Archive for the ‘Act now to save our beloved Earth!’ Category
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Unfortunately, this is not my first posting on this subject.
Even though President Obama announced more than a year ago that he would reject TransCanada’s plan to build a 2,000 + mile pipeline to carry dirty tar sands oil from Alberta to the Texas coast, there is reason to suspect he will reverse that decision and approve the climate-altering project.
Just two months after the President first rejected the pipeline, he announced that he would expedite construction of the pipeline’s southern leg, from Oklahoma to the Gulf. ¬†And now, the U.S. State Department has issued its Environmental Impact Statement, saying the pipeline is “unlikely to have a substantial impact” on the climate.
Sadly, I don’t trust President Obama to do the right thing. ¬†While he gave great hope to millions when he spoke boldly about climate change during his second inaugural address and in his recent State of the Union speech, I know the pressure he is feeling from Big Oil is beyond enormous.
The fossil fuels industry, the biggest and wealthiest the planet has ever seen, wants this pipeline. ¬†And they are bent on making sure that nothing gets in their way. ¬†In fact, I learned recently from 350.org that industry moguls have assembled a group of influential U.S. senators to join the industry in pressuring the President to approve the pipeline.
That’s where we come in. ¬†We, the People, that is. ¬†The movement to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline is growing rapidly. ¬†In fact, more than 35,000 concerned Americans gathered in Washington recently to urge the President to heed the warnings of the most respected climate scientists, who believe construction of this huge pipeline and the shipping of tar sands oil through America’s heartland would have dire consequences for the climate.
No one knows just when President Obama will make his decision. ¬†But we need to do everything we can do to push him to do the right thing. ¬†The industry has money, but we have the numbers. ¬†And we need to use that advantage. ¬†One thing all of us can do is to make a phone call to the White House. ¬†Tell the President to do the right thing for all of our children and the planet, and say no.
You can call the White House at 202-456-1111, between 9 and 5, on any weekday, and leave your message on the recorded message line. ¬†Phone calls can be effective, but only if many, many of us are making them. ¬†So please spread the word to people you know, after you make your own call.
Another helpful action you can take is to visit the website, www.350.org. ¬†Learn about the science of climate change, why it is the most urgent problem humanity has ever had to face, and why the world’s most respected climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, says the Keystone XL pipeline, if built, would mean ‘game over’ for the planet. ¬†At 350.org, you may also be able to connect with citizen groups in your area who are working to address global warming.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. ¬†I think of what Van Jones, founder of Green for All and former Special Advisor to President Obama for Green Jobs, had to say. ¬†He told more than 35,000 gathered in Washington to protest the pipeline that all the good the President has done or will do is simply going to be wiped out if he approves the pipeline.
Please take action.–April Moore
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Greetings, fellow lovers of our beautiful Earth! ¬†And Happy New Year!
If you have followed Earth Connection postings for some time, you know that I took a break from this site last fall. ¬†My husband Andy Schmookler’s campaign for Congress was heating up, and I just didn’t have time to post anything. ¬†While Andy didn’t win, he did energize and inspire a great many people. ¬†They were persuaded that today’s Republican Party has become an unprecedentedly destructive force that makes a fight out of everything, ¬†that this force must change and become a constructive political player or be defeated.
The campaign was a truly wonderful adventure, and I am grateful to have been part of it. ¬†I felt that my own deep environmental values were well-served by Andy’s candidacy.
Nonetheless, I am glad the election is over, and I can return to my environmental activities that are so important to me. ¬†In addition to getting back to¬†The Earth Connection, I have also resumed my fundraising work for our local Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. ¬†And I hope to become recertified as a Virginia Master Naturalist.
Perhaps most important to me, however, is the opportunity to re-involve myself in climate activism.
In fact, on January 26, I will join numerous other climate activists for a bracing plunge into the Potomac River! ¬†The reasons for this insane act are twofold: ¬†to generate publicity about climate change and to generate funding for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN).
Each of us ‘plungers’ (sounds rather toilet-like) is raising money for CCAN by inviting friends, family, and others in our personal network to sponsor our plunge with a donation to CCAN. ¬† I have set a goal to raise $1,000 for the organization. ¬†If you are willing to help out by supporting my plunge, I invite you to click on the link below. ¬†You will see my individual ‘page’ with my statement about why I will be plunging into the Potomac in January. ¬†And, if you wish, you can make an online donation to CCAN there.
