The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
It has been a very active fall in the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Thanks to the work of Bill McKibben, 350.org and Tar Sands Action, tens of thousands of people have been mobilized to stop tar sands oil from being piped from Canada to Texas.
From the direct action campaign in front of the White House where more than 1,200 people were arrested in August to the more than 10,000 people circling the White House in November to demonstrations all across the country where President Barack Obama was visiting to outreach campaigns like Tom Weis's Ride for Renewables whose biking the proposed pipeline route and educating people about the impacts the project would have on their communities, people are speaking out against the extreme energy practices of the fossil fuel industry that's destroying the planet, displacing communities and making people sick.
Education is key to stopping these atrocities and providing solutions to a post-carbon future. You don't have to look far to find experts from diverse stakeholder groups touting the need for change. While flying from Cleveland to New York City, I was sitting next to a stockbroker who handed me an 18-page document from the global investment management firm GMO. The quarterly letter, Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever, was written by Jeremy Grantham. The summary stated, "The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly." The conclusion stated, "The U.S. and every other country need a longer-term resource plan, especially for energy, and we need it now!"
The complexity of the energy crisis is immense, however, the need to transition to relying on cleaner, renewable sources of power is clear. Any path that leads to further destruction of natural resources to extract hard to get to fossil fuels is not the answer. We all play a role in the future of our energy use, and now is the time to educate ourselves on these issues and take part in creating this change.
Obama has threatened to veto any legislation that attempts to fast-track a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, but certain members of Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), are working on legislation to push this project through.
Here are four ways you can help stop the Keystone XL pipeline:
• Join 350.org on Wednesday, Dec. 14 in Boehner's home district in West Chester, Ohio, to let him know he can’t get away with a craven attempt to undermine democracy and sneak the Keystone XL pipeline through the back door. To register for this event, click here or email Danny Berchenko at email@example.com.
• Send your Senators an email and ask them to oppose legislation that supports construction of the pipeline.
• Visit the Wall Street Journal website and vote on whether you think the proposed Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and Texas should be built.
• Visit the EcoWatch.org site daily to stay informed on the tar sands and other issues impacting human health and the environment.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
by Jordan Davidson
Taking action to stop the mercury from rising is a matter of life and death in the U.S., according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.
By Alisa Opar
For Chinook salmon, the urge to return home and spawn isn't just strong — it's imperative. And for the first time in more than 65 years, at least 23 fish that migrated as juveniles from California's San Joaquin River and into the Pacific Ocean have heeded that call and returned as adults during the annual spring run.
By Jessica Corbett
Dozens of students, parents, teachers and professionals joined a Friday protest organized by Extinction Rebellion that temporarily stalled morning rush-hour traffic in London's southeasten borough of Lewisham to push politicians to more boldly address dangerous air pollution across the city.
Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Moment / Getty Images
By Bridget Shirvell
On a farm in upstate New York, a cheese brand is turning millions of pounds of food scraps into electricity needed to power its on-site businesses. Founded by eight families, each with their own dairy farms, Craigs Creamery doesn't just produce various types of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and Muenster cheeses, sold in chunks, slices, shreds and snack bars; they're also committed to becoming a zero-waste operation.
By Jessica A. Knoblauch
Summers in the Midwest are great for outdoor activities like growing your garden or cooling off in one of the area's many lakes and streams. But some waters aren't as clean as they should be.
That's in part because coal companies have long buried toxic waste known as coal ash near many of the Midwest's iconic waterways, including Lake Michigan. Though coal ash dumps can leak harmful chemicals like arsenic and cadmium into nearby waters, regulators have done little to address these toxic sites. As a result, the Midwest is now littered with coal ash dumps, with Illinois containing the most leaking sites in the country.