Oil Rig Explosion

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What Oil-Dependent Economies Bring …

In the Gulf of Mexico, the black tide from the Deepwater Horizon accident continues to grow, as do concerns for marine life and gulf coast residents and their livelihood. The cost, liability and environmental hazards associated with oil extraction in our oceans ought to be enough to say STOP!!

While we look on with horror as the gushing oil makes its way into the gulf stream, President Obama stated he remains committed to offshore drilling as part of the U.S. energy plan, and Shell Oil is poised to begin exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean later this year. The Alaska Wilderness League has described the Arctic as one of the “most remote and extreme environments on Earth”, noting it would be almost impossible to mount the kind of clean-up witnessed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Because our economy runs on oil, we seem mired in an energy policy that appears to have no feasible alternatives. But oil is a fossil fuel, and experts say we’re entering the time when the demand for this resource exceeds the supply.

We are exchanging the survivability and health of our planet for the short-term use of a resource that is becoming increasingly more difficult and dangerous to extract and contributes to climate destabilization when combusted. Our oil dependency sends our young men and women to foreign lands to secure access to a resource we claim rightfully “ours”. Resource wars cause untold destruction, including: country destabilization and displacement; loss of life, property and livelihood; and health impacts such as increased cancer and birth defects from the pollution left behind by our munitions (e.g. depleted uranium)

Yes, it will take time to move from an economy built on oil to one that is based on conservation, efficiency and clean energy. But to continue on our current course of action means we are willing to sacrifice people’s lives and livelihoods as well as clean water, clean air and a safe, healthy environment for all. We’re doing this while hoping that we we are capable of mitigating disasters with our technology. Looking at the extent of BP’s catastrophe, I’m not so sure….

This article was posted by Pam Richart, Eco-Justice Collaborative
May 24, 2010


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