In the midst of the record-breaking Hurricane Sandy, which caused major damage and deaths along the East Coast, a coalition of climate justice activists known as the "Tar Sands Blockade" have been converging from across the continent with local organizers and landowners to put a stop to the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is on her way to bring food and supplies to the blockaders tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31. Dr. Stein left Massachusetts ahead of the hurricane, traveling last night by car, then bus, then bus again to Ottawa, Canada, from which she caught a flight to Texas.
"The climate is taking this election by storm, breaking the silence of the Obama and Romney campaigns that have been bought and paid for by the oil, coal and gas companies," said Stein. "Hurricane Sandy is just a taste of what's to come under the climate destroying policies of Romney and Obama. We must stand up now, not four years from now, and call for climate solutions and green prosperity. The blockaders are heroes. They are on the front line of stopping even worse climate storms in the future."
Activists are opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, in part, for the following reasons . . .
CLIMATE CHANGE -- NASA's leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen has called the Keystone XL pipeline "a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet." Hansen has said that if all the carbon stored in the Canadian tar sands is released into the earth's atmosphere it would mean "game over" for the planet.
SPILLS -- All pipelines spill. According to TransCanada the Keystone 1 pipeline was predicted to spill once every seven years. It spilled 12 times in its first year and it has spilled more than 30 times over its lifetime. The Keystone XL pipeline is built to spill, and when it does it will have a devastating effect upon employment and the economy, according to Cornell University.
WATER CONTAMINATION -- The Keystone XL pipeline threatens Texas' Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer which supplies drinking water to more than 12 million people living across 60 counties in drought-stricken East Texas. The pipeline's cross-border section also threatens the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest aquifer in the western North American region, upon which millions of people and agricultural businesses depend for drinking water, irrigation and livestock watering.
Stein noted that the recent events sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates were the first set of presidential debates since 1984 in which global warming was not mentioned. In response, over 2500 climate activists have signed a statement of support for Dr. Stein and criticizing the failures of the political establishment. See http://www.jillstein.org/climate
Meanwhile, drought has blighted 60% of the corn crops in the U.S. and wildfires have turned thousands into refugees. The Arctic ice cap has lost 75% of its ice and dangerous methane gas is seeping out from melting subterranean deposits.
Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala are the only candidates talking about addressing the climate crisis head on by pushing for a 100% renewable carbon neutral economy, with full employment. The Green New Deal that they are proposing would create 25 million jobs in sustainable energy, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing infrastructure, as well as in social services and public education.
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