Let me begin by saying that I usually don’t talk about political issues here on Joycreation. But in the case of climate change I feel strongly that it’s more than a political matter – it’s a global issue that is effecting us all right here and now.
Last weekend we took the bus from Madison, WI to Washington, D.C. to join a group of approximately 50 000 people in urging Obama to reject the XL Keystone Pipeline that would deliver oil from the Canadian Tar Sands to the U.S. 36 hours on the bus. 7 hours in D.C. It was a whirlwind to say the least!
I joined the rally with very little knowledge. In fact, my first reaction to a 36 hour bus ride in the midst of our busy lives was: “insanity!” But being a part of this enthusiastic and diverse crowd, hearing the devastating stories from those directly affected by tar sands, and learning so much more about climate change, was an experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. I can see more trips to D.C. in my future.
Tar Sands Oil is known to have detrimental effects on the environment, animals and human beings. It consists of heavy crude oil, sand, clay and bitumen, a mix that can cause illnesses such as asthma, various forms of cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. According to the Sierra Club “Greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands production are three times those of conventional oil and gas production, and producing synthetic crude oil emits up to 20% more greenhouse gas emissions than low-sulfur, light crude oils,” making it the worst type of oil for the climate.
Obama has the executive power to say “NO” to say no to all of this.
As Chief Jackie Thomas so poignantly said in her speech: “When we take care of the land, we take care of us. If we destroy this land, we destroy ourselves.” To me that’s common sense, not a question about right or wrong. I believe it is incredibly ignorant (and arrogant) to think, we can do anything to this planet without facing further consequences.
No matter our ethnicity, class or political views, we’re all in this together. It’s time to get moving – if not for the earth, then at least for ourselves and the ones we love.
To end this on a lighter note, here is one of my favorite quotes (it was actually one of the jokes told on the bus ride back):
“So what IF climate change is just a hoax? Just think, we’d be creating a better world for NOTHING!”
Have a wonderful weekend!
top photo via 350.org