EDITOR: Sunday's paper contained an article about a protest against the proposed Keystone Pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast ("Locals join protest against oil pipeline"). One of this movement's arguments is a comment from a NASA scientist that burning the tar sands oil will be a "game over" for climate change. While I believe this to grossly exaggerate the impact of one project, I believe the protest misses the point.
Stopping the pipeline will not stop the production of tar sands oil. I am sure that the Canadians have every intention of continuing this lucrative project. Without the Keystone Pipeline, they will probably build a pipeline to Vancouver or some other port and ship the oil across the ocean in huge supertankers. Meanwhile, the United States will import the same amount of oil across the ocean in another supertanker. Thus, stopping the pipeline is a net loss for the environment.
Halting the entire oil sands project is a different matter. Maybe there needs to be a protest at the Canadian Embassy. Or at the site. Northern Alberta is very nice this time of year.