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One of my favorite birds, and one I saw often in the salt marshes of San Francisco Bay (those few which haven't been developed over), is the magnificent Great Egret. We often had snowy egrets, their somewhat smaller cousins, as marsh visitors as well, and those were perhaps more common than the larger great egrets, but it's hard not to catch one's breath at the gorgeous and very large great egret as it takes flight. Only the great blue heron surpasses it in size as a salt marsh wader.
egret in flight

Great egrets are fishers, searching for their prey in shallow water, and quickly stabbing a fish with their sharp beaks. It's what they do. They're built for shallow water, less so for land, where their stilt legs leave them awkward at times. They're incredible to see in flight, the great expanse of snow-white wings extended to 50 inches across, and if angels have white wings, they've copied them from the great egret.
Great_Egret_in_Flight

Today I saw this picture of two great egrets hunting fish on Grand Isle, LA, and it has broken my heart.
Oiled egret

The closer bird is not in shadow.

The closer bird probably doesn't have a long time left to live.

The closer bird almost certainly cannot fly.

And we did this to that bird.

That's right, I did this. You did this. My partner did this. My mother did this. My sister did this. My friends did this. My cousins did this. My neighbors did this. Every last one of us that demands oil to keep our lifestyle going did this. Every single one of us.

There is no way we can make it up to that bird. Our oily lifestyle is always more important than the wildlife it harms. Our lifestyle took away a lot of the salt marsh habitat in the Bay Area, habitat that was once important to great egrets. Our lifestyle has just taken out Grand Isle, and much of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Florida's coast along with it. Our lifestyle is leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Each oil plume has your name and mine written on it.

I don't have a lot of answers, but I know I have to find some quickly. I know I cannot continue to bear responsibility for killing some of my favorite birds, and for the endangered turtles, and for the ways of life and livelihoods of so many coastal residents which have been ended, perhaps for all time. I have thought I had done a fair amount towards supporting a green future but what I have done amounts to very little in comparison to a blackened great egret that should be as white as any, a great egret covered in the oil that my way of living - our way of living - has demanded.

War is waged continually in my name. In my name, we are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. In my name, BP, Exxon, and every other oil company has declared war on the environment. In my name, greenhouse gases pollute our atmosphere. In my name, you can rarely see the San Gabriels from Los Angeles thanks to the smog. In my name, wild rivers are dammed to provide hydropower. In my name, nuclear waste is generated and needs to be stored somewhere, just Not In My Back Yard. As long as I don't see it, maybe it's not happening, right? And anyway, they're all a bunch of red states down there, and they deserve the little, ineffectual government they've always clamored for. Right?

Well, it is happening, and it's right smack in the middle of not our back yards, but our front yards. It's in our faces. It comes in the form of oiled wildlife, including great egrets, and it's a wakeup call that we all have to answer.

If this is something we did - and I firmly believe that it is - then maybe we cannot fix it, but we can do differently in the future. We can live differently. Not everybody can rush out and buy an electric vehicle (and where does your electricity come from? Oil? Coal? Nuclear power? Hydro?) and not everyone can roof over with solar panels and find room for storage batteries. But there have to be steps that all of us can take, here, now, that will stop demanding so much oil, and start making reparations to the offspring of those great egrets.

There has to be something. Or this will continue, and happen again, in your name and mine.

It's our choice, every one of us. This:
egret in tree

Or this?
oily egret in flight

Photo credits:
1st photo: birdigintaiwan.com
2nd photo: wikipedia commons
3rd photo: Yahoo news (AFP/Getty Images/Spencer Platt)
4th photo: Mark Harris on Floridata.com
5th photo: photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?p=10128517

Originally posted to Kitsap River on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:19 PM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (293+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
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    Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

    by Kitsap River on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:19:59 PM PDT

      •  no worries ...you're good...you're good :) (11+ / 0-)

        "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

        by ridemybike on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:39:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nah, the whole diary is utter b.s. (21+ / 0-)

          Collective guilt-mongering is just as wrong as collective punishment.  In fact, collective guilt-mongering lets the truly guilty off by ascribing the bad acts of a few to the enormity of the whole. A lot of things are done in "my name" that I never approved nor do I support now: there is no mens rea that can be ascribed to me.

          For instance, our eleven- and eight-year-olds are not the least bit responsible for this oil spill, despite the blatherings of "Kitsap River." Heck, "Kitsap River's" not responsible for the spill.

          BP, Halliburton, and Transocean should.

          What the President should have discussed is the outlines of the concrete steps to be worked out with Congress to bring the oil industry back under control and to address the crisis of global climate change. It's precisely the kind of speech FDR would have - and did - deliver. It's precisely the kind of speech and the kind of attitude toward government that millions voted for him to bring about. However, right now BHO is well on his way to becoming the Herbert Hoover of the Democratic Party.  No surprise that the progressive base is restive and dissatisfied.  No amount of cheerleading from the fans will change those facts.

          If "Kitsap River" want to take the blame for this, it's a free country and empty-headed people take undeserved blame on themselves all the time.  But I'm not going to drink the Kool-Aid, and I - and millions of others - will not be guilt-tripped into doing so. Any f**king f**ckers who want to can f**k off.

          It's just this kind of muddled, crappy thinking that drives independents to the arms of the Republicans and discourages progressives from the polling station.

          This just needs to stop right now.

          "Fight the Stupids" - Maple Street Book Shops, New Orleans

          by Superskepticalman on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:48:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No collective guilt (18+ / 0-)

            Many of us fought extremely hard to keep Bush Jr. from gaining power not once but twice. We fought against going to war in Iraq. We reduced our carbon footprint as low as we could given economic circumstances -- and that was pretty low, having well insulated homes, getting rid of wasted energy, lowering the thermostat, driving a gas efficient car and not driving it much -- carpooling a great deal and using public transport when possible. We worked hard on elections to get ecologically considerate representatives in Congress and in local offices.

            Maybe Kitsap River deserves to feel guilty about this spill but I am not going on the hook for it. I blame Bush and Cheney, BP, Transocean, and Halliburton, and that group of deniers who think that the world is disposable.

            I know this world needs and deserves protecting and do the best I can possibly do.  I bet that is true of a great many of us.

            •  I've done a great deal (10+ / 0-)

              to reduce my carbon footprint, but is it absolutely as low as it can go? No, it probably isn't.

              Believe me, I blame BP and the other bad actors - but I take responsibility for my part in this, too.

              Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

              by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:09:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i rec'd this for the beautiful (5+ / 0-)

                sentiment and extraordinary pictures.

                what an ethereal bird.

                the collective guilt is an error in thinking.

                we are not addicted to oil.  we are oil.  there is a big difference.

                we can't walk to the supermarket and come home without supporting big oil with our dollars and that is a fact.

                so...the analysis and rhetoric has to be much different.

                Gaia is heartbroken.

                by BlueDragon on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:16:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  No, you still full of sh*t; here's why... (4+ / 5-)

                You don't have any responsibility for what happened in the Gulf. I don't have any, either. Neither of us were on the platform, did any of the drilling, or chose the site and the time.

                Our fingerprints are nowhere on that disaster.

                You talk as if your energy use is the cause. B*llsh*t.  If you want to reduce your carbon footprint to as "absolutely low" as it could go, then go kill yourself. Then your footprint will truly be absolute zero.

                That is certainly not an option I would wish upon you as I would upon myself.  Like I noted above, when "everyone" is responsible, then "noone" is responsible, and that's exactly how the oil industry likes it.

                What we really need is a political agenda, even if only in outline now, of how to move ourselves as a nation out of this situation. We're not getting this now because we took a chance on electing a "centrist" as president over a rightist. We hoped he would get past at least some of his corporatist mindset, and we are being proved wrong.

                Your attitude, as well meaning as it is, is a recipe for rightwing disaster.

                "Fight the Stupids" - Maple Street Book Shops, New Orleans

                by Superskepticalman on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:17:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Kitsap River is not "empty headed" (11+ / 0-)

            But is just the sort of caring person we need more of.

            But this diary is misguided in trying to spread the blame widely onto everyone, and not placing in the laps of the people who did this.

            Juan Cole spells it out much better than I can:

            Big Oil's Predations are Not Your Fault

            Progressive democrats didn't create a culture of corruption in congress or sell off the regulatory agencies to the corporations. Reagan, Bush and the blue dogs did.

            That's Countdown for the 2,082nd day since Mission Accomplished. You thought that would change? Are the troops home yet? Keith Olbermann January 20, 2009

            by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:59:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I invite you to read some of my other diaries (7+ / 0-)

            before you make up your mind that I'm "empty-headed or "blathering". I have a diary history here going back years. Many of them are on health care. Several are on living on dialysis, including the one just before this one, which was done for the KosAbility series.

            Please reserve judgment about my brain or lack thereof until you have.

            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

            by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:15:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In this case, you ARE empty-headed: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Philoguy, eXtina

              any resort to collective guilt is the classic empty-headedness of the left. No ifs, ands, or buts.

              The more you - and others - write, talk, and think like this, the more you play into the hands of the right.

              I - and millions like me, despite you - will NOT be blamed for something we did not do. If you're stupid enough to want to take Transocean's, BP's, and Halliburton's blame on yourself, suit yourself. Just don't say we didn't recognized what you're doing to yourself for what it is.

              "Fight the Stupids" - Maple Street Book Shops, New Orleans

              by Superskepticalman on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:21:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you feel you have to stoop to personal insults (7+ / 0-)

                like calling me "empty-headed" and saying that I (not my idea) am stupid in order to make your case, you're not a good writer.

                Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:36:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Kitsap River (4+ / 0-)

                  I hope you have donned your kevlar vest for this diary discussion. I'm sorry that so many of these arguments on DKOS devolve into personal insults.

                  That's Countdown for the 2,082nd day since Mission Accomplished. You thought that would change? Are the troops home yet? Keith Olbermann January 20, 2009

                  by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:51:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Me, too! (3+ / 0-)

                    I'm all for honest and open debate; people can disagree vehemently and make their case for their ideas without trying to "score points" off each other, or at least we should be able to do that here. Isn't that a progressive value, too?

                    I never have had a kevlar vest or a thick skin. I usually don't write about much more controversial than the need for a better health care system. But I saw that bird picture and thought I had to say something about how I felt on seeing it.

                    Thank you for kind words, Ed. They're very much appreciated.

                    One person with whom I have had disagreements as to ideas in the comment threads in this diary is valardon, and s/he and I have not felt the need to insult each other at all. It led to a great exchange of ideas, a great dialog. Both of us appreciated that and that we could exchange these ideas while respecting each other.

                    Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                    by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:08:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  SS Man (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TiaRachel, Kitsap River, Philoguy

                Tone down the personal rhetoric and I mostly agree with you. Kitsap River at least cares about something more than her personal gain.

                The oil execs feel no guilt and take no blame for thousands of dying birds, not to speak of eleven dead oil riggers. They feel terrible about the loss of profits for the next several quarters.

                So they need to made to feel where it hurts, right on the balance sheet.

                That's Countdown for the 2,082nd day since Mission Accomplished. You thought that would change? Are the troops home yet? Keith Olbermann January 20, 2009

                by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:41:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  So ironic (5+ / 0-)

                You're calling KR "empty headed" even as you utterly fail to grasp the point of what they are saying.

                Obviously, 300 million Americans weren't on that rig.  

                The 299 million of us who have done little to nothing to reduce our oil consumption, advocate for a drastic change in energy policy, and the lie are absolutely responsible. We'll also be responsible for the first major nuclear plant meltdown too, and the 100,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste that we're leaving for the next 50,000 generations.  We'll be collectively responsible for the untold acreage of dead land that will no longer be able to produce food when the first wrinkles in the industrial food supply system appear.

                The point is this:

                Each one of us has a small amount of responsibility in this.  We all have skin in the game.

                This may be the most important message, and it flies right over your literal-minded head.

                •  I think SS's point, poorly expressed as it (0+ / 0-)

                  is, is that the rhetoric of collective guilt is a piss poor way to get people to reduce their energy consumptions.  He's right.  He's also right that it's this kind of liberal handwringing that drives a lot of independents to the right.  If you want a winning strategy, link changes in energy consumption to patriotism, for example.

              •  Ya' know... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ed in Montana, jrooth

                ... I'd agree with you if you didn't resort to personal insults. It completely diminishes any legitimate points you have.

                Knit, purl, or get out of the way!
                Economic: -8.25 Social: -7.44

                by mcronan on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:07:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  It is not "collective guilt," but it is... (2+ / 0-)

                "collective ignorance," and that does exist. Only "collective enlightenment" can and will pull us out of the vicious cyle of self destruction. Besides, you are denying the existence of the "collective," but what do you think "we the people" is about?

              •  If we — (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kitsap River

                — and you may define "we" as broadly as you like, up to and including "humanity" — didn't demand so much oil for so many things, BP and the rest of Big Oil wouldn't have been drilling in the Gulf in the first place.

                No demand for oil, no drilling; no drilling, no blowout; no blowout, no pollution.

                There. Simple enough for even you to understand.

                "Cthulhu" means "Cheney" in Dagonese. -- steve davis

                by Charles CurtisStanley on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 08:50:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The lurkers support me in email (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kitsap River

                I - and millions like me

                Yes, I've heard that sad refrain since the days Usenet was the shiznit.

                Name six of them, with verifiable contact information.

                "Cthulhu" means "Cheney" in Dagonese. -- steve davis

                by Charles CurtisStanley on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:05:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I Respect Your Diary History (7+ / 0-)

              But I strongly disagree with the idea that folks who may have fought for decades to get away from fossil fuels are somehow responsible for dying birds.

              BP and their cronies are responsible and diluting responsiblity to 'everyone' is just what the responsible parties want.

              ~Ruff

              •  It's not that tiny minority (4+ / 0-)

                It's the vast majority of us (and I include myself) who have not been active enough in exercising our social responsibility and our responsibility to future generations.

                •  This Position Is Stupid In The Extreme (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Philoguy, on the cusp

                  When GM killed off the EV-1 there were a lot of people who fought against that.

                  This is like saying that those EV-1 drivers are responsible for GM killing the EV-1.

                  And folks who wanted to buy and EV-1 but were shut out because GM decided not to make them anymore and crush the existing ones are not guilty either.

                  This kind of thinking is just not even close to logical, although it might give folks who don't believe they have enough to feel guilty about something more to gnaw at themselves over.

                  ~Ruff

                  •  So EV-1 drivers were in the majority? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Charles CurtisStanley

                    What you're saying comports with what I just said.

                    Logical conclusion: If I'm stupid, you must be even more so since you don't even realize that you're agreeing with me.

                    •  I'm Not Even Close To Agreeing With You (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Kitsap River

                      A large chunk of Los Angeles area drivers were willing to buy the EV-1 and there was a long waiting list for them.

                      GM refused to make enough of them plain and simple.

