Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama-

Although I was a huge supporter of yours in 2008 and have written several blogs regarding supporting you in the past, I regret to say I am deeply disappointed in your actions, and my faith in your sincerity as our country's leader has seriously diminished.

As we all know the Keystone XL Pipeline is a huge issue. Some think it could be the defining environmental moment in our country's history given its very real potentially dangerous consequencesOthers think it will be a failsafe answer to our economic crisis. I'm sure it is clear on which side of this issue I stand. To quote an email I recently read in regards to the start of the operation of the southern leg of this pipeline, "This is a simply a sad day. The president who launched his campaign with a call to 'end the tyranny of oil' has now allowed - and even publicly encouraged - TransCanada to run the dirtiest tar sands crude straight through American farmlands, waterways and even front yards."

I will be the first to admit that I have been, at best, a pretty ineffective armchair activist. I have not yet chained myself to machinery nor strapped myself to the fence around the White House, the way i have often wished to. I have not written countless letters nor have I marched on Washington. Yet.

Mr. President, I ask you - what will it take for all of us to learn that more oil (translate as "more money lining the pockets of a very, very few already excessively wealthy") is not the answer to any of our crises - economic or otherwise? When will we wake up to the fact that completing the southern leg was actually a cunning (albeit totally blatant) way to ensure completion of the northern section (i.e. "well, we can't not finish what we started!")? Will we have to continue to poison our water sources, decimate sacred landswipe out precious wetlands and perform economic hari-kari to finally learn that we made one of our biggest mistakes as a nation by allowing this fiasco to even be considered, much less acted out?

According to NASA scientist James Hansen, who likens the building of the pipeline to the enabling of an addict, "If he [you, President Obama] chooses the dirty needle [the pipeline], it is game over because it will confirm that Obama was just greenwashing, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians with no real intention of solving the addiction. Canada is going to sell its dope, if it can find a buyer."

The Keystone Pipeline is a NO WIN situation for all, and the fact that it is being considered at all is clear evidence of how far we have to go. The choice is clear: stop the pipeline and leave a lasting legacy of a workable, healthy future for us, our children and generations to come or allow this monstrosity to go through and provide a very short-term economic gain to a very few short-sighted individuals now, with their descendants suffering the consequences along with everyone else. We must all take a bold stand for ourselves and our country by rejecting this pipeline, shifting to 100% renewable energy, and making personal commitments to changing our habits now.

There is no issue more important, more vital, more critical than our climate.

Clearly, business as usual is not the answer. That is exactly what has created "the Mess" my friend Sharif Abdullah says we face.  If we don't care for our environment, everything else is a moot point. Nothing less than a radical, urgently swift and complete change and  is required. No change, no business. No change, no economy. No change, no rights. No change, no future.

Mr. President, I urge you to stand with the voice of reason, those whose lands are being seized and your children's futures rather than the corporate machine which, sadly, seems to have your vote more than mine on this issue. Although I have lost faith in the promises you made six years ago, I hope with all my heart you take bold, decisive action in the right direction. If you don't, I promise you this… we will fight this travesty with everything we have.

with hope,

erin ross

Photo found here