Oil Pipeline Protesters Surround the White House Today


Instead, at The New York Times, I can get depressed vicariously by reading the more prominent coverage of politicians and their crazy thoughts, like potential Republican Presidential nominee Herman Cain’s on the Koch brothers. Cain says he is “their brother from another mother.”

The Koch brothers are the anti climate-change, anti-democracy, co-founders of the Tea Party movement. They gave $150,000 to the physicist and former climate skeptic Richard Muller, who planned to prove everyone wrong. The brothers have no trouble lying to the public (for instance, saying they have no interest in the Keystone XL pipeline, when they do), but Richard Muller apparently does. At the end of October, Muller wrote up his results and conclusion in The Wall Street Journal, in a piece that gives away its findings in the title: The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism.

The debate about warming might be non-existent, but human behavior has hardly noticed. This week, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab shows the biggest one-year rise in global CO2 emissions: a 6 percent jump in 2010, which means CO2 is rising faster than the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the 2007 IPCC report, which were already unimaginable, like massive species loss on land and sea — perhaps 50% or more of all biodiversity.

All of this to say that it has been very difficult week to ignore climate change.

Thankfully, today’s news comes with more than simply information. There is an event. Thousands of protestors, including actors, Nobel peace prize winner, and, of course, 350.org’s Bill McKibben, are planning to encircle the White House at 2pm EST in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline — a 1,661-mile project to transport oil from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Extracting crude from sand emits three times more carbon than conventional oil production, contributing to global warming that Obama pledged to fight.

“You can’t occupy the White House, but you can surround it,” said McKibben. The group is calling for the President to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, a decision President Obama says he will make after the results of an environmental-review are publicly released.