                      And when GM shut down the assembly line, they sold their interest in the company making the NiMH batteries to an oil company and the batteries have not been made since.

                      You are completely and totally wrong.

                      ~Ruff

                      •  On this you are completely and totally right (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Charles CurtisStanley

                        I remember the history of the EV-1, too. I was in line myself to buy one. And I didn't live anywhere near Los Angeles, but that was where I had to be willing to go to get a place in line at all.

                        Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                        by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:28:04 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  On Another Note (2+ / 0-)

                          How are you feeling/doing now?

                          I care about you.

                          ~Ruff

                          •  Hard to read some of the comments here (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Charles CurtisStanley

                            as some of them seemed like very personal attacks.

                            But today was good and I have a start date for my home hemodialysis training that will indeed get me out of it and back home dialyzing where I ought to be by Labor Day. That was my goal. It will be met. (That cuts my gas usage down a lot, too. No more three trips a week to the clinic. Just once a month after my training period - again, as it should be.) I'll be getting better dialysis this way, but there are sure tradeoffs, too. Like having to do everything myself. I hope my veins don't "see" me coming with the needles and hide.

                            Initially, I'll be driving more, not less, because I'll be in training 5 days a week. OK, that's just going to have to be something I deal with, and I will. It is what it is and I have to deal.

                            And I care about you, too, Ruff Limblog. Haven't we been through it these past couple of years, working on health care? Wow. That was a major divide among Kossacks. Still is, if you scratch below the surface. It's always something. If we keep carving out little factions and fiefdoms for ourselves, we won't get anything done, and the status quo remains in place. Is that the general idea: divide us and conquer? Because if it is, we had better take notice of it before it does conquer us all.

                            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                            by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 03:54:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My Aunt Had Home Dialysis (2+ / 0-)

                            It involved infusing her abdomen with a saline solution and then draining it out after it had absorbed waste products.

                            She did it while she slept and the saline was flushed down the bathtub drain.

                            ~Ruff

                          •  That's the kind I've been on (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Charles CurtisStanley

                            2 1/2 years now, almost. It's called peritoneal dialysis and I do it just the same way. It uses a dextrose solution and the dextrose has made me fat; I gained about 50 pounds. If I gain too much more weight, I risk losing transplant eligibility, and that comes before anything. Besides, my last adequacy test shows that PD is not working as well for me as it once did, and I've slipped below the minimum adequacy. Time to cut over. Luckily, I started preparations for this two years ago and had an AV fistula created in my left forearm. Starting home hemo is good. Eventually, in a few months (certainly before year's end) I will be on nightly nocturnal home hemo and be getting the very best dialysis it is possible to get, with clearance as good as a cadaver kidney. Getting a kidney - a real one, preferably from a living donor - is still a matter of life and death, but I can last better and have better health outcomes on home hemo than on PD.

                            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                            by Kitsap River on Thu Jun 17, 2010 at 06:09:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  And what do you know (0+ / 0-)

                  about anyone here besides yourself?

                  You assume too much.

                  Knit, purl, or get out of the way!
                  Economic: -8.25 Social: -7.44

                  by mcronan on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:10:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I think the diarist (2+ / 0-)

                was speaking about Americans in the collective. Remember that Carter tried to change course only to be beaten by "Morning in America". Why? Because "we" hated the idea of turning down the thermostat and driving 55. We are the country that first really "discovered" and "exploited" oil, and thus our citizens are conditioned to believe that we are entitled to life styles that are wildly extravagant when it comes to energy use.

          •  I agree with your conclusions, but not (3+ / 0-)

            the personal attacks.

            Lots of well-meaning, thoughtful people have internalized, let's say, less-than-useful attitudes. But when you come across fuzzy-headed thinking, it's just plain more useful (as well as kind, thoughtful, compassionate) to attack the fuzziness, not the head it's in.

            Kitsap River is one of those well-meaning, thoughtful people -- though I disagree with her about the main thrust of this diary. Unfortunately, hers is not an isolated opinion. The kind of nastiness you're posting won't change any minds -- and there are a lot of minds that need changing.

            •  The kind of people who have the fuzzy thinking (0+ / 0-)

              you describe aren't going to change their minds. This is often as a result of the same thing which generates within them this fuzzy thinking: the inability to think. It's futile to attempt to change the mind of a person who has already demonstrated an inability to grasp basic reasoning and comprehension skills.

              •  Not an excuse for nastiness. (2+ / 0-)

                And yes, some of the people who've been educated/indoctrinated in fuzziness are capable of learning otherwise.

                But even those who can't/don't/wont have the right to be free from attack. Isolate the ideas, convince others that those ideas are wrong, yes. Direct your attack to the person instead? No.

                At the very least, if compassion seems impossible, consider: others will step up to defend someone they see to be vulnerable. Many more won't take the time & effort to say anything, they'll just decide to ignore the attacker. Doesn't help to get that message across, if people decide that the people promoting that message are anti-social.

      •  Dying shore birds (70+ / 0-)

        ... have had a more potent political impact than anything any politician has said since this crisis began.  We need to show the pictures and the video of the victims of our greed and our willful ignorance to people who don't respond to political food fights, but whose hearts are broken by the beautiful, innocent sacrifices our worship of Mammon demand.

        Dying baby dolphins on the evening news are worth more than any number of ads BP can buy.  And baby dolphins are dying in great numbers.  That's why BP is so desperate to keep pictures out of the public eye.  Evidence of their crime prevents anything other than a guilty verdict in the court of public opinion.

        This catastrophe is an opportunity to change Americans' lazy, self-indulgent attitudes toward the planet we live on.  Leaders who waste such an opportunity by not facilitating that change do not deserve to be called leaders.  That includes all of us, but it includes the most prominent of us the most.

        •  "One of the things we hear is that we are (33+ / 0-)

          all responsible because we all use petroleum, we all drive our cars too much, we do all this stuff...that's not really why we're all responsible.

          We're all responsible because we have not insisted on a much better energy policy that gets us beyond fossil fuels.

          Ever since we've lived in caves, every time we've wanted energy we light something on fire. I think it's time we get out of our cave and use the clean eternal renewable energy that actually DOES run the planet."

          Carl Safina, Blue Ocean Institute
          in this video ...which you should watch.

          •  It's not my fault. (23+ / 0-)

            I operate in a society based on the infrastructure that is here. I did not vote for an oil based infrastructure. I did not vote for an administration that staffed regulatory agencies with industry lackeys. I did not bribe Minerals Management employees to ignore safety violations with drugs and hookers. I completely reject the premise of this diary.

            If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

            by miasmo on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:04:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  wow (14+ / 0-)

              Do you ever drive in a motorized vehicle?

              Fly anywhere for any reason?

              Turn on a light?  Post on a blog?  Keep warm in the winter?

              Do you live inside borders of a country that has the largest military on the planet?

              Do you have a job and pay taxes that pays for all of that?

              You have to be so far off the fucking grid not to own a part of our national guilt that the park rangers in your hood should know you as naked crazy person living on berries...

              You didn't vote for it?  You are it...

              As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

              by nyseer on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:11:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I live in a society. (14+ / 0-)

                It was not my choices that created the society and it's infrastructure. Living as a "naked crazy person living on berries" is not a very effective solution. Left-wing political activism is the only possible solution. I am part of the solution.

                If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                by miasmo on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:39:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You have choices (7+ / 0-)

                  many of them.  

                  Left wing activism is noble for sure.  But a reality check is in order too.  It's called being humble.  Go out and fight for what's right, but don't pretend your computer's battery is cleaner than someone elses because of an ideal inside your head.

                  Al Gore took a lot of criticism from the right because of his carbon imprint.  But that's bullshit because he isn't advocating we live carbon free.  He acknowledges the society we live in and advocates reducing our fossil fuel addiction dramatically.  

                  He would not dismiss the entire premise of this diary.  He'd acknowledge his place in this world and move on to something constructive...

                  As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                  by nyseer on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:56:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What do you know (12+ / 0-)

                    about the choices I have made and the viable choices that are realistically available to me?

                    If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                    by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:01:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Viable choices that are realistcally available" (3+ / 0-)

                      sounds like a cop out.

                      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                      by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:11:14 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, I guess I could change careers. (14+ / 0-)

                        Because I can't get to gigs trying to take the bus and then trying to walk a mile or more from the bus stop to the venue with an amp, reverb tank, full suitcase and two guitars.

                        Just understand that when you try to blame me and everybody else, you are displacing blame from where it really belongs:

                        Oil companies that cut corners on safety and bribe the government to get away with it; Republicans who staff the regulatory agencies with industry lackeys, block increased gas taxes and a carbon tax, block spending on public transit, green energy and a smart grid, and allow offshore drilling in the first place; and the people who vote for these Republicans.

                        How is it helpful to shift some of the blame away from them and onto me because I need a car to get to my job?

                        If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                        by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:31:41 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I hear you (12+ / 0-)

                          Because I can't get to gigs trying to take the bus and then trying to walk a mile or more from the bus stop to the venue with an amp, reverb tank, full suitcase and two guitars.

                          Any more than I can get to the dialysis clinic across the Sound lugging two bed pillows, a blanket, and a heavy bag full of things I need to bring to the dialysis clinic, including the only food I'll get before 3:15 pm, on foot. Like you, I need a car. I try to only drive it when it's necessary - getting to the place that is helping me stay alive falls into that category, just as getting to jobs that keep you paid and thus housed, clothed and fed is necessary to you.

                          The oil company did the actual corner-cutting, but whose government enabled them? The regulatory agencies did the permitting, and whose government enabled that? Our government, the one we elected pretty recently. Now that we have our eyes open, what are we going to do, collectively and especially individually? Without giving up your car, there are likely things you can do. Without giving up home dialysis, there are probably things I can do to reduce my use of plastic products, like getting Tegaderm (which is awfully expensive) instead of using Saran Wrap to wrap my access once the numbing cream is on it; Tegaderm sticks, but it is smaller. Smaller means less plastic, which means better.

                          I hope we will work together as liberals (progressives, if you prefer) to find things we can all do to lessen our own use of oil, and lead our friends and neighbors in doing so as well. That will start a groundswell that our leaders cannot help but listen to.

                          Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                          by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 02:35:21 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for this diary Kitsap (9+ / 0-)

                            As a dialysis nurse, I think of you often, and hope that the transplant comes soon.  The amount of packaging we use for supplies for each treatment is unreal, and not compostable.  Sending out lots of Karma to you that soon the Tegaderm and Saran Wrap are just memories.

                            It's not really cherry picking. Cherries are sweet and delicious. It's more like ...turd mining

                            by henlesloop on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 02:53:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm on a kind of hybrid dialysis (6+ / 0-)

                            I'm waiting to get into home hemo training, and should be able to start that no later than when we get back from vacation. We're headed to Netroots Nation and then to New Mexico to visit friends, and it's the first vacation since we've been married (over six years now). Meanwhile, I'm on PD at least four days a week and in center the other three. This week I'm on PD five days and in center for two, because a home hemo training nurse wants to do a home visit tomorrow today and that's my usual clinic day. So I'm just going to do PD instead. No big deal; I'm mostly in the center to get my fistula developed and in use, and get my buttonholes established (the first set, anyway). So far, mostly good, though it's been nearly a month and a half and I've been infiltrated almost every week. Every time it's meant that I can't run that day and have to go home and do PD that night. They aren't always entirely sure what to do with me. One of the techs tried to give me a fluid restriction, telling me that I had to cut down the amount of coffee and other liquid I drink while I'm on. I pushed back, telling her that I drink this much whether I'm in the center or at home, and so the liquid was already in my tissues from earlier and it's not just that I only drink it there. I shouldn't have any fluid restrictions; I am on PD, dialyzing 7 days a week one way or the other, and I still pee, too.

                            But boy, are you right about packaging and about treatments. They pitch out the dialyzer every time. There is no more re-use in the center. I asked. The whole thing, tubing, everything comes right out and goes right into the medical-waste trashcans, which are red and marked with biohazard symbols. It seems like a big waste but they have health reasons for converting to only one-use dialyzers. Then there are the needles and hookup lines, plastic syringes filled with saline and then with saline and my blood, disposable packaged lidocaine syringes for use in case the Emla cream didn't work again (it wears off quickly on me, as do all anaesthetics; I'm the one who wakes up on the operating table, the nightmare patient), the nitrile gloves, etc., etc., and there isn't a whole lot that can be done about re-use and recycling any of it. It's medical waste, biological waste because my blood was in it (even if they did give most of it back). Same with the bags my PD fluid comes in; no biowaste ever goes into them, but can I recycle them? No way.

                            Thank you for all you do to help us dialysis patients stay alive. It's kind of hard to fight for change if you're not.

                            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                            by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:08:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The problems started well before the Obama admin. (3+ / 0-)

                            and the central issues were decided by the oil-men in office, the ones we opposed. Most of us expected Obama to do more housecleaning when he took office.

                            No, we're not all responsible for Reaganism and runaway capitalism, much less for the car culture that was established (for the benefit of those oil/car companies) before most of us were born. We have a responsibility to try to fix the problems, yes -- but no, we're not all guilty simply because we live in a world with problems.

                            I've wondered if, at its base, this difference in approach comes from (residual) religious attitudes. My religion isn't focused on guilt, doesn't have the concept of 'original sin.' Even most non-religious Americans come from (and exist in) a generally Christian culture, where those attitudes are more-or-less fundamental.

                            It's just way too convenient for those with power, for everyone else to say 'it's my fault too!" Yes, we'll all have to change our lifestyles. No, it doesn't need to be painful except for those profiting from the status quo.

                        •  So you use electricity to make music? (4+ / 0-)

                          Go acoustic. That's how the ancient Greeks did it.

                          You're willfully disregarding the point of this diary.

                          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

                          by Geenius at Wrok on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:04:09 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That's how I do it (2+ / 0-)

                            My mentor, a rocker of the "Turn it up to 11!" variety, used to tell me that a good song played by a band that rocks needs no amplification if the room's smaller than a cathedral.  He was right, too, if the crowd's not drunk.

                            Reality, though, is that you need to drown out the drunks who want to chit-chat loudly instead of listening to the music.

                          •  You're willfully disregarding (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Evil Betty

                            reality. Musicians who play acoustic guitars still have to have them amplified in some way, either through an amp or mic'd through a PA to be heard in anything bigger than a living room.

                            I did not disregard the point of this diary. I addressed it because I disagree with it. That is not "Ignoring" it.

                            You're willfully disregarding the point of my comment. The fact that I drive a car does not mean we have to drill in the gulf or that BP had to cut corners on safety. I am willing to pay more for gas and I try my best to vote for politicians who will stop the drilling in the gulf and enforce safety regulations on corporations and invest in public transit and clean energy.

