Crop circle boosts climate protection in USA

y coal made to show its true face in the Netherlands

Feature story - 5 October, 2007
Greenpeace USA's "Project Hot Seat" campaign aims to get a pro-climate protection majority in the US Congress. Greenpeace activists and grassroots groups are urging Congressmen and women across America, to sign up to the Safe Climate Act.

Wind turbine crop circle.

The Act is a scientifically based solution that would by 2050; reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared to 1990 levels. This is urgently needed to stop climate change spiralling out of control.

The reductions may seem like a big ask, but luckily we have the solution - investment in renewable energy technologies, and massive improvements in the ways we use energy, make the goals entirely plausible.

Crop circle boosts campaign

The campaign had a great boost this week, when Congressman Dave Loebsack in Iowa changed his mind and agreed to sign up to the Act. He had previously told Greenpeace that though he was concerned about global warming, he would be unable to commit to the Safe Climate Act.

So Greenpeace and local grassroots groups created a very clear message, a crop circle of a wind turbine in an Iowan cornfield. The demand was simple "Congress: deliver renewable energy solutions to climate change."

And it worked, Loebsack signed the very next day.

Greenpeace is calling on Iowa to have at least 20 per cent of its energy come from renewable technologies by 2020. This alone would create 5,080 jobs, one and half times more than generating electricity from fossil fuels does. Consumers would save a massive $400 million (US) in lower electricity and natural gas bills, and the greenhouse gas emission reductions would equal a massive 71 million cars off the road.  Hopefully, Loebsack colleague, Representative LeonardBoswell, will soon follow suit.

As Kelly Mitchell from Greenpeace USA put it "the solutions to global warming are right here in the fields of Iowa."

Dutch court rules that term "clean coal" is misleading

Meanwhile, Greenpeace Netherlands had a court victory this week, when the Dutch Advertising Authority (ACA) ruled that use of terms such as "clean coal" and "clean fuel" by Dutch energy giant NUON are "misleading."

NUON must now stop using "clean coal" in its print and web adverts. The ruling shows that "clean coal" is a contradiction in terms and that aggressive marketing of it is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the coal industry to make itself relevant in the face of climate change.

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