After a year of unprecedented destruction due to weather extremes, the climate fight is no longer just about impacts in the future. It’s about physical and moral consequences, now. And Keystone isn’t simply a pipeline in the sand for the swelling national climate movement. It’s a moral referendum on our willingness to do the simplest thing we must do to avert catastrophic climate disruption: Stop making it worse.It is important to have principles. Let's just make sure what the dictionary says about principles so we know what we're talking about
Specifically and categorically, we must cease making large, long-term capital investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” dangerous emission levels for many decades. Keystone is both a conspicuous example of that kind of investment and a powerful symbol for the whole damned category.
1. an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct: a person of good moral principles.I like to think of myself as a principled man.
2. a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived: the principles of modern physics.
3. a fundamental doctrine or tenet; a distinctive ruling opinion: the principles of the Stoics.
4. principles, a personal or specific basis of conduct or management: to adhere to one's principles; a kindergarten run on modern principles.
5. guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct: a person of principle.
The Keystone Principle was a good start in honing in on the significance of the Keystone KXL pipeline. But for me the principle must be broadened to reflect a number of principles to be lobbied for from this moment forward to avert the worst effects of climate change.
President Obama repeatedly talks about an "all of the above" approach to our energy future. I really wish he meant what he said. If it was truly an "all of the above" approach we would not be digging from below. We would instead be focusing our efforts on generating energy from above ground sources and leaving the below ground sources of energy where they are.
We would be dramatically expanding solar. Look up above. What do you see? The sun. The largest and primal source of all energy we use here on Earth. We see it every day but for some reason we refuse to fully tap its potential to provide this planet with the clean energy it is thirsting for.
Look at the surface of our planet. Three fourths of its surface is covered by water. That water has waves constantly pulsating around the globe. Hydro energy that constantly beats its rhythm in varying degrees of intensity on the shores of all of our continents. Yet we refuse to devote the research and dollars necessary to enable us to capture it.
Lick your finger and stick it up in the air. Do you feel it? Wind. It constantly blows in varying degrees of intensity around the entire globe yet we refuse to tap its full potential.
President Obama, you are not telling the American public the full story. You do not have an "all of the above" energy policy. I wish you did because if it was a source of energy that truly came from above it would be a renewable source. You have an "all of the above and all of the below" energy policy. You encourage increased drilling for oil. It's all down hence the need to drill for it. You encourage the expansion of hydraulic fracturing. It's again something you have to drill down for. You also, apparently support the expansion of nuclear. Well the last time I checked the source of nuclear power is uranium and I do believe that has to be mined. That too is a source below.
President Obama, those of us that truly want an "all of the above" energy policy have decided to take a stand. It is true that if you decide to not approve the Keystone KXL pipeline climate change will not be solved. As your State Department said in its environmental impact statement the Keystone XL would have only a small impact on overall green house-gas emissions. Of course that EIS must be taken with a grain of salt because of the "oil connected" people who wrote the report.
But people put money where their mouth is. So first and foremost we must tell you that we don't want to put our money in more "down under" fossil foolish investment. It makes no sense.
Again from Grip:
Stopping Keystone nails the core principle for climate responsibility, by preventing investments that make climate disruption irrevocably worse. Again, it’s not just that burning tar sands oil produces a lot of emissions; it’s that long-term capital investments like Keystone (and coal plants, and coal export facilities) “lock in” those dangerous emissions for decades and make catastrophic climate disruption inevitable.So, Mr. President, it is not just a Keystone Principle. For me, Keystone represents a whole host of principles that must be adopted to set this country on a sane and truly "all of the above" energy path. Let me give you a partial list of just 10.
1. No further expansion or investment in "down below" fossil fuel energy infrastructure.
2. An immediate implementation of a carbon tax.
3. An immediate cessation of oil industry subsidies.
4. An immediate cessation of nuclear industry subsidies.
5. Increased investment in energy efficiency efforts such as weatherization.
6. Increased investment in smart grid development.
7. Increased investment in mass transit infrastructure.
8. Increased investment for non-polluting renewable energy research and development.
9. A plan be adopted to bring U.S. carbon emissions below 350ppm in 10 years.
10. A federal policy to completely divest federal funds from fossil fuel industries.
There are others I could list like no coal export terminals being built or an incentive program for people to switch from gasoline vehicles, but for now I'll just press for these ten.
So regardless of what your decision on the Keystone XL pipeline project turns out to be, I will still lobby and push for my Keystone principles until we truly are on an "all of the above" energy path. Please pass this list on to all your golf buddies the next time you see them. And please tell them that Keystone isn't just about a pipe in the ground to take tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas. I oppose it on principle(s).