Oil has got to go. Now!

When are we going to stop pretending we can live with the consequences of drilling and burning oil?

Why don't we ask the eleven people who were killed when the oil rig they were working on exploded last week in the Gulf of Mexico?

Or the fishermen whose livelihoods are about to be destroyed by the oil slick, now bigger than the state of Rhode Island and growing by 42,000 gallons every day, that's inexorably moving toward land?

Or how about BP, the company running the drilling operation, that can't figure out how the heck to cap the leaking oil well that once fed the rig because it lies 5,000 feet below the surface of the sea?

Or President Obama, who recently announced his (misquided) support for even more offshore oil drilling

Maybe we should just ask ourselves. After all, we're the ones driving the gas-guzzling, oil burning cars and trucks and SUVS that make it easy to turn our heads and look away. We're the ones who keep voting for politicans who put petroleum before people. We're the ones who convince ourselves that, if environmental disasters don't happen in our backyard, they're not our problem.

Wake up and smell the burning oil fumes. At any given time, oil is either a disaster waiting to happen, or a disaster we're watching happen. There are over 8100 oil spills of some magnitude in the U.S. every year, more than 22 every day. The amount of air pollution and water pollution and habitat destruction caused by our addiction to petroleum is not just unsustainable. It is shameful.

Yes, we can all "conserve." We can drive more fuel efficient cars, and carpool, and insulate our homes and office buildings, and pump up our tires…the list goes on.

But that is not enough. It will never be enough because oil is so toxic: one drop can contaminate a gallon of water. Burning it is creating the climate change that has put the entire globe at risk.

No, we can't just use less oil.

We have to use no oil.

It is time to shut this industry down.


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2 Responses to Oil has got to go. Now!

  1. ChrisLWagner April 28, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    While I can feel your passion for wanting to get off oil, that will probably be impossible to get off it completely. Every thing that is made out of plastic from milk bottles to the computer you wrote your blog post on is made from petroleum. It makes you wonder how we ever got along without plastic!
    Part of the problem is that we don’t have a feasible alternative right now. Wind and solar don’t do all that oil does and is not reliable.
    The big elephant in the room is nuclear energy. The environmentalist won’t let us build plants anymore and they are carbon neutral. Russia and China are building plants like crazy and are way ahead of us in being self sufficient in their energy goals. We still are talking about wind and solar and sound like cavemen using sticks compared to an army using guns.

  2. Diane MacEachern April 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Nuclear power will not relieve our dependence on oil, since oil is mostly used for transportation and nukes generate electricity. Even with the new Chevy Volt electric car coming onto the scene, we are a long way from powering our cars with atoms. The nation should set a crash course to convert used vegetable oil to fuel; to convert biowaste to fuel; to build mass transit; and to work with employers to help employees reduce transportation needs through carpooling, telecommuting, and flexible work schedules.

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