On Feb. 11 I joined a demonstration during a frigid snowstorm in Waterville to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Four hours later, my feet were still cold, but between the chanting, singing and speeches with 45 Colby students and community members, it was interesting and fun.

The Dakota Access Pipeline threatens to poison the water supply of the Sioux Tribe at Standing Rock and threatens to worsen climate change. Unfortunately, our president has approved the final construction of both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

These two pipelines will open up the bottlenecks in transporting tar sands oil and Bakken oil. This will be profitable for fossil fuel corporations and in the short run we may get cheaper fuel. But this is a dilemma, because fully exploiting these oil deposits will mean game over for climate change. Short-term economic benefit and long-term destruction of our grandchildren’s ability to thrive.

Fossil fuel corporations are diversifying now, investing in renewable energy, but they are going slow. Why not stop investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure and invest more quickly in green energy? Apparently, this would be a little less profitable, and corporations are all about maximizing immediate profits.

And a lot of our politicians are all about the campaign donations they get from corporations. Right now, our federal government wants to eliminate all regulations that slow down fossil fuel extraction, regardless of safety concerns.

So we have to get loud and tell our leaders to resist these changes, and pay more attention to our survival. Come to the huge Climate Mobilization March behind the State House in Augusta on April 29 at 10 a.m. We’ll get our representatives’ attention and help protect Maine’s future.

Richard Thomas

Waterville