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Who’s Really to Blame for the BP Oil Spill? We Are.

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Who’s Really to Blame for the BP Oil Spill? We Are.

Like many of you, I have been consumed by the BP oil rig that went down in the Gulf of Mexico a few weeks back. The thought of hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil spilling into the waters off the Gulf Coast every single day (it just passed the 4 million gallon mark) with no discernible end in sight, sickens me. It is simply impossible to comprehend, or perhaps even to calculate, what the long-term effects of this disaster will be.

As the Senate hearings begin on who did what and when, why, and for what reason, the finger pointing that has been ongoing is ramping up into full swing. Sure BP is at fault due to the fact that it was their rig (by the way, were you aware that the US Government exempted them from environmental review on this specific rig and that they have the worst environmental record of all the oil companies). Sure Haliburton may have built the concrete structures incorrectly and Deepwater Oceanic should have made the “failsafe” shut off valve a bit more failsafe. But the bottom line is, no matter who did their work poorly, or who shirked their responsibilities, at the end of the day, we are the ones who are responsible for the disaster at hand.

That’s right, we are the ones responsible.

BP, like any other oil company, is in the petroleum game for one reason and one reason only: money. And where does that money come from? It comes from us. Either directly by paying to pump it into our vehicles, or indirectly in the planes that we travel in, the plastics that we use to make our lives so much more convenient, and the goods we buy from overseas that are shipped to and fro so we can save some money on a new turnip twaddler. So in essence, if we as a society didn’t keep throwing our money at petroleum, BP and others wouldn’t be drilling for it.

Now I know that I’m going to get flamed for being overly simplistic but if I recall back to my days at the ACME Business School, it all comes down to supply and demand. I should point out that while I may live a lifestyle a little less oil dependent than some, I’m still part of the problem, so this isn’t me pointing the finger as much as me accepting my part of the blame.

So what do we do? Read on.

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Dave Chameides

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. "Give people the facts, and they'll choose to do the right thing."

127 comments

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3:42PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Thank you.

3:41PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Thank you.

5:31AM PST on Feb 14, 2011

Dave Chameides I thank you for your article, how right you are and how refreshing to have an article that takes a look at the solution without pointing fingers and heaping all the blame on one person or company, that is so easy and unproductive. As you rightly say all companies are there to make money a fact we often conveniently choose to forget.
We all can and should make a difference. Every time we say no to a plastic bag, we have made a difference. Every time we decide not to drive to the corner shop, we have made a difference. Just think if every Care2 member said 'NO' to plastic bags one day a week that would be at least 15,040,564 less bags in circulation. What a difference that would make.

Make a difference, plant a tree.

11:36AM PST on Feb 8, 2011

We are all responsible, for supporting the companies that do the drilling and using the products produced.

We do not need the oil. We need the oceans. Disallow any further drilling for oil in the oceans. Use the money to promote and produce environmentally friendly energy. It will only happen if we do not support the drilling!

Solutions will occur as we stop buying and using petroleum products.

12:44AM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

Thank you Colleen for putting into words what's been in my heart from the beginning...

1:37PM PDT on Jun 20, 2010

Thanks Colleen. A wonderful comment. May we take it to heart.

9:04AM PDT on Jun 20, 2010

Religion taught people that "human dominion" means superiority rather than responsibility to care... that celebrating and acknowledging this planet's amazing dimensions was 'pagan' and forbidden.

By giving our personal responsibility away to religious and all other controlling "experts" we've assisted monstrous crimes against natural law whilst believing ourselves immune from natural consequence. Parading our victim mentality when things get uncomfortable or scary avoids the truth that oil companies and other groups are OUR agents for terror.

Maybe also, protests about marine animals, birds and ecosystems are inherently weak when they come from people who happily celebrate by consuming other fellow creatures suffering the misery of factory "farms" including sow stalls. By labelling those lives as "meat", people can deny the fact that they feel pain, terror and depression.

Enlightened spirits like Dr Masaru Emoto have demonstrated our personal power. Of course, it comes with personal responsibility. For example, we can sit quietly for several minutes and from our heart, say the following prayer with total sincerity --

“I send love and gratitude to the waters and all living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I Love You.”

6:07PM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

Such a good article. I hate plastic and I walk when I can. Plastic is the worst thing they could have ever invented. Thank you for such a good article.

8:40AM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

I've realized because of the spill that I am a very irresponsible consumer and I could use my dollars in ways that support fair trade, the environment, local economy, etc..

2:03AM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

Thanks for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

thanks very informative article

Gracias por la información.

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