In any event, I wish you a fulfilling 2013, and I’m glad to be back!–April Moore
Monday, August 6th, 2012
My cousin recently showed me how I can clean my glass stove top with baking soda instead of specialized stove top cleaner. Since then, I have been thinking that there are probably many household uses for the humble sodium bicarbonate. A simple compound, baking soda is likely much more benign than many household cleaners that come with warnings to avoid contact with skin or eyes.
I went online, and sure enough, I found dozens of around-the-house uses for baking soda. Here are a few of my favorites, taken from the website, TIPNUT.
**Whatever type of stove top you have, if it’s crusty and gross, baking soda can save the day. Generously sprinkle the stove top with baking soda. Then spray with hot water, enough to dissolve the baking soda without making it run all over. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes. Then you should be able to scrub the stove top clean without difficulty.
**Remove coffee mug stains. Just wipe the cup’s inside with a wet cloth. Then rub with baking soda. If stains are stubborn, pour in hot water mixed with baking soda, and let sit overnight.
**If the usual cleansers you’ve tried don’t do the job on bathtub stains, make a miracle paste of baking soda and bleach. Apply the paste to a wet sponge and wipe down the tub.
**If you’ve been using toxic Soft Scrub on your stainless steel sink, you can stop. The sink will get just as clean by sprinkling it with baking soda and then rubbing the sink with a damp sponge.
**You can even freshen stale-smelling luggage with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda inside the suitcase, close it, and then reopen after a day or two. Odors will be gone, and you can just vacuum up the baking soda.
**Make your own air freshener spray by mixing 2 cups of hot water with 1/8 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Shake to dissolve, and simply spray in your home as needed.
**You can remove rust from cast iron cookware by using baking soda as a scouring powder.
**Water stains on wood can be removed by making a paste with a few drops of water and baking soda. Rub the paste into the stain, and then wipe off.
**When the sink drain is clogged, solve the problem with baking soda. First, remove as much water as you can from the stopped-up sink. Toss 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, and follow it with 1 cup of white vinegar. Plug the drain with a sink stopper and let it sit for a half-hour. Then, unplug the sink and pour a kettle of hot water down the drain.
**When the dog smells less than sweet, you can make a doggy deodorizer with baking soda. Mix 1/2 cup with 2 cups of water. Soak a bandana in the solution, and then let the bandana dry in the sun. Tie the bandana around the dog’s neck to help keep odors at bay.–April Moore
Saturday, May 12th, 2012
May is National Bike Month.¬† And when it comes to the environment, human health, and even having fun, what can beat biking?
Riding a bike instead of driving a car lessens our dependence on climate-disrupting dirty oil and saves gas money. ¬† Biking is an excellent way to get in shape and stay that way.¬† And who hasn’t loved pedaling along, enjoying the scent of flowers and the cooling touch of a breeze?
If you haven’t gotten on your bike in awhile, May is the perfect time to get started, not too hot and not too cold.
Cycling groups, local governments, climate change groups, and many others are organizing a variety of events all over the country to celebrate National Bike Month and to get people into biking.¬† To find events planned for your community, you can check the website of the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month’s sponsoring organization.¬† http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/events.php
Some of the planned events include Bike to Work Days, Bike to School Days, bike safety and bike maintenance workshops, community bike rides, and other bike-related activities for kids and adults in many communities.
If nothing is planned in your community, you could always organize a bike ride with family or friends.¬† And be sure to get the kids involved.¬† Kids are born to ride a bike, but some may need a little coaxing to get out there.¬† Including them in a group ride may be especially fun for them.
And what if your bike is out of shape from neglect?¬† This month is a good time to take it to the bike shop for a tune-up, so you can get started.
Despite the many benefits biking offers, some communities are not at all bike-friendly.¬† Crowded roads, high-speed traffic, and a lack of bike lanes or even decent sized shoulders in some areas understandably make people afraid to venture out on a bike.¬† If your community’s infrastructure makes biking difficult, I urge you to click on the link below and join the Sierra Club’s Mobile Action Network.¬† You can follow the Sierra Club’s instructions for urging your state’s governor and your U.S. senators and representative to work with state and federal transportation officials to develop more options for a safer community with more biking options.
