Saying no to the pipeline sets the stage for a course correction on President Obama's "all of the above" energy policy, which is basically this: we can combat the social and ecological dimensions of climate change while still expanding offshore oil drilling, promoting fracking, continuing mountaintop removal, and becoming even bigger trade partners with Canada by importing their ecologically devastating oil. How such an energy policy can reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels and lighten this culture's burden on the world I do not know, but at the very least saying no to the pipeline is a serious symbolic commitment that activists can gather around to wean this country and the world of toxic and climate change-inducing fossil fuel energy.
Today, I am energized by the spirit of young climate change activists who came in buses and cars from all across the country and who zip-tied themselves to The White House fence and got arrested, with the intention of showing President Obama that the youth cares deeply about the causes and effects of climate change--physical, economic, social, political, ecological. I thus revive this blog from its hibernation by focusing my next several posts on the Keystone XL pipeline, both to educate myself and to provide you with information about the spectrum of issues that tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline affects.
My next posts will focus on:
- the science and engineering behind tar sands extraction, processing, and transport
- a brief foray into the social implications of tar sands
- the ecological impacts of tar sands, now and possible
- arrest, direct action, and the legal issues surrounding arrest for civil disobedience and dissent
- the climate change movement's relation to other social movements
- the State Department's environmental impact statement
For now, I leave you with photos I took today during the dissent.