The right to pollute

The right to pollute

blog-theright-squareUnless you are living under a rock, you are probably aware that upwards of 1,000,000 gallons of crude oil per day (according to some estimates) are seeping into the Gulf of Mexico and have been for 4 weeks in a row.  If you do the math, that’s roughly 30,000,000 gallons so far.  And scientists say that might even be underestimated.  “How did this happen,” you ask?

As a people, we became accustomed to higher and higher levels of comfort.
Comfort that we found in often worthless baubles made of plastic.  Comfort we found in being able to hop in our big metal box and drive effortlessly to our desired destination.  Comfort we found in newer, cheaper, better.  We created this demand for oil that Exxon and BP and others are trying so hard to fill for us.  We became addicted to the luxury of owning one or even two automobiles.  And now we are paying.

But it’s not just us who are paying.
(Responsible parties are already trying to evade their financial responsibilities for this event.)  The fish and dolphins and turtles… all innocent bystanders… are paying as well.  This is what happens when we give a ruthless corporation access to our pristine natural resources.  They don’t care about the fish or the dolphins – all they care about is making money at any cost.

The photos I used came from this article.

What gives any entity the right to have the opportunity to create this mess?
That body of water belongs to all of us.  It is not for one company to desecrate.   I feel the same way about any pollution caused by any company.  What gives you the right to pollute and poison my water?  What gives you right to kill off the fish I would’ve eaten?  What gives you the right to ruin my enjoyment of the Earth?  I am angry at what you’ve taken from me!

We are all going to pay for this incident in more ways than one.
If you live along the Gulf Coast, you might pay with your job, depending on what you do.  If you live in Sarasota, the outlook is bleak.  Sarasota is a splendid natural beauty.  It attracts the wealthy and retired from all over the world who come here to enjoy the beaches and, while they’re here, support the arts and stimulate the economy.  When the oil finally gets to us (and it will), those folks will choose another yet-unspoiled city to escape to.  They do not have to stay here; their choices are plentiful.

Perhaps you, like me, feel helpless right now.  “What can I do?”
Well, there is something you can do.  You can stop buying plastics.  You can consider getting rid of one car per household and using public transportation more.  Ride your bicycle for errands of  2 miles or less.  We can turn things around before more and worse tragedies happen.  Our lives are overly complicated as it is.  Simplify yours.  Connect more with the things you do every day.  Connect with your daily actions.  We are all walking around like zombies on auto-pilot.  That’s not living – that’s just existing.

Start living.

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