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Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 25, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Proposed Keystone XL project creates fear, debate

We are too relaxed about climate change

Advocacy against the Keystone XL pipeline project comes from an usual group of proponents including environmentalists, property rights advocates and ranchers. In this photo, Tom Genung of Hasting, Neb., center, addresses Zack Hamilton, organic rancher and public advocacy coordinator Nebraska Farmers Union, right, Ken Winston, a Sierra Club lawyer, left, and rancher Randy Thompson, second left, at a meeting at Thompson's home in Martell, Neb. (NATI HARNIK / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Advocacy against the Keystone XL pipeline project comes from a diverse group including environmentalists, property rights advocates and ranchers. In this photo, pipeline opponent Tom Genung of Hasting, Neb., center, addresses a group that includes an organic rancher and public advocacy coordinator, a Sierra Club lawyer, and another rancher in Martell, Neb. (NATI HARNIK / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

It is no secret by now, to anyone paying attention that the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is not only that climate change is accelerating alarmingly fast, but that it’s largely being fueled by dirty technologies. As a species, we are far too relaxed about this; I am guessing due to denial, since we are talking about a looming death threat to our entire species, and most of us simply don’t have the courage to face that horrific reality. Whether we face it or not, we are well on the road to our own destruction, and hiding from it will only make it inevitable.

The Keystone XL project being debated right now would carry tar sands, not crude oil [“Keystone fears resonate along New England pipeline,” seattletimes.com, March 17]. NASA’s leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, said that tar sands development would mean “game over for the climate.”

It seems to me the overwhelming body of evidence points to the alarming conclusion that we are killing our grandchildren, if not our children, by not acting to drastically reduce our climate impact. The proposed project instead would drastically increase it. The crimes of Hitler and all the world’s worst mass murderers would be dwarfed by our criminal decision to go ahead with Keystone.

Even for skeptics of climate-science realities, the choice to do nothing, or worse, to increase our impact, would be hopelessly immoral if there were only a 1 percent chance that science is right. We simply can’t afford to get this wrong.

Obviously, to say that approving the project would be wrong would be a spectacular understatement. We must all do everything in our power to stop it; every life on this planet is at stake, save perhaps some of the bugs and bacteria.

–Greg Vinson, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Climate change, Energy, Environment | Topics: Keystone XL Pipeline

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