Hundreds of Vigils to Be Held Tonight in Protest of Keystone XL
By Duncan Meisel
In the last 48 hours, people across the country have stepped up to go the extra mile to stop Keystone XL. Two hundred events have been planned from coast-to-coast for Monday evening, Feb. 3, and more are being listed every hour.
Every one of those actions will be sending the same message: it’s time for President Obama to be a climate champion, not the pipeline president, and reject Keystone XL. Standing together, we can be heard.
President Obama clearly has all the evidence he needs to reject the pipeline—but what will truly decide this fight is whether we can out-organize big oil, and Monday will be our next key test. There’s an action not far from you on Monday evening—can you be there to tell President Obama to stop the pipeline?
The Environmental Impact Statement released by the State Department on Friday does not take a stand on whether President Obama should approve the pipeline. That’s good and bad: on the one hand, it’s better than the previous reports, which gave much more support for the pipeline—but on the other hand, it avoids the glaringly obvious fact that that a pipeline carrying 800,000 barrels per day of the world’s dirtiest oil would be a disaster for the climate, and the lives of Indigenous communities, farmers and homes along the route.
We’ve been in this place before. We may be here again. And what counts in moments like these are not the words in Washington’s reports, but rather the voices of people in the streets—that’s what changes the equation for the President.
And that’s what Monday is all about. I hope you’ll be able to join me.
The No KXL protest vigils are organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, 350.org, The Other 98%, Center for Biological Diversity, Oil Change International, Bold Nebraska, Energy Action Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Hip Hop Caucus, Overpass Light Brigade, Environmental Action, League of Conservation Voters, Waterkeeper Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Forest Ethics, Forecast the Facts and others.
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.