Posted by: kennyt212 | June 18, 2010

Keeping Watch over the Gulf: Home is where the Heart is

Hello again everyone!

Sorry for the lack of updates.  Lots of news from last time that I could share, so I’ll stick with some highlights. I hope everyone is keeping tabs of what is going on as much as possible and staying optimistic:

-This week, BP officials-including CEO Tony Heyward-testified on Capitol Hill and met with President Obama.  One tangible result of these testimonies/meetings is that BP must establish a $20 billion fund to help pay for the costs of the spill.  This fund will be managed by a third party.

-Obama delivered a speech-first one from the Oval Office-outlining his thoughts and plans regarding to the oil spill.  If you didn’t have the opportunity to watch it, here’s a transcript of it.

The biggest topic of discussion right now is probably about energy.  How are we going to reduce our dependence on oil?? How can we shift to using more renewable sources? Obama and Congress have said that we need to start refocusing our efforts on these matters, and currently there is a lot of debate about proposed cap-and-trade, climate change and energy legislation.  Hopefully this crisis will inspire a greater sense of cooperation between party lines so that we can start working toward a better, brighter future.

Clearly, there are many messages to be taken from the disaster, but one of the easiest ones to grasp is the idea that people, the environment and our values are all connected.  Yes, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is one of the worst environmental disasters ever, but it’s not just an “environmental” issue. The environment is connected with people, people are connected with each other, and it all ties into the values we uphold. Yes, BP might be the “responsible” party and should/will pay for the costs, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean that we’re all (suddenly) “free” from our ties with BP (or oil in general). Economically, socially, and politically, we’re all connected.  As someone who has driven a car and bought gasoline before, I’m not completely an outsider to this crisis.  Yes, maybe I haven’t always had too much of a choice on whether I drive or not, or maybe I wasn’t always completely aware of the implications of my actions, but it’s clear now that I make a difference with how I live my life.  We’re all going to feel the impacts of this spill at one point or another and we all have an important role to play in society.  Knowing this, it’s important that as stewards of God’s Creation, we continue to ask God for the courage to reach out into the community and strive for an eco-justice way of life.

Below are two interesting links that help visualize the impact of the spill.  I wanted to share them because sometimes it’s hard to relate to the spill unless you’re down in the Gulf Coast range experiencing it first hand.  These links might help make that connection a little bit easier:

1)  Here’s a new site from NOAA that shows the spread of oil

2)   Here’s a neat, interactive site that really makes the spill feel much more at “home” than it might otherwise be.

Anyway, that’s about it for not.  Keep praying for our friends in need as well as for those are helping out with the recovery, and those who have the power to make important decisions.

Stay strong and thanks for reading! I’ll be back in touch with everyone again soon!

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