                            If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                            by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:51:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Notice the crickets (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          miasmo, TiaRachel, Evil Betty

                          in response to your observations, Miasmo.  You're spot on here.  I hate to use this epithet, but often there's a tremendous "elitism" in these discussions that assumes people have unlimited money and live in geographical regions where they can completely reduce their carbon footprint.  This is what makes this moralizing so wrong.  We need real solutions that recognize the realities people face.  Not only do we need to do the things you suggest, but we need large tax breaks for families who buy hybrid cars and who make their homes more efficient, we need financial incentives thrown the way of automotive companies that produce more and a wider variety of hybrid and alternative energy cars, we need to boost public transportation (especially in the suburbs!), and so on.  Above all, we need to pitch going green not in terms of guilt-- that's never a political win --but in terms of patriotism and living better and more fulfilling lives.

                          •  Crickets? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Charles CurtisStanley

                            I've responded to Miasmo several times but did have to sleep eventually.

                            You seem capable of looking at the big picture in terms of our need to boost public transit and what not.  Then why is it so hard to grasp that billions of people, no matter how fuel efficient, are going to be contributing to environmental destruction to some degree?  

                            It's not a matter of excuses as to why you drive or who you vote for, it's a matter of doing everything you can to minimize your footprint while acknowledging that you did indeed leave a footprint.

                            As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                            by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:32:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is a difference (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Evil Betty

                            in stating the obvious fact that each of our lifestyle choices effects the environment in a small way and that the collective effect of millions of people's lifestyle choices has a big effect vs. claiming that we are all to blame for this oil spill. This oil spill was the result of specific choices and actions by specific people. There is no direct link of causation from my driving a car to that oil spill. I'll say it once again: My driving a car does not require bribing MMS officials, cutting corners on safety, or even drilling in the gulf in the first place. None of those things are inevitable because I drive a car. They are all choices made by other people - actual specific people who actually do share blame in a specific concrete way. Not sure why you want to let them off the hook.

                            If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                            by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:01:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't think that's what the diarist was saying (2+ / 0-)

                            He was saying our insatiable demand for oil contributes to the worlds problems.  It's not about giving BP a pass, it's about acknowledging that very basic reality.

                            As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                            by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:16:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  FYI (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kitsap River, nyseer

                            The diarist is a "she".

                            "Cthulhu" means "Cheney" in Dagonese. -- steve davis

                            by Charles CurtisStanley on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:43:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "We did this. All of us." (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Evil Betty

                            That's the title of the diary.My point is "No. I didn't do this." I contribute to global warming. I did not cause an oil spill.

                            If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                            by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:03:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Yep. Your local, (3+ / 0-)

                        state and federal governments have failed you and continue to fail you. Miasmo too.

                  •  And what do those choices have to do (7+ / 0-)

                    with BP bribing regulators to ignore safety violations?

                    If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                    by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:02:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nothing (7+ / 0-)

                      That is something to be angry about.  But you live in a country that allowed it to happen.  You are part of a society that depends on cheap gas.  Or thinks it does.  Doesn't matter if you were against bribing regulators.  300 million Americans are against that.  245 million Americans did not vote for Bush and the administration most directly responsible allowing crap like BP pulled off.  So what?

                      You still passively support them because you are an American.  Home of the gas guzzler.  Country that consumes 20% of the worlds resources.  

                      I'm a liberal.  Recycle.  Don't have a car and use mass transit.  Never vote republican.  But I live in a society.  I'm part of the society.  I use oil based products.  I take responsibility.

                      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                      by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:24:33 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Miasmo is frustrated, (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NoMoreLies, BoiseBlue, MichaelNY

                    because he is trapped using infrastructure that he (she) knows isn't optimal.

                    Don't criticize someone for doing their best.

                    Perfection isn't obtainable in this world.

                    •  Miasmo is guilty but he doesn't even know why (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Charles CurtisStanley

                      And it is not just Miasmo, it is most everyone. The problem is that you are apathetic, ignorant or antagonistic towards true new energy technology like zero point energy that should have replaced fossil fuels by now. Tesla said as much in the early 1900s. There is very real suppression of new energy technology by both the private sector and the federal government. Do you know about new energy technology? Have you taken the initiative to teach yourself? I know the answer is no for about 98% of this community. I guess I shouldn't expect any efforts to inform ourselves from a online community that has a ban on "conspiracy theories". Really, a ban?

                      Well, suppression of new energy technology is the mother of all conspiracies. Until millions of people become informed, and demand our government brings out this new energy technology, we will continue down the road of destroying Mother Earth. No politician has the power or courage to do anything to change this until they are forced to by us citizens. The powers that be will not allow it.

                      It is not too late. If you want to become informed, a great book on the subject is "Break Through Power - How quantum-leap new energy inventions can transform our world", by Jeane Manning & Joel Garbon. I highly recommend this book for people who want a real solution to the most important issue we face.

                      •  Am I? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        miasmo

                        The problem is that you are apathetic, ignorant or antagonistic towards true new energy technology like zero point energy that should have replaced fossil fuels by now.

                        Glad to know I'm the root cause of evil. <chuckle>

                        No Black Hole for your comment, but whatever you have said is irrelevant to mine. Maybe you've got something good to say, try to say it without telling me what my situation is, next time.

                        No Black Hole but no further conversation either.

                      •  I'm guilty because I'm part of a big conspiracy (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Evil Betty

                        to suppress new energy technology?  Okay.

                        If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                        by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:07:24 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  That's a little harsh. (14+ / 0-)

                "Off the grid" is a bullshxx argument.

                I do my part to vote to change the status quo. I harass my "elected reps" in Washington about a progressive agenda.

                I agitate to have the Chesapeake Bay cleaned up (a three-decade slow-motion Gulf Cluster that has yet to turn around).

                Like miasmo, I'm stuck with the choices the industrial complex has handed me, and I minimize the harm I cause as much as I can.

                I'm stuck with the state of Maryland's idea that more roads and more cars is the best of all possible worlds.

                I'm stuck with an hourly income I'm ashamed to divulge (been to B-school and now I'm a journalist).

                With more income, or with some assistance, I'd put solar on my house in a flash, along with geothermal heating.

                I live in a 130-year-old frame farmhouse and I am slowly but surely increasing its weatherization.

                I started minimizing my gas consumption back in the "original" oil crisis. Perhaps you weren't even born then. And I still feel guilty if I drive too much.

                I worked in Massachusetts as an energy (weatherization) trainer and installer in the late 1970s and early 80s.

                I have never bought a giant SUV (known around my house as a "slurp.")

                So don't give me any crap. It's not my "fault." I have done and continue to do what I can with the resources I have.

                It's BP's "fault," and it's elected officials' "fault," for always taking the easy choices.

                •  Look, I do pretty much what you do... (3+ / 0-)

                  I have reduced my gasoline use (because in the Gulf situation, it's really about gasoline, not electricity) to a mere trickle over the years. I recycle obsessively, and my biggest fear is that the recycling contractors may be dumping the recyclable materials in landfills anyway. I keep the thermostat high in the summer and low in the winter.

                  So I, like you, should be all bent out of shape by kitsap river's diary, right?

                  Well...I'm not.

                  I'm not insulted by her assertion. I am not in denial. Yes, we're all individuals, and we make individual choices, and yours and mine are better than those of many others.

                  But I think of what I am still unwilling to give up and I realize that there is far more I can do. If I forgo just one car motorcycle trip today as non-essential, I will probably indirectly save the feathers and life of one Gulf wading bird.

                  It isn't so much "collective guilt" as it is "collective responsibility". The anti-kitsap comments I'm reading here are horrible: they are steeped in denial, dripping with self-indulgence. Yes, some people are "guiltier" than others...but I am not offended by being reminded that even I, miniscule-carbon-footprint-bearing as I am, am still part of a society whose self-indulgence is systematically destroying the planet.

                  •  Directed at (5+ / 0-)

                    nyseer, not at the Kitting and Sapping One.

                    I too like shorebirds and would like to quite literally wring Tony Hayward's skinny little bespoke suited neck, along with his 100 top stockholders and 500 top executives. Give me a minute to put on my latex gloves to keep Teh Germs off and then line them up.

                    I'm angry. Very angry. But all of us living "off the grid" isn't logical or practical, and doing so doesn't make you an eco-hero.

                    Not doing so don't make you an eco-villain.

                    What will make you a dupe is failing to push like hell at all levels of government for a multipronged approach to energy policies that solve our problems. We know what the problems are. We know what much of the solution consists of.

                    •  But in a sense, I'm willing to accept (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Charles CurtisStanley, nyseer

                      the criticism that nyseer directs toward me...because it is authentic, and it is, fundamentally, true.

                      We - and I'd say 99% of us (as Americans) - are so accustomed to having the light come on when we flick the switch and having the car move forward when we press the pedal that we've numbed ourselves to the realities and horrible consequences of our collective lifestyle.

                      I fantasize about a total off-the-grid life. I dream of not needing a single internal combustion engine. I devote precious time to thinking how wonderful it would be for me to grow all my own food.

                      I don't actually accomplish any of those things, but aspiring toward them at least pushes me in the right direction. While others may be dreaming about that slick new Chevy Camaro they see in the commercials on TeeVee, I'm dreaming about a vegetable garden.

                      But I still don't have one (the garden, not the Camaro...although I don't have one of those either)...so I am "guilty" of "lack of perfection".

                      I am not insulted by that guilt; I use it as an impetus to seek further improvement.

                      •  I don't accept that guilt (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        miasmo, Charles CurtisStanley

                        I am "guilty" of "lack of perfection".

                        We're human, in a real, physical world. "Perfection" is impossible. I won't apologize for failing to be imaginary.

                        But without feeling guilt for what hasn't been done, or for unwillingly (& sometimes unknowingly) benefiting from what has been done -- I do accept a responsibility for change. Because the problems are there, and I have a some ability to at least stop contributing to them. Just like I'd have a responsibility to clean up if my cat stopped using the litterbox.

                      •  I'm an ex-Catholic (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        miasmo

                        and I don't do generic guilt.

                        Sorry. Life's too damned short. Otherwise I do my best.

                  •  No: (0+ / 0-)

                    "If I forgo just one car motorcycle trip today as non-essential, I will probably indirectly save the feathers and life of one Gulf wading bird."

                    This is completely irrational and illogical. Can you show how your conclusion follows from your assertion? Can you address the validity of your assertion? Do you understand why these questions are valid and important to answer before accepting the premises of this diary?

                    •  It is NOT "completely irrational and illogical". (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Charles CurtisStanley, nyseer

                      Rather, your denial is what is irrational and illogical.

                      Those who persist in refusing to look the scourge of American private motor vehicle use straight in the eye represent the core of the oil-dependency and environment-desruction problems.

                      •  The solution is to vote and agitate for (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Evil Betty

                        policies that lead to a greener infrastructure, not for conscientious individuals to punish ourselves economically in order to make a tiny insignificant dent in the problem while the same old infrastructure and government policies produce the same massive waste in the population at large. I live and try to thrive and succeed within the society and infrastructure that exists. At the same time, I vote and do my best to persuade people to vote for policies that will lead to a greener infrastructure. I'm not going to apologize for that because BP bribed MMS officials with drugs and hookers and the oil industry has bought control of our government.

                        If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                        by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:21:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  It's not about assigning "fault" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Charles CurtisStanley

                  It's about acknowledging the society you are a part of.  Everything you mentioned is admirable and it's not much different from my life or most others on this site I would imagine.  It doesn't mean we can ignore the fact that collectively we consume a lot of fossil fuels and it's a dirty industry in even the best of circumstances.

                  If BP didn't spill the oil it would have been refined and burned and be residing in your lungs.

                  Would that make you feel so much better?

                  As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                  by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:01:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Would that make you feel so much better?" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Evil Betty

                    If BP didn't spill the oil it would have been refined and burned and be residing in your lungs.

                    Would that make you feel so much better? I'll bet it would really make a bunch of fish and pelicans and gulf residents feel a hell of a lot better.

                    Ummm... yes. It would make me feel much better. I'll bet it would really make a bunch of fish and pelicans and gulf residents feel a hell of a lot better. Also, it would only be over the long term that it would add to the supply of what goes into the atmosphere, because demand is not that elastic over the short term.

                    BTW, I'm not saying "Drive a Hummer and don't carpool and commute 2 hours to work." I drive a Toyota that gets about as good mileage as you can get short of buying a hybrid, which I can't afford. I live in a city with lame public transportation and I need a car to get to work because I have to bring equipment to my job. If you want to blame me for the oil spill, you're really misdirecting blame from where it belongs.

                    If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                    by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:32:25 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The oil spill is an immediate (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Charles CurtisStanley

                      ecological catastrophe.  Global warming due to emissions is a long term, but potentially far more destructive catastrophe.  What is so hard to grasp about that? I am talking big picture, mankind.  You keep rationalizing your particular mode transportation.

                      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                      by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:55:46 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh please. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Evil Betty, salamanderanagram

                        Go down to the gulf and tell a bunch of people who are about to lose everything that it's better for that oil to be destroying their beaches and livelihoods than to be used as fuel. Ha! I'd really like to see that.

                        If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                        by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 11:04:59 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you don't get it (0+ / 0-)

                          I can't help you.

                          As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                          by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 11:27:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You are making a ridiculous argument. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Evil Betty

                            Dumping all that oil into the gulf is a much worse ecological disaster. It just is. We still can develop more clean energy and make our infrastructure much more efficient to reduce carbon emissions going forward. But that oil is in the gulf and on the beaches. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. Don't try to bolster your argument with the totally ridiculous argument that it doesn't matter much that the oil was spilled all at once into an ecosystem rather than slowly burned into the atmosphere.

                            If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                            by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 11:44:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not making that argument (0+ / 0-)

                            That's ridiculous.

                            So you're not worried about global warming.  You don't think melting ice caps are a threat.  Good to know you have such faith in mankind to fix the problem before it's too late...

                            As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                            by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:00:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am worried about global warming. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Evil Betty

                            Please don't put words in my mouth. One can be concerned about global warming and still realize that a huge disaster that did in fact happen can be a bigger deal than the additional fraction that would be contributed to a future problem if the spill never happened.

                            If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                            by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:09:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  There is a continuum (3+ / 0-)

                Your comment says that any non-renewable use of energy is too much use. The fact is that this planet can tolerate some use of fossil fuels and not all energy comes from non-renewable sources.  For example, there is plenty of hydropower -- The Tennesee River Valley Authority (TVA) is one good example of large scale clean, renewable energy.  The hydropower imported from Canada is another. There is some allowable use of energy without committing the sin of destroying the planet. The line runs from responsible use of energy to total, lavish waste. Clearly, as a society we have gone to the lavish waste side of the continuum but to tar everyone with sin as if a careful user of energy is the equal of industrial energy hogs just creates a useless feeling of helplessness in those of us who care.

                •  No (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Charles CurtisStanley

                  Not saying that at all.  I'm just saying, as was the diarist I believe, that we all bare some responsibility as members of society.

