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.