I Am Responsible For the Gulf Oil Spill
Repeat after me : I am responsible for the gulf oil spill. I drive to work every day in my own motor vehicle. Even if I am not the sole occupant of my vehicle, it still consumes a considerable amount of fossil fuel. Even if it is a hybrid, it still consumes a considerable amount of fossil fuel. I use my motor vehicle regularly to run errands for which I could easily walk. I heat my home with oil, or natural gas, or propane, or electricity that is produced with these or other fossil fuels like coal. I purchase goods and services that were made far away from where I live, and need to be shipped great distances to reach me, consuming a considerable amount of fossil fuel. Heck, most of the time I do not even bother to check where the things are made, which I buy. I fly in an airplane once a year or more. I engage in recreational activities which frivilously waste fossil fuel. I know that alternative electricity providers like Bullfrog Power exist, and are available to me, but I have never investigated them. Or have investigated them, and deemed them "too costly". I have no idea where my food comes from. I do not make an effort to purchase organic foods, and so I end up eating food which was produced with chemical fertilizers which are made from fossil fuels. I regularly consume beverages from single-use plastic bottles, which are made from fossil fuels. I often do not recycle these bottles. Even if I do recycle these bottles, I am still contributing significantly to the consumption of the fossil fuels from which they are made, since the beverage companies largely do not use recycled plastic to produce them.
My retirement savings and pension funds are managed by someone else, like a financial advisor, or my employer's pension plan, and I really do not care where that money is invested as long as there is enough of it in the end for me to retire. Or, I do care where that money is invested, but there is nothing I can do about it anyway. Nonetheless, I have never once looked to see where that money was invested. And even if I have looked, I have never even so much as written a letter to the portfolio managers to express my concern that it be invested in green initiatives. And I have never discussed the matter with coworkers, to try to make them care. Or, I make my own investment decisions, but they are made solely according to what will make me the most money, because money is all that really matters in the end. Because my personal future is more important than the planet's.
I am outraged by the oil spill, yet I seem to have little legitimate grounds for this outrage, because as it turns out, I am a part of the problem, and not a part of the solution. I rant and rave that cost is no object when it comes to putting safeguards into place to prevent oil spills like this, yet my actions show that I will gladly save a penny from my own pocket any chance I get, even if it contributes to the over-consumption of fossil fuels. I am not willing to curtail activities which I enjoy, to save on fossil fuel consumption. My actions speak louder than my words on this matter. I now realise that this oil was spilled because I was creating demand for it to be consumed. I now realise that the more of these items which are true for me, the less valid my outrage really is. I now know the meaning of the phrase "crocodile tears".