Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s Op-Ed for Truthout: “Clearing Our Heads About Keystone”

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi at University of the West, Rosemead, CA, on October 30, 2012. Photo by Niphon Suk.

Our friend Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi branches out from his wonderful op-eds at Tricycle‘s blog, and drops knowledge and compassion on Truthout this week with an excellent op-ed responding to the recent US State Department Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline: “Clearing Our Heads About Keystone”. It should go without saying that this is a must-read. Here’s a snippet.

There is a fixed ceiling to the quantity of carbon we can release into the atmosphere without setting off irreversible changes that will transform the face of the planet and prove inhospitable to human life. We’re rapidly approaching that limit, drawing ever closer as newly industrialized countries try to stake out more prominent roles in the global market economy. If we’re to avoid catastrophe, we’ve got to know where to stop and when to stop, and then we’ve got to make the firm decision to actually stopour self-destructive behavior. In the scuffle to preserve the planet, Keystone XL has emerged as the battleground, the place where we draw a line in the sand, even if that sand is soaked with oil.

For historical reasons, it’s up to the United States to draw the line and say we won’t cross it. The impact statement, however, seems to treat the government, including the president, as a mere passive observer being pushed along by the irresistible tide of economic necessity. But while our government officials often act like passive pawns, they always retain the power to make decisions, and these decisions have far-reaching consequences.

Read the whole thing here.

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