Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Scoop Images: Lady Liberty Blows Her Top

Smoking Statue Of Liberty In Front Of The US Embassy In Copenhagen

© Kristensen/Greenpeace

Shortly before noon local time Greenpeace activists drove up in front of the embassy, erected the statue and got the smoke going. After 20 minutes we had to leave in order not to get arrested.

We also handed the Ambassador a letter from Danish 92 group and Jens Galschiøt (see below) and a report from Greenpeace International on the destructive role of the US (+ Canada and Australia) with regard to issues of sustainable development since Rio 1992.



In addition to this we also handed him a handwritten postcard (with a picture of statue) holiday greeting addressed to George W Bush with this short satirical text:

© Kjaer/MS

Dear George,

We hope that you are enjoying your holiday at the ranch while the rest of the world is meeting in Johannesburg, trying to save the Planet.

The Danish '92 Group


© Kristensen/Greenpeace,



Ambassador Stuart Bernstein
Embassy of the United States of America
Dag Hammarskjölds Allé 24
2100 København Ø.
Copenhagen, August 29th, 2002

Your Excellency,

The environment and development NGOs working for sustainable development through the Danish '92 Group are extremely worried about the position of the USA in connection with the on-going World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The state of the environment in the world calls for immediate action from both governments, business and civil society. Most of all we need the richest, most powerful and most polluting country of all, the USA, to take leadership and show responsibility.

By not prioritizing the WSSD, President George W. Bush is effectively saying to the world that the United States is not prepared to seriously engage in solving the global environmental crisis. This after the USA has weakened every multilateral environmental agreement possible. An overview of the destructive role of the USA since the Rio Summit in 1992 can be found in the enclosed briefing from Greenpeace International.

Coinciding with the official opening of the World Summit of Sustainable Development in Johannesburg last Monday, artist Jens Galschiøt and the 92 Group erected a 28 foot replica of the Statue of Liberty with smoke coming out of her torch on Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen.

The artist behind the happening said in a press statement that: "The smoking statue symbolizes the selfish 'Freedom To Pollute' attitude that the rich countries, with the USA in the lead, are looking to manifest at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. 'The American way of life is not up for negotiation' - not even when life itself for people and other species is at stake. This is the core of the American contribution to global sustainable development. USA has worked hard to weaken the plan of action throughout the preparatory process of the Summit and is now showing its final contempt for the international community by not sending its highest representative to the negotiations. This is not good enough. This is not sustainable."

Today Greenpeace activists take the smoking statue for a tour past your embassy on behalf of Jens Galschiøt and the Danish 92 Group, and we hope that it will inspire your government to rethinking its role in fostering sustainable development in the world. The statue will visit other places during the WSSD.

We also kindly ask you to send on the enclosed holiday greeting postcard to President Bush.

Yours sincerely
Berit Asmussen og Dan Hindsgaul
(On behalf of Jens Galschiøt and the 92 Group)

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Nuclear White Elephants: Australia’s New Submarine Deal

It does not get any messier or more chaotic than this. Since 2009, when Australia’s Future Submarine Program (FSP) known as Project SEA 1000, began to take shape, strategists and policy makers have been keen to pursue the next big White Elephant of defence spending. And few areas of an already wasteful area of public expenditure are more costly – often mindlessly so – than submarines... More>>

Digitl: Facebook Vileness Of The Week
Another week, another example of Facebook not taking responsibility. At the Wall Street Journal Jeff Horwitz writes Facebook Says Its Rules Apply to All. Company Documents Reveal a Secret Elite That’s Exempt. His second deck reads: A program known as XCheck has given millions of celebrities, politicians and other high-profile users special treatment, a privilege many abuse... More>>

John Stanton: Elon Musk’s Spacefaring Civilization is a Pipe Dream

Elon Musk surely must recognize that for the human species to become a spacefaring civilization it is going to take the world’s nations to work as one on the task. The amount of cash required is astronomical, only a little less skyward than the materials, engineering and technological resources required to get humans to live on the moon and set foot on Mars... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Proud to call Aotearoa home

Te Paati Māori continues to provide a breath of fresh air in the political space, otherwise thoroughly choked by Covid19. Its call this week this week for a referendum on changing the country’s name to Aotearoa by 2026 is timely and a welcome diversion to the necessarily short-term focus engendered by Covid19... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Blinken Says No To Greenland Real Estate

In May, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a visit to Greenland. In a rather unedifying way, he was called ‘Tony’ by his hosts, a disarming point that was bound to open the floodgates of insincerity... More>>

The Conversation: New Zealand's wet regions wetter, and dry ones drier

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has delivered a sobering update on how much the Earth has warmed and how the climate system is responding. The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) is the most comprehensive yet. It shows Earth is now 1.09 warmer than it was in the 1850s... More>>