Category Archives: Climate Change

Be The Change USA endorses letter to Obama: “Keep it in the ground”

DENVER— The following Local, regional and national organizations sent a letter today to President Obama calling on him to “keep federal fossil fuels in the ground” and cancel the Bureau of Land Management’s federal oil and gas lease sale slated for Nov. 12 in Lakewood, Colo., owing to concerns over runaway greenhouse gas pollution and the climate crisis: Continue reading

Wes Wilson urges tighter control of fugitive methane

In testimony at an EPA public hearing this week, Wes Wilson of Be The Change USA urged regulators to tighten control over methane emissions from oil and gas wells. Below is Wes’s complete testimony at the hearing.


“I worked here — at EPA’s Regional Office in Denver — as an environmental engineer for over 35 years. I represent BE THE CHANGE, a Colorado non-profit organization dedicated to better government.

I’m here today as a concerned citizen to testify that these rules are inadequate as a remedy and not in time to be effective.

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Obama administration resists Freedom of Information Request on Keystone XL approval process

State Department denies request for quick release of lobbyist documents; appeal filed

WASHINGTON – April 26 – The State Department has denied Friends of the Earth’s request for expedited release of internal documents that could shed light on the web of lobbyists TransCanada and the Province of Alberta have hired in order to fast track approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Friends of the Earth today filed a formal appeal. Continue reading

Sierra Club and Arrange Busing from Denver to Keystone XL Hearing in Nebraska

The Sierra Club and are coordinating bus transportation from Denver/Boulder to the only public hearing regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 18th, in Grand Island, Nebraska. Given the long distance of the hearing from large cities, it’s likely the location was chosen to suppress participation in the hearing and discourage public input. TransCanada, the company that plans to build the pipeline, is hoping that it’ll be a small gathering – that nobody will make a fuss. They’re hoping that it’s too far away from major cities, hoping that we’ve gotten bored, hoping that we’re not paying attention. We need to prove them wrong. Please sign up here to attend the public hearing:

RSVP first on this signup page, and if you’re on Facebook you can RSVP there too!

Continue reading

One Man’s Stand Against the Keystone XL Pipeline – Part 4

On Nov. 13, 2012, TransCanada started bulldozing Michael Bishop’s property to build the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in Nacogdoches, Texas. Photo courtesy of Tar Sands Blockade

Here is the final installment of the four-part story on Marine veteran Mike Bishop’s legal fight against TransCanada:

Part IV: America Becomes Sacrifice Zone for Export Pipeline.”

If you haven’t read the first three installments, you can find them here.

If you are moved by the Bishop family’s plight, please contribute to his legal defense at: Land Owners Against Trans Canada Pipeline. Mike and the other courageous landowners in Texas and Oklahoma who are doing battle with TransCanada are fighting for us all.


Current Climate Models Neglect Methane Feedback

If the Arctic tundra thaws (see the graphic below), climate scientists believe it may represent an irreversible tipping point that sends climate warming out of control.  The methane released would take at least 250 years to first be converted into CO2 and then be pulled into the oceans and plant life where it can be removed by fixation.  Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.  So, release of one ton of methane is like releasing 21 tons of CO2.  In a reference article here:  (,  it states: “[A]s of 2011, no climate model incorporates the effects of methane released from melting permafrost, suggesting that even the most extreme climate scenarios in the models might not be extreme enough.”  This article also covers methane hydrates that climate scientists say may, as a result of warming oceans, begin to melt and release the methane trapped in more shallow ocean beds such as the Arctic ocean.

Locations where permafrost exists in the Arctic (northern high latitudes). Source: Philippe Rekacewicz, 2005



One Man’s Stand Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

On Nov. 13, 2012, TransCanada started bulldozing Michael Bishop’s property to build the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in Nacogdoches, Texas. Photo courtesy of Tar Sands Blockade

This is an extremely powerful firsthand account of a United States Marine in Texas who refuses to back down from the illegitimate Keystone XL pipeline that is destroying his land (the progression of photos in the articles is heartbreaking). I challenge anyone to read this series and not be outraged by TransCanada’s corporate thuggery:

Part I: One Man’s Stand Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

Part II: U.S. Marine Battles TransCanada in Court over Eminent Domain for Keystone XL

Part III: Calling for Reinforcements from Behind Enemy Lines in the Fight Against Keystone XL

Part IV: America Becomes Sacrifice Zone for Export Pipeline.”

I received this from Mike on Friday: “I just woke up to what I thought was an earthquake but it was the pipe laying machines rumbling in front of my door down the creek, to lay more pipe… it is only 120 feet from my house…” Then this on Saturday: “I wish I had a tape recorder so you could hear the noise they are making today. The noise is deafening.”  PLEASE ASK YOURSELF HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF TRANSCANADA WAS DOING THIS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

Mike has been financing his courageous legal fight against Keystone XL out of pocket, but is in the process of setting up a legal defense fund. If you feel moved by the Bishop family’s plight, I hope you will contribute to his family’s defense. I will send more details on that, along with Part IV of his four-part series, soon…

Tom Weis
Climate Crisis Solutions
(303) 378-1364

Cascading Climate Change Tipping Points Could Send the Planet into a Hellish Spin

In its 2012 World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency gives a flip of the coin, 50-50 chance of stopping short of 2 Celsius warming above pre-industrial levels, if, and it’s a big if, we keep 2/3 of all fossil fuels in the ground:

Here’s reasonably well-argued scenario of what happens if we lose the flip of the coin.

“If we cross the ‘tipping point’ of Amazonian collapse and soil carbon release that lies somewhere above two degrees, then another 250 ppm of CO2 would pour into the atmosphere, yielding another 1.5C (2.7F) of warming and taking us straight into the four-degree world. Once we arrive there, the accelerated release of carbon and methane from thawing Siberian permafrost will send even more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, driving yet more warming, and perhaps pushing us on into the five-degree world. At this level of warming, Š organic methane hydrate release becomes a serious possibility, catapulting us into the ultimate mass extinction apocalypse of six degrees. The lesson is as clear as it is daunting: If we are to be confident about saving humanity and the planet from the worst mass extinction of all time, worse even than that at the end of the Permian, we must stop at two degrees.”

Mark Lynas. Six Degrees. 2008. National Geographic Society by arrangement with HarperCollins. P.276