On April 22, an alliance of pipeline fighters — ranchers, farmers, tribal communities, and their friends — called the Cowboy and Indian Alliance rode into Washington DC and set up camp on the National Mall.
For 5 days, they will hold ceremonies and demonstration to remind him of the threat this tar sands pipeline poses to our climate, land, water and tribal rights.
On April 26 [note date change], the Alliance has invited friends and allies against the pipeline to join us as we conclude our camp and march together to make an unmistakable message to Pres. Obama.
The Cowboy Indian Alliance is raising funds to support Cowboy Indian Alliance members to send the strongest message possible to President Obama this April and beyond. Your contribution will make sure organizers from along the pipeline route can make it to DC and bring all of the beauty and power of our movement along with them, and support this fight for the long haul as we continue to work to stop the pipeline together.
Some of the things you’ll help fund include:
– Direct support for Cowboy Indian Alliance members
– Food, logistics and spiritual items for the camp
– Ongoing work to build support to stop Keystone XL while President Obama approaches his final decision
I’m in Fort McMurray Alberta, the heart of tar sands country, to participate in the Healing Walk organized by the Keepers of the Athabasca. Keepers of the Athabasca is a collection of First Nations, Metis, Inuit, environmental groups, and watershed citizens working together for the protection of water, land and air, and thus for all living things today and tomorrow in the Athabasca River Watershed.
Today’s video was created by the Nobel Women’s Initiative in solidarity with the Healing Walk, Women’s voices on the oilsands, pipelines, and climate change.
I’m leaving for northern Alberta early Wednesday morning, to make the 24-hour drive to Fort McMurray, the heart of tar sands country. Mordor. The 4th Annual Tar Sands Healing Walk, organized by Keepers Of the Athabasca, is happening on Saturday and I’m lucky enough to have the time, resources, and a traveling companion, to make this trip. I can’t think of any place on earth more in need of healing than this place.
The Keepers Of The Athabasca describe the event this way:
The tar sands are growing out of control, destroying the climate for all Canadians and poisoning the water of everyone living downstream.
On July 5th and 6th, people will come together from coast to coast to join First Nations and Metis in the Healing Walk, a gathering focused on healing the environment and the people who are suffering from tar sands expansion.
Let’s call on the Alberta and Canadian governments to stop the reckless mismanagement of these resources. We need our governments to work with First Nations and bring people together to make wise choices about stewarding the land in ways that are sustainable and fair.
Can’t go? Click here for some ideas for what you can do from home, including inviting Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, and Alberta Premier Alison Redford, to the walk.
“If you think mitigated climate change is expensive, try unmitigated climate change.” Dr Richard Gammon
The City of Calgary, home riding of Canada’s climate-change-denying, scientist-muzzling Prime Minister, ordered the evacuation of the entire downtown earlier today because of catastrophic flooding from the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Approximately 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Calgary as water levels rose sharply after torrential rainfalls related to an “upside-down” jet stream. The Weather Network put it this way:
An upside-down weather pattern took shape across western North America earlier in the week. By ‘upside-down’ we’re referring to a jet stream pattern that causes warmer temperatures to the north than the south. Dramatically, this was exemplified on Thursday (when the flooding began) with Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories being the hottest place in all of Canada at 31 C. Meanwhile, Calgary only reached 17°C. Click here to read full article.
Hmmm – a broken jet stream, a melting Arctic, a modern-day “Mordor” in the tar sands, a planet full of politicians reluctant to act decisively on climate change, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Any connection, ya think?
Calgary’s mayor is warning that the worst flooding is yet to come.
My sympathies are with the unfortunate people in Calgary and surrounding areas who are feeling the devastation of this flash flooding. This shouldn’t happen to anybody, any time. As a climate activist, I hope that Canadians see this – finally – as a wake up call. There are millions of people around the world – in Bangladesh, in the Philippines, in Africa, and in South America – who have been feeling the devastating effects of climate change for years. The global poor have already been impacted by climate change, often losing their homes, their source of food and even their lives because of unstable weather events related to climate change, caused by carbon dioxide emissions to which they have contributed almost nothing.
“Unmuzzled” climate scientist Paul Beckwith from the University of Ottawa has this to say about the connection between extreme weather events and climate change:
Torrential rains in some regions are causing massive floods while in other locales record droughts are occurring with higher frequency and severity and areal extent around the globe. Global food production is being hit hard, leading to large price increases and political instability. Areas under drought are experiencing numerous massive forest fires of incredible ferocity. The statistics of extreme weather events has changed for the worst due to changes in the location, speed, and waviness of the jet streams which guide weather patterns and separate cold and dry northern air from warm and moist southern air. The jet streams have changed since the equator to north-pole temperature difference has decreased due to the huge temperature rise in the Arctic. The huge temperature rise in the Arctic is due to a collapse in the area of highly reflective snow and ice, which is caused by melting. The melting is from warming from the increase of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel burning. The Arctic sea ice and spring snow cover will vanish within a few years and the weather extremes will increase at least 10x.
