BP is Us. Me, Even.July 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: BP, Driving at 75 miles an hour, Gulf Oil Spill, Paul Wolpe, plastic bags, plastic water bottles, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, SUVs
During the months since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, I have heard a lot of commentary about it, mostly on National Public Radio, but also on various tv. news broadcasts. I imagine you have too.
Many of these commentaries go something like this: BP is the devil. They did this on purpose. Now they have destroyed our way of life. We cannot fish, or shrimp, or make money from our beaches anymore. They must pay.
Or else something like this: The Obama administration is worthless. It hasn’t done nearly enough to stop this disaster. It’s disorganized. Or it doesn’t give a hoot about the suffering people of the Gulf.
All through these commentaries, what strikes me most forcefully is that I have yet to hear one person say, “This is our fault. We were willing to do anything for oil, so we can keep driving our SUVs at 75 miles an hour, and throwing away our plastic bags, and drinking water out of plastic bottles, and all the other things that make oil essential. This is our fault, and if we’re going to avoid this sort of thing in the future, we have to change the way we live.” And let me be clear here: by us, I mean me, too.
Finally, Paul Wolpe, an ethicist at Emory University in Atlanta, in an interview on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly last week, stuck his neck out and said some of this. Good for him. You can read an abbreviated version of the interview, or you can watch the interview itself, both on-line. Either, imho, is well worth the few minutes it will take you.