Ben Gotschall and Andrea Harden-Donahue during the Prairies Energy East speakers tour, April 2015
I first heard the expression “from NIMBY (not in my back yard) to NOPE (not on planet earth)” from Ben Gotschall, a rancher and Energy Director with Bold Nebraska. Ben first entered the fight against TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline because it threatened the Ogallala aquifer, the water source his ranch depends on. The Council of Canadians brought him to Canada to speak with audiences along the Energy East pipeline path in New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He shared insights about his journey, which started with his desire to protect his ranch and resulted in him joining a movement that rejects the expansion of the Alberta tar sands because of its impacts on Indigenous communities, our water and climate.