Happy biking!–April Moore
Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Perhaps you have been following the alarming reports over the last few years of massive die-offs of honeybees. Beekeepers and others in the U.S. and many other countries report steep declines in honeybee populations.¬† In some parts of the U.S, honeybee populations have fallen by as much as 70% in just a few years.
While I always find it painful when any of our fellow species is threatened, this rapid loss of honeybees could have a dire impact on all of us humans.¬† Honeybees pollinate so many food crops that scientists say about one in three mouthfuls we humans eat is made possible by honeybee pollination.
After several years of study, many scientists believe the main reason for what they call ‘colony collapse disorder’ is a pesticide called clothianidin.¬† Used on corn and other agricultural crops, clothianidin is part of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which have been in use since the mid-1990s—the same time mass bee disappearances began occurring.
Scientists believe that honeybees are ingesting clothianidin on their daily pollination rounds.¬† Like other neonicotinoids, clothianidin blocks specific neural pathways in insects’ central nervous system, thus impairing communication, homing and foraging abilities, and also interfering with insects’ flight and their ability to¬† discriminate by smell.
Clothianidin has been banned in Italy, France, and Germany.¬† But in the U.S., clothianidin has been used widely for well over a decade, even though it was never officially licensed by the EPA. While the EPA is required by law to license only pesticides that meet standards for protection of human and environmental health, pesticide law allows EPA to waive those requirements and to allow the use of a new pesticide on a ‘conditional’ basis when health and safety data are lacking.¬† Even though the pesticide manufacturer is required to submit valid safety to the EPA by the end of the conditional use period, clothianidin’s manufacturer Bayer, has never done so.¬† EPA has failed to follow its own rules, failing to protect human and environmental safety.
The future of honeybees and our own future are inextricably linked.¬† Please strengthen the public call for a halt to the use of neonicotinoids like clothianidin.¬†¬† Please help stop honeybees’ decline and restore their populations.¬† You can help by doing the following:
- Contact the Bayer Corporation, and insist that they stop marketing clothianidin because it is a serious threat to our ability to continue to grow the foods we depend on. ¬† https://secure.bayer.com/bayer/contact.aspx?lang=en
- Call EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at 202-564-4700.¬† Urge the agency to suspend the registration of clothianidin to stop the rapid and steep decline of U.S. honeybee populations, essential to the continued pollination of necessary food crops.
- Learn more about honeybees and the threats they face by checking out the Beyond Pesticides website, http://www.beyondpesticides.org/¬†¬† April Moore
Sunday, March 18th, 2012
I am excited about something new my husband and I are trying this spring.
Andy and I have decided to join our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.¬† I think it’s going to be a win-win-win situation.¬† For a reasonable fee, paid in advance, we will enjoy the fresh taste and improved nutrition of the food we receive each week..¬† All of the food will be locally grown, organic, and just harvested.¬†
Local farmers will benefit because the CSA provides them a guaranteed market for their products.
And the earth will benefit as well.¬† Most CSA food is grown organically, lessening the pesticide burden placed on farmland.¬† And investing in a CSA means a reduction in fossil fuel used to transport food across the country.¬† Currently, most food sold in grocery stores travels an average of 1,500-2,500 miles to reach consumers.¬† When fossil fuel use is cut, air pollution and climate-changing emissions are reduced as well.
It was Barbara Kingsolver’s book, ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE, that inspired me to join our local CSA program.¬† Kingsolver writes in depth about her family’s year-long experiment in eating only food that they grew on their southwest Virginia farm or that they purchased from farmers in their local area.¬† Far from 12 months of deprivation, their experimental year was instead a time of savoring food that was flavorful and nutritious, having been grown organically and consumed soon after harvest.¬† (The family also canned extensively, allowing them to continue eating their home-grown food during the winter months.)
I admire Kingsolver and others who grow much of their own food.¬† But since it’s highly unlikely that I will ever advance beyond a few tomato plants on the deck and some sprouts on the kitchen counter, CSA seems like the next best thing.
