A Young Leader’s Call to Action

NWF   |   November 3, 2011

Dan Weisshar is a former NWF Global Warming Policy Intern and currently serves as a Youth Advisor on NWF’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Board Directors. Dan  grew up in Colorado and Eastern Wyoming and earned his degree in Global   Studies from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. Most recently, Dan worked in the Clean Air Movement with Breathe DC until October of this year.  Dan is currently exploring his next opportunities in the environmental and rural advocacy fields.  Dan can be reached at danweisshaar@gmail.com


To all of those who haven’t decided if they are going to the Tar Sands Action on the 6th at the White House or one of the many solidarity events around the country:

I know some of you are on the fence, but I am excited for the Tar Sands Action on November 6th .  I am excited because we have a chance to say, “There are Americans with a way of life that is slipping, and if they don’t have soil and water you don’t have food.”  I grew up in Wyoming and Colorado where my great grandparents had their homestead, and I have friends and family in three Western states and all over the East Coast who farm and ranch.  As any good farmer or rancher will tell you, soil, water, and weather is all they have going for them; climate change directly threatens their very way of life.  Already, less than 1% of our Citizens can be called farmers, and with global warming influenced droughts, fires, and floods people have been forced to think about moving to the city.  The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would be a physical scar of what is yet to come.

Growing up in rural places also taught me that the outdoors can save your life, and can provide quiet during even life’s most hectic times.  These spots can be in your back yard, city park, state habitat area, or in a federally protected area. These little places in the middle of nowhere are sacred.  They teem with life delicate and strong, seen and unseen. To some the Pipeline would go through the middle of nowhere with no significant impact on species, but to many of us it is our place to find quite from the chaos, a place where we come to understand the delicate balance of life.

This pipeline is a pin-stroke away from being Obama’s official doctrine of environmental protection.  His real priorities come out when the choice for environmental protection is hard not when it’s convenient.   Sunday is our opportunity to remind Obama of his base’s priorities.  In one year he is up for another highly contested election, and we are looking for the opportunity to be his champion.  November 6th we will be in our communities and in front of The White House, it is our big chance to get Obama’s attention!  If you are on the fence please come and be a champion. What can it hurt?  At the very least you will have the opportunity to network with people who share your priorities and have enough drive to see the importance of showing up!