by Heather Flournoy
More than 4 million gallons of crude oil have entered the Gulf of Mexico since April 20. We can blame BP, Halliburton, our current administration, and TransOcean, and should be outraged. But it is time to acknowledge our part. WE create demand for that oil. It’s time to make some changes. We have the capacity to do this immediately.
Stop! What’s that sound? Everybody look what’s goin’ down. That Buffalo Springfield song is still appropriate, calling all of us to take a look beyond the headlines that are already back on celebrity affairs and other mind numbing ‘news’ that lets people forget that there is still oil gushing into the Gulf wreaking uncertain short and long-term environmental and economic destruction.
Those 2,000+ gallons per day of oil spewing out of the 1 mile deep drill hole in the floor of the Gulf of Mexico have a lot to do with our town. We helped create the demand for that oil. We can stop it. Stop needless consumption this week. Make changes over the coming months that will further decrease demand. Speak out. Educate ourselves on what we consume that is creating the demand.
If the oil spill were headed directly to our town, you can bet you’d be organizing already. We have got to stop offshore drilling, and drastically reduce our community’s demand for oil and gas. Call friends and neighbors, even if you don’t know them. Talk about in in the coffee shop. Talk about carpools. Find out what’s possible. Engage in a conversation. Start emergency organization: Organize a conference call or dinner to talk about what can be done in your area. We have a choice whether or not we stand for blatant destruction of our environment on our shores (or anywhere).
Rideshare. Adjust your schedule to accommodate the train or local bus, or go online to Rideshare.com. Put up signs at the supermarket or farmer’s market or on the community bulletin board or on your Facebook page looking for rideshares to and from work, for your shopping trips.
Bike it. If 200 local people took to the streets on bicycles and called the town government demanding safe roadways for bikes we’d have it done within the year. Get out your bike this week. This Saturday morning bike to the farmer’s market, to the village of Katonah, Bedford, South Salem, Pound Ridge, North Salem, or your own town, or to the train station. Wear bright colors. Put a sign on your back saying you’ve f#@% had enough of oil spills and excuses!
Teens–use the bus. Parents- make a zero tolerance policy for driving to school. You have buses running. The rest of the world is paying for unnecessary miles you and your are teens creating. Schools- instill emergency shut down for teen driving to school. The impact of this one measure around the country would be enormous. There is no longer any reasonable argument for this structure when you have buses, and carpools.
Switch to Windpower–Get our your energy bill. If you are in NY, CT or NJ click here right now to find out how you can buy 100% wind or solar energy. No excuses. The average $7-$12 per month extra is just our part of the puzzle. Opt in right now. NY has the potential to supply 80% of it’s own electricity demands with wind and solar in the next 2 years. We’ll talk next week about installing your own system to heat hot water.
Get to your Farmer’s Market: Buy locally produced food, and save thousands of miles of transportation used to deliver the food you buy in supermarkets that comes from around the globe and is dependent on a complex and vast warehousing and shipping infrastructure scheme.
UP NEXT: What You Can Do In The Next Months to Drastically Reduce Oil and Gas Consumption
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