Winter Olympic Action
Guard Fox Watch: 2002 Salt Lake City, USA
Help Stop The Greenwashing Of The Winter Olympics!

Call to Action:

Help Stop The Greenwashing  Of The Winter Olympics!

Make The 2002 Games In Salt Lake City Ecologically Sustainable!

The 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah represent a precedent-making opportunity to transform one of the most popular sports events on the planet into a model of environmental sensitivity and sustainability. Many of these competitions are outdoors and have direct impacts on natural surroundings. They have a worldwide following, and serve as a standard for other outdoor sports spectacles. The Winter Olympics should stand up to the responsibility and potential for creating beneficial ecological changes.

The last Winter Games in Nagano, Japan were not only notoriously destructive to the environment, they were also “greenwashed” for the media and general public. Plastic and paper waste supposedly gathered for recycling was actually burned in smog-producing local electricity generating plants. Five times the normal amount of snow- melting chemicals ran off roads into streams and rice fields. Thousands of vehicles turned snow banks black and filled the air with exhaust fumes. Trees were clear-cut for ski runs and native snow monkeys and birds were run off. Local water, sewage, electrical, and waste systems were overwhelmed.

Guard Fox Watch (GFW), a Japan-USA organization which monitored and reported on horrendous environmental conditions during the Nagano Games, visited Salt Lake City sites and prepared a list of ways to measure impacts in 2002. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) told the media “We’re planning to improve environmental conditions, not just keep them the same”, but refused to carry out the studies we recommended that could verify this claim.

We don’t want another Nagano “greenwashing”! We can still make SLOC environmentally responsible.

GFW prepared a thorough list of ecologically sustainable practices to carry out before, during and after the Winter Olympics that covers: NATIVE SPECIES HABITAT AND OTHER NATURAL FEATURES / WATER / SEWAGE / FOOD / WASTES / TRANSPORTATION / MATERIALS / EMPLOYMENT. Most of these were also dismissed as “not feasible” or addressed in only a minimal, foot-dragging way.

Put Guard Fox Watch’s safeguards and sustainable practices in place before the Winter Games begin. Join a widely diverse international group of endorsing environmental leaders including:

  • Arne Naess, Center for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway 
  • Betsy Lehrfeld, National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy, Washington DC, USA 
  • Gordon T L Ng, The Conservancy Association, Kowloon, China
  • Juan-Tomas Rehbock, Ecological Farmers Association, USA
  • Santiago Villanova, Una Sola Terra, Spain 
  • Kris Nelson, The Climate Trust, USA 
  • Giuseppe Moretti, Rete Bioregionale Italiana, Italy 
  • Lee Hudson, California Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, USA 
  • Josep Puig, Alternativa Verda, Spain


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