I am a mother of two beautiful boys, a fine artist, and a full-time college student from Salt Lake City Utah and I am currently in Washington DC to attend the 2011 Powershift conference. Today I am choosing to participate with many other good people, an act of non-violent civil disobedience.
I live in the beautiful state of Utah, home to red rock wilderness, sprawling quiet deserts, towering , snow-covered granite mountains and abundant opportunities to enjoy the outdoors; Yet I look out my windows every day at one of the largest environmental catastrophes ever created by man, the Kennecott Rio Tinto copper strip mining operation. Their strip mine has turned mile after mile of a beautiful mountain range in my hometown inside out. I have lived with that mine in my daily view since I was 5 years old. It is so big, it is visible from space. I breathe pieces of that mountain into my asthma stressed lungs every day.
My neighbors to the North in Wyoming are not looking forward to an unprecedented strip mining operation on their public lands. The project will cause similar devastation to the mountain top removal operations in West Virginia. To my horror, our US government is allowing my beautiful state to not only be drilled and strip mined to kingdom come but to permit an enormous tar sands project to move forward. The project just passed the first hurdle for approval. Our public lands, their minerals and the health and lives of our children are being sold out by our own federal government.
Enough is enough. Proceeding with these projects and causing catastrophic environmental changes are a war on the young.
There is too much at stake and choosing not to act would be in and of itself an act of violence against my children and hundreds of future generations.
I have lobbied, campaigned, written letters, signed petitions, visited the offices of representatives, written opinion pieces, run campaigns, made phone calls and once again come to Washington to no avail. Our government officials, including the president I worked for nearly two years to elect, have been bought off by those making a profit who gamble with my life, the lives of my children and hundreds of successive generations.
I will no longer be temporarily placated by government officials saying they will do something but hiding behind the excuse that we have to settle for something that is politically viable. They are lying and their delays are costing lives. I demand that our lawmakers take radical and necessary action or get out of the way. I will continue to try to communicate with my lawmakers but I will no longer rely on it as the only possible resolution to their inaction.
Today I take a stand, for my children, my grandchildren to follow, myself and the hundreds of generations of people whose lives will be devastated by catastrophic climate change. I can no longer in good conscience not do every thing to fight.
It is abundantly clear the standard ways of getting our money corrupted government to not only listen, but act have absolutely no effect on their decisions.
It is time to take a stand. I invite you to join me and be a part of this peaceful uprising.