I like the way Chris Hayes explains this, as an addiction which we desperately need to quit but keep pushing off because…why?
There’s no good reason, frankly, but there are a lot of bad ones: greed (by the fossil fuel industry in this case); cowardice (by the politicians terrified to confront the fossil fuel industry); denial and hedging (e.g., the abysmal/pathetic “all-of-the-above strategy” articulated not just by Republicans, but also sadly by Democrats – President Obama and many others – who should and DO know better!); ignorance (including by those who’ve been duped by the fossil fuel industry’s relentless propaganda), etc. Meanwhile, the laws of physics continue to work their inexorable way on our planet, in this case via the well-studied, non-controversial-among-scientists (it’s only “controversial” among those with a financial interest in making it “controversial,” among the cowards and useful idiots in the media who continue with their erroneous “both sides” “reporting,” etc.), with disastrous consequences today and even more disastrous consequences in the future.
So what on earth are we waiting for, especially given that clean energy is now increasingly cost competitive with fossil fuels even without incorporating all the negative “externalities” of fossil fuels into their price (note: if we did that, clean energy would blow fossil fuels away, right now, on a purely economic basis)? Because we’re a bunch of addicts, in denial, constantly talking about how we’ll quit drinking after our best friend’s wedding next weekend…
As for the Keystone XL pipeline, it is – as a series of experts explained a couple months ago at Georgetown University in a summit sponsored by billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer – the “dirtiest of the dirty,” the “worst of the worst,” and simply not compatible with protecting the climate. Keystone XL certainly doesn’t pass President Obama’s “climate test,” but more importantly it doesn’t pass climate scientists’ climate test. The bottom line: if we keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we’re screwed, as are vast numbers of other species on our planet. If that matters to you, then you should speak up and urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, and also to stop promoting the absurd, counter-productive, procrastination-and-cowardice-over-science “all-of-the-above” nonsense. The species you save could very well be your own.
P.S. You can join one of the many Nationwide Vigils to Protest Keystone XL at 6 pm this evening, including at Lafayette Square in DC, the Dunn Loring State Department office in Vienna, the Richmond Federal Building, TD Bank in Leesburg, the Norfolk Federal Building, and the County Courthouse in Harrisonburg.