Friday, June 4, 2010

Sad Days Ahead For The Gulf

A Brown Pelican is seen on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast after being drenched in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Thursday, June 3, 2010.

I wake up every morning wondering whether the flow of oil is going to slow today. Wondering what the ultimate price is that we'll pay for our oil dependence. Will B. P. eventually figure out how to cap the poison gushing into the Gulf and when (if) they do, will it be business as usual?

I sincerely hope that all the people picketing B. P. and the rage at this environmental disaster will continue until the world and especially this country realizes that we need affordable, clean energy.

Please understand that I'm not blaming B. P. alone, or the government for failing to regulate the industry. I'm blaming all of us. We've sold out for convenience. Need something at the grocery? Gotta run to the bank? I jump in my SUV and think nothing about it. Okay, it's a small SUV and gets pretty good mileage and I try to run all my errands at once so I maximize a tank of gas.

But, I'm afraid we're still years away from realizing the sacrifices we need to make.

I remember when Jimmy Carter was laughed out of office for even suggesting that we needed to make hard choices in stemming our thirst for oil. We were incensed when gas prices in 1978 rose to an average of (gasp!) $.63 a gallon!! But, we got over it and it was "business as usual." We're slowly realizing the price of our indifference more than 3 decades ago.

Not sure what I hope to accomplish with this blog post. Maybe just add my 2 cents to the anger and disgust for the shameful way we're ignoring the facts concerning our fragile world.

Thanks for reading this far! Oh, and in case oil in the Gulf doesn't interest you, try reading this: Arctic Sea Ice At Lowest Point In Thousands Of Years

Read About The Earth Day Network Website Don't be Stupid!


No Name Me said...


I couldn't agree more about our need to decrease our dependence on oil and find alternative sources of energy, many of which have been available since the 70s but largely overlooked for political, economical reasons--ones that ultimately benefited the oil industry and kept us in bed with big business companies such as BP. We have a corrupt industry courting our representatives and political figures in order to ensure kickbacks and further dependence on oil, a stupid profit-driven decision that has come at all costs to our planet.

This situation in the Gulf is the most recent example of how profit-driven choices lead to ecological catastrophe, and I won't call it anything less than CATASTROPHE. I hate when people say the 'situation' in the Gulf, as if the dimensions of this are not catastrophic. Entire ecosystems will die and the effects of this will be felt for years and years.

We only have one ocean, to say that this is relegated to the "Gulf" is also ridiculous to my mind, and to think that it is a problem for 'those people down there' or 'fisherman in that region' is also amazingly dimwitted to me, so I'm surprised that news coverage and White House coverage seems intent on making this story so regionalized. It affects us all, and we all have a responsibility to take some form of action, such as:

1) Writing to representatives.
2) Boycotting BP
3) Making smarter choices about the type of vehicles we drive
4) Volunteering to get out word with local and national organizations
5) Volunteering to help with clean up efforts in the Gulf
6) Protesting at local and/or national levels

For the record, I am a hard-core democrat and am APPALLED at how Obama has handled his response to this national emergency.

Mary Cunningham said...

You said it much better than I, NoNameMe. I was hoping for a heated, accurate comments.

I'm also appalled at the response, and don't understand why B. P. and all oil companies aren't made more accountable for this disaster.

I almost blame the government more than B. P. because they're the ones who cut regulations in order to make it easier to drill.

And, I don't think I'm alone in thinking that, had the oil headed for Florida first, outrage would've come much sooner.

Our dependence on the oceans is as fragile as our dependence on honey bees and all of nature, for that matter. We've taken Earth for granted much too long.

Thanks, so much, for your response. xo

D.M.Cunningham said...

What bothers me about every disaster is that we are a nation that is focused on a disaster until the next one happens and then we forget about the previous disasters.

We had forgotten about New Orleans until it was back in the news. We have forgotten about Haiti, we have forgotten about all the Tornado stricken communities, etc. We are a society of "what's next."

We make bracelets and donate a few cans of soup and then sweep it under the carpet. Everything we have forgotten is still there and it will all pile up until there is no more room for the piles. We have to stop putting a band-aid on these problems and make a change.

I agree, we need clean energy, we need change. I feel like a lot of the "yes we can" has become "maybe we will"... I drive a Prius (although I miss my SUV, I hate to say it). There is no room for luggage, etc. Ha ha. But I feel a little better when I look in the car seat at my daughter, hoping she will learn something from her parents and try to make a change.

Mary Cunningham said...

You're so right, D. M. There's still so much rebuilding to do in New Orleans from Katrina! And, what about Nashville? That city was devastated, but they're taking it upon themselves to rebuild. I have so much admiration for them.

This disaster, though, has world-wide impact. What's scary is that no one seems to know the answer. I'm just afraid we've let things get so out of control, we'll never be able to reverse the harm we've done.

Especially when so many still think climate change is a myth.

Thanks for your insight, cuz. xo

Anonymous said...

I too wake up every morning thinking about the Gulf and all of the wonderful creatures in its waters, on the beaches, in the marshes that are dying by the thousands every day. Many are microscopic and most people do not even know they exist but their very existence is important to all of mankind. I wonder at the apathy of the American people, do we have to have lived somewhere or live there now to care? Do we have to actually experience tragedy to have empathy for those who are experiencing it?

The Gulf has always been an important part of my life. During times of great stress for me I have sat on its shores gazing out to the horizon, its beauty and the gentle lapping of the waves helped to heal my soul and put my problems into perspective. I wish I could do something now to help.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mary. We should all be ashamed of our overuse of oil. The offshore drilling critics warned this could happen, but no one listened. Now... we're all personally affected. We have a condo reserved in Destin for a week in August. Will the place even be open?? Who knows. Sad....

Mary Cunningham said...

Thanks anonymous and Marlis. Whether we've lived along the Gulf (I have) or vacationed there, we're all going to be affected for years to come, not only by the effects of the oil, but effects of the dispersants. I hate to think what they're doing to sea life.

Regan Black said...

Your post is from the heart and so very timely. The pictures just break my heart and I hope someone gets a working solution soon.

We're all responsible as a global community in this moment and in the future. (and as always I love the t-shirt Earth is wearing)!


Mary Cunningham said...

You'd think this would be a wake-up call, Regan, but instead, everyone is too busy pointing fingers.

I can't look at the pictures anymore. I know I should in order to stay vigilant, but it's just too sad. But, I'm still going to voice my opinion on clean, renewable energy!

Thanks for you comment.