Why a Young, Respected Climate Scientist Will Risk Arrest Outside the White House Next Week


Photo: Jungbim via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Guardian has a nice profile on Colorado climate scientist Jason Box, who plans on heading to the White House to protest the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline -- despite the fact that he's never been arrested, is highly respected in his field, and has a wife at home who's eight months pregnant ...To Box, stopping the pipeline from linking the U.S. to the world's largest carbon bomb is a moral imperative. Here's the Guardian:

"I couldn't maintain my self-respect if I didn't go," Box said Tuesday in a telephone interview about his decision to wade into the murky territory of activism where most scientists fear to tread. "This isn't about me, this is about the future. Just voting doesn't seem to be enough in this case. I need to be a citizen also, because this is a democracy after all, isn't it?"

It's pretty inspiring stuff.

Of course, Box won't be alone. Some of the nation's most highly regarded environmental leaders and scientists will be there too. Writer Bill McKibben, the actor Danny Glover, and the world-renowned climate scientist James Hansen are all expected to risk arrest to send a message to the Obama administration.

So far, nearly 2,000 participants have confirmed participation in the event. There could be hundreds, even thousands more. Yours truly is planning on attending to cover the event and give TreeHugger readers the scoop from the front lines. This makes it, by some counts, the largest action in the North American climate movement yet.

Obama is obligated to make a decision on whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would connect Canada's Alberta tar sands with refineries around the Gulf of Mexico. The tar sands are considered one of the dirtiest, most destructive projects on the planet, and committing the nation to rely on them for fuel would be a dire sign in context of the ongoing climate crisis.

Get more information on the protest at Tar Sands Action.

Tags: Activism | Barack Obama | Canada | Oil | United States

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