The Keystone XL Pipeline: Environment before Economy

Home S&S Opinion The Keystone XL Pipeline: Environment before Economy
The Keystone XL Pipeline: Environment before Economy
Map shows the original extent of the pipeline in addition to the proposed expansion (Los Angeles Times/MCT 2011).

By MEHAR NANGIA
Staff Writer

It is time for our generation to realize that the most pressing issue of our generation is the one that we all tend to ignore the most. Gun control, marriage equality and marijuana legalization are all very important progressive issues, but none of these will have any effect if Earth is not habitable. Without a doubt, the greatest hardship and the most important issue for our generation to tackle is climate change.

World temperatures are rising at unprecedented rates. According to the Huffington Post, scientists are predicting sea levels to rise to a point by 2050 that may inundate parts of Miami, let alone Venice. There will be no “taking my talents to South Beach” just by the time that we will be in our early 50s. The thought of that happening is very frightening.

Hence, outrage broe out when word of the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal began spreading a few years ago. How could the construction of the pipeline be allowed? Something that blatant would cause environmental damage, not just in a concentrated area but in the environments of locales from Alberta, Canada to Louisiana.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is essentially a pipeline that will move oil from Canadian tar sands down to the United States so that the dirty oil can then be further refined before it is sold. Proponents of the pipeline say that it will create jobs, decrease dependence on Arab oil and provide a general economic boost, but they overlook one big thing: climate change.

While it is good for the government to invest in energy projects, why are we stuck on oil? In this day and time, we have the ability to invest in brand new solar farms, wind turbines and even safer nuclear reactors. Why is it that many members of the Republican Party were adverse to the President’s solar initiative but are now willing to fund an oil campaign?

Their decisions are obvious because many of them are paid out by oil companies, but that does not mean that those opposing the pipeline should just give up. If we, the young people of this country, rally against funding and subsidizing programs like the Keystone XL pipeline, then we can truly make a change in this nation. The voice of money can be silenced.

We are not just citizens of America or of a particular country: we are citizens of Mother Earth. We must do what we can to protect her, not just for the world itself but for our kids, their kids and so on. I urge all of you to fight. The war against climate change is a war we must win.

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