The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Bill McKibben, Michael Brune, Among Others Will Risk Arrest Today at White House to Stop Tar Sands, Keystone XL Pipeline
Fifty American leaders—including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Waterkeeper Alliance), Michael Brune (Sierra Club), Bill McKibben (350.org), Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. (Hip Hop Caucus), civil rights legend Julian Bond, actress Daryl Hannah, Nebraska rancher Randy Thompson and others on the frontlines of climate change—will risk arrest today in front of the White House to demonstrate the depth of their support for decisive action against climate change. For the first time in its 120-year history, the Sierra Club will participate in this civil disobedience action to convey the severity and urgency of action on climate.
"It's unfortunate that civil disobedience is the only recourse against a catastrophic and criminal enterprise that will enrich a few while impoverishing the rest of humanity and threatening the future of civilization," said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance.
2012 was the hottest year on record, half the country is in severe drought, and superstorm Sandy just flooded the greatest city in the world—New York. A global crisis unfolds before our eyes and immediate action is required. President Obama has the executive authority to make a significant and immediate impact on carbon pollution, and he can begin by saying no to Big Oil by rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Civil disobedience is the response of ordinary people to extraordinary injustices. Americans have righted the wrongs of our society—slavery, child labor, suffrage, segregation and inequality for gays and immigrant workers—with creative nonviolent resistance. Climate change threatens the health and security of all Americans, and action proportional to the problem is required—now.
The participants risking arrest have released the following letter to explain their collective action:
“We’re here today to show the depth of our resolve that President Obama take immediate, decisive action against climate change—to show that if the president leads, the vast majority of Americans will rally behind him. We’re not here today to protest the president, we are here to encourage and support him. We lived through horrors of Superstorm Sandy, the Midwest drought, wildfires, and the hottest year on record: we know in our bones that the time has come to do more than we have, and all that we can.
“The president can’t work miracles by himself. An obstructionist Congress stands in the way of progress and innovation. But President Obama has the executive authority and the mandate from the American people to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, and to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline right now.
“And we’re here to show something else—that the movement for a clean energy revolution is a broad and powerful one. In 2011 we were moved by the 1,253 Americans who went jail to protest Keystone in the biggest civil disobedience action in many years in this country. Today we are 50 people at the White House representing millions of Americans in every state, in every community. Today we risk arrest because a global crisis unfolds before our eyes. We have the solutions to this climate crisis. We have a moral obligation to stand for immediate, bold action to solve climate disruption. We can do it, and we will.”
Stay tuned to EcoWatch for the latest developments on today's action.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Joe Roman
One of the most important global conservation events of the past year was something that didn't happen. For the first time since 2002, Iceland — one of just three countries that still allow commercial whaling — didn't hunt any whales, even though its government had approved whaling permits in early 2019.
The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone-depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.