Viridian Note 00078: Greening Earth Society

Key concepts: Greening Earth Society, the coal-burning net, American politics, Kyoto Accords, unprecedented Russian wildfires

Attention Conservation Notice: It's anti-Kyoto propaganda from one of the oldest and best-organized pro-carbon lobbies.

(((The self-titled "Greening Earth Society" is an "astroturf" corporate pseudo-grass-roots organization. "Greening Earth Society" has stolen the clothes of political Greens by adopting a name, slogans, and graphic design strongly reminiscent of the Sierra Club. A typical Greening Earth Society propaganda emanation is its 1992 video "The Greening of Planet Earth: The Effects of Carbon Dioxide on the Biosphere," which features the lobby's cute little pinecone logo and a sweet misty green natural landscape package. When you learn that the Greening Earth lobby is financed by the notorious Western Fuels Association (coal miners by trade), you'll be unsurprised to learn that the "Effects of Carbon Dioxide on the Biosphere" are *hugely positive!*

In a more recent rhetorical move, the Greening Earth Society has joyfully testified in Congress that the spread of the Internet means *ever-growing coal use forever.* The refreshing note here is that the Greening Earth Society clearly feels neglected by US lawmakers, thinks Kyoto is "seductive," and seems to live in deadly fear of Al Gore.)))


>From "Chris Paynter" <>
Subject: PALMER TAKES INTERNET MESSAGE TO CAPITOL HILL Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 16:11:47 -0400

"(Arlington, VA == July 15, 1999) At the invitation of Chairman David McIntosh (R-IN), Greening Earth Society president Fred Palmer took his 'The Internet Begins With Coal' message to Capitol Hill in testimony today to the House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs.

"Using a recent U.S. Department of Commerce report about the emerging digital economy as a notable example, Palmer told the subcommittee, 'Nowhere in the Commerce report == in fact nowhere to the best of my knowledge == is anyone considering the burgeoning electricity appetite of telecommunications and information technology.' Sharing a panel with Environmental Defense Fund executive director Fred Krupp, Palmer charged that proponents of 'early action credits' to be used in building pressure for eventual ratification of the Kyoto Protocol would shortly find their seductive proposal can't be done, won't work, won't matter and be a fruitless impediment to the Information Age.

"'Neither early nor later action can achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals set forth by global warming advocates,' he says. 'Starting early buys nothing except an early departure down a dead-end road.' With fossil fuels supplying 85% of the energy used in the U.S. and their use unavoidably resulting in emission of carbon dioxide into earth's atmosphere, reductions in fossil fuels only can have one important effect: depressing the U.S. economy, contends Palmer.

"Citing a recent study commissioned by Greening Earth Society, he told the subcommittee that preliminary estimates reveal that the electricity appetite of equipment related to Internet use are responsible for 8% of U.S. electricity consumption and probably account for one-third to one-half of all growth in electricity demand over the last decade.

"The story contained in *The Internet Begins With Coal: A Preliminary Exploration of the Impact of the Internet on Electricity Consumption* is lost in the rhetoric of the power of 'bits' to transform industries. And, sad to say, it's lost on Vice President Gore and Secretary of Commerce Daley,' admits Palmer.

"Capping, rationing, limiting, taxing or prohibiting carbon dioxide emissions not only attacks the longest peacetime economic expansion in history, says Palmer, it raises other important considerations. 'To wire the world, we will have to electrify the world. Is connectivity to be rationed? How could we possibly avoid increasing the gap between those who are online today and those who are not?' he asks. 'Renewable, non-carbon-based electricity generating technologies have their place, but they can never provide sufficient electric density to power the 24- by-7 uninterruptible power source e-commerce and high-tech Information Age devices require.'"

Link to testimony:

Chris Paynter
Executive Assistant to the President
Greening Earth Society
4301 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 805
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1867
Phone: 703-907-6168 or 800-529-4503
Fax: 703-907-6161

(((Meanwhile, in climate news from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's coal-powered Internet news service:)))

"RUSSIA AFLAME. On 16 July, Russia broke the record for the number of forest fires occurring on a single day, 'Kommersant-Daily' reported on 17 July. On that day, 763 new fires were registered == typically about 100-130 occur within 24 hours. According to the daily, from the beginning of the so-called fire season to the middle of July 20,000 fires were recorded, causing an estimated 2 billion rubles ($82 million) worth of damage. During the same period last year, which was considered a particularly bad year for forest fires, 14,500 fires had occurred. The regions hardest hit are in the Far East and Northwest. So far, the fires have barely affected residential dwellings, but some neighborhoods in cities such as St. Petersburg and Moscow have been wrapped in a thick smog caused by smoke from nearby fires. On 13 July, Krasnoyarsk Krai Governor Aleksandr Lebed declared a state of emergency because of the rapid spread of fires in his region."