As director of Jimmy Carter’s Council on Environmental Quality, Yale ‘64’s Gus Speth was one of the first and most prominent government officials to call attention to the potentially disastrous effects of global warming. Nearly a quarter century later, as he held the position of dean of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, he could write critically that virtually no progress on the issue had been made since his warnings in the early 1980s. Now Speth has joined others to protest a move that environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben has warned may be a game changer in the uphill fight against global warming: the Keystone XL $7 billion oil pipeline proposed to run from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. Speth and McGibben were arrested outside the White House in August in the first wave of arrests that exceeded 2000, including Speth’s classmate Wally Winter, a recently retired public interest attorney from the Chicago area. . “The peaceful protesters, led by Bill McKibben, Gus Speth, and others,” the Huffington Post’s John Fullerton reported, “are shining a light on the consequences of continued investment in and expansion of tar sands oil production—what climate scientists say would make catastrophic climate change inevitable.” Not surprisingly, Keystone has claimed highly inflated numbers of jobs the project will generate, numbers which have been effectively challenged.The decision whether to grant permission to build the pipeline lies in President Obama’s hands, and on November 6th thousands showed up again at the White House to urge him to reject the project.


  • Very encouraging to see people from all walks of life engaging in the struggle to do what’s right for our planet and its inhabitants.

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