Bill McKibben spoke eloquently at the Lensic last night about the grim realities of human induced climate change playing out harmfully all over the world including in the form of extreme droughts in the Southwest; but he also spoke of the real hope (spurred on by groups like his own called http://www.350.org/) when people bear witness to the climate crisis and spearhead a real change in US policy that is so direly needed to address the problem.
Following his talk, the Climate Change Leadership Institute (CCLI) awarded Bill McKibben the 2011 Climate Courage Award for his brave civil disobedience getting arrested with over 1000 citizens for protesting the Keystone Pipeline at the White House in August. Read the letter, linked here 2011%20Climate%20Courage%20Award%20Recipient%20Letter.pdf, elaborating on McKibben's Courage Award. To safeguard life on earth and prevent the contradictory demise of the climate, it is - as McKibben has demonstrated recently and taught over the course of his life's work - incumbent on the living generations to put ourselves on the line and make the collective commitment necessary to transform America to a beacon of sustainable energy, conservation and climate restoration.
Today, the day after McKibben spoke in Santa Fe, the US State Department announced that it will delay a decision to permit the pipeline (planned from the Tar Sands of Canada through our heartland to the Gulf of Mexico) until 2013 in consideration of the growing environmental and public concerns -http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/us/politics/administration-to-del.... This is a blow to the corporate interests driving the Keystone Pipeline's permitting approval through the US and a victory, albeit a temporary one, for the resounding voices of reason. As NASA scientist James Hansen said, if the Tar Sands - with nearly the same quantity of oil as Saudi Arabia's reserves - is fully extracted and exploited "it's essentially game over for the climate."
The bottom line is: employing direct action in bold, creative and disciplined ways can be the game changer by overcoming the deeply entrenched political and economic interests holding us back and ascending in its place America's climate leadership in the world.