As I look forward to our first box of fresh, local food, I am thinking about dishes I might prepare.¬† Here, Kingsolver has inspired me in yet another way.¬† I plan to break myself of my eco-unfriendly way of cooking.¬† Typically, I have chosen recipes from a cookbook and then bought the ingredients at the grocery store.¬† But now I¬† plan to base my recipe choices on what we receive in our weekly CSA allotment–on what’s in season–rather than on cookbook recipes that may call for ingredients that are neither local nor in season.¬† I am imagining that our CSA membership will enable us to spend less at chain grocery stores.
Our first box of fresh, local produce should be available the first week of April.¬† I’m looking forward to it!
If you’d like to give CSA a try, you can learn more about it at this website: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
¬†¬†¬†¬† Big Oil and¬†its Republican friends in Congress are determined to win approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, a 2,147 mile channel to transport extremely dirty tar sands oil from Canada to Texas.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Despite the President’s recent announcement that he would delay his decision on the project for another 12-18 months, in order to fully assess its¬†environmental impact,¬† Republicans¬†are trying to force his hand.¬†¬†On December 13, House Republicans¬†included in a bill to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits language that would force the¬†President to make his Keystone decision¬†within 60 days.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† Very soon, the measure will be voted on by the Senate.¬† The good news is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has told Republicans he will halt negotiations on another important year-end spending bill unless Republicans drop their insistence on premature action on Keystone.¬† And¬†President Obama has said that if a measure¬†forcing him to decide on Keystone reaches his desk, he will veto it.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Even so, we must make sure our Senators know that we citizens strongly reject this carbon-spewing, water-contaminating project.¬† You can be sure that Senators are all hearing from the big oil companies involved in the project.¬† As the wealthiest industry on the planet, Big Oil can–and does–spend vast sums of money to¬†’get the attention’ of our¬†Members of Congress.
¬†¬†¬†¬† So please pick up the phone and make two calls, one to each of your U.S. Senators.¬† You can leave a message on the Senate office constituent voice mail.¬† Or you can ask to speak to the aide who handles¬†energy matters.¬† I suggest the latter, even if it means leaving a message on¬†the aide’s machine.¬† I¬†don’t have the feeling that the constituent message line carries much clout.¬†¬†You can get your Senators’ names and phone numbers by clicking ¬†http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm¬† Or you can call the U.S. Congress Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Please call today¬† (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday).¬† The Senate may be voting very soon.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† For more information on the harm that would come from proceeding with the Keystone XL pipeline, click here:¬† http://www.tarsandsaction.org/spread-the-word/key-facts-keystone-xl/¬† –April Moore
Friday, October 21st, 2011
¬†¬†¬†¬† This Monday, October 24, is Food Day.¬† The purpose of Food Day, according to its organizers, is to¬†transform the American diet.¬†¬† It’s a big task, they admit, but an essential one.¬†¬†”We want to inspire a broad movement of people all over the country who want healthful, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way,” explains my old friend Michael Jacobson, executive director of¬†the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI),¬†Food Day’s sponsor.¬†¬† In other words,¬†Jacobson says, “we want people to eat real.”
¬†¬†¬†¬† CSPI has worked for decades to educate the public about the importance of building meals around vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.¬† And the goals of¬†Food Day are to get Americans to cook real food for their families again, to¬†spend less time at the drive-through and more time at the farmers’ market, to celebrate fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and the farmers who produce them.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† “What we eat should be bolstering our health,” says Jacobson.¬† ¬†”But it’s actually contributing to several hundred thousand premature deaths from heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer each year.”¬† Just as important, he adds, “the way our food is produced is all too often harmful to the environment, farm workers, and farm animals.”
¬†¬†¬†¬† Food Day is about all of us making changes in our lives to support healthful eating and sustainable agriculture.¬† But it’s also about making societal changes, such as federal policies that support small and mid-sized farms, rather than pouring billions of dollars each year into huge farms that produce monoculture commodity crops.¬† Farmworkers deserve protection from the harmful pesticides used to grow these vast acreages of commodities.¬† And ‘factory farms’ that hold millions of chickens, pigs, and cows should be replaced with farms that minimize suffering and avoid the pollution of our soil, water, and air, say Food Day organizers.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Eaters all over America are celebrating Food¬†Day¬†in some creative ways.¬† Here are just a few of the planned activities:
- In Homer, Alaska, local farmers will provide high school students with a lunch of roasted root vegetables.¬† The lunch will follow a “sensual journey lab” in which students will focus on reawakening a sense of taste in their writing.
