Dear President Obama,
Last Sunday my wife and I took a drive down to see you, along with 40 to 50,000 other friends and supporters of yours, and we were so disappointed you weren’t home, that you were…playing golf in Florida? We just wanted to let you know that we will have your back when you make your formal announcement rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.
Like most of us who were there, I froze my toes and fingers but it was all so worth it. Woven throughout the stirring speeches, creative signage, chants, costumes, music, and footsteps was a subtle yet very powerful message that can no longer be ignored. When you spoke in your State of Nation address of putting a strong focus on climate change issues in the next four years, you inspired us, you gave us hope. But hope is not nearly enough – we are ready, individually and collectively for action and we are demanding action.
Last Sunday 40 or 50,000 people from your voting base showed up. We were all colors, all ages, maybe even all incomes. And we were joined by a large number of our 1st Nation and non-native Canadian friends. Buses came from as far away as Texas. I have been involved in politics for 40 years, been to so many rallies and meetings, and I have never felt such an overwhelming strength of commitment, clarity of purpose and cooperation. This was an example of grassroots action at its most pure and powerful. I’m quite sure this is because everyone who was there believes two things:
1) Whether it is hydrofracking in Pennsylvania, mountain-top removal in West Virginia or, perhaps the biggest environmental abomination in North America, the tar sands in Alberta, we can no longer tolerate our water, soil and air being poisoned and our property being economically ruined for the benefit of a very few and detriment to the rest of us. And we are willing to do whatever is necessary to end that.
2) If we do not begin to take dramatic steps to curb carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions we and certainly our children can look forward to a very dismal and possibly even no future. It looks more and more like we may literally be fighting for our lives. And naturally we are willing to do whatever is necessary to win that fight.