Beckwith goes on to give this advice:
What can you do? Go talk to your politicians and friends about climate change and the need to slash fossil fuel emissions. Immediately. Cut and paste my comments above and post them on facebook, send them to newspapers, and educate yourself on the science behind all the above linkages. Leave my name on or take it off and plagiarise all you want, just get this knowledge out there…
Folks, unless we act together and demand better from our elected representatives, the worst is yet to come.
It’s time to internalize the externalities of the fossil fuel industry. For far too long, the extremely high price we all pay in the pollution of our “commons” – air, water, and climate, which also affects the health of far too many of us, has been ignored by governments and the fossil fuel industry. Putting a steadily increasing price on carbon would be an excellent place to start to change this, as well as ending the taxpayer subsidies to dirty energy. Imagine your first carbon-dividend cheque; citizens benefiting from addressing climate change, while the polluter pays.
The question isn’t if, but when, Canada puts a price on carbon. That we are getting close is clear by this news article in the Globe & Mail yesterday, about the Alberta government considering a significant carbon levy (it currently has a negligible $15 per tonne on industry carbon that exceeds certain levels). From an article in yesterday’s Globe & Mail, Alberta’s Bold Plan to Cut Emissions Stuns Ottawa and the Oil Industry:
The Alberta government has quietly presented a proposal to sharply increase levies on carbon production and force large oil-industry producers to slash greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40 per cent on each barrel of production, a long-term plan that has surprised Ottawa and industry executives with its ambition.
It may not be time to get out the dance shoes yet, as Alberta’s Minister of the Environment, Diana McQueen, responded to the G & M article by saying Alberta is a “long way” from imposing higher carbon levies on the oil industry:
We are currently in the early stages of exploring a variety of options through a collaborative process with industry, the federal government and our department experts,” she said in a statement.
“These discussions are ongoing and revised targets have not yet been finalized.” (via Huff Post).
If you live in Alberta, please call or write Ms. McQueen or Premier Redford to show your support for pricing carbon (contact info listed below).
In the meantime, while I was typing this, a movement in our front yard caught my eye, and it turned out to be a beautiful red fox visiting. Before she disappeared into the bush, I snapped the picture below. I’m going to take it as a message to get off my computer and out into this beautiful sunny northern Ontario morning. Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, full of sunshine and connections with people and activities you love.
Premier Alison Redford’s contact info: 780-427-2251, Alberta Minister of the Environment Diana McQueen: 780-427-2391. Or click on this link to send your Alberta MLA an email.
What do you call an industry that is planning to cook the planet? An industry responsible for destroying land, polluting the air and water, and violating the rights of people around the world? An industry who’s business model means burning over three times the amount of carbon our planetary carbon budget can handle?
Today is Fossil Fools’ Day, a time to put the spotlight on the people and industry that put profits before people, and the planet. The divestment campaign is growing on university campuses around North America. This campaign questions why institutions that prepare the next generation for the future are putting their money into an industry that is destroying that future. Last week students on 15 campuses across Canada led actions to bring attention to this issue.
Withdrawing funding from the industry whose business plan is based on the destruction of our planet, and our children’s future, sounds like a good idea to me. To find out more, head over to GoFossilFree.ca if you’re Canadian, or to 350.org’s global endfossilfuelsubsidies.org. Divestment from South Africa resulted in the dismantling of apartheid, and divestment from fossil fuels can change the suicidal course we’re on. What an opportunity and a privilege those of us alive today have, to participate in changing the course of the earth’s history!
Today there are community actions happening at MLA offices across BC. People are participating in the Defend Our Coast Campaign, and are showing up across the province to link arms and symbolize BC’s unbroken wall of opposition to tar sands pipelines and tankers.
Tomorrow This Monday is the day that the largest tar sands protest in Canadian history is to take place, in Victoria, British Columbia, to defend our coast from the dangers of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline. I wish I could be there but I can’t. In honour of all those taking the time to stand up for the Great Bear Rainforest, and future generations, here’s a video that went viral after it was posted by film maker Dave Shortt a month ago. To see the original Enbridge animation, click here: youtube.com/watch?v=yiVfYb8lt5o
This is a response to oil giant Enbridge, and their animation of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline in which they deleted all the islands in the Douglas Channel in British Columbia Canada.