Everyone has an opinion and a choice. Even turning a blind eye towards a problem, putting fingers in the ears, or pointing a finger at someone else is a choice. Currently there are researchers doing studies on tar balls that are washing up in the Florida Keys. It does not mater if this pollution is from the massive Gulf of Mexico spill or if it is from another part of the hemisphere. This type of pollution can float around long after I have lived a long life. The question I pose is…are people willing to make the hard environmental choice and accept the consequences?
Everyone who uses products that are the byproduct of oil is responsible for the lasting effects on the environment. Everyone who consumes products transported is responsible. In other words, unless a person lives off the grid, only walks, wear clothing made from organic materials grown in their own backyard, they are responsible for tar balls washing up on Florida beaches. But let us be realistic to turn back the clock 150 years is NUTS.
My choice is to try to do my part to help make it a reality that in 150 years the need for oil will be outdated. If people fail to make this a reality our beaches will have a new futuristic look. Beaches in the year 2160 maybe devoid of sand and jellyfish and be comprised of plastic fragments and balls of tar. I just can do my best in limiting my environmental impact. And maybe my children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children will say that their great-great-great-great-grandpa did his best to make their environment clean.
- Coast Guard urges calm over tar balls on Key West
- Researchers: Unlikely tar in Florida Keys are from Gulf
- Fake plastic seas
So sorry to hear about this latest development in the ongoing disaster in the Gulf. I think many people are recoiling in horror at what has been unleashed through humanity’s thirst for (cheap) oil. For many/some of us, there is a desire to move away from oil wherever possible, as soon as we can but – as you point out – it’s impossible to “disconnect” entirely. Our (western) world revolves around cheap oil, plain and simple. I believe, however, we are going to have to face up to a new way of existing. Aside from environmental imperatives, it’s a matter of supply and demand – global demand is going up, supply of “easy” oil is going down (as evidenced by ever more risky drilling at greater depths, the decimation that is the tar sands in Canada, the wars etc etc). Some folks are already transitioning to this new reality (eg http://www.transitionnetwork.org/, http://www.detroitagriculture.org). It sees a more “localized” society, where communities grow/create and share their own food and resources in harmony with nature, no longer dependent on, or beholden to, big oil/big agribusiness/big banks and so on.
It will be a rough ride, but it’s my hope that we can come out of it better off at the other end, abandoning shallow consumerism for the important things: family, community and the natural environment.
We are thinking of you a great deal.