                  It doesn't mean you can't be a conservationist or an activist and proactive in changing policy, but you also have to acknowledge that you are part of the grid.  Power is delivered to you and 99% of it comes from burning something.  It doesn't abdicate BP or corrupt regulators, it's just a fact.

                  As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                  by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:16:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  blame vs responsibility (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Evil Betty

                    We all share in the responsibility of trying to make our world, our country, our community a better place for everyone. That does not mean that we all share blame for this oil spill. It's just bullshit to claim that everyone who lives in this country shares the blame just because none of us live in the woods like a caveman. There is a difference between blame and responsibility. Some people fulfill their responsibility by voting for responsible policies and doing what is practical to minimize unnecessary waste in their own lives. Since they fulfill their responsibility, they don't share the blame. Get it?

                    If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                    by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:39:24 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Hey, nyseer.... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                miasmo, Malumaureus

                Yeah, I drive a motorized vehicle. I'm out of work and looking for jobs in a 50 mile radius around my southern California home.... How do you propose I get to interviews?

                Fly anywhere for any reason...? Yeah, I do. Sometimes on business, occasionally (rarely) on vacation. How do you propose I get to the locations I have to in order to keep food on my table and visit my family that's 1000 miles away? Should I drive there? Would that be better?

                Turn on a light... yadda, yadda, yadda...? Yeah. I need my computer to try to find a fucking job. I need to keep the place above 60 degrees in winter, I need light to read school books by so I can finish my degree.

                Do I need to go on? Who the fuck do you think you are to question my carbon footprint? I'm doing what I can to get by in this life and I did not create the infrastructure that gives me a shit public transit system that is utterly useless in my life.

                What would you do in my situation? Would you be satisfied that I'm far enough off the grid if I ended up living on the street?!?!?!

                Knit, purl, or get out of the way!
                Economic: -8.25 Social: -7.44

                by mcronan on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:18:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  silly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Charles CurtisStanley

                  You made my point.  We all do all those things and have little choice.  What is so hard about acknowledging that we are all part of the problem?  

                  Our society is nothing more than rubbing two sticks together taken to the highest possible level.  

                  If all mankind was put on trial for destroying the natural world and a bunch of oil covered animals were the jury, do you think any American would fare better than someone from one of the dark sections of the map?
                  satellite-view-of-earth-at-night-750

                  And one last thing.  If BP had done everything right and there was no accident, the intended use for the oil would have been to use it by burning it.  It would be in the air for the entire world to breathe and contributing to global warming.

                  As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                  by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 08:32:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So the things that I do (0+ / 0-)

                    with no choice make me part of the problem? Hardly. You want to take that on, that's your business. Don't you dare pin it on me.

                    Knit, purl, or get out of the way!
                    Economic: -8.25 Social: -7.44

                    by mcronan on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 08:42:36 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're big with the pronouncements (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Charles CurtisStanley

                      "Don't you dare!"

                      Someone from one of the poorest nations on earth would laugh in your face.  We are all part of the problem.  Human activity is destructive to the environment.  Working towards solutions is what we all are trying to do here.  

                      Remaining humble about it is not the worst thing in the world.

                      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                      by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:17:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Responsibility does not equal guilt (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                miasmo, Charles CurtisStanley

                Stop calling it guilt.

                You have to be so far off the fucking grid not to own a part of our national guilt that the park rangers in your hood should know you as naked crazy person living on berries...

                Your judgmental moralism does not advance the situation.

                •  And claiming (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Charles CurtisStanley

                  that although you live in the largest oil consuming nation on earth that you bare no responsibility for the damage we do to the planet is psychotic.

                  Saying it while consuming those oil based products yourself is either delusional or denial.

                  It isn't judgmental moralism, it's simple honesty.

                  As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                  by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:04:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's an idea: (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Evil Betty, eXtina

                    Why don't all of us conscientious liberals who give a shit about the environment move to some third world country and live in abject poverty leaving only Republicans here to vote for politicians who will then go balls out to pillage the rest of the globe as fast as possible. Then we won't share any of the blame! Yay!

                    If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                    by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:45:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why are you answering (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Charles CurtisStanley

                      all my replies to other posters?  I already know what you think.

                      Let me ask you this?  

                      Is someone who shops at Walmart more or less guilty of supporting their corporate policies than someone who has never set foot in their store?

                      Is someone who buys only organic foods more or less responsible for pesticide use in this country than someone who buys "regular" food from the supermarket?

                      It's a matter of degrees.  So as conscientious liberals who give a shit about the environment but use oil based products, we are less guilty, less responsible, but our hands are not 100% clean.  

                      And that's what you said you were and what started this whole long thread...    

                      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                      by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 11:17:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There is such a thing as balance. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Evil Betty, eXtina

                        Living a productive and efficient life can make one a more empowered and influential person who is then in a better position to affect change in a positive way that more than makes up for the fact that they don't live naked in the woods eating berries. By the way, it's illegal to live in the woods naked and eat berries unless you own the land, and how the fuck are you ever going to be able to afford some land if you live naked in the woods and eat berries?

                        If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                        by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:16:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  the point went totally over your head (0+ / 0-)

                    I didn't say I did not bear some responsbility, I said I was not GUILTY.

                    that you bare no responsibility for the damage we

              •  nyseer, this is insupportable (0+ / 0-)

                because it is a flawed argument.

                It assumes that everyone alive in the USA right now is equally at fault for the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

                That is quite simply not true.

                Texas is NO Bush League! LBJ, Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 08:26:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, the argument says (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Charles CurtisStanley

                  that everyone bares some responsibility.

                  Big difference.

                  My original response was to someone who said they bare no responsibility, as if they lived in a vacuum.  That's total bullshit.

                  As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                  by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 08:51:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Evil Betty

                    I did not use the word "responsibility." I embrace my responsibility to do my share to make our country less dependent on fossil fuels. I said that the oil spill is "not my fault." Can you not see the distinction?

                    If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                    by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:50:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You also said (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Charles CurtisStanley

                      you completely rejected the premise of the diary.  The diary wasn't about saying it was your fault as opposed to BP's, it was about acknowledging that we, as a country, use shit tons of oil.  I've run out of ways to say it.  

                      As for those that voted with stars in their eyes in 2008, it was only because they had their lights punched out the previous eight years...

                      by nyseer on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 11:39:57 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "we, as a country" (0+ / 0-)

                        is a mental abstraction. Did "we, as a country" decide that big oil companies should control our government and shape our infrastructure so that we're all dependent on oil? I don't remember personally making that choice. Whatever "we, as a country" means, I guess it doesn't mean me, because i have consistently opposed a lot of shit that goes on in this country.

                        If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                        by miasmo on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:21:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  What? Reason? (5+ / 0-)

              How dare you.

              If you use any petroleum product, you're as responsible for this disaster as the asshole at MMS who decided no inspections were necessary, or the BP execs who decided to cut corners.

              Just as having a checking account makes you as responsible for the fiscal meltdown as the head of Gold-Sachs.

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:07:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Absolutely right, Jesse (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                miasmo, JesseCW

                ...We're all responsible for the financial meltdown because we use money and many of us have 401s and 403s to retire on.  If we only stopped using money and having retirement plans we'd stop contributing to the financial collapse.

            •  Read Juan Cole (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              miasmo, Evil Betty

              That's Countdown for the 2,082nd day since Mission Accomplished. You thought that would change? Are the troops home yet? Keith Olbermann January 20, 2009

              by Ed in Montana on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:44:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe YOU haven't insisted. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            miasmo, TiaRachel, JesseCW

            I insist. Lotta good it does me,

            -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

            by neroden on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:59:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Who killed the electric car? (18+ / 0-)

            It wasn't The People.  It wasn't you and me, unless you're the head of GM or an oil company executive or on that California board that undid the law that made electric vehicles necessary.  (Ron Roberts, I am talking to you.)  Certainly there are dirty sources for electricity, but if those cars had come on line like they were supposed to, clean sources like solar would have gotten the mojo too.  I think all the shmoes like you and me are aching to BE ABLE to make those better choices.  And we've been thwarted.  Say that too.

        •  It's not just birds, then, it's fellow sentients (5+ / 0-)

          as I truly believe that cetaceans are fellow sentient beings.

          Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

          by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 03:06:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  nothing will change the attitudes of lazy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Charles CurtisStanley, Dallasdoc

          self-indulgent Americans. They will have to be dragged, kicked and screaming, to make change, by those of us who already care. This disaster can help with that.

    •  Absolute beauty through and through. (9+ / 0-)

      Kitsap River , you flood my heart with wonderment.

      Gratitude.

      Emptiness ... is always bigger ... than you remembered.

      by abarefootboy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:02:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  with all due respect, BP did this n/t (20+ / 0-)

      I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

      by Dave from Oregon on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:05:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simply, thank you. -eom (4+ / 0-)

      Yes. We. Did. ... Begin.

      by understandinglife on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:40:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow. That picture of the two egrets really... (5+ / 0-)

      ... spells it out.

      And those BP assholes want to cover it up, want to keep us all from knowing the extent of damage our oil addiction has done. Despicable.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:41:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi River (3+ / 0-)

      A beautiful and passionate diary.  Those birds are breathtaking, and the oiled one is tragic.  Thanks for the diary and photos.

      See you next month.

      When shit happens, you get fertilized.

      by ramara on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  fortunately, juan cole saved me the trouble (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena, neroden

      of writing my own response... especially as a person who has never owned a car.

      http://www.juancole.com/...

    •  No, "we" didn't do this. (8+ / 0-)

      Blaming everyone for this crisis spreads the blame so thin it's meaningless.  

      Liberals blame themselves.  
      Conservatives blame no one.

      And who is left pointing the finger at those who are actually in a position to change the situation?  It is not me.  It is not you.  We're trapped in an oil economy.  We can cut down, but collective action isn't going to change this monstrosity of a problem.  

      We need leadership, and we need it now.

      Want DADT repealed? Lobby Webb, Nelson, Nelson, Byrd, Brown, Bayh.

      by foxsucks81 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:26:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  t&r from wenatchee... nt (2+ / 0-)

      "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

      by zedaker on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:29:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thank you (3+ / 0-)

      for catching the spirit of what I was ranting about way back on May 25th and presenting it in a far less combative manner.

      A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

      by Timroff on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:14:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've said this since it happened (4+ / 0-)

      We all carry some responsibility for this. We do not carry the majority of it, but we cannot simply point our fingers at BP and say they are the sole cause of this.

      If the world didn't want oil BP would not be in business. Period.

      We want what oil gives us. Sure we are liberals and we want to see this country, this planet, move towards renewable energy sources. But we are using oil to type these posts. Will we stop? Nope.

      There is a 300,000,000 gallon oil spill in this country every year. It comes from the 700,000,000 gallons we use, but do not recycle. It's dripping out of our cars, boats, machinery, planes, trains, trucks and fuel oil tanks.

      It is simply a convenient lie to tell ourselves our hands are clean.

      O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

      by Kevanlove on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 02:10:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Crying now. (2+ / 0-)

      Thank you for this Kitsap River.

      What's wrong with driving nice?

      by Audri on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But, you know what? (3+ / 0-)

        I think I need to not look at anymore diaries like this. They make me feel helpless and that cannot be helpful.

        What's wrong with driving nice?

        by Audri on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:02:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But you aren't helpless, nor am I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Charles CurtisStanley, Audri

          And knowing what we do about shared indirect responsibility and the need for direct action to counter the bad actors who have captured our regulatory agencies and legislative agendas, we need to strategize what we can and will do, as individuals and in groups, to effect change.

          I like your .sig. In my county, road signs used to say "drive friendly". Same thing, I think.

          Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

          by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:23:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wastin' away again . . . (2+ / 0-)

      in petro-lee-um ville,
      Lookin' for my lost acre of salt marsh.
      Some people claim that there's a  Cheney to blame.
      Ahh but I know,
      It's our own damn fault.

      (Sorry Jimmy, I'm sure you won't mind.)

    •  Excellent diary, Kitsap River... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Charles CurtisStanley

      And don't get dishartened by the ones who won't get it. Keep believing and keep writing...

    •  This diary is extremely misguided (0+ / 0-)

      and even stupid.  The fact of the matter is that the energy lobby has disproportionate influence and power within our legal system.  They use that power to suppress public transportation, the development of alternative fuels, and more efficient cars, while also bribing our politicians to diminish regulations.  Presumably you've seen Field of Dreams.  "If you build it, they will come."  So too with the American people.  Stop with the bullshit that we're all guilty.  While it certainly can't hurt, it's completely ridiculous to believe that our climate problems are going to be primarily solved on the consumer end.  You're not helping by making it more difficult to see where the principle instigators of our problems are.

  •  Nope, I didn't do it. (12+ / 0-)

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

    by hestal on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:24:22 PM PDT

  •  Great diary, Kitsap River (35+ / 0-)

    Our way of life, including all our beloved gadgets and gizomos, comes at a huge environmental cost.

    You don't bring a knife to a gunfight and you don't bring a chicken to the doctor.

    by beltane on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:24:48 PM PDT

  •  Beautiful pictures. (18+ / 0-)

    That poor egret. :( We have a lot of them around here, and luckily ours are still oil free... but I feel awful for those in the Gulf.

    Thank you for this diary.

  •  This is way more important (33+ / 0-)

    than the bullshit meta diary I got up on the Rec list.

    Wish there was a Swap Spots button, this definitely belongs at the top.

    A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. --Muhammad Ali

    by TheBlaz on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:31:50 PM PDT

  •  The shit is coming down the pike and the (33+ / 0-)

    americans aren't ready for it yet. The days of entitlement are over and so we can expect some ugly and violent denials.

    BP - Proving Oil and Water do mix.
    I want a no-drama Obama, not an emobama.

    by amk for obama on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:32:25 PM PDT

  •  Yup (20+ / 0-)

    We keep looking for someone, anyone to blame, but we've only got ourselves and the non-negotiable American way of life to thank for this disaster in the Gulf and our unwillingness to break the oil habit.

    Look in the garage or the driveway or out on the street... you'll see a large part of the problem that led to the BP Gulf oil disaster.

  •  it is not a sin to kill, (17+ / 0-)

    for we must kill to live.

    but it is a sin to live in excess,
    for it denies others a right to life.

    thanks for writing.

    Peace will not be the end, unless peace is the means.

    by epjmcginley on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:33:12 PM PDT

    •  We do not have to kill to live. (2+ / 0-)

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:13:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, we technically do have to. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, dconrad, JesseCW, eXtina, orlbucfan

        Even a Fruitarian diet kills bacteria.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:05:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  More importantly, it displaces natural (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Charles CurtisStanley

          ecosystems, destroying habitat over vast swathes of land.

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:29:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We do not have to kill animals to live. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Charles CurtisStanley

            Raising beef kills "vast swathes of land" and not only destroys habitat but leads to the slaughter of wildlife to protect livestock.

            This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

            by Agathena on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:36:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You propose we don't have to kill any animals (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Charles CurtisStanley

              to live, but your argument only supports the claim that we can live while killing fewer animals.

