An astonishing sight

by Guest Blogger

June 14, 2010

An astonishing sight was to be seen the other day on the shores of Louisiana, where offshore oil workers, sidelined by the U.S. Government’s moratorium issued in response to the BP Deepwater Disaster, were clamoring to resume work on their rigs. The dissonance between the risks and rewards of this dangerous livelihood and the health and welfare of all of our lives is drastic.

View more images from the BP Deepwater Disaster and oil spill

These workers are not to blame for this dissonance. The overconsumption of our lifestyles and our nation’s idiotic energy policies are to blame, as well as some villainous oil lobbyists and a Congress that does not have the courage to stand up to the largest polluters nor to tell the truth about our urgent need to change our environmental ways.

These off-shore oil workers will likely have to move to other parts of the country for work, and it probably won’t pay as well. (Perhaps dangerous cleanup or rigging jobs will still exist.) Also, most of the Gulf Coast’s normal businesses will be shuttered. Tourism and fishing and all the businesses that depend on healthy coastlines will be harmed for generations – if not forever – by this sickening oil spill.  

We always talk about a transition to a clean energy economy, but treat it like a philosophical problem instead of the most urgent undertaking we have. These workers are standing next to a catastrophe caused by their work and they still demand to go back because they need jobs and money. The time for philosophical musing or political jockeying lapsed over ten years ago.

We have a global emergency.

We must transform our economy, retrain works, and retrofit and build new infrastructure. We must create a real Energy Revolution… NOW.

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