Keystone Crazy

What’s going on? Call me crazy, but in, No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy. Thomas Friedman makes a bit of sense.

I HOPE the president turns down the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Who wants the U.S. to facilitate the dirtiest extraction of the dirtiest crude from tar sands in Canada’s far north?) But I don’t think he will. So I hope that Bill McKibben and his coalition go crazy. I’m talking chain-themselves-to-the-White-House-fence-stop-traffic-at-the-Capitol kind of crazy, because I think if we all make enough noise about this, we might be able to trade a lousy Keystone pipeline for some really good systemic responses to climate change.

… environmentalists should have a long shopping list ready, starting with a price signal that discourages the use of carbon-intensive fuels in favor of low-carbon energy. Nothing would do more to clean our air, drive clean-tech innovation, weaken petro-dictators and reduce the deficit than a carbon tax.

I can’t see Obama saying no to Keystone, either. Getting a carbon tax, or increasing the gasoline tax, or maybe cleaning up Hanford’s nuclear waste mess, in exchange, would be better than nothing.

We have to do our part, though. Many ads and commercials talk about bigger being better, faster being better, etc. but there used to be a small is beautiful movement. In another OpEd, Graham Hill, the founder of TreeHugger talks about, Living With Less. A Lot Less.

We live in a world of surfeit stuff, of big-box stores and 24-hour online shopping opportunities. Members of every socioeconomic bracket can and do deluge themselves with products.

There isn’t any indication that any of these things makes anyone any happier; in fact it seems the reverse may be true.

For me, it took 15 years, a great love and a lot of travel to get rid of all the inessential things I had collected and live a bigger, better, richer life with less.


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