Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keystone XL Update

Take action!
A message from CREDO Action:

This is why activism matters.
Six months ago, the Obama Administration was set to approve one of the single most environmentally disastrous fossil fuel projects imaginable.
Today, it's dead.
The Keystone XL pipeline — designed to bring filthy tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas so that oil companies can profit by selling the oil overseas — was dealt a severe setback yesterday when President Obama said no to an election year blackmail threat by the American Petroleum Institute and its lackeys in Congress.
But President Obama didn't reject Keystone XL because he wanted to. Or because he thought it was the right thing to do. Or because he thought it would help his reelection campaign. He rejected it because you made him do it.
It's a victory for activists. But because the President rejected the pipeline on a narrow technicality,1 in no way has he set down a clear marker against the pipeline or the carbon bomb that burning Canadian tar sands oil in China represents.
We want to thank the many groups and thousands of activists, who, following the inspiring call of Bill McKibben, joined us in putting massive public pressure on the President. In fact, CREDO waged the single largest activism campaign in our history.2
It was this pressure that forced President Obama to initially delay the decision in November. And it was this pressure, combined with the Republicans' overzealous and irresponsible demand of a 60-day deadline that forced him yesterday to reject the pipeline permit.
Our pressure overcame the lies and propaganda of Republicans and oil giants, and their threats of "huge political consequences" if he didn't approve it.
Rejecting this pipeline was the right thing to do. But by rejecting it purely on a technicality, there are many things President Obama did not do:
  • He did not close the door to this pipeline once and for all. In fact, he specifically opened the door to the southern portion of Keystone XL, which would allow this oil to be exported overseas — the real reason TransCanada wanted Keystone XL in the first place.
  • He did not explain the imperative of stopping not just this project, but others that will expedite disastrous warming. Just the opposite — he touted the need to expand oil and gas drilling and made no mention of clean energy.
  • He did not refute the lies of Republicans and polluters, whose biggest "jobs plan" is a foreign oil pipeline whose chief purpose is to export oil overseas.
The time to lead us away from dirty fuels and prevent escalating global catastrophes from climate change is here. And President Obama still can.
Until President Obama makes a clear and compelling case to the American people for sweeping action to reduce our dependence on any and all fossil fuels, the pace of our transition will remain slower than what is required to stem the onrushing danger of climate pollution.
Until he refutes the false choice presented by Big Oil and Republicans — that we must choose between a clean energy future and a stable economy — he empowers and remains vulnerable to their attacks.
Until he shows his commitment to clean energy over dirty fossil fuels, the energy of progressive activists will be spent fighting individual bad decisions, instead of pushing to support needed progressive policies.
And ultimately, until President Obama takes the opportunity for a true moment of leadership that publicly raises the stakes on the fight to stabilize our climate, the State of our Union will remain deeply clouded.
Tell President Obama: It's time to lead on climate. Make the case in your State of the Union Address.
For now, it is clear that we must fight for every victory. It's also clearer than ever that when we fight, we can win.
Let's use this momentum to push for even broader victories to bring about the type of future that you and I know is still possible.
Thank you for being part of this historic victory.
Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. You can read President Obama's statement rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline on a narrow technicalityhere.
2. CREDO activists submitted 1,188,106 petition signatures and public comments to the White House, the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, House and Senate leadership, the Nebraska legislature, and TransCanada. CREDO members also made 36,360 calls to the White House, Obama for America, and House and Senate offices, organized a protest with more than 1,000 people outside of an Obama fundraiser in San Francisco and submitted 156,615 public comments to the State Department as part of the formal hearing process on the project. Hundreds of CREDO Activists were arrested as part of White House civil disobedience and hundred attended public hearings along the proposed pipeline route.

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