Over a dozen of the nation’s top climate scientists just released this letter to Congressional Leadership that we will deliver along with the over 500,000 signatures against Keystone XL that we hope to collect during out “24 Hours to Stop the Pipeline” drive.
Feb 13, 2012
Dear Senators Reid and McConnell, and Representatives Boehner and Pelosi,
We are researchers at work on the science of climate change and allied fields. Last summer, we called on President Obama to block the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s tar sands. We were gratified to see that he did so, and since some in Congress are seeking to revive this plan, we wanted to restate the case against it.
The tar sands are a huge pool of carbon, one that it does not make sense to exploit. It takes a lot of energy and water to extract and refine this resource into useable fuel, and the mining is environmentally destructive. Adding this on top of conventional fossil fuels with leave our children and grandchildren a climate system with consequences that are out of their control. It makes no sense to build a pipeline that would dramatically increase exploitation of this resource.
When other huge oil fields or coal mines were opened in the past, we knew much less about the damage that the carbon they contained would do to the earth’s climate and its oceans. Now that we do know, it’s imperative that we move quickly to alternate forms of energy—and that we leave the tar sands in the ground.
We can say categorically that this pipeline is not in the nation’s, or the planet’s best interest.
James Hansen, Research Scientist, The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute, Columbia University