- In Richmond, Virginia, the Uptown Community Garden will host a pot luck.¬† People are invited to bring a healthful dish prepared from local products, and enjoy meeting others interested in good, local food.¬† People can also sign up for a plot in the community garden.
- Missouri State University volunteers in Springfield will¬†coordinate¬†a letter writing campaign calling on Congress to support Food Day principles.
- At¬†Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Downtown Growers Market,¬†city folk will have the chance to meet some of the farmers who grow fruits and vegetables¬†in Albuquerque.¬†¬†Visitors to the Market¬†can also meet¬†representatives of organizations working to conserve local agricultural land and to promote more healthful school lunches.
- Volunteers in¬†Jeffers, Montana will lend a hand in the end-of-season community garden clean-up, plant perennial crops, install signage and bird houses, a toolshed, and more.¬† Participants are then eligible to attend a¬†community dinner of locally made foods.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I am heartened by¬†the growing movement to support healthful, locally grown food, sustainable agriculture, and humane treatment of animals.¬† ¬†And I am impressed by the great number and variety of activities planned all over the country in conjunction with Food Day.¬†¬†To find a Food Day-related activity near you, just visit the Food Day website at ¬†http://foodday.org/participate/¬†¬†–April Moore
my sister, my niece, and I LOVING lunch at a restaurant in Meadowview, VA, which serves primarily locally grown foods
All over the country, people will be holding events designed to get all of us thinking about the importance of
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
This Saturday, September 24, there will be a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis. The international organization 350.org is spearheading the¬†global rally called Moving Planet, and citizens in more than 165 countries are organizing local actions to draw attention to the urgent imperative to get humanity off of fossil fuels and onto sustainable, carbon-free energy alternatives.
350.org is calling people to bike, paddle, skate, pogo-stick, or walk to the 350 event nearest them. And why this worldwide rally? Because, states 350.org on its website, ‚Äúfor too long, our leaders have denied and delayed, compromised and caved. That era must come to an end; it‚Äôs time to get moving on the climate crisis.‚ÄĚ
350.org is trying to get the governments of the world to act on what climate science has made abundantly clear: human activity is putting more carbon into our atmosphere every year than the atmosphere can absorb without changing the climate. The safe maximum amount of carbon¬†in our atmosphere is 350 parts per million (ppm), according to 97% of the nation’s top climate scientists (as reported in the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings).
In 1988, the planet crossed the 350 level for the first time, and carbon emissions have been increasing steadily since then. We are now at 392 ppm, and we must bring that number down to 350 if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate change, scientists warn.
But few of the world‚Äôs governments are responding in any meaningful way to the challenge. That means it‚Äôs up to us, the citizens of the world, to make our governments do what’s absolutely necessary: to admit that the climate crisis is real and largely human-caused, and to make addressing the crisis a top priority.
Here are 350.org‚Äôs demands:
- science-based policies to get us back to 350 ppm
- a rapid, just transition to zero carbon emissions
- mobilizing funding for a fair transition to a 350 ppm world
- lifting the rights of people over the rights of polluters
Concerned people all over the world are planning events for this Saturday. I am inspired that even in highly stressed Libya, people are organizing for a carbon-free future. Professor Satya Pal Bindra at Misrata University says, ‚ÄúWe are making sure that our new Libyan political leaders get the message that our community is aware and getting prepared to move beyond fossil fuels.‚ÄĚ
Please add your voice to the call. The United States, the greatest contributor to climate change, is the only nation in which one of its major political parties refuses to admit that global warming is a problem that needs to be addressed. Our political leaders will act only when we, the voters, make them act. Let them hear you.
