We are now in the 36th day of a man-made environmental disaster which is fast becoming an ecological apocalypse for countless species of marine life. The ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico cannot survive wave after wave of toxic substances hitting the beaches.
The ultimate surprise is not that it happened. Oil companies, and Democratic and Republican administrations, refuse responsibility and rejected alternatives. In this privatization of the natural world, damage to sea life is the cost of doing business. The ultimate horror is that we can't stop the oil flood, won't stop consumption of oil products and fail to admit the limits of technology.
This is a morality play writ large as environmental collapse becomes the new normal. Can we realistically look to Washington alone to protect the natural world? More permits for offshore drilling have been issued. We must look to the consequences of our own demand and consumption: the energy we use, the kind of cars we drive, the products we buy, the food we eat, and our individual impact on the natural world.
We can seize this moment. We as individuals can begin a green wave of sustainability to save the planet--and ourselves.