From Mr Larry Pryor.

Sir, Your call for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline through the US (“The wrong battle for the climate”, editorial, November 18) shows a remarkable devotion to economics and global oil logistics as the touchstones for rational public policy. This overlooks the placement of President Barack Obama’s decision within a larger context of interlocking local, regional and global ecosystems.

Start with the poisoning of Alberta’s rivers and existing damage to the health of wildlife and indigenous peoples. (Tar sands production has created the largest impoundments of toxic water on the planet. They are vulnerable to overflow and leakage.) Then take into account steady removal of Alberta’s boreal forest, which is not only a pristine and unique ecosystem but an enormous, and badly needed, sink for atmospheric CO2. Then consider the release of enormous quantities of CO2 into an overburdened atmosphere, whether due to production processes in Canada or later refinement and consumption of the oil elsewhere. Spills en route pose other threats. Please consider alternatives.

Larry Pryor, Associate Professor, School of Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, US

Get alerts on Letter when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)