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Ann Freeman: Stop blaming BP and start blaming me

The biggest environmental disaster in our nation's history continues, and I take responsibility (thanks for the lead, President Obama) because it's my fault, too. Blame BP all you want, but we who are addicted to oil -- for our cars, for our way of life -- caused this.

BP wouldn't be drilling if we weren't a nation(s) of addicts needing our oil fix. So look hard at this mess we have collectively created and the collective power we have to do something about it.

Riding my bike to work, recycling, turning off the lights, turning the thermostat down, and buying locally grown food is not enough to/does not fix this problem or appease my guilt at the images of oil coated wildlife.

But those things, multiplied by millions of people doing the same and more, do make real change. We have to start somewhere.

We need to be educated. Crude oil is used to produce everything from plastics to paint to detergent to make-up and candles. We use it all the time. But their are alternatives - know what they are and support their use.


We must reduce consumption. This map (source: Wikipedia) shows global energy consumption levels per capita (darker colors represent more consumption):

Join me in this: Make a list of the things you do to reduce your energy consumption and personal carbon footprint. Double it. Then make a list of ways you can lend yourself to organizations and coalitions working for large scale change. Sign up. Send your money.

Need help?

    * Calculate your carbon footprint
    * 15 ways to reduce your carbon footprint
    * Environmental organizations (international, national, and by state) can be found here and here

BP and others directly responsible for this disaster must be held accountable.
But make no mistake.

We did this.

This post was originally published by Ann Freeman on Upside My Head (Pay Attention Now)

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Comments (3)

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Great list of specific ideas we can do! Thanks for the thoughtful response. It is a both/and thing!

Unfortunately much of this consumption is set up in our infrastructure and it is not easily undone. The dreariness of some city life and some of the beauty of suburban life is astounding. There are parts of suburban life that look like heaven especially this time of year. Not to say there are not beautiful places in the inner cities, there are some remarkably beautiful parts. If you want ideas for further topics on infrastructure read On the Grid.