Gone Fishin': But Not in the Gulf


A photo of Mishelle ShepardI told handy hubby yesterday I didn’t have any ideas for the blog post this week and I didn’t feel like coming up with one.   Being the ever-supportive man that he is, he said I shouldn’t worry about it, and just post a “Gone Fishing” sign.   And that really got me thinking about all those folks who can’t go fishin’.   Which of course got me thinking about BP: Certainly not the first to pollute our waters, and I suspect not the last.

My oh my, has the Gulf Zone had a string of really bad luck lately, or what?!   Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and now this, all of them major disasters occurring within five years– not enough time to recover from the previous disaster before the next one slaps ashore.   I wonder how many times a region can get kicked down before they can’t get back up again?  And when that happens, will everyone just keep continuing to point fingers?

We always try to push blame.  I’m not talking about BP executives here, or the various parties involved in the drilling operations, or even the local or federal governments; we should expect that anyone directly responsible there won’t take any real responsibility.   I’m talking WE, as in you and me.  WE, as individuals, are the ones that keep them all in business.  WE need them, or so we have come to believe we do.  We are the ones who have allowed our dependence on these companies to become so consequential that we consider them ALL too big to fail.  It is not new news that drilling is dangerous, ugly, and destructive work, it has been that way forever.  We have decided, and sent the very clear message, that we are willing to pay that price.  WE, you and me, are not willing to suffer the consequences of reduced oil availability or increased prices, and therefore WE are the ones responsible for this disaster and every other one past and future.  Not only are we allowing them to do it to us, we are encouraging them to, every time we make a choice on a dozen decisions big and small every day.  We are willing to let our planet suffer, our children suffer, and our natural environment and all living things in it suffer, so that we won’t have to change.

So this week I am going fishing, in a way.  I’m going to throw some ideas out and fish for some replies.  In what way would you be most willing to reduce your reliance on oil if you could?  Would you:

Buy a hybrid car?  Choose locally raised food?  Work from home?  Fly less often?  Stop using disposable plastics?  Support research for alternative energy sources?  Purchase fewer imported products?  Make your home and lifestyle as sustainable as possible?

Have you, would you, do any of these things?  What else might you consider doing to show BP, and all the rest of them, that you don’t really need them as badly as they think you do?

8/17/2010 5:53:11 PM

Thanks so much for commenting! I think the ability to "fix things" goes much deeper than the surface. It's satisfying in its problem-solving and self-sufficient to boot (not that I can do it, hehe), but even better, it makes a statement and sends a message! What has provoked this simplification, do you think? The short or long list appreciated!

Nebraska Dave
8/7/2010 4:33:12 PM

@Mishelle, it’s a sad state that we have put ourselves in. You are correct in assuming that WE are the ones that ultimately have caused the issues with oil. Unfortunately, most will not give up the luxuries to make a difference until it hits their pocket book so hard they have no choice. The global oil issue is so monstrously big that it would take decades to wean the world off oil. Imagine what would happen if tomorrow someone discovered a device that you could pour water in the top and produce enough energy to run your entire household and it only cost a hundred bucks. Imagine how it would shut down the oil industry; put millions out of work; thousands of gas stations out of business. Mind you I’m all for alternative energy but I don’t realistically believe that I will see our dependency on oil end in my life time. I haven’t bought a hybrid car, worked from home, or fly any less often, but I have raised my own food, am trying to use less disposable plastics, do support research for alternative energy sources, try to buy more local and USA products, and definitely try to make my lifestyle as sustainable as possible. I do like to try to maintain and fix things instead of toss and buy new. All in all my life has become much simpler in the past couple years.

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