Magazine article The American Prospect

Warming Warriors Adapt Plans. (Networks)

Magazine article The American Prospect

Warming Warriors Adapt Plans. (Networks)

Article excerpt

PRESIDENT BUSH'S DISMAL environmental record and the White House's hard-line stance against the Kyoto Protocol have sent American environmental groups scrambling for new ways to approach the issue of climate change. The United States is the world's foremost global warmer, annually emitting about one-quarter of all greenhouse gases. Although Bush has admitted that fossil-fuel consumption might be speeding climate change, his administration's close ties to the oil industry overwhelm its ability to be resolute.

Unwilling to shift into neutral while Big Oil calls the shots, Greenpeace, the leading activist group working on the problem, has kicked its efforts into high gear. It sent letters to state and federal candidates in Florida, urging them to adopt a global-warming platform and encouraging them to develop a greenhouse-gas action plan, as well as to pass a renewable energy bill. California Gov. Gray Davis recently signed a bill that sets strict standards on auto emissions, and New York state is gearing up to release a global-warming-reduction program next month. Greenpeace hopes that the feds will eventually be shamed into addressing the issue--a long-shot strategy, for sure, but one worth pursuing given the political paralysis inside the Beltway.

Other groups are targeting consumers. The Sierra Club has launched a market campaign aimed at clamping down on sport utility vehicle sales. The New York Times has reported that the Ford Motor Company will be phasing out production of its biggest gas-guzzler, the Excursion--which gets a mere 10 miles to the gallon--by 2004. …

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