Keystone Pipeline and Canadian Tar Sands: A Call to Action

A month from now, activists from all over the country will be witnessing in Washington, DC against the planned Keystone pipeline project to bring tar sands oil down from Alberta to Texas. Last month Wendell Berry, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and others published a poignant “open letter” concerning the implications of this project for climate change (read it at http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/23). One quote bottom-lines the rationale behind its urgent call to action:
As the climatologist Jim Hansen (one of the signatories to this letter) explained, if we have any chance of getting back to a stable climate “the principal requirement is that coal emissions must be phased out by 2030 and unconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sands, must be left in the ground.” In other words, he added, “if the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over.”
Here at BCM we’ve been following the tar sands debacle pretty closely for the last few years, partly because of our Canadian connections. We agree with those who are calling it “the most destructive project on Earth”; for other brief overviews of the issue go to:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/tar-sands-most-destructive-project.php);
http://www.tarsandswatch.org;
http://www.kairoscanada.org/en/sustainability/climate-justice/tarsandsresponse/, which includes video of a 2009 flyover of the site (the Canadian Kairos folk are good friends; and
• Bill McKibben’s piece on the Sojourners’ blog: http://blog.sojo.net/2011/07/01/the-keystone-xl-pipeline-game-over-for-t…
In a word, we concur with the Open Letter’s analysis, and are supporting this campaign of civil disobedience in front of the White House beginning Aug 20th through September 3rd. We’re working with a small group of Yale Div. School students who are committed to this campaign, and some of our friends at Jonah House and Dorothy Day Catholic Worker—who have unparalleled experience with direct action in and around DC—are helping with some training.
We are hoping that some of you (particularly on the east coast) might join this campaign. The sign up is at http://www.tarsandsaction.org/. We’d be very grateful if you could give this some consideration.