Barack Obama, October 2011, on the Keystone XL pipeline

Dear President Obama,

We urge you, for the sake of future peoples and all species, not to authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline. This pipeline will result in increased greenhouse gas emissions, yet we have already exceeded 390 ppm of carbon dioxide, whereas we have been told that less than 350 ppm is necessary to ensure a livable climate, and a turn-around is not in prospect.

As you know, tar sands oil is the dirtiest in the world. Although large, the resource is finite. We must move to renewable energy sources at some time. Better to do so now, before greater damage has been done to the environment.

Many scientists worry about the “tipping point,” or the “point of no return” in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Dr James Hansen calls the increases estimated from the tar sands as potentially “game over.”

One of our members went to Washington and was arrested to convey her deeply held concern for preserving a livable planet. We remind you that people voted for you because they thought that you would safeguard the environment. On accepting your party’s nomination you promised that “the rise of the oceans would begin to slow and the planet begin to heal.”

This will only happen with a thorough and prompt switch to renewable energy and conservation. We urge you to take this on, and reject the tar sands alternative.

-- on behalf of JustEarth by Rita Bijons, Patricia Warwick (two other participants and arrestees) and Lynn McDonald