Most of us can’t up and cut petroleum out of our lives today in one fell swoop, but we can recognize that we are a part of all of this and make a decision to decrease our consumption so that next time this happens (and there will be a next time) we can say “Well, at least they weren’t out there drilling for me.”
Stop driving your car one day a week. If you already do that, go for two. Ride your bike. Take the pledge that you will never accept another plastic bag. Walk. Take one less plane trip a year, or better yet, don’t take any at all. Never drink from another plastic water bottle. Buy organic or still better, grow your own, and make a pledge to only buy local and in season. These may all seem like piddly little things, but if we all started doing them, it’d make a difference.
Once you’ve done all of that, pick up a pen and paper (remember those?) and write a letter. Not to BP, mind you, they already know that they’re in trouble and if you ask me, probably don’t care anyway. Instead, write a letter to the other oil companies and put them on notice. Tell them how angry you are. Tell them if they so much as think of cutting corners on safety and you hear about it, you will boycott them until the end of time. Sound the alarm and scare them into better practices and ask them if they want to end up like BP paying out billions of dollars and taking a huge PR hit at the same time.
Once you’re done with that one, keep on going and pen a note to your reps and any other reps you can think of and tell them if they want to get re-elected, they better stop talking about fossil fuels and start talking about renewable energy. Point out the coal mining disaster of last month, the oil rig disaster we are currently dealing with, and the ones that are sure to come in the weeks and months ahead, and then ask them how many people have been killed by windmills and solar panels. Put them on notice and let them know you are paying attention, because frankly, an energy future that looks like the one we have presently, is no future at all.
Finally if you really want to do something concrete, head down to the Gulf and get your hands dirty. Personally speaking, I think everyone who’s been screaming “Drill Baby Drill” should be at the head of the line, but that’s just me.
OK, that’s my rant. I’m off to write a few letters and then go for a nice ride on my bike.