Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oil Spills & Terrorizing the Planet With Unsustainable, Toxic & Exploitative Lifestyles

Since 20 April 2010 many writers discuss the citizen's roll in creating the horrendous Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. One such article by Mark Coeckelbergh, titled, ‘We're all to blame for the oil spill’, in the 9 June 2010 Guardian, begins with the caption, ‘It's our addiction to cheap fuel that drives the high-risk, poorly regulated sector producing business models like BP's.’ He concludes: ‘The real disaster is of a global nature, and has firm roots in our lifestyle and the political choices we make as individuals and as a society. Their spill, therefore, is also our responsibility.’ [1]

In the same vein Mark Mykleby wrote to The Beaufort Gazette in South Carolina: ‘… perhaps this oil spill will be the catalyst for me, as a citizen, to wean myself off of my petroleum-based lifestyle. ‘Citizen’ is the key word. It’s what we do as individuals that count. For those on the left, government regulation will not solve this problem. Government’s role should be to create an environment of opportunity that taps into the innovation and entrepreneurialism that define us as Americans. For those on the right, if you want less government and taxes, then decide what you’ll give up and what you’ll contribute. Here’s the bottom line: If we want to end our oil addiction, we, as citizens, need to pony up: bike to work, plant a garden, do something. So again, the oil spill is my fault. I’m sorry. I haven’t done my part. [2]

I do agree, in part, with the sentiments above and think it somehow just (in the karmic sense) and potentially revolutionary that Americans are being confronted with some very real consequences of our own lifestyles, life choices and mind set. And I feel, as many others do, that the Gulf Oil Spill is an evolutionary catalyst for a sustainable-energy/sustainable-communities revolution, and for an uprising against profiteering from toxic, destructive and inhumane practices.

The 9-11 attacks were a catalyst to amass great resources to protect the American way of life from external threats of ‘terrorisim’. The Gulf Oil Spill is in return, a catalyst for us to consider the ‘internal threat’ of our own lifestyles, our consumer-based disposable-goods economy … the ‘internal threats’ posed and the collateral damage created by our own immature and narrow consciousness. We are overtly or inadvertently terrorizing the Earth and its creatures great and small. We are toxifying, polluting and destroying our own home day by day.

This 4th of July will mark America’s 234 years of freedom from British colonial rule. Whereas the Gulf Oil Spill will definitely not be remembered as the Gulf Oil Party, it is fitting to remember that the American Revolution began in a sense with the Boston Tea Party, in which a valuable natural resource/commodity was summarily dumped into Boston Harbor as an expression and symbol that business and government would no longer carry on as usual between Britain and its American colonies. In this case the Earth herself has been mishandled and exploited, and has responded by dumping her own natural resources into the water, much to the dismay of Americans and British Petroleum (and all those who own shares in BP) who wish to use and profit from the Earth’s fossil fuels regardless of the environmental and human toll this use and profit leaves in its wake.

On 30 May 2010 John Vidal, environmental editor of The Observer, published an article which exposes and underscores the environmental and human toll taken by oil companies in their frenzy to capitalize on African oil reserves titled ‘Nigeria's agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it’. The subtitle reads, ‘The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades.’ [3] According to the blog The Causual Truth, the ‘oil-rich region along the coast of Nigeria has experienced oil spills the size of America’s Exxon Valdez every year for the last 40 years;’ and the main contributing oil companies operating there are ‘Royal Dutch Shell (British/Dutch) with over 50% of total production, two American companies (Chevron and ExxonMobil) and one each from Italy and France.’ [4]

When will more people and news agencies and government officials begin to acknowledge that in addition to it being entirely unacceptable and criminal to decimate and contaminate our own waters, shorelines, wildlife habitats and food chain with millions of gallons of oil for profit and to feed our unsustainable lifestyles, it is even MORE unacceptable, MORE criminal to decimate another country’s waters, shorelines, wildlife habitats and food chain with millions of gallons of oil for profit and to feed unsustainable lifestyles?

I wrote above that I agree ‘in part’ with the sentiments of Mark Mykleby and Mark Coeckelbergh about the need for citizens to take some responsibility for the Gulf Oil Spill and to make changes in our lives that, in some real way, reduce our dependence on Oil. Where I disagree is with Mark Mykleby’s statement that ‘government regulation will not solve this problem’.

