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No To Keystone. Yes To Crazy By Thomas Friedman

1322 words - 5 pages

Even though it is the world’s grimiest form of petroleum, tar sand oil has recently moved onto the list of nature resources. In most cases, it takes more energy to produce than the oil yields in return, but Canada has a plethora of these reserves now open to our new technologies. The Keystone XL oil pipeline was purposed in 2008 to connect refineries in Alberta, Canada to plants in the Gulf of Texas; otherwise, it would not be economically feasible due to the cost of transporting. The production of the pipeline would create jobs and lessen the U.S.’s dependency on other countries’ oil but at a great risk to the environment. The decision is up to the president, who is supposed to make up his mind in the first half of this year. In the article “No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy.” Thomas Friedman tries to persuade readers to make noise over the Keystone XL oil pipeline. To do this, he uses emotional imagery that tugs at our need to feel safe and to aggress. Ultimately, either for or against it, this article is successful in provoking an emotional response.
Friedman’s article states that he hopes the president will turn it down, but he doesn’t think he will. As a result, he wishes “Bill McKibbin and his 350.org coalition go crazy. I’m talking chain-themselves-to-the-White-House-fence-stop-traffic-at-the-Capitol kind of crazy” (Friedman). He explains that if we make a big enough fuss over the pipeline we might get global responses to climate change. In his view, we have a rare advantage of a second-term Democratic president who is trying to create more jobs, but he also has an environmental counsel to keep happy. He writes, “So cue up the protests, and pay no attention to people counseling rational and mature behavior” (Friedman). If the president gives the okay, he should ask for something in return to appease his green base. He precedes to say that Obama deserves credit for the increase in vehicle mileage efficiency and for the limits on the discharges the new coal-fired plants release, but he removed the term “climate change” from his public discourse. Friedman claims that the president keeps his environmental counsel in a witness-protection program to prevent them from participating in debates coinciding with a record number of extreme weather events and major changes in the energy market. The changes he mentions deal with the new technology, which we hoped we’d use to make carbon-free fuel less costly, but is actually being used to reduce the expense of tapping into “natural gas trapped in in shale as well as crude oil previously unreachable, making cleaner energy alternatives much less competitive” (Friedman). Compared to coal, shale gas releases less than half the amount of carbon, but the technology we use to get to them produce great amounts of methane that actually contributes more to climate change than carbon dioxide. It will also reduce the price of gas putting renewable energy programs on the back burner. His answer to what...

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