When Disaster Strikes

What Destruction Have We Wrought?

In late March President Obama announced he would expand offshore drilling in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast. After the off shore oil-rig explosion Thursday April 22, 2010 and resulting huge oil spill which is still growing in the Gulf of Mexico, the President’s announcement couldn’t have come at a worse time for proponents of  “Drill, Baby Drill!”. Much as clean coal has been shown to be a fraud by the recent deaths of miners in the US and China, the entire fossil fuel machine is proving to be a major drain on humanity and devastating for Mother Earth.

As oil gushes into the water at a rate of  42,000 gallons per day, the media speaks of a “potential” environmental disaster. (CNN 4-27-10) As if the environment isn’t already being irreparably damaged by the toxins, including diesel fuel, that are concentrating in the water. Once again the “economics and industry first” model places the focus on whether fish and shrimp farms along the Louisiana coast will be impacted. Even if they aren’t, which is highly unlikely, the hundreds of species of plant and animal life is being devastated right now.

Some reporters are quick to point out that this is an anomaly and that the safety standards of the industry have approved dramatically in the last 30 years. Yet, with all of this posturing the new technology has not been able to stop the leak. Methods such as bringing in a drill ship to drill relief wells thus taking pressure off of the gushing well and a dome to capture the oil and suck it into tubes away from the water would take weeks to begin and may not work at all. During this time oil will continue to spill into the Gulf.

This is the same Gulf of Mexico that is home to a Dead Zone of over 7,500 square miles, as a result of chemical runoffs flowing down the Mississippi from heavy industry and agribusiness. The Dead Zone is an area of depleted oxygen levels such that neither plant nor animal life can survive, and now oil is being added to the mix. Wonder why the reporters on CNN and other news outlets aren’t speaking about this?

It’s imperative that we break our addiction to fossil fuels and begin to seriously and earnestly invest in solar, wind and other truly “clean” industries.Maybe we won’t be able to produce enough energy to support our current levels of consumption and maybe that’s not a bad idea.

Simplifying and focusing on what we truly need as individuals, families and communities would do wonders for western society which is quickly driving the world toward a materialist, consumption based culture devoid of spirituality, emotional depth and wisdom. There can be no clearer sign than this spill that we need to wake up and recognize that this planet is a living entity and that we must find a way to be in harmony with her or perish.

As President Jugo Chavez of Venezuela stated in his remarks at the Cochabamba Climate Conference, “the planet will continue to evolve with or without us; we are not here to save the planet, we’re here to save ourselves.” As long as profits are more sacred than life, our future will be one disaster after another until only nature is left to record our demise.

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