As President Obama meets with G8 leaders in Italy to discuss global warming, a team of 11 Greenpeace climbers scaled Mount Rushmore today and unfurled a huge banner proclaiming “America honors leaders not politicians: Stop Global Warming”.
“This monument celebrates leaders who rose to the great challenges of our past. Global warming is the greatest crisis humankind has ever faced and it is the defining test of leadership for this generation. It’s an open question whether President Obama will pass that test.” – Carroll Muffett, Greenpeace Deputy Campaigns Director
After climbing the back of the monument, three activists rappelled down to hang the 2300 square foot banner across the face of one of America’s most famous landmarks, and out of respect, used the existing National Park Service anchors. [Watch the streaming video at USTREAM or follow the Twitter stream.]
“We’re at a moment in history where President Obama must show real leadership on global warming, not only for Congress and the American people, but for the world. Unfortunately, the steps taken to address the crisis so far have been grossly inadequate. While President Obama’s speeches on global warming have been inspiring, we’ve seen a growing gap between the president’s words and his actions.” – Muffett
This morning, another team of Greenpeace activists occupied coal plant smokestacks in Italy and hung banners attesting to the failure of global leadership to address the issue of global warming.
Greenpeace is calling on President Obama to:
• Strive to keep global temperatures as far below a 2 degrees Celsius increase as possible, compared to pre-industrial levels to avert catastrophic climate change
• Set a goal of peaking global emissions by 2015 and be as close to zero as possible by 2050, compared to 1990 levels
• Cut emissions in the U.S. by 25-40 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels
• Join and encourage other members of the G8 to establish a funding mechanism that provides $106 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries adapt to global warming impacts that are now unavoidable and halt tropical deforestation.
Greenpeace is also calling on President Obama to attend the Copenhagen conference personally to ensure a strong, science-based agreement is reached.
“Doing what it takes to solve global warming demands real political courage. If President Obama intends to earn a place among this country’s true leaders, he needs to show that courage, and base his actions on the scientific reality rather than political convenience.” – Muffett