Climate scientist willing to face arrest at tar sands pipeline protest

Jason Box

Climate scientist Jason Box during an expedition in Greenland in July 2008. Photograph: Byrd Polar Research Center

Climate scientist Jason Box says oil sands are a moral issue that he feels compelled to address at Keystone XL pipeline protests

By Elizabeth McGowan
August 2011

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.

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