Wednesday :: Aug 31, 2011

President Obama: Stop the tar sands pipeline

by Mary

Recently, when President Obama was interviewed by Scholastic News, he told the interviewer (a school child) that one of the most important challenges the youth of today will face is that of global warming.

Another big challenge that your generation is going to face is the environmental challenge. Although we’ve made big improvements over the last 20 or 30 years in making our air clean and our water clean, there are some big challenges around climate change. The temperature of the planet is getting warmer because of the pollution that we’re sending up into the air, the carbon that we’re releasing.

That’s causing changing weather patterns. In places like Florida you may be more vulnerable to hurricanes, in other areas we’ve seen more drought. It’s affecting people all around the world.

So we’ve got to get started trying to deal with this issue and we’ve got to make sure that your generation finds better ways to use energy more efficiently so we’re not sending out as much pollution into the air.

President Obama clearly understands the issue. So now the question is whether he is willing to do his part in addressing this challenge.

Most of us who understand the seriousness of this threat can do our part in addressing the challenge with small (but meaningful) actions - by our choices in buying energy (using green power), taking public transit, buying cars that use less gasoline, investing in renewable energy for our homes - but we are constrained by the fact that our choices are still simply individual.

But the President can do more even when Congress refuses to act. President Obama has the ability to choose in a way that we individuals cannot. He can decide to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline project of which James Hansen, the nation's top climate scientist wrote: "Exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts."

Last year, Mark Hertsgaard published a letter to his daughter in his book, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years On Earth, where he concluded:

"At this point, my precious, beautiful daughter, all that's clear is that our civilization is entering a storm. There is no way around it; we have to go through it. We have to be brave, resourceful, and never give up. I would give my life to see you safe on the other side."

Will President Obama do everything he can for his daughters (and for all of us) knowing what he knows about the coming storm? After all, he truly does have the power to make that storm less dangerous by stopping the tar sands pipeline.

Mary :: 12:00 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!