It may surprise some of you that mine has not joined the chorus of voices condemning BP. The oil company has all the makings of a great villain – large corporation, terrible safety track record, environmental disaster. The urge to paint an evil black moustache on the whole damned company is almost irresistible.
Yet, I have resisted. Sure, I think BP fucked up. And lord knows the oil spill is horrific. I get why people are pissed at BP.
I just don’t think BP is the only culprit here.
While we’re at it, I know it’s fun to attack Obama from the left and the right, but that is futile at best and erroneous at worst. Hell, I’m not even entirely sure we should be shaking our fists at George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and the “Drill, baby, drill” chorus.
Because we don’t get to blame other people until we examine our own deeds.
We have created an insatiable demand for oil. We drive when we could walk. We eschew public transportation because our cars are under our control and we really don’t want to have to wait for the bus.
We demand ripe blueberries in December. Here’s a news flash: I live in New Jersey. I don’t get to eat fresh blueberries in December. That’s just the way it goes. Any berries I might buy in the grocery store were flown in from another continent using a tank full of petroleum.
We think nothing of importing wine and food and goods and jet around. Most of us aren’t complete numbskulls and don’t leave our SUVs idling for 45 minutes while picking up our kindergarteners, but I know at least one person who does. I’m thinking of sending her a bill for her share in the oil spill.
We are to blame here. Until I can say I live a life free of oil – and even Sara can’t do that – I don’t get to point fingers here. You can if you want to, but I am treating this as a call to further reduce my dependence on oil. The less oil I demand, the less need there is for drilling. It’s that simple.
Now, since it is the summer, I’m going to go eat a fresh blueberry muffin.
(Making — at this moment — blueberry pancakes with blueberries I picked in my front yard.)
Totally agree. I find it fascinating that many of the people I know who are most outspoken about the oil spill are also big-time consumers.
Also, your muffin recipe looks wonderful! Recently I’ve fallen in love with two alternatives to “traditional” oils in baked goods: coconut oil and flax meal. Have you experimented much with either?
one of my friends back from home in NOLA has been agreeing with, commenting on and liking all my posts on FB (which, for a large part, also include how americans needs to re-examine our greed and need for oil and find other alternatives NOW) – she is one directly affected by the spill yet yesterday she posted something about how she was selling her (somewhat gas efficient 4 dr. sedan) bc “Mommy needs a SUV”….UM. WTF?! Yes….some people just don’t get it.
I am furious….at BP, this administration and others, for sure. but mostly just annoyed at the American public for allowing things to reach this point but refusing to accept the facts.
The “American Way” is unsustainable. Period.
Oil is not infinite. Without it our society will crumble. And maybe that is just the way it has to be. Those who have been paying attention and learning how to live another way will survive. The others? Well….the world is overpopulated anyway….
We’re less guilty of using a heck of a lot of oil, and more guilty of allowing corporations to gain such strong political foothold. Less efforts are needed in making ourselves feel superior because we “live more green” or whatever… and more towards actively removing the systems of power that encourage it to continue. It’s not that individual capacities to be more conscious aren’t a good thing… it’s just that they don’t matter much. Industry is the energy and waste hog; all Municipal sources combined don’t add up to a wave in the pool of industry impacts. But we are very nicely conditioned to believe it’s up to us… ultimately, things will only change when we address industry, and that requires one heck of a political change.
There’s an excellent article about this out there via The Orion… I’ve been mulling on a post about this, it’s the crux of quite a lot.
BP is a symptom, not the disease. Absolutely.
Amen. Just, amen.
I think it is reasonable to examine how various parties might have played a role, and how a similar disaster might be avoided in the future. But the real call to arms here needs to be for wholesale change, and a reduction in our petroleum dependence.
I feel the same way. BP is just part of the problem, and a convenient face to blame. But the whole industry is complicit, the whole system, and every one of us who is dependent on that system.
(I know you haven’t had time to read blogs lately, but I wrote a bit about this too: petroleum junkie and trying to cut down)