Sunday, June 27, 2010

Strength in Numbers - A Line in the Sand

Yesterday was the Hands Across the Sands gatherings worldwide. I'm so happy that lots of folks came out to participate. It was a quiet and meaningful show of community unity. Our beaches have had some tar balls but none were evident yesterday and there were many, many folks out enjoying the day. I don't know how they stand to be out there in that heat for hours, though. On the way over, it was 91 degrees, and by the time I got home it was 97 degrees. I was really heated up even in just the 20 minutes or so that were were in the line.

I am all for solar and wind power in the right locations, but the easiest way to reduce oil consumption is simply through conservation!! Turn off unused lights; bump up the thermostat a couple of degrees; use cold water for laundry -- after all, how many of us get so dirty and germy that we really need hot water to get our clothes clean; take shorter showers. Drive a fuel efficient vehicle; consolidate trips; stop using plastic shopping bags. Just make a conscious decision to not be wasteful with anything related to oil. I'd really bet that if the entire population made a concerted effort to do that, our oil consumption would drop very significantly.

Natural resources have been abundant in this country and it has shaped our growth. It's always been quick, easy and cheap to get the things needed for daily life. As our population continues to grow, though, that is going to not be the case unless we all consciously decide to consume less.

My perspective lets me know that this nasty mess in the Gulf doesn't just afflict those who live on the coast. There is so very much more at stake. The marshlands that provide nurseries for all the fisheries, and all the seafood that moves into the food chain, and all the livelihoods that are connected to them affect us, our neighbors and our friends. I'd like for my grandchildren's children to be able to know what I've known of our country and our waters. This mess has already been happening for 69 days and there is no end in sight. Never before in history has this much oil been dumped into the ocean, so we have no idea what the total consequences of it are going to be. I'm afraid they are going to be far more drastic and widespread than is imagined by most.

So, let me ask you to please do your best to REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE in every way possible. And do your little part to conserve the resources we have been so blessed to have.

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