A letter about the Keystone XL protest

Principal author:
John L. Clark

Bill McKibben hosted a video chat this past Wednesday for those attending the upcoming Tar Sands Action, and in it he encouraged people to write letters to the editor to raise awareness about the protest. I composed the following letter and submitted a version of it to the Plain Dealer today. It was a little bit long, so I had to whittle it down to size, but I still prefer this slightly longer version.

I object to the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which is planned to deliver oil mined from destructive Canadian Alberta tar sands sites to the United States through Montana and other states. For over a week at the end of August, I will join with others at the Tar Sands Action to take our protest to the US capitol.

Why protest a pipeline? Transport networks like this pipeline are the blood vessels of our industrial system. The concentrated liquid fire in its veins, though, has never been necessary for human happiness. Quite the opposite, this carbon bomb will push the global warming thermostat further into the red and will move us ever further from a just and sustainable society.

Immoral choices—in this case the profligate consumption of all Earth's fossil fuels as quickly as possible—always end up hurting ourselves and the ones we love in the end, although they seem to offer comfort and salvation at the time. We are again faced with a moral choice about whether to continue this consumption, and we must take this opportunity to recognize our destructive course and say no to pursuing that path further.

The protest of this excess should cover the Earth, but until it does I will raise my voice and stand with others where they choose to gather. For now, that is at the Tar Sands Action in Washington, D.C. from August 20th through September 3rd. See <> for more information.

This page was first published on 2011-08-07 14:10:00-04:00.

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