              I agree with your argument, but not the proposal you're trying to support whith it.

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:56:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Originally I was responding to the statement (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Charles CurtisStanley

                that "we must kill to live" with the same simplistic type of statement  "we do not have to kill to live."

                i chose beef as an example because it causes the most environmental damage. "Vast swatches of land" reminds me of ranches.

                You could say that orchards and vegetable farms take up "vast swatches of land" too, if you are referring to mega-agriculture. But nothing matches the destruction of the cattle industry.

                This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                by Agathena on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:59:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Corn far outmatches the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Charles CurtisStanley

                  destruction of the cattle industry.

                  Plowing soil means slaughtering small animals, vertebrate and invertebrate.  Having orchards means destroying habitat, large ammounts of it if you're trying to feed our current population.  

                  Swathes, not swatches, btw.

                  http://www.merriam-webster.com/...

                  "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                  by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:06:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Swatches" really minimizes my point (2+ / 0-)

                    I know the difference between a swatch and a swathe. It was a repeated spelling mistake. It's early on the west coast, and I have not had my coffee yet.

                    Yes swathes of land for growing corn used for cattle feed and biofuels really is destructive.

                    Yes we have used land to grow food for ions but growing fruit and vegetables is not as destructive to the environment as producing meat.

                    We buy locally grown food from small farms on the island. Buying locally (as much as possible) cuts down on the transportation of the food and that cuts oil consumption. I know farmers who will not roto-till because it kills worms.

                    nice "talking" to you.

                    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                    by Agathena on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:07:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the trowel kills (0+ / 0-)

                      as surely as the tine.

                      it is not a sin to kill,
                      so be relieved of your guilt.

                      the meat that i eat consumes far less energy,
                      and kills far fewer creatures than the soybeans in a vegan's milk.

                      there are not simple answers here, i agree.
                      we are embedded in this world, and it in us.
                      rejoice in reverent consumption while you await your own inevitable return.

                      peace, have a great day.

                      Peace will not be the end, unless peace is the means.

                      by epjmcginley on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:01:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  No, I didn't do that (19+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't condone it and I think it lessens the crime of the people who are truly responsible for ravaging our environment for profit to say that we have collective guilt.

    I have voted for people to change those things. I cannnot change our energy policy myself or even with you or change what our country does to fulfill our needs if they won't do it and if they won't provide alternatives.

    I won't accept some abstract collective guilt.

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:35:17 PM PDT

  •  thank you for moving us away from the (12+ / 0-)

    wreck list battle...

    much needed, albeit sad, relief and reminder to stay on point.

    thanks ♥

    ((((((Kitsap River)))))

    "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:41:31 PM PDT

  •  OK, I've had it with the "we all did this" (22+ / 0-)

    meme.  Seriously, I have really had it.

    1. You don't know what different people have done towards change, going back as far as 30-40 years ago to the first oil shock.
    1. The "everyone must change" concept is correct but it doesn't work without a leader.  We need a national direction to be set.  We need a strategy in place so people can see how to make the changes.

    Here's my response to Thomas Friedman's idiotic columnn today:

    Dear Friend who sent me this tripe,

    I don't know that I agree with the libertarian view expressed by the Pentagon's Mark Mykleby:

       

    "I’d like to join in on the blame game that has come to define our national approach to the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. This isn’t BP’s or Transocean’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault. It’s my fault.
       
       I’m the one to blame and I’m sorry. It’s my fault because I haven’t digested the world’s in-your-face hints that maybe I ought to think about the future and change the unsustainable way I live my life. If the geopolitical, economic, and technological shifts of the 1990s didn’t do it; if the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 didn’t do it; if the current economic crisis didn’t do it; perhaps this oil spill will be the catalyst for me, as a citizen, to wean myself off of my petroleum-based lifestyle.
       
       ‘Citizen’ is the key word. It’s what we do as individuals that count.
       
       For those on the left, government regulation will not solve this problem. Government’s role should be to create an environment of opportunity that taps into the innovation and entrepreneurialism that define us as Americans.
       
       For those on the right, if you want less government and taxes, then decide what you’ll give up and what you’ll contribute.
       
       Here’s the bottom line: If we want to end our oil addiction, we, as citizens, need to pony up: bike to work, plant a garden, do something. So again, the oil spill is my fault. I’m sorry. I haven’t done my part. Now I have to convince my wife to give up her S.U.V. Mark Mykleby."

    Yes, we ALL have to pony up. No doubt.   But let's be serious about something.

    Government has an enormous role in this. We need LEADERSHIP.

    After 9.1.1., the nation stood ready to do what was necessary.  What did our foolish leader tell us?  No, not that we should ween ourselves off oil.  No, not that we need to avoid foreign policy disasters (God, what a mess he made of those).  No, not that we need to join together as a nation and SACRIFICE to change our way of life.  

    No. Bush told us, "Go shopping."   The entire moment was wasted on idiocy.

    Today, every car has seat belts.  Seat belts were available as options for decades before they were required.  No one ordered them.  Sure, it was in everyone's best interest to have seat belts, but it wasn't the national consciousness, and so no one did.  Nor did the manufacturers install them as a courtesy.  They wanted every last dime of profit.  Remember that. I'll come back to it. No, seat belts were not ubiquitous until the Government required them. Today, they are a fact of life.

    Government has a role in setting the MINIMUM standards that are acceptable in a civilized society.  Today, gas taxes are rock bottom in comparison to the price of a gallon of gas.  Highway and road construction subsidies are enormous.  Light rail, passenger rail and freight rail subsidies are minimal.   That's a huge problem:  the most efficient means of moving about the nation and our cities is not being subsidized, while the most inefficient means are.

    Government has a role in leadership.  We need a leader to follow.  Someone needs to pain the picture for us.  The synergy of 330 million people working together -- or even 200 million, leaving the rest to their tea bagging -- will cause an enormous shift and very rapidly. But individuals cannot, one at a time, change the national consciousness.  We need a leader to do that.  We elected the president to lead.  We need "the vision thing", painted large, painted clearly, painted repeatedly, across the nation to show the way.

    Today, we are mired in a deference to corporatism:  leave it all up to huge companies, they will solve our problems and make a profit.  The free market philosophy reigns, when history tells us that every totally free market has always destroyed itself. Always.  Corporations never do any thing, but for money.  CASH.  Profits.  Dividends.  And especially, Bonuses!!!

    But look at what is missing from every single corporate ledger book:  1) The Human cost; 2) The Environmental cost; 3)  The Social cost.   No, all those costs are born by our citizens and our government -- the biggest costs are Socialized, while the Profits?  Privatized.  Put into corporate pockets.

    This is causing a huge shift in our wealth, robbing from the poor -- bad air, bad water, inefficient transportation subsidies, poor living conditions, poor working conditions -- and giving to the rich:  Cash. Money. Profits.

    What we need today is a government that will stand up against corporations and their shaky ledger books.  We need them to consider their environmental costs and their human costs.  We need them to contribute positively to society, rather than only taking.

    And we need a leader. One with a strong grasp of meaning and history. One who will not bow down to obstructionists and self-negotiate lower goals, but set LOFTY GOALS and then encourage us all to REACH for them.  

    Without leadership, 330 million people, all seeking out their own self-interest rather than the common interest, will never achieve the goals that everyone working together can achieve.

    Expecting 330 million people to give up their cars overnight without any changes in government philosophy regarding subsidies, taxes, grants, policy, and accommodations Just Will NOT Happen.  People cannot "change" when all of the infrastructure around them is built only for one mode of transportation.  I encourage the change away from petroleum and coal.  But I know that leadership, goal setting, and full-faith progress forward is the only way to get there.

    I look forward to seeing you, Mr. President, take charge of the Gulf oil disaster, as the next huge opportunity for national progress, setting high goals for us to develop alternate energy sources and achieve national energy independence for our own damn good.  Because as the last 40 years since the first "oil shock" have shown us, the national conscious has a very short memory and we will not change our energy usage as individuals, only as a group, and then, only with leadership toward a clear vision. - YM

    Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

    by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:49:56 PM PDT

    •  I agree completely that government must lead here (7+ / 0-)

      but the government is comprised of people, and people can be moved. We have to lead so our leaders will follow.

      My parents never bought a car without seatbelts (at least, not since I was born) and I'm 50. Saying that "nobody" ordered them isn't true. Some did. Some insisted on them, in fact, and wouldn't buy a car without them.

      I also agree that corporatism is a huge problem and a large part of the reason we are where we are politically. Corporations rule, but they still can't vote; if we want our government to sit up and take notice, we have to make our legislators realize that our votes depend on their shaking free of corporocratic rule and taking leadership on this issue.

      Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

      by Kitsap River on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:01:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Millions marched in the streets across the (10+ / 0-)

        world against the illegal war in Iraq.  

        Yet, we went to war in Iraq.  The people definitely led in that case, yet our leaders were oblivious.

        We must have good leaders as well as good followers - and we worked to get one.

        "WE" did push for a change from that and we elected Barack Obama.  

        Now, it is our definite right to pressure him to Lead us in change against Big Oil.

        He brought up alternative energy and energy independence tonight.  But to a lot of people, "independence" includes more coal and natural gas.
        Oh, that's great.

        We now need our leader to lead. No large scale change will happen without that taking place. The people can be led there, but they must be led. Their imaginations cannot hold the changes they need to make on their own. (I'm speaking generally here of "all the people" not specific people like you and I.)

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:02:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kitsap, (9+ / 0-)

        corporations vote by bribing politicians. If it is in the politician's best interest to make laws that favor industry, industry will be favored. I don't think for a minute that any politician in this country isn't bought and paid for by Big Oil. And if the money doesn't talk, I don't think it's beyond a corporation to threaten. Planes crash. Wives get pneumonia. Isotopes come to tea.

        We have voted time and time again and found that the people we elect change their minds pretty quickly after the elections. Why is that? Who gets to them? Certainly not we the people.

    •  I agree with you a lot. (7+ / 0-)

      Not this time.

      I think that getting everyone to accept some blame for our consumer culture is a step in making things right. I don't know what you do, and saying that we're all to blame doesn't mean that I do.

      It's just a way to get people to think about things. If they can look at you and your lifestyle and see you say that you have areas where you could reduce consumption, well that could be helpful.

      That's how I see it.

      •  I agree with you completely, except (12+ / 0-)

        where you disagree with me!  ;-)

        Here's how I can explain it a little bit more:

        Let's say everyone wanted to recycle plastics, because it is a great way of reducing our reliance on petroleum as a plastic feeder stock (material for creating plastics).  So, individually, everyone gathers up all the plastic they can find and ... what?  What kind is it? Who can recycle which kind of plastic?  What kinds cannot be recycled or at least not yet?

        Ever look at those little numbers inside the triangle on plastic containers?  They aren't used by accident.  They are required by FTC guidelines and by laws of 39 states.  Before government acceptance of those little symbols and numbers (the "Society of Plastics" created those in 1988, btw, to help them supplant recyclable glass as a container material in the public's mind), there was no way to recycle most plastics.  It was very very rarely possible.  

        Regardless of what all the individuals wanted to do to recycle plastics, nothing could be done until government adopted standards. That is leadership, enabling individuals to make beneficial choices.

        On our own, as individuals, we couldn't do it.

        Another case, related:  bottle (container) deposit laws.  People don't like seeing beer cans and plastic bottles all over the place. But, "people" will not strip the litter clean from miles and miles of public roads until.... bottle deposit laws.  

        Passing a bottle deposit law results in the almost automatic cleansing of all beaches, parks, roadways. Why?  The "trash" has been made value. It has not grown a value on its own. The people didn't give it value.

        Government setting a minimum standard - containers are worth money - gave the trash bottles a value and people then rushed to clean them up (and pocket small change as well).

        I've worked years and years in group behavior and managing people.  The surest way to insure that change does not take place is to say "it's everyone's fault."  It happens all the time. "Well, honestly, it is all our fault."  What happens?  Everyone agrees (except in diaries on DailyKOS) and drops the problem. NO solution. NO further action. NO on-going resolution, other than a vague, "We must all not do that any more."  And then... they go right out and do it again.

        I may not have used the best explanations here or in my rant to my friend, but the fact is that government action is necessary step to solving the problem.

        People power, while I like to believe in it and do participate in marches and other protests (my latest was with 56,000 other P.O.ed people to protest AZ 1070), rarely changes anything because politicians give lip service and go on their way. We have to - over and over - demand action from our Leaders.  Demand it. Insist they LEAD.

        Yes, that's a form of people power. But the solution does not begin to appear until there is enablement through government action.

        We won't get out of, for example, car addiction until the government shifts priorities. And we must demand that our leaders Lead on setting those priorities.  I can ride my bike until the day I die, but until the enormous government auto subsidies stop, I'll be peddling in exhaust.

        Just my belief. Mileage may differ.....

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:51:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  why not lead by example? (5+ / 0-)

      Not only can we lobby President Obama and the legions working against us, we can show them we are ready.

      Politicians won't take a baby step unless they get bat-to-the-face signals that we are with them.

      So let's go.

      ~Kinda done with the whole May You Live In Interesting Times thing~

      by CWalter on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:21:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some people have been doing that since the 1970s. (11+ / 0-)

        Minimal to no auto use.
        Minimal to no packaging purchases.
        Minimal to make it yourself 'consumerism.'
        Biking to work.
        Working from home.
        Off the grid, self-sufficient homes.

        Those are not the people who share the blame.  "We all" is a pretty huge brush to paint with.

        Are those people in the minority. Hell yeah. But there's not much more you can ask them to do.

        The real issue is in the suburbs and city / regional planning, highway subsidy dollars, lack of rail support, enormous airline subsidies, etc.

        Hit the big points first and the little points begin to take care of themselves.

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:58:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we agree more than not. (6+ / 0-)

          I like TiaRachels post above.  The difference between blame and responsibility.

          BP is to blame.  Period.

          Part of this, IMO, is a reaction to the sense that the world is spinning out of control.  The big forces have won and the actions we take, miniscule as they be to the big picture, give us the sense that we have something to hold on to on this merry-go-round from hell.

          ~Kinda done with the whole May You Live In Interesting Times thing~

          by CWalter on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:17:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you, pretty much, too actually. (7+ / 0-)

            Here's where the "It's our fault" goes wrong as  public framing:

            I think it would great - groundbreaking in fact - if we could somehow educate all of America that "We are all at fault."  I really do.  If everyone could accept that, we'd move forward.

            But, for the vast majority of Americans, my belief is that they will instantly be repelled from that analogy.  They don't want to feel guilty.  

            We've spent the last 65 years - since the end of WWII (well, and before too) - fighting "The Boogy Man!"  You know, that awful horrible other evil person.  "WE" were always good. "They" were always evil.

