Warning! I'm atop my soap-box and preaching to the choir today...
Whether you participated or not in screen-free week, it was hard to miss the horrific images of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The indelible images of the ocean on fire. There's been this slo-mo quality, as the news has unfolded. The mysterious blast. Eleven missing, then presumed dead. The sinking of the oil rig. The earlier estimates that the oil spill could be contained. Then the blaming, as the forces of nature and attempts at spill control have so far failed, and our president calls it a 'massive, unprecedented, environmental disaster.'If you're anything like me, you may have experienced a stew of emotions. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Powerlessness. Disbelief: underwater robots? Are they making this stuff up? Where do we go from here? That is the question. I have a few ideas:
- Educate yourself about crude oil, and it's devastating effects on land and water, both far and near, by reading Crude World if you have not already.
- Write your elected representatives and your president, and tell them you do not want any more offshore drilling.
- Join the Facebook group: 1,000,000 strong against offshore drilling.
- Join with 350.org, who also urge a ban on offshore drilling. Listen to the words Bill McKibben, the leader of 350.org, has movingly written:
'The oil spreading across the Gulf is a test, pure and simple. Think of its twisted outline as a Rorschach ink blot for a society -- maybe for a whole civilization. Will we respond in ways deep enough to matter? Or will we see nothing wrong in the devastating images of the oil slick, and continue on this path of destruction, danger, and dirty energy?'Oil companies will continue to drill as long as we keep buying their products and feeding the oil-dependent lifestyle. On the EnviroMom level, do what you can to break the habitl:
- switch to clean power/electricity if you haven't already
- drive less
- fix more vegetarian meals
- reduce unnecessary buying
You may also consider making a donation of your money or time to support clean-up efforts and wildlife care. Despite reassurances from the president that BP will pay, the non-profits are already out there, doing important work to save wildlife.
Maybe more than anything, we've been offered a moment grace, an opportunity to have important conversations with those friends and family who have been on the 'drill, baby, drill' side of the argument in the past. We have a chance to reduce our dependence on crude oil and grow the choir. Let's not blow it.