I am so sad about the environmental destruction devastating the gulf coast as a result of the oil spill from a BP drilling platform. The first photo of an oil-coated bird appeared online yesterday, and I wept in pain, and continued crying when I heard on the radio that the oil was headed towards the marshlands where brown pelican are just now hatching. But the truth is, we are all responsible. It calls to mind an advertisement Greenpeace placed in The New York Times following the Exxon Valdez disaster:
It wasn’t the Exxon Valdez captain’s driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours. ~Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990
Make no mistake – BP and other oil companies were not in this alone. (Though it is not surprising that the first entity to mobilize to help BP with the spill was Shell, another oil company.) It is our dependence on oil, and our short-sighted focus on our own convenience that allows these tragedies to happen. Check out this New York Times editorial for more.