"We are at a key moment in history when we must challenge our president to take real leadership. The steps taken so far have been frankly inadequate. If President Obama wants to take his place among the great leaders of history, he must take aggressive measures to combat climate change and prioritize a strong deal in Copenhagen," said Carroll Muffet, Deputy Campaign Director for Greenpeace. "We're here at Mount Rushmore to inspire Americans to take action, and remind the world that heroism and leadership are part of our nation's history - and must be a part of our future."
Global warming is an environmental crisis the likes of which
we've never faced before. Given the powerful forces who are
actively working to delay action, addressing it adequately will
require bold leadership, not political dealing. This banner hang on
Mount Rushmore was intended to press President Obama to be a leader
in establishing science-based global warming policy not just here
in the U.S., but also internationally at the UN climate change
discussions to be held in Copenhagen this December.
The science is clear
Climate scientists have clearly stated that we need to reduce
our emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80-95% by
2050. If we do less than that, we risk crossing a tipping point
that will bring about the worst impacts of global warming -
devastating floods, droughts, wildfires, and storms.
Unfortunately, the House of Representatives recently passed a
climate bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES),
that sets targets far below those mandated by science - largely
because the fossil fuels industries were allowed a huge amount of
influence in revising the legislation. The bill is so weak that it
may actually spur a new generation of dirty coal and dangerous
The excuse we're given is that this legislation is all that is
politically feasible. But the climate doesn't care about what's
politically feasible. If we don't take action in line with the
science, we face catastrophic climate change.
In President Obama's inaugural address, he vowed to "restore
science to its rightful place." ACES, which will soon be voted on
in the Senate, falls woefully short of that mark. Sign our petition now and call on President
Obama to honor his commitment to restoring science by being a true
leader, not a politician.
Experienced Greenpeace climbers use caution, respect national
The climbers completed a challenging ascent up the back of Mount
Rushmore, then rapelled down its face and hung the banner, which
measures sixty-five feet high by thirty-five feet wide. Additonal
activists peacefully blocked access to the site while the banner
was being deployed.
Greenpeace climbers took special care not to damage the monument
during the climb, using existing anchors set by the park service
for periodic cleanings of the rock. The activists are highly
trained in rock and industrial climbing, and the group also
includes some activists who are trained EMTs and Wilderness First
Responders, to insure the safety of all involved.
Greenpeace is calling on President Obama to use every tool at
his disposal, both within and outside Congress, to strengthen U.S.
climate policy with scientific integrity, and to take that policy
to Copenhagen in December as evidence that the U.S. will do what it
takes to solve the climate crisis.