RNA Advisor Lynne Quarmby Walks the Walk

lynne_quarmby_arrestedReligious naturalists take their commitment to Ecomorality seriously, but do so in different ways: some simply think about it a lot; some take on climate-change-denier Uncle Fred at Thanksgiving dinner; some donate to activist organizations; and many practice forms of eco-mindedness that range from recycling to eating locally grown food to driving a Prius. RNA Advisor Lynne Quarmby goes the extra distance. As detailed here, she and others were arrested for taking on Kinder Morgan, a company planning a tar sands pipeline extension through Burnaby Mountain near Vancouver.

KM’s ongoing “geological survey” entails cutting trees and boring holes deep into the mountain, and protesters have been occupying the work sites despite injunctions. On November 21, Lynne stepped across a police line and was arrested. She and others also face a lawsuit from the company.

Lynne is a genetics professor at Simon Frasier University in Vancouver. She is correctly described in the newspaper as “mild-mannered,” but she has convictions of steel and, as a self-described religious naturalist for many years, takes nature to heart. Here’s part of her speech delivered before she crossed the line:

The NEB (National Energy Board) process is now a sham…We have a process that does not allow consideration of climate change…at a time that climate change is the biggest problem facing humanity. It’s unethical. The new NEB Act is written as requested by the oil industry.

At the end of the day when you’re dealing with unjust law and abusive power, the last resource we have is civil disobedience. It’s done in full respect of the rule of law. But it’s also done with serious responsibility with being a citizen in this country.

So now, I’m going to turn around and walk up this hill — and be the best citizen I can be.

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