            I'd bet that 75% of the nation would never buy into the "We are all at fault" line because they do not see themselves as the evil boogy man.  We are "good" not "evil."  Someone else did it.  We must fight the evil "other."

            Hell, that goes back to the White people killing my ancestors - so give it two or three centuries of American thought.  It is DEEP.  (In truth, I'm certain that some of my white ancestors killed some of my Native American ancestors, but that's too much for me to think about most days.)

            We've got to get everyone on board, but they won't join on through guilt.  

            I do think they would join on as "our nation's greatest challenge of the new century: our Battle for Energy Independence."  To my mind, that fits into the national consciousness.

            Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

            by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:48:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you, but (11+ / 0-)

      I'd take it one step farther.  If we need leaders (and we do) then we had better start thinking a whole lot harder about whom we elect to high office.  I've lived through a great many presidential terms and the quality of the men (ahem!)we've put into office has undergone a fundamental change for the worse.  I was born during FDR's last term and there hasn't been an FDR in the oval office for a long time.
       
      If we want a good country, we need to think long and hard about what makes an effective leader.

      •  Oh Miriam, I so much agree with you too! (8+ / 0-)

        I so hoped that we had another FDR or JFK or ... hell, even Bill Clinton (without the zipper issue) here.

        But, we don't even have Harry Truman. We've got.... I fear we have Jimmy Carter, who I so love as a person and who did actually have a good and successful presidency for the problems he was delt, but I do see how his presidency failed: a Failure to show "leadership spark."

        You've got to have that to be a great president. "Spark" means stretching for goals, not backing up from your own goals. "Spark" means the constant push forward, not surrendering too early to the opposition. "Spark" means losing, but being unbowed and ungiving to the opposition. "Spark" can even mean a hard edge. or a tough edge.  

        We need to start seeing this kind of push and drive in Obama. The last two months have been disappointing. Many poor decisions have been made in the Gulf. Heads need to roll.  That is another sign of a good leader: accountability.

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:11:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  we don't really have much choice, do we? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Charles CurtisStanley

        I mean, the only real choice this time for prez was Obama or Clinton. I would have liked other choices, but those two were the ones with the institutional support to make it.

        Today it looks to me like we have to wait till more stuff breaks and before there is hope of a decent government.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:24:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let me put this very simply another way: (10+ / 0-)

      One hundred soldiers, marching in step, can set up a rhythm that causes a bridge to collapse.

      The same hundred soldiers, intentionally breaking step, can march across the same bridge without any worries about it collapsing.

      The difference?  Unified action versus individual action -- that makes a huge difference in the power of the same number of people.

      Who tells them to break step?  Either their drill sergeant teaches it to them so they know, or their leader orders the change as they approach the bridge.  

      Either way, leadership was required for them to safely cross the bridge.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:06:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And, then. Also. Juan Cole: (5+ / 0-)

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:20:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "If you eat grains, the Dust Bowl is your (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel

      fault!"

      That's essentially what the "we did this" arguments ammount to.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:32:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No, BP did this (7+ / 0-)

    after the green light from the Obama administration.

    Quit blaming the victims.

    In this age of falseness, only howls of agony ring true.

    by Paul Goodman on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:49:59 PM PDT

  •  First step: (4+ / 0-)

    Insist that the damn leak be stopped through all available means.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:50:16 PM PDT

  •  Another take on the subject (21+ / 0-)

    I recommend what Juan Cole wrote today, titled, "Big Oil’s Predations are not Your Fault."  He concludes with what we need to do now -- and what a steep hill it is before us.

    •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)

      I would have missed this otherwise.

      Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

      by Kitsap River on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:01:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From your link (8+ / 0-)

      You did not ask BP to dump extra benzene illegally into Lake Michigan (the lakes are connected). You did not agitate in Indianapolis to permit the refinery to expand to handle tar sand, which is all by itself an ecological catastrophe. You did not demand that more ammonia and toxic metals be dumped into the lakes. None of these crimes against nature was your individual responsibility.

      Rather, the Indiana legislature passed these laws because of ‘legislative capture.’ That phenomenon occurs when an industry that is supposed to be regulated by a legislature instead pays so much for political campaigns that it captures the members and proves able to write the legislation affecting its interests. Legislative capture explains almost everything that is wrong with America today, from the wars to the difficulty in expanding health care, and from inaction on climate change to the high price of prescription drugs.

      Legislative capture is not your fault.

      Damn straight.

      This is what chump Change looks like.

      by Wamsutta on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:26:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stop blaming liberalism (18+ / 0-)

    We didn't "all" do this.

    Yes, the American people as a whole did it because they vote way too conservatively.

    But you need to make that distinction.

    I'm tired of us not talking about these issues responsibly, so that as many Americans learn the necessary lessons as possible. In some sort of phony appeal to being "adults," we take responsibility for tragedies that are the direct result of conservatism, and which occurred exactly because America didn't heed the warnings of liberals.

    One half of the country is responsible for this. The Southeast votes for conservatives, and so they fouled their own shores. They voted to let BP shit all over them. And yeah, that sucks, but what did these people in the South expect to happen if they kept voting for more and more free market libertarian lunatics. They did it to themselves. We begged them not to, and they ignored us.

    •  In order to become a sustainable society (4+ / 0-)

      such drastic measures are needed that I doubt many here can fathom life afterwards.

      We'll get there one way or another. Facing the problem, accepting responsibility, would be the direct and quickest way forward. Denying culpability and pointing the finger elsewhere is not.

    •  Blame Americans' liberal level of consumption (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River

      coupled with our American Standard of Waste.

      I think only the Aussies have a more carbon intensive life style than Americans do.

      "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:04:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's really got nothing to do with a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, Citizen Seattle

        corrupt agency green-lighting a dangerous enterprise while providing no oversite.

        We're no more responsible for this than we are for the depredations of Wall Street.

        It was the Fed and the SEC and the FDIC that let the foundation of our financial system be hollowed out while they looked the other way.

        We're not responsible for that merely because we use money, or take out mortgages.  

        This situation is really no different.

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:37:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That sounds an awful lot like (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans pointing out how crappy gov't is, because every time Republicans get in office, they screw things up because they hate gov't.

      Am I cynical? Yes I am! - Bob the Builder's lesser known brother Pete the Politician

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:59:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The only entity responsible (7+ / 0-)

    for this mess is BP. Now does anyone have any ideas of how we can hold them accountable?  

  •  Collective guilt equals ... (10+ / 0-)

    no one is responsible.

    I'm not buying the head line on this diary, but I agree with the sentiment about wildlife.

    I love the wild.

    I just don't agree with the notion or tack of saying "we are all guilty," because it leads to the exoneration of companies and individuals directly responsible. I've seen this before. It's a "systemic" problem, and thus everyone goes away free.

    I agree that we should do more than endeavor to pursue alternate and clean energy. I reject the argument that "we" caused this FUBAR. BP caused this. Not me, not you.

  •  very potent diary (7+ / 0-)

    it brought me to tears. I pray that the silver lining in the gulf oil disaster is that we learn to be independent from oil.

    "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Barack Obama

    by JanG on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:04:47 PM PDT

  •  just heart and soul crunching, kitsap (4+ / 0-)

    and our president tells us to pray.

    be like jello! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYEg1b8IZ7U

    by boatsie on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:06:51 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for posting this diary (3+ / 0-)

    I need to figure out a way to refocus my energies.

    Never underestimate the power of the stupid - my son

    by edwardssl on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:11:08 PM PDT

  •  What can you really do? (10+ / 0-)

    You buy alfalfa sprouts and lettuce at the market, and each come wrapped in plastic. And when you're done with the lettuce and the sprouts you throw the plastic away. When you buy a pack of pens at the store, it comes in a bubble package of plastic and once you take out the pens you throw the plastic away. You drive to the store to buy these things because it's miles to get there from where you live and you don't have any other quick way to get there. And while you drive you burn up gasoline and pump CO2 and other fumes into the air. You turn on your computer to check Daily Kos or to e-mail politicians about the Gulf spill. And the electricity comes frrom a carbon and pollutant belching coal-fired power plant, which gets its coal from a company that tears the tops off mountains and leaves great gaping pits where the mountain used to be. So day after day, oil pours up out of the earth's depths, coal gets wrenched from the living environment, while we buy organic produce, write e-mails, run our cars.  It is what we call our convenience, our accessibility, our rightful due for working  so hard.
    Do you have any idea what would have to happen to make a really momentous change here? It's hard not to draw parallels between the tea-partiers and progressives who demand a clean green America. The tea partiers rail against big government and want to get rid of it, all the while reaping the benefits of government roads, parks, public transportation, the FDA, not to mention their Social Security and Medicare benefits.
    Yet the progressives who scream about pollution and waste and climate change and unbridled consumption are by and large doing so while they buy plastic-wrapped products, drive cars, and have weekly garbage pickup that takes away those big smelly piles of garbage and paper and plastic to, oh, somewhere -- anyway, where they don't see it anymore.
    Waste and overconsumption are embedded in almost every aspect of American daily life. To really REALLY change that, you'd have to tear down the very fabric of our way of living, to remake our cities and transportation system -- not replace, remake. And I don't think the majority of American will do  that. Not until the apocalypse is upon them, as the Gulf spill so searingly shows.

    "Hey, don't blame me ... I only see the future, I don't make it."

    by fourthcornerman on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:13:05 PM PDT

  •  Perhaps the most level-heading reaction (8+ / 0-)

    I've read here tonight. We wouldn't need BP or Shell or Exxon if we could get off of oil. We wouldn't have wars about "our oil" being under "their sand." We wouldn't have global warming and oil spills and air pollution.

    Does BP bear responsibility? Yep. A whole lot of it. And they need to be held accountable.

    But we all bear some responsibility, too. As Kitsap points out, not everyone can buy a hybrid vehicle or renovate the house to be mostly off the grid. But we should all do what we can. The less dead dinosaur we have to pump out of the ground and burn, the better we will all be.

    And this is just the latest tragedy from our over reliance on fossil fuels.

    Congress needs to pass a major alternative fuel policy now. We also have to send the message that any member still genuflecting to big oil will be booted from office.

    "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living."

    by Casual Wednesday on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:14:59 PM PDT

  •  Every time we fill our fuel tanks is a vote with (9+ / 0-)

    our dollars for deep water drilling, and increasingly Tar Sands Oil production in Canada (probably an even more environmentally destructive source of oil than the Gulf over the long term).

    "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:16:05 PM PDT

    •  Yep, the collective liberal ego can't handle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River

      the truth. It hurts to crash and fall off one's high horse.  

      The man went to Harvard, not Hogwarts. - Wanda Sykes

      by KHinSF on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:19:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Logically incorrect (7+ / 0-)

      Using your reason, every time a person fills their bicycle tires with compressed air, they are contributing to coal-fired electricity plants that run the air compressor.

      Could be contributing to mountaintop destruction.

      Please.

      Is there wood in your house? Good lord, you terrible person, chopping down trees and contributing to global warming.

      Stop.

      That computer you're typing on? Oh the humanity of the GHGs that go into its construction and continued operation.

      Come now.

      Shall we go on about our collective sins?

      •  Be the change you want to see (2+ / 0-)

        I've lived in a solar home for 17 years, and yesterday when I drove to the mainland for the first time in 44 days I had to knock aside cobwebs to get into the driver's seat.

        "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:58:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   It's lovely that you have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel

          those kinds of financial resources.

          However, it misses the point -

          No matter what energy sources we use, we risk massive impacts on our planet if we don't strictly and competently regulate industry.

          Because in 50 years, when we're reading about thousands of streams, reivers, and lakes in Afghanistan destroyed by unregulated Lithium mining, it won't be our use of lithium that caused that particular problem.

          It will be the lack of sound regulation, effectively enforced.

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:47:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this reminder. The State bird of (5+ / 0-)

    Minnesota is the Loon and the young stay in the nesting ground for one or two years before coming up here.  Their trip takes them through the Gulf.  The adults will make the trip in the fall. This has far reaching consequences for life on this planet.

    All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Mohandas Gandhi

    by MufsMom on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:20:09 PM PDT

  •  a timely reminder (6+ / 0-)

    I'd love to see this site unite behind a simple purpose of making sure this never happens again but who am I kidding?

    I think it's time to get that bottle of scotch open....

    •  I could unite with you (3+ / 0-)

      on that and I don't mean the scotch.

      Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

      by valadon on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:24:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A leader that stops us dirving cars on the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Charles CurtisStanley

      interstate and starts us riding trains on that same interstate.

      The National railroad is mostly already built.

      It's time for trains. Money spent on infrastructure is money we get back.

      by 88kathy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:34:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you can go pick a fight with someone else (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy

        I am not going to get into this here and dishonor this diary.

        Go post this where you can at least pretend it's on topic.....if your squint right

        buzz off

        •  I am sorry you feel that way. I feel our use of (3+ / 0-)

          oil is the topic

          But there have to be steps that all of us can take, here, now, that will stop demanding so much oil, and start making reparations to the offspring of those great egrets.

          A National railroad is almost already built if you use the existing interstate system as a road bed.

          No I'm self flagellating, I did this, I am proposing we stop doing this.

          It's time for trains. Money spent on infrastructure is money we get back.

          by 88kathy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:46:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The "national railroad" in the US is a (7+ / 0-)

        disgrace. I'm an expat living in Germany, and like to take the train for longer distances. The German rail system had an international reputation for cleanliness and punctuality, but it has definitely deteriorated in some respects since it was semi-privatized some years back. The punctuality aspect is sorely lacking these days, unfortunately. But the US trains I've been on are many times worse. I usually fly to NY and take the train to BWI (Baltimore-Washington International Airport) when visiting family in MD, but the trains are absolutely disgusting by comparison. Filthy, noisy, sound like they're about to break down, the toilets are not usable much of the time, doors are broken and won't open, air conditioning is sometimes defective - just a horror all around. And this is on the much touted DC-New York-Boston corridor! I'd hate to see what the trains elsewhere are like. If I didn't dislike driving a car so much, I would spare myself the expense and discomfort of the US trains. There is a lot of work to be done and huge amounts of money need to be spent to bring the US railroad up to any kind of decent standards for mass public transportation.

        A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

        by translatorpro on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:12:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is really heart breaking, I'm sure that the (4+ / 0-)

    white egrets know that they are beautiful. They look so proud.

    Then suddenly they are covered in black greasy oil and they know something is very wrong.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:22:11 PM PDT

  •  Yes we did! (7+ / 0-)

    We did this!

    "Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see the world is moving." Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    by txlosthorn on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:26:11 PM PDT

  •  Tipped and Recc'd. (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks!

    ~Kinda done with the whole May You Live In Interesting Times thing~

    by CWalter on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:26:55 PM PDT

  •  Amen, my friend. (6+ / 0-)

    And I did this, too.

    I think things like great steps of moral depravity are not really taken in great steps; they're taken in little pieces. - Gregory Kouky

    by MKSinSA on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:29:13 PM PDT

  •  We need a plan, we need a National Railroad. (8+ / 0-)

    We need to build the national railroad on the interstate highway system.

