by Fr. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
“Everybody’s told me over and over and over again it’s a done deal, it’s going to happen, how childish it is for everyone to protest it,” Bill McKibben, founder of the group 350.org and one of our leading environmental activists, told The New York Times last week, referring to President Barack Obama’s upcoming announcement about whether or not to go ahead with the destructive 1,700-mile cross-border Keystone XL pipeline.
“But it never seemed like a done deal to me because it’s so illogical,” McKibben continued. “This is the dirtiest oil anyone has ever managed to find on the face of the earth, and it’s always seemed to me that given even a remotely fair hearing people would figure that out.”
Anyone who is paying attention and cares for the Earth and not oil company profits realizes this pipeline will be an environmental disaster for North America and a huge threat to the global climate. As NASA scientist and prophetic leader James Hansen told McKibben a few years ago, the Keystone XL pipeline will be “game over for the planet.”
I fully support the ongoing protests against the Keystone XL pipeline and hope and pray that the Obama administration will do the right thing and refuse to go ahead with it and make even tougher decisions to reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuels and protect creation.
That would be the conclusion of anyone who reads the wise new book Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth, a beautiful collection of interfaith essays by some of our greatest thinkers about the environment, spirituality and catastrophic climate change. Contributors include Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, Wendell Berry, Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr, Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry, Vandana Shiva, Bill Plotkin, Dominican Sr. Miriam MacGillis and Winona LaDuke, among others...