Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Don't Get It

This photograph is beautiful.  Could well be Jupiter or some other celestial body.  Unfortunately, this is not a photo beamed from space.  Behold the grim beauty of a planet vomiting 60,000 barrels of crude a day.  Oil gushes from a broken well and suddenly Earth is a little sicker than it was before.

I've always found it fascinating that our planet has this sort of inherent ability to poison itself.  All the materials have been there, but for millions of years one element was missing: us.

Whether or not we choose to believe Al Gore, our impact on the planet has been decisively negative.  I happen to believe in human influenced climate change, but I can also see beyond the talking points.  Throw out the rhetoric and glance anew at what we are doing.  The sheer lunacy of mining and burning dirty fuels and pumping the air we breathe full of millions of tons of equally dirty gasses is clear.  And let's look beyond the thermometer for a second.  We also like to: wipe out species, cut down forests, blow off mountaintops, dam rivers and dump garbage in the oceans.  None of this is good, and yet we continue to live with ourselves.  How? 

Nature has gifted us the sun the wind and the tides.  These resources are powerful, endless and clean.  Why, then, do we not tap them for all they are worth?  With our unfathomable need for energy, I can see the merit and opportunity in switching to sources that are sustainable.  That alternative sources can't meet present demand is a good thing, isn't it?  That means there is room for improvement and growth.  Improvement and growth require research and labor.  In other words, J-O-B-S.

So, with all this potential out there, why do we continue to punch new holes in the earth?  I'm not superstitious, but it's hard for me to not see a little karma in this oil spill, which comes about five seconds after Obama lifted the offshore drilling ban.  Is the universe telling in not so subtle ways to knock it off?  I don't know.  All I can say is that a lot of us are trying; we do do our best to recycle, turn off lights, compost, drive fuel efficient cars  and buy ecologically responsible products.  Meanwhile, the ones with all the power continue to rape and rampage.  How long can we keep it up?



Darin said...

I echo all of your sentiments. I can't tell you how happy my life has been since we've chosen to go from 2 cars down to 1 car and now own no cars. I'm watching this oil spill and glad that I won't be directly paying for it at the pump.

From the stories I've read, people are still buying BP gas?!? Sure, all the megagas companies are ultimately f-ing up the planet, but can't people sensibly boycott the one that is currently massively f-ing it up in major way?

I'm proud to walk home from the grocery store(s) with my blue cart. I'm proud that I have 3 times as many recyclables than trash each week. My life gets more pleasant as it gets simpler with energy (and economic) efficiency.

Kid Shay said...

I'm with you completely. Even when it's harder and more destructive to maintain the status quo, most corporations and governments opt for just that route. Obama never should have used offshore drilling as a bargaining chip.

Slider K. Shaftacular said...

Not much longer. My guess, at least.

creative jenny said...

Thank you for sharing this post. You ought to see my compost heap and the years it has taken to convince neighbours to contribute.
It has: garden clippings, raw fruits and vegetables. Nothing cooked in order to avoid rats.
It is work but, my garden is greener, the fruits are sweeter and I keep myself in good physical shape from the work it involves.
Spiritually, as I handle the black earth,I feel closer to The Creator and, it also helps the softening of the heart which in turn reduces my cholesterol!
I believe that 'giving back' a tiny bit to our planet is one good, solid and healthy way for a better life.