Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oil Alarm

On April 20, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank. 800,000 liters of oil gush every day into the Gulf of Mexico. After the initial press coverage, what are we talking about now? In Germany, we have covered the European song contest first, the soccer world cup next, then the marriage of princess Victoria of Sweden.

At the same time, the ocean is dying, and nobody seems to care. Doesn't it touch us anymore? Isn't it close enough? Have we not thought about the consequences that will touch us personally? Will we be able to continue eating sea food or will the whole ecosystem come crashing down? Is the human race a monster, killing its environment by its insatiable lust for energy?

I'm feeling ill, thinking about our planet, about our future . . . and the things that aren't done, for political reasons, maybe? How come we can fly to the moon but are unable to plug a hole in the ground? How come we haven't found a solution in two months?

I'm scared, not only by what happened, but much more by our relaxed attitude. We consumers can change the world by making conscious choices, by buying products that will need less energy, but choosing a life style that is more economical with our world's resources. No, I'm not saying I would like to live without central heating. But I'm thinking twice about taking the car when I can go by bike. My next vehicle will work with electricity.

We authors have a responsibility. Words can change the world by making people act. Let's do all we can to keep this planet healthy.


Sandy Cody said...

Wonderful post, Beate. I have to tell you that here in the US the oil spill is THE major news story every night (appropriately so). In our town in southeastern PA, the BP station is being picketed and no one is buying their gas there any more. I know that is an overly simple response to a huge problem, but maybe it's the beginning of a much-needed awareness. The other heartbreaking thing that is almost forgotten is the fact that a unique culture along the bayous of LA is in danger of being destroyed. I could go on and on. What I really started to do was thank you for bringing this up.

Beate Boeker said...

Dear Sandy,

It's not an overly simple response, it's the best and most efficient way the consumer has to show they don't agree! Nothing can hurt them more in the long run. I'm glad to hear that and so glad to hear that it's still major news in the US.
I can't even begin to think about the consequences for the ocean, wildlife, and finally, us humans. Thank you for your reply. I hope many think as you do.

Elisabeth Rose said...

It's still pretty big news here in Australia too. We had our own disaster off the WA coast last year and offshore oil and gas mining is always a touchy subject. A tanker ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef a few months ago but they got it off before it did too much damage. Perhaps Europe is a little more isolated from these maritime disasters than we in the US and Aus with our vast coastlines.
The other hot topic here on an ongoing basis is whaling. But this isn't a forum for political comment so I won't continue.

Zelda Benjamin said...

You're so right. As authors we can help increase awareness. Why not have our characters drive hybrids or electric cars. They can carry reusable bags when they shop. Readers pay attention and might think about even subtle suggestions to help our environment. The problem is definitely global but starting small can hopefully make the difference.

Beate Boeker said...

Zelda, I think that's a great idea to bring across the idea without being preachy and patronizing! I'll use that!

Lis, I'm glad to hear it's still a hot topic in Australia. I wonder why they don't manage to plug up that hole and can't suppress the suspicion that there are political reasons. Yes, I know this isn't a forum for political views, but I felt it was so important that I didn't stick to the rules for once. I won't talk about the environment in the next five posts, though, even if it's not getting better - I promise!

Elisabeth Rose said...

My characters always shop with Green bags LOL and in Stuck the city girl heroine (Green bag in hand) makes a comment re the hero, who is taking a stance against a mobile phone relay tower in his little town, saying he didn't have a monopoly on eco consciousness.

When I researched the effects of mobile phones and the waves from those towers it was horrifying!! They literally microwave your brain.