The Conversation

Keystone Opponents Plan Civil Disobedience, Waste Paper Towels

The NY Times political and government blog reports that activists who gathered at a conference over the weekend vowed widespread civil disobedience if the Obama administration takes the next step toward approval of the Keystone XL pipeline:

If the State Department’s National Interest Determination finds in favor of the pipeline — virtually the last hurdle before approval — demonstrators will risk arrest at more than 100 protests in 37 states, said Todd Zimmer, a campaigner with Rainforest Action Network who helped develop new training and recruitment guidelines for such direct action against Keystone XL. As of Monday, nearly 76,000 people have pledged to engage in “dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could result in my arrest in order to send the message to President Obama and his administration that they must reject the Keystone XL pipeline.”

But the author of the NY Times post also notes some obvious hypocrisy taking place at the Power Shift gathering of young activists over the weekend:

the gathering of committed activists illustrated the struggles of getting Americans to change basic habits in service of the environment. Paper coffee cups were tossed into canisters designated for bottles and cans, and in a women’s bathroom next to the main auditorium, paper towels spilled out of the trash can and onto the floor, even though the dispenser was right next to a high-speed air dryer.

Hand dryers are only for the unenlightened apparently. These folks are probably also not following Sheryl Crow's advice on the use of toilet paper.

I'm sure the author of this piece is going to take a hit for noting the inconsistency between what people profess and what they do, but isn't that pretty important. If the people who felt they could devote an entire weekend to enviro-activism can't be bothered with spending the extra 30 seconds to use a hand dryer why should the rest of us take them seriously when they offer advice on how to live?


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