Since the Tar Sands Action in DC ending last weekend, many have wondered what they can do in their hometowns to continue the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Lead organizers of the Tar Sands Actions demonstration have indicated continued pressure on Obama is essential and one simple and easy way to do that is to write a Letter to the Editor.
The editorial page is the second most widely read page of the newspaper after the front page and an excellent way to bring attention to any issue. Here are some tips on how to write one:
- A letter to the editor should be short- no more than 250 words (varies with paper) -clear, direct and simple, with a maximum of two or three points.
- Try to find a local angle. Why should people in your area care about the issue?
- Sign it and include a way for the press to contact you to confirm that you wrote the letter.
- Check out local newspapers and research the proper way of sending the letter.
- Keep your fingers crossed and wait for your letter to get published!
Check out this example Letter to the Editor that was written for a campus newspaper. The writer, Chloe Gleichman, was recently arrested at the Tar Sands Action in DC and uses her experience to bring a sense of seriousness and urgency to her letter.
I was arrested. Not for the reasons one might assume when considering a student at a school recognized for its parties, but for protesting a proposed tar sands pipeline that would cut our nation in half, carrying the world’s dirtiest oil all the way to Texas for energy-intensive refinement.
The pipeline would threaten enormous water supplies, poison our air, and emit greenhouse gases in such high quantities that leading scientists have deemed it “game over for the climate.” While it was not my dream to get arrested, I chose to risk arrest in front of the White House because it is far past time our leaders defend our planet in the name of a clean and livable future.
For too long, we have protected the interests of corporations that profit from irresponsible destruction of life-sustaining resources and it is imperative this comes to an end. I was arrested in the effort to stop the development of this abominable practice in hope and in struggle for a better world, one that embraces sustainable practices instead of relying on short-term, short-sighted solutions that ignore the well being of all life.
In a world suffocated by the selfish interests of the privileged few, we must build an oppositional culture — a resistance of sorts, to boldly stand against those who seek only to profit from destruction. I was arrested last Monday to create exactly that. So when the next generation asks me what I was doing when the powers-that-be were systematically destroying our world, I will be able to say I was fighting back.
So take action today and write a Letter to the Editor at a newspaper in your hometown!
For more Letter to the Editor examples, check these out!
- Government should oppose Keystone Xl Pipeline, by Mike Specian Phillipsburg
- Protesting the Keystone Xl, by Dean Hulse
- Tar Sands and Carbon Numbers