Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My little piece on BP...

I, like everyone else in the whole wide world, have my opinions about the big BP fiasco. I call it a fiasco, but is there really a word that perfectly packages the true depth and magnitude of the problem within a combination of letters and phonic sounds? I think not.

I remember the Valdez oil spill from my youth. I couldn't tell you how old I was, but I remember seeing the footage on the evening news. And my thoughts about the oil were honestly the same as they are today at my ripe old age of 33: Why can't they just burn it off??? I mean, when I stop and think about it, I can easily figure out the environmental effects of burning off the oil. But when you look at pictures of the seas with all the oil floating on the top of the surf, your first instinct is to light a match, drop it, and call it a day. If only it were that easy.

So the Valdez thing effected Alaska, which is pretty darn far away. But this oil fiasco (I'll stick with that word 'cause I really like using it) is hitting pretty close to home. In fact, it's washing up on the shores of my fine state of the union. And I happen to think that those shores in particular - the ones along the Gulf of Mexico - are perhaps the prettiest beaches in the country. I stop and think, "Will my children ever remember the beach the way it looked when I was their age?" Well, probably not. This oil thing really changes things forever.

A ton of people are blaming BP. It must be their fault, right? I mean, they are responsible for all that oil leaking or gushing into the gulf and washing onto our beautiful vacation destination's shores. But I think the responsibility trickles down a little further than the mild-spoken British dude on the commercial or the Louisiana native guy that gets the unfortunate duty of having his face linked to the fiasco on the latest commercials. I think we all have a little bit of blame to carry on our backs for what's going on.

Don't get me wrong; legally speaking, and clean-up speaking, the accident or leak or whatever you want to call it is on BP's shoulders. But who demanded the oil? The lifestyle of the modern American. I'm one of them. I'll be honest and admit it. I drove my big ole' Tahoe and Yukon all over town. I love plastic bottles and bags and wrap and whatnot. And we, as modern Americans, would love to fool ourselves into believing that we can enjoy the go-go-go-gas-guzzling lifestyle and the disposable plastic tray/bag/bottle it all comes in and that it won't leave its impact on the world. But the truth is that every action has a consequence. Every choice an impact. Every drop of oil leaves a mark on this world. The oil fiasco of today is just this hyper example of what we do every day. Greed and demand have taken over the minds of modern America, and now we are paying for it dearly. And will be paying for it for generations to come.

Please don't get me wrong; I am not some tree-hugging, green liberal. Further from the truth. I don't worship the Earth. I worship the God that created it. I think it's sad for people to get so caught up in conservation and recycling and controlling and monitoring something that already has its days numbered anyway. We should just use common sense. But unfortunately, modern America is a little lacking of that these days.

There are times when I stop and think about how crazy life is these days. How we rush here and there and all around. How when we run out of bottled water or Gatorade in my house, no one seems to know what to do. How when something breaks these days, my kids automatically say, "Oh, just throw it away. We'll buy another one." Sometimes I wonder how nice it would be to go back in time when things were simpler. I guess things didn't come as easy, but it was simple. There was less to choose from, you drank your water from glasses, and you made your own ice in trays. But there was less to worry about like whether or not you can really get cancer from microwaving your food on a plastic plate. When it wasn't unusual for people to grow their own tomatoes in the back yard. When you didn't feel like you had to sanitize your hands when you walk through the door of each store. I don't know... call me crazy. But it just seems like the oil fiasco is just a ginormous symptom of an even more ginormous problem of society.

So, that's my little piece on BP.

1 comment:

Erika said...

The word excess comes to mind. And I know I am guilty. It's hard not to be unless you shut yourself off from the world as we know it.