Oil spill guilt

Today a blog, Each Small Thing bubbled up to the WordPress front page, showing photos of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Louisiana. It’s titled, Get it While You Can. Meaning, of course, see the fairy sands of the oil-threatened Louisiana coast while you still can.

News reports this weekend indicate that there may be no more white sand beaches. I don’t know; I can’t bring myself to witness this spectacularly awful ecological disaster.

But oh, it makes me angry. Angry at BP for not taking greater care, angry at the government agencies meant to oversee safety who turned a blind eye to infractions, and angry at the government for allowing deep water drilling at all.

And then, in the midst of all this anger, I realize that some of it has to turn to myself. Because every time I get in my car to drive, every time I buy some plastic wrapped gewgaw or petrochemically soled shoe, I’m implicit in this disaster. I am the market for which the oil companies drill. I feed the demand.

This makes me sadder than sad. Because even though I try very hard not to over consume, I still have to buy stuff, still have to go to work. I am trapped by the world in which I live, condemned to condemn the planet to toxic spills, leaks, and explosions.

What a mess.