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If you are like me, you are feeling completely depressed and hopeless about the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. And new pictures like this are just heartbreaking.

The yellow oil containment booms being easily overtopped by slime are starting to look more like police Crime Scene Tape to me. There was a crime committed against the USA and our Planet.  Big Oil and 20 years of Conservative deregulation were responsible.

What can we do?

I have been doing some research, and this seems like a start.

By July the Obama administration needs to make a decision about whether it will allow Shell Oil to begin installing oil rigs off America's Arctic coast.

Reacting to the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 15 environmental groups have asked the U.S. Interior Department to reconsider an exploratory drilling schedule set to begin in less than 60 days off the northern coast of Alaska.  

"This could be stopped by the stroke of a pen of the Secretary of Interior Salazar or President Obama," says David Dixon of the Alaska Wilderness League.
Voice of America

Cleaning up an oil spill in the relatively calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico has been an extreme challenge. In the Arctic Ocean, where temperatures fall well below zero, ocean swells can reach 20 feet and huge ice flows prevent travel to most areas, it's inconceivable to expect cleaning up to go smoothly.

A coalition of environmental groups bought this ad today.

It will run on a bunch of national shows.

Is there a chance that we can create at least one bit of good news out of an otherwise horrific situation?

If you are feeling the need to take action, calling the White House about stepping in fully in the Gulf, and preventing any more of these disasters in the Arctic would be a very productive way to deal with grief today.

More action items.

  1. Fix up that bike in your garage for trips under two miles, like getting a quart of milk.
  1. Join your local transit advocacy group today so you can become an activist for moving our economy beyond oil dependence. Here is a great national group to follow and get connected to the transit movement. http://t4america.org/ Here's a great group about walking and biking advocacy with many local connections. http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org...
  1. Support the groups who took out this ad so they can run it more broadly.
  1. Take online action.
  1. Double click the ad, and get the embed code. Post to the sites you are connected to, I know this is a very wired community.
  1. Support Alaskan environmental groups. They are horribly outnumbered, and they are true heroes for what they do.

I'll flesh this diary out as the day goes on.

Getting on my bike now headed to work.

What Else Can Be Done from Across the Nation Today?

Please add your suggestions as comments, I'll bring them into the diary.

UPDATE: Here's an amazing analysis of how deregulation got us into this mess.

Oil disaster brought to you by deregulation: Bob Marshall
By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune

...I'm talking about the fervor for deregulation, the movement to eliminate federal laws that protect people and the environment.
That has been a battle cry for conservative politics for three decades. It was Ronald Reagan who famously made "get government off the backs of business," a winning strategy. And it was George W. Bush who pushed to rewrite the rule books for energy development on public property, rolling back protections for fish, wildlife, air and water under the banner of streamlining the nation's race for energy. That movement sought to turn 40 years of bipartisan environmental protection on its head, and it did.
Industry lobbyists and officials were appointed to key environmental positions with orders to make the environment safe for business -- especially the energy business. Agencies became boosters for development, not protectors of the public trust.
Louisiana's delegations, and most of its voters, cheered almost every step.
For our political leaders to act shocked that something like this could happen requires equal portions of gall and amnesia.
http://www.nola.com/...

Also, don't miss the UK's Ecologist (the best mag in the biz)
http://www.theecologist.org/...

Originally posted to greendem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:02:16 AM PDT

  •  For Obama to deny Shell its permits (8+ / 0-)

    would be a huge step forward: a demonstration that he can stand up to Big Oil and a sign that he understands the devastation.

    Ignore those who talk behind your back; it simply means you're two steps ahead/twittering RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:07:36 AM PDT

    •  He won't cancel unless there is a massive outcry (6+ / 0-)

      by people from around the country.

      This needs to stop.
      How much of the planet are we willing to let Big Oil destroy?

      Why is nobody from BP/Halliburton/Transocean in jail yet?

      "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

      by greendem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:12:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More on Shell in the Arctic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greendem, Senor Unoball

        BPing the Arctic?

        Sometimes the future is filled with surprises.  On other occasions, it can be painfully predictable.  In the case of drilling for oil in the extreme reaches of America’s Arctic seas, the latter is the case.  BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, growing worse by the hour, is a living lesson in what will happen, sooner or later, if America’s Arctic waters are opened to the giant oil companies. If their drill rigs arrive, rest assured, despoliation will follow; and barring the sort of quick action by President Obama or Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar that Congressional representatives are increasingly calling for, rest assured as well that they will come.

        Shell is already moving vessels to the site.

