B.C. economist blocks coal trains in White Rock

One of Canada's leading energy-environment economists is leading a protest in White Rock, B.C., Saturday aimed at stopping coal trains from reaching local ports.

Mark Jaccard, a professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, joined about 30 protesters lined up on rail tracks alongside the White Rock pier.

The protesters vow they will stop Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains from delivering U.S. coal to the Deltaport.

Police issued an injunction Saturday morning, but the protesters said they're ready to face charges of civil disobedience and are willing to be arrested.

In a written statement, Jaccard said it was time to take a stand to stop actions that he claims cause climate change.

"The window of opportunity for avoiding a high risk of runaway, irreversible climate change is closing quickly," he said.

"Within this decade we will either have steered away from disaster, or have locked ourselves onto a dangerous course. Our governments continue to ignore the warnings of scientists and push forward with policies that will accelerate the burning of fossil fuels.

"Private interests — coal, rail, oil, pipeline companies and the rest — continue to push their profit driven agenda, heedless of the impact on the rest of us."

Jaccard went on to call government's response to climate change concerns "entirely inadequate."

"Putting myself in a situation where I may be accused of civil disobedience is not something I have ever done before," he said. "But the current willingness of especially our federal government to brazenly take actions that ensure we cannot meet scientifically and economically sound greenhouse gas reduction targets for Canada and the planet leaves me with no alternative."

His statement continued, adding Jaccard was acting for future generations.

"I now ask myself how our children, when they look back decades from now, will have expected us to have acted today. When I think about that, I conclude that every sensible and sincere person, who cares about this planet and can see through lies and delusion motivated by money, should be doing what I and others are now prepared to do."

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