It’s been a while since I spoke to you from my heart. For the first 30 days of the oil disaster, I was in denial. I was in denial that the last 20 years of my life, working on environmental issues with a focus in South Louisiana – was all for naught. I was in denial that I felt so deeply and care so much about the people, the land, the flora and fauna of South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast where I grew up.
Over the past several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by emotion, breaking down in tears in the middle of meetings, unable to focus on anything but the growing black mass on the online NY Times Map of the Gulf Disaster, the pictures of birds covered in oil, the stories of dolphins, whales and so on. Overcome with rage, I began to frantically look for solutions and to try to understand how something this disastrous, something of this magnitude this could have happened and could be just continuing, unabated, with no objections.
And then I stopped. Something just didn’t add up.
Why is everyone in America not up in arms? Why are we not having protests in the streets? Why is there not a national outpouring of emotion? Why is BP not on criminal trial? Why is the president not being held to account as Commander in Chief of the largest military in the world – a military and an engineering force capable of putting weapons in space and certainly one capable of dealing with a nation security threat of this size?
And then I realized how diffuse the message is, how little impact the environmental movement has in accurately describing these incidents – and especially in dealing with this incident – deep in the bayous in the south, far enough away from the media and population centers of America to be just off the radar. And then I got even more angry, but not the kind of destructive anger – a passionate anger – a realization that we can move with force and speed to turn the tide of toxic black liquid.
Yesterday Rebecca and I sat with some new friends called the Blue Seals Marine Conservation Team and had phone conferences with several groups working in and around Louisiana including LEAN. We spoke at length about what is really going on down in the Gulf and most importantly, what can be done in the Gulf of Mexico about our International Oil Catastrophe. First, I need to tell you that very little of what you have heard through traditional media sources about the cleanup is true. Efforts to contain, deal with or manage the spill are perfunctory. Second, I can tell you that solutions to abate the damage, clean up the spill and engineer a genuine stop to the spill exist right now – today. If you have a beating heart, both things should infuriate you.
Would you like to be a part of making both things public? To changing this whole scenario? If so… read on.
Here are the things that I am calling you, the FUEL community, the greater environmental community and the green tech community to do:
1) Support the Los Angeles Get Off Oil Day – This Tuesday, June 22nd at 1pm – At LA City Hall where Mayor Villaraigosa will open a press conference with politicians, celebrities and local industrialists around solutions.
2) Join us for a FREE SANTA MONICA screening of FUEL and PANEL on OIL SPILL SOLUTIONS after the press conference at 5pm at Santa Monica City College. Click to View Invitation
3) Come to NEW ORLEANS and be there on JUNE 28th for a FREE PUBLIC SCREENING of FUEL at CANAL PLACE CINEMAS in NEW ORLEANS at 7pm. Click to View Invitation
4) Join us in NEW ORLEANS the following DAY – JUNE 29th for a HIGH LEVEL THINK TANK around solutions to the oil spill from 9am-2pm (email us to be involved).
5) Join us in NEW ORLEANS at 3pm on JUNE 29th – at the steps next to CAFÉ DU MONDE for an 1,100 person march and an areal art project by John Quigley.
6) Put the FUEL movie on your NETFLIX queue.
7) On Tuesday, June 22nd, go out and by a handful of FUEL DVDs – give them to everyone you know.
8) Make Money with the FUEL DVD by putting an ad for the FUEL DVD on your web site. Our affiliate program PAYS YOU for EVERYONE WHO BUYS THE DVD after CLICKING ON THE FUEL AD on YOUR SITE. http://indieclix.magicrock.com/program/pftj0ZSW/223/
9) Donate to our nonprofit efforts to organize the think tank, march, filming and media efforts – we are raising $10k to pay for hard costs and – it’s tax deductible! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/FUELinDC/la-gets-off-oil-day