    We need full employment building this railroad.
    We need to use way less oil.

    We can do this.  It is less than going to the moon.  It is more than going to the moon.

    It's time for trains. Money spent on infrastructure is money we get back.

    by 88kathy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:32:23 PM PDT

  •  Where do you recycle 'all your plastic, metal, (8+ / 0-)

    paper'?
    The plastic film in the window envelopes that come with bills or junk mail? The plasticized cardboard used in milk and other dairy cartons? The plastic dust grinding off your shoes when you walk? The metal from household accesory batteries? The plasticized metallic wrappings of candy bars or snack chip bags? Pressboard furniture? Finished lumber scraps?
    If you have a recycling center that takes all the myriads of types of plastics and combinations of plastic made with other materials, not to mention the various other recyclables, you are a very fortunate person indeed. For most of the recycling urban world however, our cleanup methods have not progressed much further in 40 years than our oil spill cleanup methods. We've got "Newspaper". "Milk jugs/glass bottles". "Aluminum cans". Those are the bins we get to use. EVERYTHING else goes into the trash.

    "Hey, don't blame me ... I only see the future, I don't make it."

    by fourthcornerman on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:33:20 PM PDT

    •  you can recycle more than that (7+ / 0-)

      although it may take some effort. I also freecycle.
      But most important of all, perhaps, is the reduce part of the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra.

      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

      by srkp23 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:57:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And after you recycle it... (3+ / 0-)

      they compress it into an empty shipping container and use the freight charge to subsidize the box's trip back to China. Then they turn the recycled materials into new products, fill the containers and send them back. By recycling, you make the production of cheap crap even less expensive.

      You thought it was going to save the planet? Come on, buddy. This is capital-C Capitalism we're talking about.

      --- Perma-ban or bust. - opendna

      by opendna on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:07:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't recycle most of that (5+ / 0-)

      Plastics #1-5 can go to the transfer station, and do. That also includes all the bag wraps for my dialysis fluid bags, and the wrap for the cassette that goes in the machine. What I cannot recycle is the fluid bags or the cassette with its tubing. That's medical waste and has to go in the trash. Candy wrappers and snack chip bags basically don't come here. We get things like nuts in jars. They're either in recyclable plastic (#1 through #5) or in glass (recyclable and always recycled). Pressboard furniture we either don't get or would freecycle if we did. Finished lumber scraps don't go anywhere! Those things are useful! I can't do anything about the leather that comes off my shoe soles when I walk, but I don't get hard plastic soles that are going to grind off into dust. Plastic film in window envelopes isn't recyclable here (yet) but you raise a great issue there. The paper sure is (and is). Same with plasticized milk cartons, though I think they're recyclable in Seattle now.

      Metal scraps are easy to recycle. Batteries go to the transfer station, too. Yard waste we don't want to add to our own homemade compost (for instance, scotch broom and invader blackberry bushes) can go to the transfer station, too, because they've got a yard waste receptacle for stuff that's then turned into good wholesome compost, but by a higher-heat process that means that blackberry bushes and the like won't regrow just because bits of them are in it.

      We deliberately chose not to go with curbside recycling and garbage because it is expensive and because we can recycle so much more by going to the transfer station ourselves than we could with curbside. It's a tradeoff in that it costs us time and storage space but a good one. The transfer station takes all cans and all #1-5 plastic. And with the amount of cardboard we generate (thanks to me being on home dialysis), we couldn't get them to take all our cardboard at curbside anyway.

      They've added more bins up there over the years. They've added more stuff that you can recycle. So we recycle just about everything they'll take.

      As to batteries: we were given a Nintendo Wii and the WiiFit setup for the holidays, but when we found out that the controls needed batteries, the first thing we got was a charging station that completely replaces the need for batteries and recharges itself on wall current. The only other things that need household batteries are the flashlights, and I can't remember the last time we replaced any of them. We are not big on using batteries.

      Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

      by Kitsap River on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:27:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My recycling co. won't take pizza boxes (0+ / 0-)

      because they can't figure out how to handle the grease on them.

      Pizza boxes! All paper, plus a little cheese and grease.

      It's not possible to recycle "everything" unless you have your own recycling center.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:27:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't explain (6+ / 0-)

    why all of us old hippies are not out in the streets.

    For pity sake, why didn't he beg us to do specific things to get off oil, and tell us what the government was going to go to help us make it happen???

  •  A Great Egret I rehabilitated (10+ / 0-)

    pictured at our rehabilitation pond.

    Photobucket

    He made it, after several wing surgeries.  He has an incredible story, which I'll tell at another time. Too tired right now.

    "Only when the last ocean has been poisoned will we realize we cannot eat petroleum. (modified from a Cree saying)

    by Tyto Alba on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:06:30 PM PDT

  •  Bingo, spot on. (4+ / 0-)

    Now to change the tune.

    Just stay away from my body and my rights, and everything will be just fine. ~LaFeminista Mon May 17, 2010

    by LaFeminista on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:08:06 PM PDT

  •  Oil spill: Here's what you can do to help (5+ / 0-)

    Maggie Koerth-Baker  at Boing Boing -

    http://www.boingboing.net/...

    " NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO....THERE YOU ARE "--- GEORGE SOCO

    by colorado bob 1 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:12:01 PM PDT

  •  Maybe you did this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    savvyspy, valadon, Rich in PA

    But I did't.

    Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

    by virtual0 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:13:40 PM PDT

    •  so you don't use any petroleum products (3+ / 0-)

      Well, by all means - tell us how it's done.

      Other than that, your "not me" is unimpressive.

      The diary is right on.

      And the sad part about it is that ultimately, capitalism is predicated on increasing growth, while our world is currently fueled by resources that are finite, decreasing, and decreasing faster as growth increases.

      So if we don't think we can wean ourselves off of oil because it's economically uncomfortable right now, it will never

      ever

      be any less uncomfortable tomorrow.

      So this "it's not my fault" idea of yours

      Sure hope that works

      Not personal, but your attitude makes me cringe.

      We're all in the same boat, even the people who deny we're in the same boat.

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bullshit (10+ / 0-)

    No, it's not "our fault". This is the fault of greedy politicians and businessmen who care more about cash and power than our environment, who deliberately watered down and ignored regulations in the quest for profit.

    The fact that we all use petroleum products does NOT make us equally responsible for this completely avoidable industrial disaster enabled by bad actors.

    This is what chump Change looks like.

    by Wamsutta on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:21:19 PM PDT

  •  Pretty pictures.. no content (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldawg, valadon, neroden, orlbucfan

    WE did not do this. I and many others here have been fighting for public transport, superspeed rail and renewables for a long time. WE did not do this.

    Stop pissing off the people who are on the right side of this issue and go yell at the assholes who are fighting on the side of Big Oil, SUV's and Big Business.

    President Obama is the best moderate Republican president in my lifetime. kasandra.us

    by KS Rose on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:52:49 PM PDT

  •  No. I didn't do this any more than I (5+ / 0-)

    started WWII.

    To the teabaggers "May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Sam Adams

    by shigeru on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:28:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm really tired of this . . . (4+ / 0-)

    . . . "We're to blame!" self-flagellation trip.

    I rode my bike or took public transit to work for years. We are always looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption in our family. And I've advocated energy reform to my elected representatives at all levels of government for years.

    So maybe you did this. Me, I've tried to stop it.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:52:05 AM PDT

    •  I've tried to stop it, too (3+ / 0-)

      and even gone into debt to ensure that we use less gas, despite the fact that I need petroleum products - specifically medical plastic bags filled with fluid, medical tubing, dialyzers, etc. - to stay alive. At least I could drive something that works as a farm hauling car but still gets twice the mileage of the old one, and use public transit when I can (including taking the ferry). I've tried to promulgate energy-sensitive policies and put plenty of pressure on my legislators to pass energy reduction legislation.

      And I still feel I am in part responsible for this, because maybe I haven't tried enough. If a photo of an oiled egret spurs me to action, then seeing that photo is something I need to do, and to look at time and again when I feel burned out, to remember that there is something more important to this than me.

      Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

      by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 02:54:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Collective self-flagellation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldawg, Dave925, valadon
    Possibly the most useless and ineffective liberal response to anything.

    I reject the diarist's collective blame, tarring even the most oil-free, activism heavy with the same brush as Dick Cheney.

    -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

    by neroden on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:58:10 AM PDT

  •  Can't you see you're both right? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, neroden, orlbucfan

    Yes, we all have to make our way as best we can in the society we're part of.  And yes, that society is responsible for a multitude of sins--including oil-soaked birds, the thousands of species that die out because of pollution and loss of habitat--and that's about more than oil dependence.  It's part of the premise of our civilization, which we've begun to understand (or understand again), most noticeably since the 1970s.

    One problem with the political left prior to that was its refusal to take the environment into consideration, including the other creatures who are so much part of who we are.  Accepting and understanding that is crucial to making a better future.

    Understanding and accepting our responsibility as a society does not require self-flagellation. It requires that we do what we can, we work together to change things for the better, and we help to make our children wiser.  

    "The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

    by Captain Future on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 02:07:09 AM PDT

  •  Even if I ate oil for breakfast,lunch,and dinner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldawg, Hannibal

    ...I didn't do this.  Just stop it.  

    Dorothy Rabinowitz is a heroin-guzzling pedophile.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 03:55:52 AM PDT

  •  No. We didn't. This argument is (4+ / 0-)

    the same as saying that untill we're all vegans, we're all responsible for brutal feed-lots abusing cattle.

    Lax Government regulations and unchecked Corporate Greed did this.

    I wish people would stop acting as if emotion was a substitute for, rather than a compliment to, reason.

    "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

    by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:04:35 AM PDT

  •  Great read, Kitsap. (2+ / 0-)

    People will be feeling defensive, but that's normal and we all need to work past it.

    Lisa

    All Kossacks are my allies.

    by Boston to Salem on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:08:14 AM PDT

    •  Spotting gaping holes in an argument isn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal

      "feeling defensive".

      If we were talking about global warming, the "we are all responsible" argument would be spot-on, although of course it would still be a matter of degree.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:50:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  SHOVE your "We are all complicit" BS!! (4+ / 0-)

    Nobody here told BP to violate NUMEROUS SAFETY PROTOCOLS.

    BP did this and not you or me.

    BP lied, cheated, cut corners and has continued to resist efforts to actually clean the problem up.

    Please pull your heads out of your asses with regards to this ridiculous "we are all complicit" bullshit.l

    Just fucking stop it.

    No Tip/No Rec.

    Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:14:24 AM PDT

    •  If I could get a $60k/year job (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      across the street from my house - or even within 5 miles of my house - I could ditch one vehicle.

      That ain't going to happen/

      Or if proper electric cars were available - which they aren't - I'd get one of those.

      But don't talk to me about how my need to drive to work CAUSED BP to violate laws and safety procedures.

      Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
      Doc in the Twitterverse

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:16:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely. We're responsible for this only (3+ / 0-)

        insofar as we failed to elect leaders who would make and enforce strong enviornmental protections.

        In most of the rest of the world, the Kill Bore has to be drilled at the same time as the production well.

        That means spills of this magnitude don't happen.  Period.

        If some shit-bag company was dumping battery waste into the great lakes, and our Government let them, we wouldn't be at fault for driving electric cars powered by our own solar panels....would we?

        According the premise advanced in this diary, we would.

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:54:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  BP + "regulators" + US = catastrophe (3+ / 0-)

    BP guilty of reckless disregard for the lives of its employees and every living thing in the Gulf of Mexico.

    "Regulators" guilty of issuing permits when there was no plan for dealing with a common failure mode.

    WE are guilty of providing the demand trigger

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

    by Mosquito Pilot on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:19:25 AM PDT

    •  Exactly right -- (4+ / 0-)

      we are not the prime movers, many as the discussion indicates have gone a long way toward reducing their demand, but some reductions are just not possible without collective action at the community or societal level. I take public transportation most of the time when I go out of town, but that is usually a bus and it uses gas too. In most cases I could opt not to go, but then I would never see two of my three adult kids. Either they have to come to me or me to them -- better for me to go -- only one person travelling instead of two (they live in the same city).

      The point is there are limits to what we can do on our own. The government needs to wean us off fossil fuels by improving transit, forbidding drilling unless there is a plan in place to radically mitigate impacts, pushing energy alternatives ahead rapidly, changing the shape of cities so less transportation is needed most of the time and a thousand other things. We need to take up the new options quickly even if they are a little less convenient or more expensive. What is a little less and what is damned near impossible for each of us only we can decide -- but we have to decide it knowing that the fossil fuel era must be gradually phased out and it will not be easy.

      We have only just begun and none too soon.

      by global citizen on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:35:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, this is the kind of old-liberal-groupthink (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glinda, scorpiorising, TiaRachel, JesseCW

    that nearly destroyed the Democratic Party 30 years ago.

    No-one I know drilled that well. I didn't. I didn't cut corners or lobbied Congress to weaken regulation. My steps to address the dangers both of climate change and national dependence on foreign oil is to not make unnecessary trips in our cars and drive fuel efficient vehicles. The likes of BP, Halliburton, and Transocean created this mess; but for their bad conduct, this spill would not have occurred.

    They're the bad actors, not ordinary Americans like you or me.

    Collective guilt-mongering is just as wrong as collective punishment. It avoids accountability.

    It is precisely this kind of b.s. that alienates the independent voter.

    "Fight the Stupids" - Maple Street Book Shops, New Orleans

    by Superskepticalman on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:33:46 AM PDT

    •  Where we went wrong... (3+ / 0-)

      was our passive complacency when it came to the oil industry here, that has been destroying the wetlands for decades, given a pass by the state. WE should have fought this strongly, including myself, years ago. I do feel shame for that. In perspective though, those who lobbied to weaken, and those who had power to protect our natural resources in elective offices...its time to send the fuckers packing.

  •  I get your point, & agree that each person needs (5+ / 0-)

    the wakeup call anew...  but what we really need to realize as a group is that a small % of us do the vast majority of the damage across all sectors.

    They prevent us from being really educated & thus able to make the best choices.

    They deny us less profitable, more moral choices in the "free" market.

    They corrupt our democratic process & prevent the best and most necessary policy.

    They care not about you, me, or any other denizen of the planet except their families & personal circle.

    It is the average American's lack of understanding of the nature of our true enemies, the sociopathic wealthy, that prevents her from stepping up, speaking out, and joining with everyone else to strip them of all power, take back our laws from beneath their pens, and prosecute & throw them in prison.

    We need a fucking cultural revolution.  Not violent, but insistent, unshakeable, and invincible.  That we haven't done it can indeed be said to be our fault...  but I'm not sure it's useful to say it.

    I hope it's coming, and I'm trying in my small, broke way to bring it along.

