Friday, June 4, 2010

Leak

Forgive me while I change gears for a minute. I'm about to be real and serious and not at all funny.

I feel compelled to write about this. If it wasn't for the fact that I am so completely entrenched in my own reality, I'd be a lot more outraged about it than I am. Mostly though, I just don't have the energy to devote to being upset about it.

The Gulf. BP. The massive oil leak.

To me, the oceans are sacred. For the longest time I wanted to be a marine biologist, but for some reason I opted to be more practical and go into law. Lot of good that did me. I've always been drawn to the ocean, which makes living in the middle of the country a challenge.

Part of it is that I was born in southern California, a place where proximity to the pristine beauty and overpowering nature of the water is a given. Where you get so accustomed to seeing the ocean, breathing the smells of it, that it's just ingrained in who you are.

My love of the ocean is deeper than just an ordinary affection.

I wrote my senior thesis in college on the overfishing of sharks in international waters. Even though I went into public policy, I wrote about my passion. At the time, it was nowhere near the public problem it is now. It's a topic that has gotten more attention in recent years. Shark fin soup has always been an expensive delicacy in parts of the world, but the demand was growing. And the power of greed drove men to the oceans, to prey on one of the only apex predators in the seas. Messing with the food chain at any level is dangerous on a large scale, particularly when one aims at the top. Not only do they kill the sharks, they do so in a horrific manner, wasting the entire carcass. All they want are the fins.

And out there, out far in the oceans, away from the coastlines, there are few laws. There are few protections. And, it seems, there is a lack of respect. Not just for the animals, the other nations, the people of this world. There is a lack of respect for Mother Earth.

As huge and vast as the ocean is, it is fragile as well.

Greed can drive men to do great damage. To endanger ecosystems, to destroy life. And here we are now, with a well off our coastline spewing oil with no end in sight. Death and destruction in the path of an ever growing suffocating mess. And they, the men whose greed drove them to dig this well, cannot seem to stop it. What now?

Maybe this is a sign that we, as a nation, and as a world, need to stop relying on oil. It's a beacon of our waste and excess to the rest of the world. Of our recklessness. Our carelessness. Our greed. Maybe this is a sign that offshore drilling isn't merely an eyesore, but a real and true threat to our way of life. Maybe we need to stop being so short sighted. Maybe we need to find an urgency for the development of clean energy.

Or maybe, just maybe, this is the work of our Mother, tired of being raped and pillaged for the benefit of man. She's pissed and she is fighting back. And she's teaching us a lesson.

I don't pretend to know how to solve this problem. How to stop this leak. You would think that is one of the things they would figure out how to do before puncturing the ocean floor, just in case it ever went sour. Apparently not.

How do we stop our reliance on oil in the first place? How do we change our nation, and those around the world? How do we make people think about what they are doing to the Earth their children and grandchildren will someday inherit? How do we stop the greed?

This catastrophe, as terrible as it may be, might just be what the Earth needs. What we all need.

A wake up call.

2 comments:

  1. It is eerie how much your brain thinks like mine. You put all of the frustrations I've been feeling about this leak into words. Thank you. I am in the middle of creating the blog I have been talking about creating forever. It's called MamaBGreen and is all about how to be green in your day to day life. I'll let you know when it's up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds awesome Ryanne! Let me know, and I'll promote it for you. :)

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