My name is Adam Maynard. I'm a 2011 Brown University graduate with degrees in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies, and I'm passionate about the ways in which cities serve as incubators for solutions to environmental problems. For the last two years I've written about the intersection of climate change and urbanism on The Green Lantern, a blog I started to further my understanding of these complex issues.

I've always balked a little at the notion that we should take action on climate change for the sake of our children, and for our children's children. This idea rubs me the wrong way because it creates a temporal disconnect with the immediacy of these issues, reinforcing the misconception that climate change is something that isn't happening while giving those suspicious of doing good for the environment another reason not to care. That, and of course it's not true. We need to take action on climate to save ourselves too.

Whenever I hear someone reference future generations in relation to climate change I can't help but think, "They're talking about me. These adults are talking about me." See, I was born in the late nineteen eighties which means that if US life expectancy is anywhere near accurate I will still be alive well after 2050. To put it simply, if I don't take action on climate then I'm not only jeopardizing my branch of the family tree but my own existence entirely. I don't have the luxury of playing wait and see.  None of us do. Of course I'm an adult too now and as we charge further into the 21st Century an idea that may be a vestige of environmental messages of old becomes less and less relevant as more climate-passionate young people join the cause and conversation.

Climate must be a priority now. Our  current greenhouse gas trajectory  exceeds even the worst-case fossil  fuel intensive projections made in  2007 for emissions over the next 100 years. The following video depicts a message Bill McKibben articulated beautifully in a Washington Post op-ed in May: Connect the dots. The destructive consequences of a changing climate are happening all around us.

When I first heard about the two weeks of civil disobedience in Washington I thought this is an incredible and unique opportunity. Through our participation we can show the one man responsible for approving or rejecting the pipeline, President Barack Obama, that we mean business.  The groundswell of support for this action and the satellite protests that have cropped up across the country for those who cannot make it to DC prove that we've grown tired of our leaders' inability to make significant progress on climate change. Oftentimes when I think about direct actions I can take to have a positive impact on the environment my mind wanders to behavior changes in my personal life. But participating in civil disobedience is a whole different animal, and for me a no-brainer. Let's get this country's attention and convince the Commander  in Chief to stop one of the most destructive projects in discussion today.

I recently came across a passage of a speech Obama gave back in 2006. He said:

"The issue of climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril. There may still be disputes about exactly how much we're contributing to the warming of the earth's atmosphere and how much is naturally occurring, but what we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe."
Without a doubt President Obama has diverged from this message. Sure, he may not think he has enough remaining political capital to craft meaningful climate legislation, especially when current members of Congress advocate abolishing the EPA and recently rejected a measure that would have admitted the climate is changing and human activities are the cause.  In the midst of such an obstructionist political setting it's up to us to show him he's not alone.  Further action simply cannot wait. He needs to understand that approving the Keystone XL pipeline would be a direct affront to those who elected him.

Therefore this post is a call to all members of Generation Y to  come out in strength and stand tall outside the White House starting this weekend. The votes of the 18- to 25-year-old demographic were essential to Obama's victory in 2008 and we need to hold him accountable. We’ve  inherited quite the complex global problem and it’s up to us to solve  it, or perish. We ARE the future generation we’ve heard so much about. The clock is ticking.

I remember in the very first announcementon Grist about the plans for the civil disobedience there was a portion which read: "We don’t want college-age kids to be the only cannon fodder in this fight.... Now it’s time for people who’ve spent their lives pouring carbon into the atmosphere (and whose careers won’t be as damaged by an arrest record) to step up too." Fellow Gen-Yers, will we get arrested? It's entirely possible. We're not supposed to stand still in the location where we'll be gathering outside the White House. But this space offers President Obama such a prime view of us we simply can't pass it up. Should we let the threat of tainting our personal records deter us from showing our support for this cause? Never. Would we want to work somewhere that couldn't understand and accept the type of thoughtful and principled action we'll be engaging in? I don't think so. I will be outside the White House a week from today, on Tuesday August 23rd, and I hope you will join me.

Meteor Blades and PDNC organized this blogathon for August 14-19 before he took a "leave of absence" from Daily Kos last week.  For now, this will be the last of many projects, blogathons, and diary series that the two of them have done over the years on environmental, climate change, human rights, and political issues.

In honor and respect for our dear friend and project partner, this blogathon is dedicated to Meteor Blades by our blogathon team of PDNC, rb137 and JekyllnHyde.

"Stop Tar Sands" Blogathon: How You Can Help

Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse has coordinated this blogathon with Bill McKibben, who is one of the organizers for a civil disobedience action in DC from August 20th to September 3rd to urge President Obama to not give a presidential permit for the proposed tar sands XL pipeline from Alberta down to Texas.  This civil disobedience action is modeled on one that the group Transafrica used outside the Washington Embassy in the 1980s: Nelson Mandela said it played a key role in raising awareness about apartheid.  The plan is for a new group of people each day of the two weeks to trespass on the sidewalk in front of the White House.

This is not a protest of President Obama. As Bill McKibben noted, the protest is designed to show President Obama the "depth of support for turning down this boondoggle" as it will be the "biggest civil disobedience protest in the environmental movement for many many years."

We know what the future will look like with the XL pipeline.

"Stop Tar Sands" Blogathon Calendar: All Times Pacific

  • Sunday, August 14th

10 am: Join the Foes of the Tar Sands Pipeline: Blogathon & DC Civil Disobedience Action by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse. This is the "mothership" and linked in the front page Feature Box all week.  PDNC will try to update each day with new diary links.
2 pm: Stop Tar Sands: Voices of the Opposition by blue jersey mom.
5 pm: Stop Tar Sands: While I’ll be Risking Arrest at the White House (and Why You Should, Too) by Lawrence MacDonald.

  • Monday, August 15

2 pm: Stop Tar Sands: Stand with Randy by janefleming.

  • Tuesday, August 16

11 am: JeffM2001
2 pm: (reserved but not sure of user name yet)
3 pm: Kitsap River
4 pm: FishOutofWater
5 pm: agmaynard

  • Wednesday, August 17

11 am: Oke
2 pm: rb137
5 pm: JasonBox

  • Thursday, August 18

11 am: citisven
2 pm: Ben Gotschall
5 pm: boatsie

  • Friday, August 19

11 am: beach babe in fl
2 pm: Aji
5 pm: Bill McKibben

Please remember to republish these diaries to your DK4 Groups.

Originally posted to agmaynard on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 05:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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