The Pipeline and the Paradigm: Keystone XL, Tar Sands, and the Battle to Defuse the Carbon Bomb

Overview

This thoroughly researched and wholly engaging book investigates the economic, ecological, political, and psychological issues behind the Keystone XL pipeline—a project so controversial it has inspired the largest expression of civil disobedience since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. With enough carbon trapped in the Canadian tar sands to plunge the Earth into irreversible climate change, it is the Keystone XL pipeline that will set that carbon free. The debate rages on over whether this 2,100-mile long ...

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The Pipeline and the Paradigm: Keystone XL, Tar Sands, and the Battle to Defuse the Carbon Bomb

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Overview

This thoroughly researched and wholly engaging book investigates the economic, ecological, political, and psychological issues behind the Keystone XL pipeline—a project so controversial it has inspired the largest expression of civil disobedience since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. With enough carbon trapped in the Canadian tar sands to plunge the Earth into irreversible climate change, it is the Keystone XL pipeline that will set that carbon free. The debate rages on over whether this 2,100-mile long steel pipeline is a vital piece America’s energy future or the conduit for global climate disaster. From the enormous tar sands mines in Alberta to a tree-top blockade in Texas, this book introduces the people and explores the competing interests that power the environmental issue of the current generation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Environmental activist Avery travels the route of TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, engaging in frank and respectful dialogue with proponents and opponents in Alberta, Canada, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Admittedly partisan Avery, who was once arrested while protesting the Pipeline, illustrates the personal side of global ecological issues. Beginning with an exploration of dichotomous thinking about economy vs. ecology, he argues for a new paradigm of interdependent solutions. Using interviews and anecdotes, he introduces readers to a vast array of opinions surrounding the pipeline: a Republican rancher in Nebraska fighting TransCanada’s arrogant claims of eminent domain; a North Dakota farmer with damaged land from an undetected leak; an elderly woman in Texas pressured into signing over access to her property. Avery respectfully presents opposing viewpoints as well, including a lengthy interview with a TransCanada v-p and a moving encounter with a farmer whose support for the pipeline stems from believing in man’s God-given right to transform the Earth. While the paradigm shift Avery describes isn’t groundbreaking, his finely researched book blazes with hope. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“Environmental activist Avery travels the route of TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline, engaging in frank and respectful dialogue with proponents and opponents. His finely researched book blazes with hope.”  —Publishers Weekly

“Avery, a longtime social activist and solar-panel entrepreneur, offers a guided tour of all the contentious issues surrounding the pipeline. While Avery gives pipeline promoters a fair hearing, it’s clear where his values lie. Extremely useful analysis.”   —Booklist

“A mixture of science, philosophy, and first-person advocacy. The book is adamantly anti-Keystone XL, but Sam Avery gives space to the other side, respectfully allowing them their say, and letting their side of the story deepen his thinking about the issue.”  —NUVO

Library Journal
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline was in the news during the recent presidential campaign, and here Avery (Buddha and the Quantum) examines its role in the future of our planet. The pipeline will pump heavy oil from Canada's vast tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico for refining and possible export. Avery explains that the paradigm of the title is a shift from economic to ecological priorities. Economically, the pipeline represents a part of U.S. energy security. Ecologically, it's "the fuse of the Alberta carbon bomb," and will hasten climate change. The author travels the pipeline's route across the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. He interviews pipeline supporters, landowners, and activists, then joins in acts of civil disobedience. These protests won't always stop the pipeline's construction, but, he admits, they may help shift the country's thinking about fossil fuels. VERDICT This folksy book also contains hard scientific truth. Essential reading for residents of Alberta and states or provinces with similar issues, and recommended for everyone concerned about climate change.—David Conn, formerly with Surrey Libs., B.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985574826
  • Publisher: Ruka Press
  • Publication date: 4/23/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 600,280
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Avery is a certified solar installer, longtime social activist, and trainer in nonviolent resistance techniques. He is the author of four books, including The Buddha and the Quantum and The Globalist Papers. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, an activist, and the cofounder and chairman of the board of 350.org. He is the author of Eaarth and The End of Nature. He lives in Vermont.

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