Yes, I'm talking about YOU. Ever since TIME magazine named YOU the "Person of the Year" in 2006, YOU have been on a tear. By significantly expanding the uses of technology and putting it to good use on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of new media, YOU have achieved a great deal in the past two weeks.
Markos even acknowledged the obvious just this evening: YOU are in charge of Daily Kos. I'm sure it must feel good to know that.
In what seemed like an impossible task, YOU also helped to submit one million+ comments to the United States Department of State in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.
Why is this fight necessary to significantly lessen our dependence on and addiction to fossil fuels? Meteor Blades explained in this recent comment
yes. And we should wean ourselves off of it...Only in the past 48 hours, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sharply criticized (EPA letter, PDF file) the State Department and called its draft environmental impact statement on the pipeline incomplete - one that substantially minimized environmental risks including emission of greenhouse gases. As Bill McKibben pointed out in his diary, the final decision is in President Barack Obama's hands.
...and that's tough because 1) a lot of people don't want to; 2) a much smaller group of people are making big money from not weaning; 3) too many politicians are marionettes of that smaller group; 4) too many progressives think environmental issues are 5th priority or lower; 5) too many think it's hopeless so why bother.
Meanwhile, we have to fight skirmishes like the one over Keystone XL because we don't have the clout of Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Aramco, Halliburton, Bechtel, Harold Hamm, Phil Anschutz, George Kaiser, Richard Kinder, and the brothers Koch.
Given the forces arrayed against us, we have no choice but to go at them using tactical and strategic asymmetry.
YOU have done your part.
Update: The entire Keystone XL Pipeline Hearing held in Nebraska on April 18, 2013 and conducted by a three-person panel from the US State Department has been archived on netnebraska.org. I believe the hearing was over 11 hours in total.
This hearing started in the mid-afternoon and was supposed to end at 8:00 pm Central Time, but many hours later, it is still going on. So far, over 200 people from several states (not just Nebraska) have spoken up. It is a wide cross section of ordinary Americans, several making personal sacrifices to travel and have a chance to petition their government. The panel - consisting of three officials from the US State Department - has done a terrific job allowing everyone to patiently state their case.
If you are a cynic by nature, do watch it. It will restore your faith in the democratic process. And, in humanity. We may not always realize it, but there are plenty of good stewards of this earth amongst us.
350.org: Last Thursday, braving heavy snow and wind, hundreds of commited citizens lined up to testify at the lone public hearing on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. By most estimates, it was 9 to 1 against the pipeline, and administrators of the hearing had to stay late into the night to hear everyone’s testimony.
Nebraska has always been ground zero for opposition to the pipeline. Keystone, if built, would go through the Olagalla Aquifer and Nebraska’s sensitive Sand Hills, putting each at risk. Ranchers and farmers, some of whom have been on their land for generations, see the pipeline as an existential threat, and they’re not shy about telling anyone, at anytime, that they don’t want this pipeline.
As you know, some of us here at Daily Kos joined hands with Bill McKibben of 350.org and in coalition with the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, and Bold Nebraska, organized the #NOKXL Blogathan from Friday, April 10th to Monday, April 22nd.
To all those who took the time to read; comment in; recommend the over thirty diaries posted by lawmakers, environmental activists, and DK community members; and submitted comments to the US State Department, our sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude from the entire organizing team.
If you had missed any of the posted diaries, below is a complete list.