Vanessa Rule, Founder of Mothers Out Front, released a statement below discussing why she took action and risked arrest to stop construction on the West Roxbury Lateral pipeline. A video of her taking action precedes her statement below.
“In the spring of 2014 I was driving my daughter Isabelle, then 15, home from school. It was 4pm and on the radio, the announcer shared the top of the news: Today for the first time in recorded human history, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reached 400ppm. This was a poignant moment for me. I’d been working as hard as I could with countless others to ensure we never got there. I looked in the rearview mirror at my daughter. “We’re studying climate change in class this week. Did you know that the longer we stay above 350ppm, the more dangerous it is?” “And did you know that the carbon we put up in the atmosphere today won’t be felt for another 40 years? “Yep – I said, with a heavy heart. Then there was silence. In my rearview mirror, I saw her connecting the dots. Then she lurched forward, grabbed my seat, and cried emphatically, “so why aren’t they doing anything?” My heart broke.
When Isabelle was born, CO2 levels were around 370ppm. She’s almost 17 and they are above 400. I know that every ppm we add to the atmosphere gets us closer to an unviable future for Isabelle, her brother Cedric, and all the kids alive today – and – and that extraction, transportation, and burning of gas, coal, and oil harms the health and safety of those living in communities like this one today.
As of 2012, projections were for 100 million deaths by 2030 as a result of climate change. That’s the equivalent of 6 holocausts. Every day we hear of a new massive storm, fire, drought, yet business as usual ensues. We know that every ounce of CO2 we emit gets us closer to ensuring our species, and so many other’, extinction
I’d like to ask Spectra officials and shareholders how they can, in good conscience, be building a pipeline that we know is going to destroy my child, and every other child alive today’s future and very likely, human life on earth. And how can we, let them?
I am taking action today because after 10 years of working with countless others to ensure a swift, complete, and just transition to safe energy within the bounds of the law, I have no other recourse to protect my children and I can’t in good conscience stand by while some commit crimes against humanity.
I’m here today because as a white, middle class woman in the United States, I have the privilege to take this step without fearing the deadly response of the police force or my state – and so I have to, because others can’t. If you have that privilege, I invite you to join me and the many others across this country who have taken this step, so we can restore all communities to justice and safety and ensure a livable future for all children alive to come and those to come. It is time we stop this madness.”