Last night, (Nov. 14th,) Bill McKibben (Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury) appeared on the Colbert Report to talk about the Keystone XL Pipeline that we posted on not too long ago. Its a short clip, but always exciting to see Midd people on the show (remember Poli Sci Prof Alison Stanger on The Daily Show?)
From the action last weekend.
After a series of demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience, Bill McKibben, 350.org (started by 7 Middkids,) and 1000s of others have contributed to the official delaying the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline for at least another year and half, a move that many say will effectively kill the project. The White House announced today that they would send the proposal back to the State Department for re-review, as “this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process.” A full bus-load of Midd kids headed down to D.C. last weekend to participate in the action against the pipeline in which over 10,000 individuals surrounded the White House 3 times over. Middlebury students also attended the two-week long action this summer in which over 1,000 individuals were arrested in front of the White House in protest of the pipeline.
The American people spoke loudly about climate change and the president responded. There have been few even partial victories about global warming in recent years so that makes this an important day.
And I simply can’t say thank you enough. I know, because of my own weariness, how hard so many of you have worked. It was good work, done in the right spirit, and it has secured an unlikely victory. You are the cause of that victory; you upended enormous odds.
I’m going to bed tired tonight. But I’ll get up in the morning ready for the next battle, more confident because I know you’re part of this fight too.
UPDATE 8/27: Arrests are up to 381 as of today, the 27th of August. The civil disobedience has been temporarily suspended for the weekend in the interests of safety during this current State of Emergency. The pipeline controversy has made top news, however, with a recent state department update approving the project. (The project still requires the approval of the administration and President Obama to go forward.)
In Alberta, Canada, tar sands have wrecked huge parts of the country, devastating the landscape and disrupting the ways of life of scores of indigenous communities. Tar sands, or oil sands, are a type of unconventional oil deposit that previous to recent history have not been considered a part of the world’s oil supply. From the protestors’ website, extracting oil from tar sands is one of the most environmentally damaging actions being taken today, and with a proposed pipeline from Alberta to Texas, environmentalists and concerned citizens have declared they have had enough.
Bill McKibben (Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury and professor of mine) and a group of over 2,000 citizens have committed themselves to taking dramatic action against this proposed pipeline, saying that without pressure on the administration, the biggest carbon bomb in the world will go off.
Yep, that's my professor. Photo by Shadia Fayne Wood.