Monday, May 31, 2010

BP Gulf Oil Catastrophe

I've been asking myself why the outrage and heartbreak I feel over the BP Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe is not more widespread, or expressed. Why aren't we protesting? Demanding? Mourning? Is the Gulf of Mexico, its flora and fauna, so cheap to us? Do we care so little for the coastal culture of Cajuns and others that goes back generations and that this may wipe out?

If it were proven, as is rumored among conspiracy theorists, that Muslim terrorists caused this oil flow, or North Korea, we WOULD be outraged. We might even bomb the perpetrators.

But THEY didn't do this to us. WE did this to us. So we continue to sleepwalk to poisoning the planet that supports our life.

I donate to half a dozen environmental organizations. None has my full respect. They all work from an elitist paradigm. Their goal is to save this or that capsule of pristine hideaway for elite adventure travelers.

I'll probably never make it to Glacier National Park. I live in an American slum where people throw their garbage in the street as a matter of custom and culture. Paterson, New Jersey's garbage flows into the Atlantic Ocean, to be swallowed by ocean going birds, to poison them to death. The Sierra Club does not speak my language. Saving refuges for elite backpackers won't save the planet. The mindset of a peasant will: we depend on this soil, the soil beneath our feet, this water, this air, for our biological life.

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