We want to commend the Keystone Pipeline/tar sands protestors in Washington, D.C.
As doctors, we know the human health risks of the tar sands project in Alberta, Canada, and its devastation to our climate, environment and human health. The Athabascan River, one of the largest watersheds on our continent, is so polluted from this project that indigenous people downstream are dying of cancer. Climatologists have researched the impact on our fragile ecosystem and the consequences are dire.
The tar sands will only continue to supply us with oil for a short time, and yet we are willing to sacrifice our children's future to get it. The "heavy haul" issues we have faced in our own backyard have been about transporting equipment to the tar sands project. The Keystone pipeline carries significant risks, as we all know, looking at the last few years of oil spills and their consequences.
To be willing to gather with others in the name of our children and the future of this planet is a commendable effort. As we see physicians, scientists, professors, environmentalists, students and others being arrested, we need to pay attention to this effort and stand in solidarity with them.
Georgia Milan, Jeff Schroeder, Florence