Tag Archives: Keystone XL pipeline

Highlights of the Largest Climate Rally in History

The folks at 350.org have put together the story of the February 17 demonstration in photos, video clips, and tweets. It’s very inspiring. You can breeze through it, or take your time, watching the clips and listening to short selections from impassioned speakers like the Hip Hop Caucus’s Rev Yearwood, Chief Jackie Thomas (speaking for Canada’s indigenous groups that oppose the Keystone Pipeline), Van Jones from Rebuild the Dream, and the Sierra Club’s Michael Brune. Is this made using a program called Story–does anyone know? It’s very user-friendly, whatever was used.

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Arrests in Washington Signal Increasing Urgency on Keystone Pipeline by Chris Francis — YES! Magazine

In case you missed the news–I did–here’s a story about the 45 environmental and other leaders who were arrested last week, from Yes!

Arrests in Washington Signal Increasing Urgency on Keystone Pipeline by Chris Francis — YES! Magazine.

The Climate Movement Gets a Boost from 50,000 Protestors in D.C.

Feb17rally

That’s 350.org‘s estimate of how many people attended the Forward on Climate rally in DC on Feb. 17 . The Sierra Club, another core organizer, says there were at least 40,000. Either way, that’s a large number to brave the cold weather to demonstrate, and it’s a sign of how committed people are to stopping the Keystone Pipeline. A million more showed their support for the action online, and polls show that a majority of Americans are eager for real leadership on climate change. President Obama was the focus, because he will make the crucial decision on Keystone very soon, and many in Washington lofted signs reminding him that his legacy will be defined by his actions on the climate, beginning with this all-important decision. (See previous posts on why tar sands oil must be left in the ground and the pipeline must be stopped here and here.)

3 Groups Plan Presidents Day Action to Stop the Keystone Pipeline

The Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Hip-Hop Caucus have joined together to call for a huge action on Presidents Day weekend. The plan is to form a massive human pipeline in the streets. The goal: to stop President Obama from approving the Keystone pipeline that would bring dirty, hard to extract, unneeded oil from the tar sands of Alberta Canada, through the U.S. heartland, to Gulf refineries and ultimate export. That’s right–not only would it create only temporary jobs for US workers, as the builder admits, it won’t help the U.S. move toward energy independence. (For my May 2012 post explaining why the oil should be left in the ground, click here.)  As someone suggested, if Canada is so determined to extract the oil, why don’t they build the pipeline west toward their own refineries? The reason is that Canadians have stopped it; they don’t want the pollution and spills that will inevitably occur. So why should we allow it to pass through our country with no benefit to us?

Here’s the email from these three groups (I belong to the first two, and I’m going to join the Hip-Hop Caucus if they’ll have me). It includes a link where you can sign up to participate

The last time we stood up against Keystone XL, thousands of us surrounded the White House – and it worked. Right when every political and energy “expert” said the tar sands pipeline was a done deal, we beat the odds and convinced President Obama to take a year to study it.

Now that year is over, and Mother Nature has filed her public comments: the hottest year in American history, a horrible ongoing drought, and superstorm Sandy. And still Big Oil is pushing as hard as ever for their pet project, looking for even more private profit at public expense.

There is also good news: Together, we’ve proven time and time again that grassroots voices can speak louder than Big Oil’s dollars. So this Presidents Day, the Sierra Club, 350.org, and other environmental groups are working with our partners across the progressive community to organize the biggest climate demonstration yet.

Our goal for Presidents Day is to form a massive human pipeline through Washington, and then transform it into a giant symbol of the renewable energy future we need – and are ready to build, starting right away.

You can make this a Presidents Day that the president can’t ignore and won’t forget – sign up to join the rally, bring your friends, and stop the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline.

We’ll have more details soon about the rally and how you can make your voice heard, but for now, start making travel plans and circle Presidents Day weekend on your calendar. Together, we can show the president that the year’s delay didn’t lull us to sleep. Instead, we’re more fired up than ever, and determined to help him do the right thing.

See you in February,

Allison Chin, Sierra Club President
Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director
Bill McKibben, 350.org co-founder
May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip-Hop Caucus President
Liz Havstad, Director of Civic Engagement and Strategic Growth for the Hip- Hop Caucus

President Obama Should Earn the Peace Prize by Leading on Climate Change

Let’s not allow the momentum from cleaning up after  Superstorm Sandy to dissipate. Let’s use it as a catalyst to turn 350.org into a truly mass movement. One campaign could be to put pressure on President Obama to earn his Nobel Peace Prize by taking the lead on climate action. Solving the Israel-Palestine dispute isn’t enough—this is the planet he’d be saving. How can we convince the president to act now? What should be his first priority? Here’s what I think: For starters, he should:

Refuse to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Then, insist that  Congress end subsidies to fossil fuel corporations and put a price on carbon.

What do you think will prompt Obama to take action? More in upcoming posts about the movement that is building.

The chance on climate change that Obama’s re-election gives us

Bill McKibben tweeted the gist of what we have to do: “What if grassroots activists joined with green D.C. insiders, got the president to kill the Keystone pipeline, and made putting a price on carbon into a national priority?”

Read Bill’s post on Grist to see why he’s optimistic, and look for ways to get involved with 350.org or other group. You can also write to President Obama, call the White House, post the story to your networks, and emphasize the positive in Obama’s press conference this week. About half of the news accounts of what he said were positive and half negative on the chances for real leadership from the White House on climate change; we may have to make him a follower of us and our grass-roots action. Let’s be ready!

“Weighing the Prospects of the Keystone XL Pipeline” on NPR

You may have heard this story on Morning Edition Monday; if so, you heard the expert say Obama will probably approve the pipeline, but many activists are trying to make sure he doesn’t. The story is very conservative, giving the viewpoint primarily of the oil companies who want to extract the tar sands oil and ship it to Texas refineries; so much for NPR’s liberal bias. It doesn’t give the many good reasons this hard-to-extract oil must stay in the ground, nor note that the oil is destined for Asia, not for the U.S. And it won’t lower gas prices at the pump, either. For all these reasons to be opposed to the pipeline, go to the story at NPR’s website and read the comments at the bottom. There are dozens, nearly all opposed to building the pipeline, and giving the reasons. Neal Jones, an early poster, summed it up this way: “It doesn’t bring jobs, it doesn’t bring oil security, it will increase gas price, and is more polluting than the traditional ‘sweet’ crude from Nigeria, the North Sea and Permian Basin.”

You can also go to two of my posts from last summer on why the tar sands oil must stay in the ground. If you’re convinced, and I hope you are, please go to the 350.org site and take the pledge to stop the pipeline.