Sunday, June 6, 2010

What are we doing? The damn oil spill...

There have been so many natural disasters recently, the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and the volcano in Iceland. I cared deeply about the people affected in all of those places, but honestly I am so much more devastated by the man-made Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf.

This problem that we caused ourselves is genuinely making me sick, making me re-consider everything, making me so sad and so angry at the same time.  I really can't look at more images of oil-covered pelicans or dead dolphins on beaches as much as I know it's necessary for them to keep re-circulating, for as many people as possible to see them, get enraged, do something about it.  [If you need pictures, check these out.]

I am bouncing between despair and anger, feeling helpless.  I want to never drive my car again.

What if all the manatees are wiped out?

At the precise moment that question crosses my mind, I realize that I'm sliding from EcoWarrior to EcoWorrier.  And worrying doesn't accomplish a god damn thing.

So since last night when I hit a low point of despair and worry about the oil spill, I've been reading, connecting, looking for resources on what to do with this Angry.  Really what I wish I could do is go help clean oil-soaked birds, but since I lack the know-how, that's out.  Instead here's what I'm doing to try and channel my rage:

- Spreading the word about National Wildlife Federation's efforts to help wildlife affected by the spill by sharing their website, joining their Cause on Facebook, posting their graphic upper right and texting them my $10.

- Following efforts by Wildcare, local awesome wildlife rehabilitation facility, to support efforts in the Gulf, standing by to help with supplies, cash, volunteer hours if they ask for them.

- Reading about a local group, Post Peak Living, mentioned in Imagining Life Without Oil in today's New York Times.  Their whole point appears to be that yeah, we need to be prepared for a world without this availability of oil we've grown accustomed to -- meaning that we need to develop the skills to be more self-sustaining.  It's def a bit Y2K for me, but still, I'm reading and pondering.  Of course this is in Marin!

- Checking out's Oil Spill Vigil taking place on Election Night.

- And I really am going to drive less.  I'm not driving to the studio today for class, for example.  Instead I'm going to go spend two hours in the woods with Jasper before it gets too hot, replacing despair and rage with the sight of trees and my dog's prancing 13-year-old form.  And then stay home, practice some handstands, work in the garden, plant more food.

Yes, our stupid reliance on oil has got to change.  The good thing about those oil-soaked images that live on in my mind is that I will see them whenever I climb in my car now, so I can ask myself, "Is it worth it? Would I trade dolphins, turtles, manatees, birds, coral and fish for this?"

Don't worry.  Be active!

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