Stephen Harper, October 2011, on the Keystone XL pipeline

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

We are concerned that the major issue about the bitumen sands project and the pipelines to carry the bitumen or processed oil has not been understood--the dangerous consequences of the vast increase in greenhouse gas emissions ensuing, on top of the excessive carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. We have already exceeded 350 ppm, the limit many leading climate scientists tell us should not be passed to avoid runaway climate change.

Refining the bitumen in Alberta will not reduce global emissions.

We are not on track even to meet the 2020 target for GHG emission reductions you set (which is totally inadequate).

Jason Kenney’s intemperate remarks about jobs in the oil sands and pipeline(s) reveal a serious misunderstanding--for there are demonstrably more jobs to be created in renewable energy and conservation than these mega projects.

Finally, we are concerned about the future life prospects of all peoples and creatures. Conservative guru Adam Smith asked rhetorically, in discussing inheritance in The Wealth of Nations if it was not an “absurd” supposition “that every successive generation of men have not an equal right to this generation the earth.” We believe that future Canadians have an equal right to energy and a viable environment? The oil or tar sands development, and increasing it with exports either to the U.S. and Asia, risks all our futures.

Four of our members took part in the civil disobedience demonstration in Ottawa Sept. 26. We are sending this message particularly on their behalf.

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