Whidbey News-Times


The fuse to the climate bomb | Letters

March 1, 2013 · 3:22 PM


The president is about to make possibly the most important decision in history: whether to approve the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which would connect the Alberta Tar Sands to refineries owned by the Koch brothers in Texas.

According to one of the world’s leading climatologists, NASA’s James Hansen, the tar sands are a “climate bomb” which if allowed to reach its full potential means “game over for the climate.”   The XL pipeline is the fuse to that bomb. It is critical to our future that this bomb not go off. The fossil fuel industry has spent $146 million convincing the public to ignore this issue. Unfortunately, they did not convince the forces of nature. Prevention is no longer an option. With 394ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere we are in phase two of the CO2 Crisis: Mitigation and Adaptation.

As Bill McKibben says, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” We have experimented with burning fossil fuels and the results are in. Our climate and ocean have been destabilized.

Witness the bizzare, extreme weather we’ve seen recently: super storms, floods one year followed by droughts the next. The ocean is 30 percent  more acidic then before the discovery of petroleum and impacting its inhabitants. We must let President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry know that we are not willing to trade their future to make the multi-billionaire Koch brothers richer.

A shift to a fossil-free future is critically overdue. Each year we delay adds $500 billion to the costs of dealing with its impacts according to the International Energy Agency. Two critical strategies are necessary to implement immediately, a carbon tax and rebate bill and to disinvest from corporations mining fossil fuels. Let’s stop being fossil fools and be better ancestors. Learn more at 350.org

Gary Piazzon


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