To Our Professors Mentors and Advisors at Cornell: Join the Tar Sands Action on November 6th

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To Our Professors, Mentors and Advisors,

Today, we are writing to you as students from across the full range of Cornell’s course of study. We belong various departments–Development Sociology, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Science of Natural & Environmental Systems, Natural Resources, Environmental Engineering,  History, English, Government, Gender Studies, Comparative Literature, Biology, Industrial and Labor Relations, City & Regional Planning, International Agriculture & Rural Development–but we have one thing in common. You taught us about the drastic effects of climate change, and the undeniable impact it will have on our ecosystems, our economies and our social fabric. Though your teaching we’ve become young climate activists we’re proud to be.

And now we need your help, once again. In August, more than 40 students from New York State, many from Cornell, stood alongside 1,253 people from across the country to risk arrest in Washington D.C. in protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Many scientists (our own faculty among them) have declared that the pipeline, which will transport Tar Sands Oil from Alberta, Canada to the US Gulf of Mexico, represents a “game over” in the fight to stop climate change. The tons of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the project would push us well beyond what we now know is the most important number in the world: 350 parts per million of carbon in our atmosphere. All the research you’ve done, the fresh-faced students you’ve educated, the dreams of a just and sustainable future for your children and their children…would go down the drain.

But on November 6th, we’re taking a stand. We’re returning to DC with thousands of others to encircle the White House and to speak in a single voice: Stop the Key Stone XL Pipeline. November 6th is an important date. It’s one year before the next Presidential election, and we’re going to remind President Obama just who got him elected in 2008. For many of us now seniors, 2008 was the first time we participated in American Democracy, when we elected the leader who promised to “end the tyranny of oil.” Obama promised us all viable future, whether we’re Baby Boomers or Millenials. We’re holding him to it.

And we need you to stand with us. We’ve reached a critical moment to stand up and take action to protect our future and the future of planet Earth–the future for which your generation fought so hard. In the words of Bill McKibben, “now it’s time for people who’ve spent their lives pouring carbon into the atmosphere to step up too, just as many of us did in earlier battles for civil rights or for peace.” Already, dozens of health scientists, climate scientists, religious leaders, and politicians have already pledged their support or participated in acts of civil disobedience to stop the pipeline.

Now, on November 6th, people of all ages, NOT just college students, are joining the movement in Washington D.C. to stop the Key Stone XL Pipeline.

So to the professors, mentors and advisors who shaped who we are today, we have one question: Will you join us?

Here’s how we can stand together:

  • Join us on November 6th in Washington DC at the Tar Sands Action. Sign up to get on bus, car pool or to drive to the action here: NY Joins the Tar Sands Action. Read the November 6th invitation from Bill McKibben (McKibben was the 2011 ISCOL lecturer, author, activist, and creator of
  • Host a 3 minute student presentation at the beginning of your lecture or seminar to help us spread the word about the Key Stone XL Pipeline and recruit members of the Cornell Community to the action. To set up a presentation please email Aubree Keurajian at and Dennis Fox at
  • Donate to our transportation fund to help us secure a second bus to help us bring dozens more students and our community members to bravely stand together on November 6th. Please contact KC Alvey at and make checks out to KyotoNOW! Cornell. (We can really use your support here!)

With Joy, Love, and Resolve,

The students of KyotoNOW! and the Sustainability Hub


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