Meanwhile, back oFF~

~Westcoast Canada!

I recently received this important letter from www.WildernessCommittee.org :

No Pipelines, No Tankers, No Tar Sands!

Hi Sarah,

It seems like every week we see headlines about a new oil spill or pipeline leak somewhere in North America. The 2010 BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico made everyone aware of just how dangerous our society’s addiction to oil can be.

Despite this, our own government continues to allow big oil companies to vastly expand the system of pipelines taking tar sands crude oil to overseas markets. Here in BC’s Lower Mainland, I meet people all the time who are deeply concerned about climate change and the terrible impact of tar sands expansion. Many are aware that the tar sands are the largest industrial project in history, with pipelines expanding across the continent and little to no regard for the ecosystems and communities that lie in the infrastructure’s path.  But most people are shocked when I tell them Vancouver’s harbour is quickly becoming a key shipping terminal for tar sands crude.

Without any kind of proper public consultation [as with the HST], massive oil tankers have been allowed to pass through the narrows of the Port of Vancouver – already two tankers a week, each carrying more than three times more crude oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.  Kinder Morgan has applied to expand their Trans Mountain Pipeline so they can carry far more tar sands crude to the Pacific, and plans to ship even more oil are in the works.

All over North America, people are taking action to say ‘No’ to the expansion of tar sands pipelines. A mass civil disobedience action in Washington DC has been pressuring the US government to stop approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline proposed to carry tar sands crude oil from northern Alberta to refineries in Illinois, Oklahoma and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

At the same time, here in the Lower Mainland we are taking action to spotlight and protest the tar sands pipeline in our own backyard – in North Burnaby. Back in 2007, community members had to deal with a pipeline rupture that caused oil to gush out from underneath a city street. The danger that these tankers pose is NOT worth the risk of an oil spill. On Saturday, August 27th, we held a rally outside the refinery in North Burnaby, joined by our allies at the Council of Canadians, Tanker Free BC, Streams of Justice and StopThePave.org.

Our numbers are growing.  Together, we can help turn off the taps on the tar sands, stop Enbridge, stop Kinder Morgan, stop Keystone and ban tankers from Canada’s Pacific coast.  Please join us and get involved.

Ben West | Healthy Communities Campaigner
www.WildernessCommittee.org
 
Thank you for supporting the Wilderness Committee, Canada’s largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness preservation organization.  We work for the preservation of Canadian and international wilderness through research and grassroots education to achieve ecologically sustainable communities.

As a Wilderness Committee member and supporter, you are an important part of saving vital wilderness areas.  Please encourage your friends to sign up for our Action Alerts and/or help by volunteering.

If you would like to support the Wilderness Committee with a donation you can call us at (604) 683 8220.

The Athabasca Delta by Garth Lenz

Do petitions really WORK?

yup, they do!  Here’s a letter i recently received from Change.org…

Dear Sarah,Best. Week. Ever. Here’s what happened in the last seven days, because Change.org members took action:

1) Sled dogs, saved! After a hundred sled dogs were brutally massacred in British Columbia, Lost actor Ian Somerhalder created a campaign on Change.org to get the province to change its policies governing the treatment of animals. More than 67,000 people signed, and British Columbia just adopted the strongest anti-cruelty laws in all of Canada! 

2) Grand Canyon, preserved! With a uranium-mining ban about to expire in the area surrounding the famous U.S. landmark, Arizona resident Suzanne Sparling led the charge to extend it. She collected 50,000 public comments from Change.org members, and last Monday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his support for another 20-year ban on the dangerous practice.

3) Ai Weiwei released! A petition started by more than 20 directors of the world’s most famous art museums turned into an international movement. 140,000 of us joined the campaign, and on Wednesday the Chinese dissident artist was freed. Weiwei’s manager says Change.org members were “amazing” and personally thanked you for the support that helped to lead to his release.

4) Women in Saudi Arabia are driving! Saudi women activists won 3 campaigns on Change.org this week: With your help, they got charges dropped against Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested for driving a car in a country where it’s illegal for women to do so. After two more petitions targeting Hillary Clinton and Europe’s top ambassador Catharine Ashton, both spoke out forcefully in favor of giving women the right to drive (and Hillary says she only took a public stand because of this campaign!).

5) And the Minnesota Twins make 5. To cap it all off, CBS reported on Tuesday that the Minnesota Twins will be the 5th pro baseball team to make an “It Gets Better” video to help prevent suicide by teens who are bullied for being gay. Every team that’s made a video (Twins, Red Sox, Cubs, Mariners, and Giants) has done so after a local Change.org member started a petition asking them to. As these victories add up, the cumulative effect is eroding the culture of homophobia in men’s pro sports.

We accomplished all this together, but every single campaign began when one person created a petition on Change.org.

Click here to start your own petition now.

– Patrick and the Change.org team

P.S. Here’s another amazing fact: These are just 5 of the more than 200 campaigns that Change.org members have won in 2011. If there’s something you want to change about a policy in your town, a practice by a business, or anything you care about, click here to start your own petition.

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