Last week, I was presented with the opportunity to take part in a ‘Think Tank’ discussion in New Orleans. The topic at hand being one of the most horrific environmental disasters of all time, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Going to New Orleans means the chance of gathering with other activists, environmentalists and scientists to discuss the harsh reprecussions of offshore drilling, alternative energy ideas and the best way to go about cleaning up the spill (most clean up solutions being proposed at the moment are not environmentally sound, only adding to the damage). From New Orleans is also the opportunity to drive to Florida, visiting affected towns and communities along the way, surveying the damage up close.
I jumped at the opportunity. Even though I’ve never done anything like this in my life. Sure, I’ve worked with Surfrider Foundation doing beach cleanups, but this is taking things to a whole new level.
I have no idea what’s in store. Part of me keeps saying, “What if I sound stupid amongst all these professionals?”, “What do I have to offer?”, “What the hell do I really know about any of this?”
And then I stop myself.
Any amazing thing anyone ever did came from being passionate. And if there is anything ive ever been more passionate about -music is up there too :)- its the one thing my life revolves around, our Mother ocean.
I might not be a scientist, or an oil expert, but I am passionate and I have the capacity to learn. Also, i cannot imagine how i would feel if this happened to my local beach. I’m hoping anyone living near the coast, can relate. Growing up in San Diego, my life has revolved around the beach. Summer = beach. Right now, kids and families are having their summer vacation being taken away. Surfers are loosing their breaks, perfect waves are ruined. And thats just looking at it from a greedy perspective. Eco systems are being destroyed, marine life is being suffocated. People are being exposed to harmful pollutants, in the coming weeks we will see the increased reports for illness only getting worse. Fishing industries destroyed, and we will see local economies go nearly extinct. Some peoples whole year income depends on tourism this time of year. And if you think, I don’t live anywhere near the Gulf, this doesn’t affect me. Consider this: I just read an article about oil dispersants breaking down the oil from the spill into such small quantities, it’s actually being absorbed up into the clouds, raining oil. I have a friend who recently became a mother, she is now questioning what this means for her daughters future? Will her daughter even be able to go outside when it rains? And while it seems impossible, like this kind of thing could never happen in our lifetime, The truth is, we are closer to this reality than we think.
The good news is, a shift is already occurring. The bad news, there are a lot of people living on this planet, who don’t care, are not informed and turn a blind eye.
I even witnessed it this past weekend when I participated in Hands Across the Sand (www.handsacrossthesand.com). While we had a group of about 300 people on the beach joining hands, there were thousands of beach goers just staring at us. I overheard one lady, look up and comment, “Make sure y’all don’t get in your car later”. Many people are so quick to get defensive, quick to say no, resistant to change.
We got here because, I’m guessing, somewhere in the evolution of things, oil seemed like an amazing advancement, a profitable industry and could be used to produce a vast number of things. And now look at us, we rely on oil for everything! From gas to plastic bags, to probably the airport seat I’m sitting on, even our food. There are no fingers to point, no one to blame, no right or wrong. We got here together, we didn’t know any better.
It’s unfortunate that it takes something like a massive oil spill to get our attention. Luckily, we have the technology, intellect and resources. We are swimming in solutions.
I cannot wait to see what this adventure brings. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I am even happier to be in action.
Ready to serve, Ready to mother nature.