Three Tar Sands Blockaders were arrested this morning after two of them barricaded themselves inside the Keystone XL pipeline which is under construction in Texas:
Our 3 brave friends that barricaded themselves into a mile long section of KXL pipe yesterday are being held in the Smith County Jail on $65,000 bail each. The charges are criminal trespass, resisting arrest, and illegal dumping (between 500-1,000 lbs) all of which are misdemeanors.Tar Sands Blockade has put out a call for donations to assist in the legal defense of these courageous activists, who are putting their bodies on the line to stop changing the climate. The Keystone XL pipeline is being built to transport oil from the Canadian tar sands. This oil is the worst for climate change because it takes a lot of energy to extract in the first place and because it destroys forest carbon sinks to mine.
This bail amount is not only outrageous its illegal. According to the Texas Penal Code no one can be held on bail of more than $5,000 per misdemeanor charge. Our lawyers are working to fight this illegal bail amount.
Tar Sands Blockade has put out a call for donations to support the legal defense of the Blockaders. You can donate HERE.
Every reasonable person agrees that we have to stop changing the climate. A recent article in the journal Nature details the fact that to avoid grave human consequences of >2c warming we must peak emissions very soon then decline sharply and perhaps even implement negative emissions technologies to remove pollution from the air. The authors state in the abstract that: "A shift to a 2 °C pathway requires immediate significant and sustained global mitigation, with a probable reliance on net negative emissions in the longer term" (Nature, Dec 2012). While Rome burns, the leaders fiddle and feed the flames.
We have to stop changing the climate and we have to force our leaders to pay attention, not hope they'll eventually get around to it. For this reason, direct action is essential. The Tar Sands Blockade is using non-violent resistance to oppose a grave global injustice. If, as expected, the Northern leg of the pipeline is approved their actions will be joined by groups like Bold Nebraska. we have a moral imperative to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure, and infrastructure for the tar sands is especially important to Blockade because tar sands oil is among the worst in the world for the climate.
Ask yourself this. Would you have joined the abolitionists? Would you have marched with the suffragettes? Would you have marched for civil rights? By continuing to change the climate we are perpetrating a grave global injustice and non-violent direct resistance is every bit as justified and necessary now as it was to those historical injustices.
NASA climatologist James Hansen declared "Game Over for the Climate" if the tar sands are fully exploited, and he put his body where his mouth is getting arrested protesting pipeline construction. As Bill McKibben points out, we just simply cannot burn all the fossil fuel reserves we already have, so what is the point of opening up new ones?
If you cannot put your body on the line in the Carbon Blockade, please consider putting some money on the line to support the courageous activists taking a stand to stop changing the climate. You can donate: HERE.
The currently recoverable tar sands reserves (which are but a fraction of the total) already almost exceed the fair share of carbon sequestration sequester capacity for Canada and the US:
"If the current populations of the USA and Canada burnt the 'economically viable' proven oil-sands reserve (170 billion barrels), they would achieve a per capita carbon footprint of 64 tonnes3. This number does not include other sources of carbon emissions, such as coal fired power stations, natural gas usage, conventional crude oil usage, etc, etc. Thus if the populations of the USA and Canada were to extensively utilize the Alberta oil-sands proven reserve, it would almost certainly be incompatible with doing a globally equal share (85 tC) in keeping warming below 2°C. For comparison, the current Chinese population would achieve a cumulative per capita carbon footprint of 16 tonnes, by utilizing the entire Alberta oil sands proven reserve. This is below the 85 tC 'equal share', but of course does not include other emissions sources. These figures should be borne in mind before committing to large scale, long term oil-sands infrastructure projects such as the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines. "The facts fully justify the Tar Sands Blockade. We can't wait around for our leaders to act. We have to create the social conditions that make action possible and necessary, just as the abolitionists, suffragettes, and civil rights movement did through non-violent direct action. Even President Obama has admitted that he cannot force change from the top down. We will only stop this grave global injustice if we take urgent action.