|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FEBRUARY 15, 2005
|CONTACT: Sierra Club
Brian P. O'Malley, 202-675-6279
Kyoto Protocol Comes Into Effect: Bush Administration Continues To Keep Its Head In The Sand About Global Warming
WASHINGTON -- February 15 -- Tomorrow, the Kyoto Protocol - the international global warming treaty - will come into full force, marking an important step forward in the protection of the global environment. In contrast to the actions of the world's industrialized nations and the warnings of the world's leading scientists, the Bush administration is ignoring the threat of global warming.
"Countries around the world are rolling up their sleeves to tackle global warming," said David Hamilton, Director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming and Energy Program. "But here in the United States, the emperor remains naked as a jaybird - denying and delaying as the scientific evidence piles up around him."
In 2001, the Bush administration pulled the United States out of the Kyoto Protocol, even though the United States accounts for over 25% of the world's global warming pollution. The same month, the Bush administration reversed campaign promises to cut global warming from power plants. In addition, the Bush administration has denied the seriousness of global warming and continually challenges the scientific consensus surrounding climate change.
"We call on the Bush Administration to quit the Flat Earth Society and get its head out of the sand on global warming," said Dan Becker, Washington Director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming Program.
"The Bush administration's failure to take action to curb global warming does not just affect us environmentally - it affects us economically as well," continued Hamilton. "The way for the United States to curb global warming pollution is to implement a more sensible energy policy that includes clean cars, clean energy, and energy efficient technologies."
The good news is that we have the solutions today to curb global warming emissions. Using existing gas-saving technologies, we can make our cars, pickup trucks and SUVs go farther on a gallon of gas. We can use energy efficient technology to cut the energy use of lighting, heating, cooling and other industrial processes. And we can replace dirty, coal-fired power plants - an enormous portion of our global warming pollution - with clean, renewable energy sources like wind, solar power and cleaner burning natural gas. In a recent report by Redefining Progress, a clean energy policy would not only help the environment, but create 1.4 million jobs and boost the GDP.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the world's leading body of climate scientists - has projected that global warming will result in sea level rise and increasingly severe weather within our children's lifetimes. The ten hottest years on record have all occurred within the last fourteen years. Since the last ice age, glaciers which have remained frozen and unchanged for millennia have begun to melt at alarming rates. And shifting climate patterns has caused tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever to appear in other climates, such as North America.