By Ryan Maue.
Bill McKibben’s Call to Action: “I want to tell you about an upcoming action — it looks set to turn into the biggest civil disobedience protest in the history of the North American climate movement. It will take place at the White House from August 20-Sept. 3, and we need your help spreading the word. But I want to explain the reasoning behind it in some detail, because for me it helps illustrate how some of the debate about Obama is unproductive.”
President Obama has recently been criticized by former VP Al Gore in his rambling Rolling Stone article. But apparently that’s been “unproductive” and some damage control is in order. McKibben has the perfect solution in order to lobby the President to kill the Keystone Pipeline: “We asked people who had Obama buttons in their closets to bring them and wear them — many of us still remember the shivers that ran down our spines when he said, on the eve of his nomination, that with his election “the rise of the oceans would begin to slow and the planet begin to heal.”
The opposition to the Keystone Pipeline is not terribly difficult to figure out. But McKibben deftly summarizes the ultimate stakes that liberal environmentalists face:
But there’s a bigger problem here too. Those Alberta tar sands are the biggest carbon bomb on the continent — indeed, on the whole planet, only Saudi Arabia’s oil deposits are bigger…if you could burn all that oil at once, you’d add 200 parts per million co2 to the atmosphere, and send the planet’s temperature skyrocketing upwards. Any serious exploitation of the tar sands, says Hansen, means it’s “essentially game over” for the climate. So, high stakes. And don’t think that the Canadians will automatically find some other route to send their oil out to, say, China. Native tribes are doing a great job of blocking a proposed pipe to the Pacific; Alberta’s energy minister said recently that he stays up nights worrying that without Keystone his province will be ‘landlocked in bitumen.’ Without the pipeline, said the business pages of Canada’s biggest paper, Alberta oil faces a ‘choke point.’
So, the Call to Action is summarized on a website, where you can go to sign up to join the effort: Tar Sands Action
Get your best business attire, your Obama buttons, and get ready to join Danny Glover, Naomi Klein, and NASA scientist James Hansen at the White House, and help Obama “get his environmental mojo back!”
From a political point of view, with gas prices soaring and the President in complete reelection/campaign mode, blocking the pipeline would be a huge political gift to any GOP nominee.