The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) is "greenwashing"
the 2002 Winter Olympics. Even though assigned the task of providing the
first environmentally sound Winter Games by the International Olympic
Committee (IOC), SLOC makes claims that it refuses to substantiate and
fails to take the necessary steps that can insure a satisfactory level of
The IOC adopted a set of environmental goals that were only optional
and went mostly unheeded at the time of the Winter Olympics in Nagano,
Japan. They are now mandatory and were agreed upon by SLOC organizers.
(See Attachments, Document
1.) In addition to protection of the
environment and education concerning environmental responsibilities, they
include highlighting the importance of sustainable development,
environmental impact assessments and pilot projects that apply
environmentally friendly technology.
The Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) of SLOC stated goals that
require substantiation. (See Attachments, Document
2.) In an interview
with the Salt Lake Tribune, 04/04/2000, SLOC director of environmental
programs Diane L. Conrad stated, "We're planning to improve
environmental conditions, not just keep them the same."
Guard Fox Watch, a USA-Japan citizen's group begun before the Nagano
Olympics, understood the seriousness of the problem and designated areas
for obtaining baselines for measuring environmental impacts. (See
3) They include water pollution, energy use, waste
management, and other appropriate subjects. Without this information, SLOC
is unable to substantiate their claims to reduce impacts or "improve
environmental conditions." Measurements must begin in January or
February of 2001 to provide a meaningful annual comparison for the start
of the Games a year later, in 2002.
EAC refused to undertake the essential fact-finding activities
recommended by Guard Fox Watch that would have enabled monitoring
environmental impacts. Although EAC's authority and staffing are necessary
to establish the authenticity of data collected, it avoided responsibility
for backing up its claims and instead indicated that some other group
undertake this effort. (See Attachments, Document
Guard Fox Watch recognized that there was also a problem of guiding
activities and practices in preparing for the Games to reduce
environmental impacts and to provide a model for future Winter Olympics.
Toward those ends it prepared a set of guidelines and submitted it for EAC
adoption. (See Attachments, Document
5.) The guidelines address native
species habitat and other natural features, transportation, food, sewage,
and other areas of environmental concern.
EAC again dodged the spirit and intent of the IOC's new environmental
standards by failing to undertake any new actions based on Guard Fox
Watch's recommendations. (See Attachments, Document