"Save the Whales" was a rallying cry of 1970's environmentalism. The great sea mammals had been hunted to the brink of extinction and grassroots activists rallied to save them. But there might not have been any whales left to protect if the world hadn't embraced petroleum in place of whale oil a century earlier.
The pipeline -- a project that must be first approved by President Obama -- would transport millions of barrels of a type of crude that contains 20 percent more carbon than the conventional kind. Scientists have warned that if this project were completed, it would mean game over for the planet's climate.