U.S. citizens elect their government, and citizens can begin to demand a government whose interests are freeing people from corporate greed, freeing people from an insane economy wherein it is ridiculously expensive to simply live – ridiculously expensive to buy or rent property, ridiculously expensive to get a good education, to get health care, to raise a family, to feed a family, to procure energy, to get around, etc. Why do citizens and governments put up with and prolong this expensive  and desperate insanity in which the majority of human potential is funneled into non-sustainable, toxic and soul-sucking jobs which have little regard for or connection to the Earth and drastically reduce the beauty and vitality of people and the environment? The price is too high on all levels. Our lives can be better in this day and age. It seems high time for more people to envision and consciously participate in the destruction all these hooks and hoops, false requirements and hollow exchanges that render our lives a stressful toxic and deadly drag on ourselves and everything around us.

Why shouldn’t our government be visionary in creating and shaping the laws and regulations of our land as well as the re-education and rehabilitation of our people? It truly must be. Government can, to some meaningful degree, rise above the ignorance and addictions of its people and help usher and press them towards a brighter way of being. Certainly many American’s did not appreciate Abraham Lincoln when he, as Commander in Chief of the US Navy and Army, declared emancipation for slaves, but nonetheless, the executive order stood and the law of the land was significantly altered. The right laws or regulations were established regardless of whatever hardships ensued for people whose lifestyles and finances had been dependent on the exploitation of others.

Just as Americans once had to re-adjust to the idea that they could not own, abjectly use and abuse another human being for their own convenience and economic benefit in the privacy of their own homes, farms or businesses, Americans should at some point in the very near future be further required to re-adjust to the idea that we can not abjectly use or abuse or disregard another human being anywhere on the planet (directly or indirectly) for our own convenience and economic benefit, nor can we poison, destroy or decimate our own or anyone else’s environment, anywhere, for our own convenience and economic benefit. People will argue that it is their right to do anything they want with their own land, or their own employees or whatever. But no one has the inalienable right, or is ‘in the right’ to suck the vitality out of an environment or an employee, leaving them for the worse for the wear in one’s ‘care’.

Nikola Tesla in the early 1900’s claimed to have created a ‘free-energy’ device that pulled energy out of the atmosphere. He apparently dreamed of using his ample genius to bring free-energy to the masses and bettering humanity. The conspiracy story goes that JP Morgan refused to fund Tesla’s research to fruition because it would not be profitable and that ‘he was seen as a threat to the world energy economy and most of his inventions were classified for national security by the US government.’ [5]

Is it too idealistic to ask that our government leaders, business moguls and technological geniuses  combine and use their intelligence, power and resources to free the masses from a dysfunctional and toxic economy and unnecessary profiteering? Telsa once wrote: ‘There is something within me that might be illusion as it is often case with young delighted people, but if I would be fortunate to achieve some of my ideals, it would be on the behalf of the whole of humanity.’ Is it ridiculous to expect that more humans might want to be of service to the whole of humanity and to the Earth collective rather than simply serve themselves and their inner circle? Is it ridiculous to expect that our education system might encourage a spirit of caring for, improving and enriching the circumstances of others and the Earth in the course of one’s own pursuits rather than funneling children and young adults towards a life of profiteering on unsustainable and inhumane practices?

The Earth is clearly a Non-Profit Organization (NPO). She does not charge fees, tolls, rents, taxes, interest, etc., for the beauty and abundance that she offers the creatures (i.e. her children) that she houses and feeds. If the human soul is indeed one with the Earth and Cosmos, then surely our predominantly and obsessively FOR PROFIT lifestyles will become increasingly unbearable/intolerable as humans evolve towards a more Soul-Full material existence.

Even after all these years
the sun doesn't say
"You owe me".
Look what happens!
The whole world lights up.


by Samarkis

* Top 10 Reasons Why the Auto Industry Must Break America's Oil Addiction
* Envirolink: Sustainable Living
* Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney
* All About Tesla - a Documentary Film

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  1. Regarding the two fiery images: the fallout/consequences of our oil addiction...

  2. Yes! Here here!

    And, I think at this point, we've pretty much strongly established that BIG BUSINESS values the bottom line over people and the land and so why not let government have more power??? I always find it so ironic and silly, really, when the right gets so uptight about the government getting any more power! I mean, come on! The private sector can't necessarily be trusted to have our backs...