What are we thinking?

My heart is heavy with grief. The ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico weighs on me and I find myself angry, sad, and frustrated.

I grew up with mullet, great blue herons, baby flounders and other coastal wildlife when I lived with my family on the magical coast of Alabama. This is one of my spiritual homes on the planet and it is a true treasure that I deeply value and love. To think of it on the verge of ecological devastation is almost more than I can bear. Layers of loss and potential loss loom in my mind. Sea turtles, dolphins, oysters, shrimp, barracuda….anything that eats anything in the Gulf waters is at risk. I think of these beings as my friends. And what about the human life that also is at risk. I cannot wrap my thoughts around the depth and breadth of this catastrophe.

I have ranted about the spill but more recently I have ranted that we, as citizens, allow money-hungry oil executives to decide it is okay to drill deep into coastal waters without contingency plans and equipment ready for use in the event of an emergency. Common sense seems to dictate pre-tested measures to deal with deep ocean oil flows out of control. Why were there not domes already constructed, tested and ready for such disasters? Why does it seem the oil industry was caught with their proverbial pants down?

There must be a list of reasons such plans and equipment were not standing by. But deep rigs like the horizon are state-of-art drilling platforms with numerous safety measures built-in, ready to stop any disaster. Yes and they also said the Titantic was unsinkable.

This is a wake-up call to all of us. How much are we willing to lose to fuel our hunger for oil? What is each of us willing to do to use less oil? Drive 55? Consolidate trips to town? Carpool? Are we willing to fully understand that the fate of our environment is also our fate and accept what that means? Are we willing to be good stewards of planet earth?

Our fate lies in our own hands.

4 Thoughts on “What are we thinking?

  1. lkr on May 7, 2010 at 4:58 am said:

    I’m not sure what it will take for humanity to awaken to the consequences that happen when we do not honour this planet. It IS truly heartbreaking. Thank you for your beautiful words of inspiration!

  2. Lance on May 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm said:

    Most of the decisions made are apparently made for economic reasons. We, as a society (as a whole at least) feel that we can only “afford” to do things a certain way…ie not install an acoustic valve because “it cost too much”. That $500,000 could have saved BP billions, and more importantly, the coastal comunities their livelyhood, and the marine creatures, their lives. We tend to make blind-sided decisions without truly looking at the consequences of our actions. Why are our prision bursting at the seams? We typically make poor choices about so many of the issues that confront us each day. The consequences for many of them are minor….but as a whole if there is no punitive consequence, there is not much enthusiam to do any different. As an outdoorsman and recreational fisherman, I have always encouraged the drilling and exploration of oil and natural gas in the Gulf. It appeared to be a “win/win” situation. 1)The oil/gas rigs are a haven for marine life…they create another reef of life that is typically a great place to fish/dive. 2)The “black gold”….unfortunately, a necessary product that we are totally too dependant on (much like the computer I’m typing this on). Now, I’m in such disbelief that we are careless on such a global scale. Besides the obvious monetary issues, what is the punishment for such a HUGE ecological diaster? What lessons do we learn?

  3. Barb Long on May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm said:

    I agree with Simone 100%.

    I do think of my errands and make one trip rather than a bunch of little ones. I also try to do them in order for the shortest distance.

  4. lona phillips on May 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm said:

    Living within a cast of a fishing rod and reel from the beautiful Mobile Bay, I am able to sleep with windows open for the breezes and surf to lull me to sleep.
    This a.m. I awoke to these breezes and they were filled with the stench of oil. Folks, reality set in!! You can hear and see reports via news media, but until you actually have one of your own senses stimulated one doesn’t comprehend the situation at hand.
    May I offer condolences to the families who have no closure; to the men and women who make their livings from the sea; and to the creatures who can’t figure out what is going on in their home. We have to find a better way!

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