May 31, 2010
End of the world as we know it? I think so. This spill feels absolutely apocalyptic, an awful event that will impact the earth for as long as it continues to revolve around the sun. For thousands of years we have been asking the oceans to absorb our pollution, and they have patiently accepted our garbage, our carbon dioxide, our noxious poisons. We have trawled their floors, destroyed their coral reefs, plundered their treasure with an appetite that is both greedy and rapacious. But this time we have gone too far.
As people wander around muttering about destroying the gulf, and the poor fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen whose livelihoods have been destroyed I want to jump up and down with rage and frustration. What is happening to the gulf is awful – but this catastrophe will not be contained. No matter where you live, it is coming to a seashore near you. The currents that race around the world will be speeding not only the oil but the dispersants into ever-widening circles. The plants and fish will be the earliest victims, but they will soon be followed by everything that eats them. The scope of this is too big to be imagined.
But we must try. The spill can’t be fixed – but we can. It is time for us to end the way we have been living in this world. It is not only our appetite for oil that needs to change, but our belief that we are the masters of the planet, and it is ours to do what we will with it. If we cannot learn this now, I think there truly is no hope.
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