American Heroes Protest Tar Sands Pipeline
Over the next two weeks, from August 20- September 3, heroes from all over America will be taking part in acts of civil disobedience in front of the White House to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline . The proposed pipeline would run 1500 miles from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, allowing the Canadian government to connect the tar sands oil project to the United States and foreign markets. Plans are also in the works for the pipeline to crisscross America’s farmlands from coast to coast.
The Alberta tar sands project, visible from outer space, has led to the destruction of an area the size of Florida or the country of England. Most of this area is the Canadian boreal forest, one of the last remaining pristine forest on the earth.
- The Alberta tar sands project uses more water per day than a city of two million people. It uses 3 barrels of water to extract one barrel of oil.
- It produces 36 million tons of carbon dioxide per day.
- It emits more greenhouse gases per day than 1.3 million cars.
- The Alberta tar sands leaks eleven million liters of toxic waste into ground water every day. The pipeline will traverse the Ogallala aquifer which is the source of drinking water for 2 million Americans.
- NASA’s top climatologist James Hansen says that if we continue to on the road of developing and burning the tar sands oil that it is “essentially game over” for the climate. We will push the earth’s climate system past a tipping point.
So, why would President Obama consider signing off on such a project? Well, its also the largest capital investment project and biggest energy project on the planet today. Oil companies have invested 120 billion dollars in tar sands development. Climate scientist, Jason Box stated “If Obama authorizes this pipeline, it will prove that the power of oil is greater than the power of reason.”
The tar sands pipeline is a form of collective suicide. Suicide because burning all the dirty coal and fossil fuel will send our climate past the point of no return- that’s a planet not inhabitable for civilization. That’s why NASA’s James Hansen calls it “game over”. Collective because in this game, not paying attention or inaction is the same as agreeing to the end game.
If you can’t be part of the civil disobedience in Washington, please take action by signing the petition at:
“After the ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I’ve come to the conclusion that if we burn all the reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate that runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe, the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.” James Hansen in Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity-page 236.
- It Begins. Dozens Arrested at White House on Day 1 of Tar Sands Action (treehugger.com)
- 3 Reasons Why the Tar Sands Pipeline Has to Be Stopped (alternet.org)
- Massive protest at White House against Alberta tar sands pipeline (guardian.co.uk)