Please, on Behalf of a Granddaughter…

Dear President Obama:

With the craziness gripping our country these days, it’s easy to forget that there are other more devastating perils to be addressed. I know you haven’t forgotten about the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. I haven’t either.

Yesterday, I took my granddaughter, three-year-old Clara Mae, for a walk in the woods to collect black walnuts. Yes, I like walnuts. But more important by far is for this little child to look at the bugs that camouflage with the hornbeam bark, pull off the little sticker seeds that hitch a ride on passing humans, listen and respond to bird calls, and learn that trees provide food for many, including us. When she grows up, she’ll understand – I hope – that the entire creation is connected, and how we care for the trees, bugs and birds is related to how we care for ourselves and worship our Creator.

On the other hand, by the time she’s of voting age, if we don’t act now on climate pollution, we will have burned another trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere (as the IPCC has just warned us), exceeding the 3.6 degree warming threshold, and threatening her wellbeing, or worse.

A walk in the woods with a grandchild is vital, if she’s to understand her connections to the rest of creation.  I hope that every parent or grandparent will teach their children these connections. But it’s up to you, and to “grown-ups” like me, to protect her from disrupted global ecosystems while she can’t act for herself.

Please do not let TransCanada and the oil companies ram this enormous pipeline through our country, vastly increasing tar sands production, poisoning native communities in Canada, fouling the air breathed by poorer communities near Gulf Coast refineries, and hastening us along the perilous path to irreversibly disrupted global atmospheric and oceanic systems.

Please. On behalf of my dear granddaughter, and the billions of other children who are loved by their parents and grandparents, I ask you to stop the pipeline.

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