Last month on Twitter, all the environmental tweeps I follow were buzzing about some guy named Tim DeChristopher. I quickly learned about DeChristopher’s spur-of-the-moment attempt to prevent public lands from being leased to gas and oil companies by “winning” bids at the auction that he didn’t intended to pay for. I was both impressed by how elegant and creative his action was and outraged that he was sentenced to such a harsh prison sentence for it.
|The Alberta tar sands|
A week or so later, an email alerted me to a petition against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil about 1700 miles from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf coast. Then I learned Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Wendell Berry and others were asking folks to follow DeChristopher’s example by stepping up the game, putting more on the line in this fight. I was moved by the appeal and started to test my apprehensions about civil disobedience. I was ultimately won over by the idea and last night signed up to participate. I felt even stronger in my decision after my dad, who most would consider a “mainstream” American, told me he’s angry about the pipeline too and supports my choice.
We have to do something to shake up the status quo in this country. We’ve built our entire economy, our infrastructure on this dirty, finite energy source. We need to start planning for the future now, by taking our money away from oil companies and putting it into energy efficiency, renewables, public transportation, smart growth and smart grids, sustainable agriculture and other measures. Although I’m anxious (and excited!) about participating, it's important to live by one’s guiding values. If you’d like to participate too, here’s more information.