Posted on | September 7, 2011 | 11 Comments
On Friday afternoon, as brave and committed activists continued their non-violent civil disobedience outside the White House in protest of the tar sands pipeline that would lead to a massive increase in global warming pollution, President Obama ordered the EPA to abandon its pursuit of new curbs on emissions that worsens disease-causing smog in US cities.
Fifty-six words, 32 of them belonging to a dependent clause. People who write so poorly do not usually think very well. Are the pipeline protesters “brave and committed”? Or are they naïve and confused?
Sam Novey is 23 years old, had never been in trouble with the law before, and last week he went down to Washington and got arrested on purpose, to make a point.
There is something called the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring oil down from the tar sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast. For those who believe we are already too reliant on fossil fuels, that we need to be reducing the carbons released into the atmosphere, not adding to them, this is a line in the tar sands.
Novey listened as Bill McKibben, the great environmentalist, explained why people had to engage in civil disobedience.
“He said we’re up against the richest special interest in the world. We can only win if we fight with a different kind of currency. Our spirits and our bodies,’’ Novey said. “That’s why I did it.’’
By that specious logic, “civil disobedience” is a tactic which automatically imparts righteousness to any cause. If Big Oil really wanted to win the P.R. battle here, they’d pay lobbyists to stage sit-in protests in front of the White House, holding signs with slogans like, “Drill ANWR Now!” and “Green Energy Is an Expensive Myth.”
And then Al Gore could praise these “brave and committed activists” engaged in “non-violent civil disobedience.
Oh, by the way: Sam Novey is a Harvard graduate.