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Mary Hoyer: Activists gather Saturday for tar sands protests



Sunday, November 17, 2013
To the editor:

A few weeks ago, the newspaper ran a story about the U.N.’s latest report by worldwide climate scientists. I was glad to see it covered, but this was not great news. Things are getting worse, which is being confirmed over and over by experts familiar with the situation. What wasn’t mentioned in the article is that time is fast running out to deal with the situation. Prior to the report’s release, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri of India, the top U.N. climate scientist, said, “It’s five minutes to midnight, in terms of how much time humanity has to make significant cuts to oil, coal, and gas emissions in order to prevent runaway climate change.”

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency are taking some good steps, but if they approve the proposed Keystone tar sands oil pipeline running from Canada to Texas, it will put so much additional carbon into the air that “It’ll be game over for stopping climate change,” according to top U.S climate expert James Hansen. Consequently, I urge everyone to join one of four area protests on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. The biggest will be at TD Bank, 1441 Main St. in Springfield, featuring a “Funeral for Our Future,” musicians and speakers from many community organizations. The others are on Main Street in Northampton, Amherst and Greenfield. All are at TD Bank because it’s a major funder of the Keystone pipeline.

We’ll call for people and businesses to boycott TD Bank until it stops investing in tar sands oil, and for President Obama to reject Keystone. He’ll be deciding in the next few months. It’s a decision that will move us toward a safe climate future, or a climate change catastrophe affecting every one of us, especially our children and grandchildren. For info, visit climateactionnowma.org or call 325-4533.

Mary Hoyer

Amherst