To find out how you can get involved in a Moving Planet action near you,¬†click on this link:¬† http://www.350.org/en/about/blogs/moving-planet¬† Thanks!–April Moore
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The world’s¬†major oil companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the notorious Koch Brothers are pushing hard to get President Obama to approve a project that would have a devastating impact on our climate and environment.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†President Obama will decide, in the next month or two,¬†whether to issue a Presidential Permit to allow construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.¬† If built, the pipeline would¬†transport up to 900,000 gallons of ¬†tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada,¬†all the way to Texas coast refineries, 1500 miles¬† south.¬† The pipeline would pass¬†through many fragile ecosystems, through farmland, and over the Ogallala aquifer, one of the largest aquifers in the world and a major source of drinking water in the U.S.¬†¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† The decision to allow or disallow the construction of this pipeline through the U.S. rests with the President.¬† An executive order,¬†in place since the 1960s, dictates that¬†a U.S President should allow a pipeline to cross¬†a U.S. border only if it is in the national interest.¬† The President can act without Congressional authority.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Many climate¬†scientists, environmentalists, agricultural¬†leaders, organizations of¬†indigenous peoples, and many, many¬†concerned citizens are¬†calling on the President to say ‘no’ to this pipeline.¬† And there are many reasons why.¬† Here are a few¬†:
- Tar sands oil, or bitumen,¬†emits three times more greenhouse gases during production than does conventional gasoline.
- For every¬†barrel of tar sands oil produced, three¬†barrels of water are polluted and dumped into toxic pools.
- Tar sands extraction requires the strip mining of large tracts of pristine forest.¬† A¬†vast Canadian¬†forest roughly the size of Florida is slated for extraction.
- Oil pipeline breaks are not uncommon.¬† In the last decade, there have been 2,500¬†accidents in pipelines,¬†resulting in 161 human¬†deaths.
- Replacing the crude oil currently being used by refineries with tar sands oil will increase our greenhouse emissions by 38 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.¬† This is equivalent to the emissions of 6 million cars.
- The extraction of tar sands oil is highly toxic to workers and¬†others living nearby.¬† Higher than normal levels of cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism¬†are all found near tar sands operations.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Although there are other oil pipelines in the United States, scientists explain that the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is so large that it would overwhelm our ability to¬†meaningfully address climate change.¬†¬†NASA scientist Dr. James Hanson explains that we must phase out coal emissions by 2030 and leave tar sands in the ground in order to get back to a stable climate.¬† “If the tar sands are thrown into the mix,” he says, “it’s essentially game over.”
¬†¬†¬†¬† Since August 20, climate change activists and¬†hundreds of¬†others have been demonstrating daily in front of the White House.¬†¬†They are urging President Obama to reject¬†the Keystone XL pipeline.¬† These people are calling on the President¬†to make good on his campaign pledge that with his election, “the rise of the oceans would begin to slow and the planet start to heal.”¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† Daily protests will continue through¬†this Saturday, September 3.¬†¬†The protesters are¬†serious.¬† They¬†have¬†committed to complete non-violence, and they are willing to face arrest.¬†¬†To date, almost 400 of the demonstrators have been arrested for civil disobedience.¬† Their illegal act has been standing or sitting still in front of the White House.¬† On the first day, many people were arrested and held in jail for two nights.¬† Since then,¬†those arrested each day have been offered the chance to pay $100 in lieu of going to jail, explains my friend Nancy Kelly, of Alexandria, Virginia, one of those who has been arrested.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† Nancy¬†is¬†glad she¬†is participating in the multi-day demonstration.¬† “I’ve been so distressed and saddened¬†to see¬†our continuous reliance on oil, even though there are other alternatives available,” she says.¬† Having signed numerous petitions and¬†donated money to¬†organizations working¬†to¬†halt climate change, she says the demonstrations and arrest¬†have provided¬†her a possibly more effective way¬†to urge¬†the President to¬†avert a climate disaster.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I urge all¬†who care about the climate and the environment¬†we are leaving¬†our children to join Nancy and all the others¬†who have been arrested.¬† Please¬†urge President Obama to say ‘no’ to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† You can call the White House hotline at 202-456-1111 and leave your message for the President.¬† You can also write a letter.¬†¬†Letters sent through the¬† mail take longer to write than an email, but for that reason they may carry more weight.¬†¬†¬†You can learn more about the impact of tar sands oil and connect with many of your fellow citizens who are working to stop it by visiting the website http://www.tarsandsaction.org/invitation/
Day 6 of the demonstration--photo by Joshua Kahn Russell