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Posts Tagged ‘oil spill’

the spill

If this is not a wake-up call for Americans I don’t really know what else could offer such blatant evidence of our over consumption of Earth. The devastation, most of which I believe is yet to be discovered, represents our misguided belief that our way of living can be sustained. How deep can we dig in, how much can we waste, and how much can we contanimate before the planet’s tipping point is reached? Why are most people so easily convinced by pundits tha twist science to suit their stumps that Earth is doing just fine these days? The stumping that goes on to convince those who call themselves “conservatives” that global warming is some leftist make-believe story while glaciers are breaking off of the ice shelf at a pace never before seen.

We can continue to wash oil from the coats and feathers of downed water foul as dead fish roll up on our beaches and say we’re addressing things just fine. We can cap the deep sea gusher (some estimates put that at one or more years out) and declare that we’ve put protections in place at other drilling sites so that this devastation never again happens. Unless we open our eyes and start becoming part of the process that was meant to prevent this from ever happening, nothing will change. Where is the U.S.’s clean, renewable energy policy? The federal regulatory agencies responsible for reviewing and approving drilling proposals have been cozy with big oil it seems for years-should this really surprise us?Citizen oversight is sorely missing from so many policy decisions and the apathy that results in less than half of 18-25 year olds voting in regular elections means that something very different needs to start happening.

As I’m completing my letter to President Obama requesting that he take a stance and issue a ban on commerical whaling, I’m as convinced as Margaret Mead was that change will only come from regular citizens banding together to bring about the change we wish to see in the world. Big oil, big pharma, big industry, big business seem to be directing our policies- our democracy demands citizen direction and oversight to function properly yet how many of us truly get involved and demand a radically different course? We are paying big time now for our inattention and inaction. Our wildlife is being pushed to extinction by human activity, our fisheries depleted, we allow our ground water and oceans to accept toxic waste, we have a factory-farming system that tortures and abuses animals so we can eat a meat-based diet that is too, unsustainable.

How much time do we have left to change? Being the eternal optimist myself, I believe it’s never to late to start doing the right thing. We can live in concert with nature while protecting our diverse bio-systems for future generations. The alternative is unacceptable. I heard a wonderful quote today while presenting a segment of our community poverty symposium by speaker Debbie Weinstein from the Coalition on Human Needs – it was by Kurt Vonnegut and it goes ” We could have saved the Earth but we were too damn cheap”. What will our legacy on this Earth be? Will we in the end have been too damn cheap and too damn lazy to have saved ourselves? Will we leave a charred barren crisp of a planet devoid of all life and hope? Saving our natural world means saving ourselves – what will we decide to do?

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