The Washington Post is Wrong on Keystone XL

Reposted with permission from Sojourners, March 7, 2013 
by Catherine Woodiwiss 

A few days ago, the Washington Post dismissed the movement resisting the proposed tar sands pipeline from Canada to the Gulf as “missing the climate-endangered forest for the trees,” Sojourners published this excellent response.

The Washington Post … dismisses the protests against it as nothing more than “knee-jerk” “distractions”. In this, the editors join the cadre of Keystone shruggers – folks whose response to developing events around the pipeline is a cynical “meh,” tinged with frustration at protesters.

A prevailing sentiment among these shruggers is acceptance: it’ll get passed anyway — there’s no way it won’t. And scolding: Come on guys — it won’t be that bad. Stop the silly stuff and go do something important.

Courtesy of Rena Schild, Shutterstock.com

The arguments in favor of the pipeline are dubious at best. For example, it’s estimated that harmful tar sands extraction would fall flat by 2020 if not for the pipeline – which would more than double extraction and establish a harmful precedent for pulling oil from the earth. Serious potential risk to communities and environments along the pipeline’s route have been well documented. And even the State Department’s controversial report estimates the pipeline will have “negligible” impact on the jobs market.

But what really bothers me about this piece from the Post is the degree of resignation, coming from a leading journal, to the politically inevitable. Frankly, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of hearing that climate activists need to be realistic on Keystone. I’m tired of the media’s willingness to publish small vision and run pieces of least-resistance when it comes to climate issues. I’m tired of otherwise politically active, deeply soulful, justice-minded colleagues and friends adopting a posture of disinterest when someone challenges conventional Washington wisdom.

Focusing on the pipeline alone is a narrow vision — and ironically, it’s the shruggers more than anyone who have mistaken the pipeline for the real story. For those protesting Keystone XL, the pipeline is a symbol of inevitability in action…. Read the whole story.

Thanks for reading, and may God bless you.

J. Elwood 

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