Climate Scientist Sees No Choice but to Risk Arrest at Keystone XL Protests
Jason Box, known for his study of glaciers, says oil sands mining is a moral issue that he feels compelled to address. The two-week sit-in begins Saturday
WASHINGTON—His climatology career at Ohio State University is advancing swimmingly. He's never had a brush with the law. And his wife is eight months pregnant with their first child.
So staying home for the next several weeks in Columbus, Ohio, rather than risking arrest in the nation's capital certainly seems the ideal choice for professor Jason Box.
But the 38-year-old has never reveled in the idea of an intellectual or physical comfort zone.
His natural inquisitiveness — plus a dose of idealism and commitment — is why Box is intent on participating in his first-ever act of civil disobedience. The cause? Trying to convince President Obama that approving the extension of a controversial oil sands pipeline — the proposed $7 billion, 1,702-mile Keystone XL — would be the equivalent of lighting a fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet.
It's not a single-handed effort on Box's part. But as of mid-week he's evidently the only climate scientist who has registered to join about 2,000 other like-minded thinkers to line the fences surrounding the White House — where peaceful arrests are not uncommon for protesters of all stripes.