Kerry, Bush Defer to Lobbies on Global Warming, Fossil Fuels.
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
Monday, October 25, 2004
GREENS CALL KERRY'S GLOBAL WARMING, ENERGY POLICIES INADEQUATE
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green candidates and leaders called Democratic candidate John Kerry's positions on global warming and energy severely inadequate.
Greens have called for decisive steps to reduce the U.S.'s addiction to fossil fuels and to curb catastrophic global climate change, noting scientists' warnings of likely coastal flooding, damage to agriculture, mass extinctions, and increased disease. Russia's announcement that it will sign on to the Kyoto agreement, recent statements from Mr. Kerry, and scientists' warnings of a more abrupt climate shift have placed global warming back in the headlines.
"The Bush Administration has been a disaster for the environment, with abandonment of the Kyoto accords, general disregard for warnings from scientists about global warming and accelerated extinction rates, gutting of the Clean Air Act, and energy policies drafted in secret with the help of oil lobbies," said David Cobb, Green candidate for President of the United States. "Although Mr. Kerry's position on global warming favors developing alternative energy sources, it doesn't go nearly far enough. Having accepted millions of dollars from the same corporate lobbies that also donate to Bush, Kerry is also bound to do their bidding."
"The resulting crisis will lead to the breakdown of civil society and global wars over rapidly dwindling resources in the coming decades if we don't act immediately," said David McReynolds, New York Green candidate for the U.S. Senate. "We've done little to address spiraling energy consumption in the U.S., even while talking about the threat of climate change. We need to lead the world in reducing consumption, but instead we're a model for people in nations like India and China who envy our living standards."
Greens contrasted Mr. Kerry's with the Green Party's positions on global warming:
Kerry: Supports international negotiation, but opposes U.S. signing on to the Kyoto agreement. Kerry voted in 1997 for a Senate resolution urging the U.S. not to sign a climate change treaty unless developing nations were also held accountable for emissions. The resolution passed with a 95-0 vote.
Greens: The U.S. must sign on to the Kyoto agreement and work with other nations to strengthen and update its protocols. But the U.S. -- the highest consumer of the world's energy resources -- must implement measures immediately at home to reduce CO2 emission levels drastically, and not wait for other nations to act.
Kerry: Stresses independence from Middle Eastern oil sources, in order to address immediate security threats and concerns about gas prices. Like President Bush, Mr. Kerry supports 'clean coal'; supports increased oil drilling in pristine public lands in Alaska (though not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and construction of new pipelines through Canada to the U.S.; supports increased drilling throughout North America.
Greens: Stress rapid conversion to independence from all fossil fuels, citing recent warnings from scientists that sharp increases of carbon levels in the atmosphere during the past two years might accelerate global warming. Greens agree with the overwhelming majority of scientists, who assert that the original Kyoto goal of a reduction of 5% to 1991 levels is severely inadequate and urge a 70% reduction. Greens oppose reliance on 'clean coal', which instead of creating air pollution will generate toxic ash.
Kerry: Supports nuclear energy; favors massive subsidies to nuclear, oil, and coal corporations. Among Mr. Kerry's top contributors are major investment firms and other corporations with a possible interest in nuclear and fossil fuel industries <http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/...>.
Greens: Oppose nuclear energy, calling it a security and environmental risk, noting the special dangers of slowly degrading nuclear waste; oppose subsidies for nuclear and fossil fuel corporations. The Green Party and its candidates accept no corporate contributions.