more so. They aregiving millions of dollars in subsidies to the oil, gas and coalindustries; making no credible effort to support renewable energy; andare opening the Arctic National Wildlife refuge for drilling. On theinternational scene, the Bush administration has made extraordinaryefforts to impede progress in tackling climate change. Again and again,at international meetings Greenpeace delegates have watched the Bushteam try to obstruct and weaken international efforts to reduce globalemissions, just as it has tried to wreck so many other internationalnegotiations over the past 15 years.

Not living up to its promise

Ironically,the US could easily be a world leader in addressing climatechange.  Along with energy efficiency, the US has made significantcontributions to wind and solar technology development, and despitelack of support from the Bush administration both industries showstrong domestic growth.  US scientists have also played animportant role in climate change research.  For example, in whatis being called the "smoking gun" of global warming, a decade long NASAled research project has confirmed that our planet is absorbing moreenergy from the sun than is emitted back into space - indicating an"energy imbalance" and a warming world.

Taking a leadership role in climate change would also benefit the US in many ways.  For example:

  • More skilled jobs - Renewable energy creates more jobs per kilowatt than fossil fuels or nuclear.
  • Smaller US trade deficit - Solar and wind power hardware will likely find lucrative export markets.
  • Greater energy security - Less reliance on foreign oil.
  • Foster international good will - By joining the rest of the world in tackling climate change.

Instead,the Bush administration continues to ignore its own scientists, and actas if climate change isn't happening.  Bush's energy policieswould seem divorced from reality if it weren't for the cold hard cashBush and his political allies get from the fossil fuel and nuclearindustries as campaign contributions.  It seems these politicalcontributions, and Bush's own past with the oil industry, handilyoutweigh scientific evidence and world opinion when it comes to hisadministration's energy policy.  

Greenpeace will continueto pressure the US government to take action on climate change. It is also working to persuade US states, cities, the businesscommunity and individuals not to wait for the government, but to moveahead on their own by implementing energy efficiency technologies andbuying renewable energy.  See the Greenpeace USA actions page for how you can help.


More information:

US withdraws from Kyoto Protocol

Stage is set to drill in Arctic refuge

Bush energy scams

Energy scams continued...

Greenpeace USA

Big oil protects its interests - Center for Public Integrity

US Government 'out on a limb over climate change science' - Royal Society news

Who's to blame ten years after Rio? (pdf)

The latest updates

 

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The Scottish Court of Session has denied Cairn Energy (the wildcat oil firm that spent over US $1 billion failing to find oil off the coast of Greenland) a permanent injunction against Greenpeace International following a peaceful...

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When it comes to political action on climate change, it’s the richest nations in the North that demand developing nations also act, which seems fair at first glance. But it’s the rich nations of the North that reaped the benefits of...

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