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Posted Tue Jun 28 2011: from SolveClimate:
U.S. Climate Protests Shift to Blocking Keystone XL Pipeline Approval
Climate activists don't have much to rally around now that Congress is shunning global warming legislation. Energy legislation is stalled and stymied in a Senate where a Democratic caucus has a slim 53-47 advantage. And a GOP majority in the House is unveiling any and every tactic to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to deploy the Clean Air Act. McKibben and his allies figure the $7 billion Keystone XL -- which was barely on their environmental radar screen a year ago -- could be a galvanizer because the 1,702-mile underground pipeline would be a "fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet." "If the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over," Hansen, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration climatologist, explained about reclaiming 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."... "We don't expect or demand miracles out of politicians. That's not part of the contract," he continued. "But once in a while they get to make a straight-up decision and Keystone XL is one of those. This one is more like tee ball. It's sitting on the stand and Obama can choose to hit it or not."... "Twenty years of patiently explaining the climate crisis to our leaders hasn't worked," states the letter he co-authored. "Maybe moral witness will help." One prerequisite is that the demonstrators ditch Birkenstocks, torn jeans and tie-dyed T-shirts for button-down, business attire. "We need to be able to get across to people who the conservatives are and who the radicals are," McKibben said. "People need to understand how radical it is to change the composition of the atmosphere."... "It's incumbent on those who have spent our whole lives spewing carbon into the atmosphere to do something about it," McKibben concluded. "Most had interesting first acts in their lives that involved the civil rights and anti-war movements. That was before becoming preoccupied with other activities, mainly consuming things.
[Read more stories about: short-term thinking, carbon emissions, contamination]

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