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Blog item: Spill Baby Spill?

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2 comments, last: May-3-2010   Add a comment   Author: GuestWriter (Apr-30-2010)    Play a Video
Categories: Philosophical & Quality of Life, Political, Pollution, Renewable Energy Sources, Wildlife and Nature

A Letter from Bill McKibben

As the oil washes up on the beaches of the gulf coast, the country faces a stark choice about our energy future.

Will you add your voice to the growing call for a permanent ban on offshore drilling? 

Take action now >>

Dear Friends,

The oil spreading across the Gulf is a test, pure and simple.

Think of its twisted outline as a Rorschach ink blot for a society–maybe for a whole civilization. Will we respond in ways deep enough to matter?  Or will we see nothing wrong in the devastating images of the oil slick, and continue on this path of destruction, danger, and dirty energy?

Forty one years ago, similar pictures of oil-soaked beaches and dying sea-birds off the coast of Santa Barbara, California galvanized the nation and set the stage for the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

But over the years, that environmental fervor faded, and we returned to business as usual–mostly, the business of burning more fossil fuel. In late March, President Obama decided to "drill baby drill", lifting a moratorium on coastal drilling that had its roots in that first spill.

Just a few weeks ago, Obama said "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills." 1

How wrong he was.

So now we've got another chance–not just to come to terms with offshore drilling, but far more importantly, to come to terms with fossil fuel itself.

Please take a few seconds and send a message to President Obama and your Senators asking them to ban offshore drilling, and instead invest in safe, clean energy:

The water off the Mississippi Delta is slick with oil, but that's barely the tip of the damage from fossil fuel. We now know that carbon dioxide spreading invisibly across the atmosphere is driving change on a massive scale: by raising the planet's temperature, it's melting everything frozen, raising the level of the ocean, powering ever stronger storms. In the Gulf, and in every other ocean on the planet, that extra carbon is turning seawater acid.

And there's no way to prevent global warming with better valves on oil rigs. The only way is by ending our addiction to fossil fuel with great speed. The scrawny climate bill that the Senate may take up later this summer barely nudges the oil industry-as Republican Senator Lindsay Graham explained earlier this week, the big companies helped write the bill themselves.2

So now is the time to demand more–a new chance to ignite a broad movement to protect everything we hold dear.  Can you add your voice today?


Bill McKibben, for the whole team

P.S. We know that sending an email is only a first step. That's why we're planning a Global Work Party on October 10th of this year.  While BP will no doubt still be trying to wash their hands of this dirty mess, we'll be getting to work building the clean energy future we want. Get involved by joining or hosting an event near you on 10/10.

P.P.S. This is the time to spread the message–can you post the link on Twitter and join the Facebook group "1 Million Strong Against Offshore Drilling"

1. Remarks by the President in a Discussion on Jobs and the Economy in Charlotte, North Carolina:

2. Interview with Linsey Graham:

You should join us on Facebook by becoming a fan of our page at and follow us on twitter by visiting

To join our list (maybe a friend forwarded you this e-mail) visit needs your help! To support our work, donate securely online at

You are subscribed to this list as Click here to unsubscribe is an international grassroots campaign that aims to mobilize a global climate movement united by a common call to action. By spreading an understanding of the science and a shared vision for a fair policy, we will ensure that the world creates bold and equitable solutions to the climate crisis. is an independent and not-for-profit project.

What is 350? 350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Scientists measure carbon dioxide in "parts per million" (ppm), so 350ppm is the number humanity needs to get below as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change. To get there, we need a different kind of PPM-a "people powered movement" that is made of of people like you in every corner of the planet.

Related reading:
  Keep Calm And Carry On (May-24-2011)
  Up To 80% Of BP Oil Still In The Gulf, Say Scien... (Aug-19-2010)
  BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - The Last Cement Job? (Jul-8-2010)
  Federal Memo: 'Gulf Oil Spills Pose Little Risk ... (Jul-8-2010)
  T. Boone Pickens Oil Stop Prediction, And The Da... (Jun-16-2010)
  A Lethal Concentration (Jun-2-2010)
  More Information On The Effects Of Spilled Oil, ... (May-16-2010)
  "Don't touch the oil. Don't let it get on your sk..." (May-14-2010)
  Department Of Interior Concluded 'Massive Spill ... (May-8-2010)
  Tests Confirm Oregon Dogs Died from Toxic Algae (Oct-5-2009)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
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Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (May-3-2010)   Web site
Another quote comes to mind: "Future results can not be predicted from past performance". No one can guess how humanity will finally settle down after its immense crises. We can plant a seed today that will change things 100 years from now.
Comment by: auntiegrav (auntiegrav) (May-3-2010)   

Here's a thought:
Asking Congress to end drilling and "invest" in some other consumptive activity based on green energy does not address the root of the problem, which is that humans are acting like rogue elephants, stomping everything in our path and leaving everything trampled and polluted.
We will continue to do so with "green" buildings and "green" energy.
Humans think just enough to get into trouble, but not enough to stop themselves from creating it in the first place by looking at where everything actually comes from: the soil, the elements, the sun. The egotistical idea that humans are important is only in our imagination, and we create all kinds of gods to believe in order to justify our self-important actions.
I drove by a church the other day and it had a sign that said, "Some things must be believed to be seen."
Lie to yourself about "green" solutions and believe that "humanism" will solve problems. Believe HARD, and you will see anything you want, but the realities will still be there when you stop believing and start looking at our historical behaviors.
Let the industrial world destroy itself. The sooner the better.
Drill, baby, drill. Nature will compensate and come up with new life forms after we eat each other. Hopefully one that doesn't have an imagination.

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About author/contributor GuestWriter welcomes occasional articles and opinion pieces from writers who are not regular contributors. Their contributions will be listed under the "GuestWriter" name, and additional attribution will be shown in accordance with the agreement with the original writer and source of the PlanetThought.

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