    The Sleep of Regulation Produces Corporate Monsters.

    by Leftcandid on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 04:56:23 AM PDT

  •  This is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glinda, TiaRachel, Citizen Seattle

    bullshit. Read Juan Cole's "Big Oil Predations Are Not Your Fault" at Informed Comment. Excerpts:
    "You did not demand that BP consistently cut safety corners more than any other petroleum company, thus resulting in the Deepwater Horizon calamity, which could end up costing the economy of the Gulf of Mexico literally hundreds of billions of dollars this year."
    "Legislative capture is not your fault.
    In fact, it is mostly the fault of Ronald Reagan, who so lowered taxes on the rich that he allowed them to capture almost all the country’s increased wealth since the 1980s, depriving ordinary Americans of any real increase in the standard of living."
    "Now, part of what the pundits are saying when they say the Gulf oil gusher is your fault is that you like to drive your car inexpensively to work, and so you are part of a consumer market that motivates BP to drill. But it is grossly unfair to blame you, the worker, for the difficulty of getting to work by much more efficient rail or for allegedly rejecting electric vehicles powered by .e.g. wind farms."
    http://www.juancole.com/

  •  To say "we all did this" is to pretend (4+ / 0-)
    that this accident was just a random freak event.

    Instead, it was the result of a chain of events, at every stage of which, involved deliberate, knowing negligence and recklessness.

    No, I will not take the rap for the mind-boggling degree of negligence and recklessness shown by BP and its contractors.

    I work in the space biz. We do everything by procedure. Being a scientist and not an engineer, I chafe at these procedures - especially when they make me write them. But I follow them, because they were developed to prevent preventable disasters.

    And this was a preventable disaster. The blame is on the ratfuckers who repeatedly, knowingly, recklessly, negligently ignored procedures, despite being frequently being warned of the risks, to bump up the schedule by a few fucking days.

    No, sir. I did not do this.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:22:50 AM PDT

  •  They say confession is good for the soul (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Citizen Seattle

    and that's basically what this diary is - an admission of sin, an apology, and a vow to do better.  Oh, I forgot the pennance part.   You can donate to a fund, volunteer on the beach, etc.

    I don't buy the premise that WE did this.  Do we live in a society that uses earth's dwinding resources with abandon? Certainly.  Many of us make a sincere effort to reduce our individual contribution to that over-use, and that's admirable.  More of us need to do so.

    But the oil spill is not our fault.  It is the direct result of corruption and cutting corners in the effort to make money. Sad, but true. End of story.

    I'm not a complete idiot - some parts are missing.

    by Civil Writes Activist on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:46:10 AM PDT

  •  I am convinced that (2+ / 0-)

    BP's primary goal in this entire disaster is to keep any pics of large numbers of dead dolphins, stingrays and other majestic Gulf creatures out of the media at all costs.

    I think we would shudder and cry out at the reality that is to come in that regard.

  •  100% agree (2+ / 0-)

    Are we doing everything we can?
    Are we taking steps to reduce our footprints?
    Are we making our voices heard?

    We are all to blame.

    Human beings are doomed.

    The Earth will survive when we are gone....

    happiness of being

  •  Lovely diary, Kitsap; but I'm standing with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Citizen Seattle, citizen31

    the finger-pointers. This is the time to finger point. I've been doing Earth Day for 40 freakin' years--it's THEIR fault--Bush/CheneyCo.

  •  Nope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, Citizen Seattle

    Just because you use oil does not make you responsible for criminal incompetence.  Get serious.

  •  Kitsap River, (4+ / 0-)

    i always look forward to your diaries. The egrets remind me of my late mother. She had a pool home on the Banana River in Cocoa Beach. The egrets were always landing on her property w/their dinner so they could wash it in the pool. I guess chlorine made a good spice. :-) She gave them all the same name: "Charley." I used to laugh when she would point out the window; and yep, there was Charley waddling up w/his dinner, heading for the pool. You could also watch the manatees and see fish jumping all the time.

    I can't tell you how much I have cried over this disaster. I don't agree w/the premise that I am at fault. I have been a futurist all my life. I could care less about materialism and the keeping-up-with-the-joneses crap. I have always been frugal and simple. I have fought against the corporate-greedball mindset for like forever. I totally agree w/Juan Cole. He speaks eloquently for me and many Americans. Obama wasn't forceful at all last night. I consider him a greenhorn in the halls of power so wasn't surprised.

    We need to clean house in our government. The systematic corruption has been going on since Nixon. We've started the job but you're talking decades of corruption and bribery here. We are running out of time. We need to keep up the fight and not get lost arguing among ourselves. That's one thing Repukes and their vomit don't do. That's one reason out of others why they have been so successful at wrecking things. You know?

    Life is the Greatest Writer.

  •  Ship of Fools (2+ / 0-)

    The reality is grim folks.  The long-term SUSTAINABLE population number for a world not fueled by coal and oil is, AT BEST, about one-third of the current 6+ billion.  And even at that number, without the fixed nitrogen fertilizer inputs that now come from oil and natural gas, we will be living back on the farm, lucky to have ANY fuel at all for tractors and other machinery.  Today's agriculture, with one farmer's fossil-fueled output feeding hundreds of city dwellers will be a thermodynamic impossibility.

    Kitsap is dead right, and as much as some would like to say it ain't my fault, we all are living at the top of a very precarious food chain.  The real question is not "if?", but "when?" -- and whether we and our children can get from here to there without widespread famine and war.

    Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

    by boatwright on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:06:31 AM PDT

  •  Not me. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't own a car and use only the energy I need. So I take no blame for this.

  •  No, we ALL didnt do this.... (0+ / 0-)

    if THIS means the spill in the gulf and the ensuing diaster it has caused.  

    "persona non grata" yet again

    by KnotIookin on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:35:17 AM PDT

  •  No we didn't (I see this is a familiar refrain) (0+ / 0-)

    We didn't tell BP to cut every existing corner.

    We didn't tell them to use substandard materials and contractors.  We didn't tell them to rush the job.

    We aren't to blame.

    And I've seen more egrets in my day than you've seen.  Most likely more pelicans too- and we aren't to blame about their problems, they are.

  •  Sorry, no. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel

    I love you, River, but I will not take the blame for this.

    This is BP's and other greedy oil companies' fault, not mine, and probably not yours.

    I also love birds, probably as much or more than just about anyone on this site, but I'm not taking the blame for their death. I weep for them, but I do not kill them with either my actions or my inaction.

    This is pure, unadulterated corporate greed that was allowed to fester over the last 50 years, and this is the result.

    It isn't my fault, and I refuse to take the blame.

    As a youngest child in an autocratic family, I've been blamed for just about everything else all my life. No more.

    This is all on BP and the greedy old bastards on Dick Cheney's secret energy commission. Direct your ire elsewhere, in their direction not ours.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:49:34 AM PDT

  •  Great pics (0+ / 0-)

    And I know where you're coming from, but seriously, this diary has been posted in one form or another a dozen or more times of late.  And it was preaching to the choir the very first time it was posted.

    Am I cynical? Yes I am! - Bob the Builder's lesser known brother Pete the Politician

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:57:38 AM PDT

  •  thanks {{{{{Kitsap}}}}} (2+ / 0-)

    excellent, excellent diary. we must all accept personal responsibility and acknowledge our complicity in the events unfolding. looking in the mirror is always the first step.

    The new mestiza copes by developing a tolerance for contradiction...She learns to juggle cultures...She operates in a pluralistic mode. - Anzaldua

    by seeta08 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:01:20 AM PDT

  •  I Am So Sick (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Charles CurtisStanley

    Of hearing people say well yes it's terrible but it's not my fault or fix it, change it, clean it but God don't take it from me! Conchita brought this to our attention last evening in one of the ROV diaries.

    A Great Urgency: To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders,
       by Chief Arvol Looking Horse

       May 14, 2010

       My Relatives,

          Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

          We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things.

          As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

          The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

          I ask, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

          I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc'I Maka).

          We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

          As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

          So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children's future and well-being, and the generations to come.

       Onipikte (that we shall live),

       Chief Arvol Looking Horse
       19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

    Everything is connected. The wildlife don't use cars, AC, oil heat, computers, etc., etc. We do! So yes we are all responsible. This bloody think I'm typing on uses energy most likely from coal. The task ahead of us is huge and if we don't tackle it now the connection is broken and we're all equally screwed.

    "Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality." Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Pam LaPier on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:03:40 AM PDT

  •  I've been thinking about bio diesel (2+ / 0-)

    maybe it's time. It would make my footprint a lot smaller.

    Great diary and terrific pics.

    I like all animals and spend a lot of time watching them and looking at their sign. We need to protect them not foul thier habiat.

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:23:32 AM PDT

  •  Lovely diary, sorry that some can't (2+ / 0-)

    understand that you aren't letting BP off the hook when you say that we're to blame.

    But please rest assured that most of us do get what you're saying--and appreciate it.

  •  And you caused E. coli and hepatitis A outbreaks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel

    -- and KILLED PEOPLE -- if you bought fresh, conventionally grown vegetables at the grocery store.

    You also caused hundreds of thousands of adults and children to suffer from childhood obesity, migraines, panic attacks, AD/HD, and major central nervous system disorders -- INCLUDING MY GRANDSON --by buying any prepared food, organic, natural, or conventional, that contains natural flavor, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed yeast, modified food starch, edible corn starch, maltodextrose, whey protein concentrate, autolyzed yeast extract, wheat starch, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, enzymes, or any other code words for MSG and free glutamic acids that the food industry has influenced the FDA and Congress to ignore. By your reasoning, my grandson's medical conditions are YOUR FAULT.

    * * *

    Down the years, we have paid untold million$$ in federal taxes to fund regulatory agencies that failed to regulate, and fund Congresspersons and inspectors general who failed to regulate the regulators.

    I have to work for a living. This requires me to commute. I drive an SUV that gets 29 mpg, line-dry my laundry, keep my house below 65 in the winter and above 75 in the summer, own enough wooded property to offset my annual carbon budget, buy local and organic when/where possible, use no pesticides outside of my house's termite treatment and a couple of ant traps, use energy-efficient major appliances, and recycle just about everything except cat litter. My recreational water craft is human-powered. My home's sewage is bioprocessed in my septic tank, not a chemical-heavy city central sewage system. My home uses electricity from a steam plant that has finally installed SOTA scrubber technology (unfortunately, it also dumped several million gallons of coal-ash sludge into my river). My average monthly electric bill is $100 and my monthly water bill is $21. Hybrid and electric cars are out of my financial reach; more specifically, I do not at present have the cash flow to replace a battery pack.

    Maybe I'm being too easy on myself, but I think I'm doing a pretty reasonable job of educing/offsetting my carbon footprint and living as sustainably as I can afford to while maintaining what I consider to be a reasonable level of material comfort.

    The Deepwater Horizon blowout and the corrupt, lax regulatory environment that bred it are not my fault. If I am to accept blame for them, then I must be equally willing to accept blame for not yet singlehandedly amending the Constitution to limit "corporate political speech" and declare that only human individuals qualify as legal "persons."

    My bad.

    •  You probably have an SUV similar to mine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Charles CurtisStanley

      Mine's a compact hybrid SUV that gets 29-30 mpg but is still useful as a hauling car, something that comes in very handy on a rural piece of property. We probably have enough in woods to offset our carbon use and aren't about to cut down the trees. I can't say we use electricity from a steam plant, but ours is all from hydro. In winter, we simply stop heating the rooms we aren't using a lot, and heat only the computer room, the bedroom, and the room where I keep my immediate-need dialysis supplies (the bulk of them remain downstairs in an unheated area). I do have to have the heat in the bedroom a way up from 55; kidney patients are notoriously always cold and I am no exception there. The rest of the house is generally pretty cold. Wear a sweater. I do. But dialysis is done in bed at night and that means no sweater, even when I'm sitting up to drain. We don't have air conditioning and won't get it. The house is naturally shaded by large trees; we let the cool air in during the night in summer, and close windows and drapes to keep the coolness in during the day. (We also hide downstairs where it's cooler.) No need to adjust the thermostat. It's set cool all year round in much of the house.

      My recreational water craft is a kayak. Human powered. I use no pesticides or non-organic cleaners at all, in or out of the house. We buy local and organic where we can and, like you, are on gravity-fed septic rather than a sewer. We haven't paved the driveway and won't. I drive a hybrid SUV; my partner drives a roller skate. Both were bought used. Our appliances were mostly bought used (including the ones that came with the house). When we need to get new ones, we will choose them by their energy rating among other criteria, but while we can still get use out of them, we are not replacing them, honoring the "reduce" part of the "re-use, reduce, recycle" equation. A refrigerator or chest freezer is usually a big power-suck but there we have good energy star ratings that guided our choices. And the chest freezer is always well stocked, which helps it be more energy-efficient as well. We don't have a water bill, since we own the well, but we do watch our water use anyway since we live in a closed system and are both aware (having lived through the California drought) of the need to conserve water.

      Is the Oilpocalpyse my direct responsibility? No, it's BP's, Halliburton's, Transocean's, and our captured regulatory system's fault. I am pointing plenty of fingers at them. I will not let them off the hook. But indirectly, I feel (despite the efforts we've made to reduce our own carbon footprint) that I bear some responsibility because I live in and participate in a society where we use vast amounts of the world's oil and don't do enough to make our leaders do the leading on this topic.

      Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

      by Kitsap River on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:25:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What else would you do to "make" our (0+ / 0-)

        leaders do the leading? What more of substance can you do that you aren't doing? Daub yourself with oil and scream during Congressional hearings, and end up in jail? Stand on a street corner in your town holding a protest placard? Picket the sidewalk in front of the Capitol or the WH? Write LTEs and send messages to your Congresscritters, work on political campaigns, contribute to enviro-NGOs?

        By doing those things would you really be able to "make" your leaders quickly undo >100 years of oil dependence, oil-dependent infrastructure, oil-dependent manufacturing, oil-dependent farming (we're going to feed the world plowing with mules?), and billion$$$$ of vested interests in oil profits?

        No. And this is why I don't believe in our collective complicity in this oil spill. Perhaps blame the people who continue to be willfully ignorant of or indifferent to the effects of burning fossil fuels, but not those of us who have mindfully bent our lifestyles to keep a low carbon profile. We're continuing to do our part. Now we just have to convince others to join us, or show us how to do an even better job of it.

        And that's where applying social pressure -- in the form of education, delivered as LTEs, protests/guerilla theater, boycotts, political campaigns/contributions, etc.) -- comes in.

        Individually, we can't make the powerful and unaccountable do our bidding. But we can continue working to subvert the entire electorate, evolve the culture until it no longer sustains the powerful and unaccountable.

  •  This is a beautiful diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Charles CurtisStanley

    Absolutely, BP is on the hook for this particular spill, but we have a collective responsibility going forward to wean off of this oil dependency.

    Enthusiastic tip and rec.

    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

    by GN1927 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:14:32 AM PDT

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