        There is a petition HERE to Ken Salazar. Please sign up.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Tue May 25, 2010 at 01:55:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thought your first title was more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, jlms qkw

    eye-catching.

    He who is carried away by his own importance seldom has far to walk back.

    by StateOfGrace on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:19:38 AM PDT

  •  Here's a Take Action (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, greengemini

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:23:41 AM PDT

  •  A geopolitical issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, Senor Unoball, greengemini

    The Beaufort Sea resources are creating a boundary issue with Canada.  The US and Canada differ in how to survey the territory within their 200-mile limit on the continental shelf.  Granting an oil lease in this situation is like planting the flag, under the "possession is nine-tenths of the law" philosophy.

    It's crazy especially since the Law of the Sea is what is  used to adjudicate boundary claims; the US has never ratified this treaty.  And the Senate Republicans who want to "drill, baby, drill" are the very ones who opposed ratification on sovereignty grounds.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:38:21 AM PDT

    •  Unless the Arctic is protected (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball, greengemini

      by an international treaty soon, it will soon become an industrial waste site.

      There will be wars over who gets the goodies from there.

      Antarctica is protected by international treaty.
      The polar north should be as well. Anyone know of efforts to make this happen they can share?

      "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

      by greendem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 09:59:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good luck with that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Senor Unoball, greengemini

        The Arctic right now is protected by the Law of the Sea.  The Arctic nations are the US, Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, and Russia.  There is an Arctic nations council working on resolutions of disputes and includes representatives of the Inuit and related Arctic peoples in its considerations.

        Alun Anderson, After the Ice: Life, Death, and Geopolitics in the New Arctic is a good summary of what has been going on.

        Because the Arctic countries directly border the ocean, unlike Antarctica, the diplomatic situation is more like that of the Mediterranean Sea.

        The Antarctic Treaty worked because most of the claimants were in the Northern Hemisphere.  And those in the Southern Hemisphere were well away from Antarctica.  And it was a continent instead of an ocean, which involved a whole different set of precedents in international law.

        At the moment, the diplomacy is such that the risk of war is much less than it was when nations first woke up to the implications of the melting of the Arctic.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 11:20:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately Canada has a right wing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greendem

      Prime Minister right now. He supports the Alberta Tar Sands. He would sign any treaty for oil exploration.

      He supports the gas pipeline from Alaska to the Tar Sands.

      We call him a mini-Bush.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Tue May 25, 2010 at 10:36:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great line from the Bob Marshall piece (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, Senor Unoball, princesspat

    I keep hoping I will hear the shameless oil industry boosters in our congressional delegation say something like "Until this industry proves it can react quickly and effectively to cap blowouts in deep water drilling, we shouldn't proceed."

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 10:08:42 AM PDT

  •  Senator Boxer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, princesspat

    Senator Barbara Boxer held a house-party teleconference-call fund-raiser on Sunday, and I was able to ask her a question.

    Specifically, I asked if there is anything that the Senate could do to halt or delay Shell's proposed Arctic explorations planned for this summer.

    Boxer is chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, so she would be vital in any Senate action regarding Arctic drilling.

    In answer to my question, Boxer said that she is strongly against expanded offshore drilling, especially in light of the Gulf gusher.

    She said that she would be proposing legislation to halt all planned offshore drilling, at least until the Senate was satisfied that all possible safety and environmental requirements are met.

    She admitted that she did not know if she would have the votes to accomplish this.

    So: What are we waiting for? Get on the phone to your senators. To offer support to Boxer, call her at (202) 224-3553

    I suffer from Signature Deficit Disorder

    by Senor Unoball on Tue May 25, 2010 at 10:24:07 AM PDT

  •  Other Groups Working On This Issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, princesspat

    Are the Alaska Wilderness League, Audubon Alaska, and the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.

    I believe all of these groups also have online action forms you can sign.

    I suffer from Signature Deficit Disorder

    by Senor Unoball on Tue May 25, 2010 at 10:33:17 AM PDT

    •  Supporting the Alaska-based groups (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball, princesspat

      is really vital.

      Every donation from the lower-48 goes a long way up there.

      Thanks for the list.

      "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

      by greendem on Tue May 25, 2010 at 10:34:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Long-time supporter of all groups (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greendem, greengemini, princesspat

        They have a big state to monitor; they have some really ignorant politicians to monitor.

        I did some grass-roots lobbying on behalf of ANWR protection a year or so ago, sponsored by the Wilderness League and Audubon.

        I was very impressed by their staff and by their commitment.

        This former Alaskan has stood on clean, white, Bering Sea ice. I'd like to make sure the ice stays that color.

        I suffer from Signature Deficit Disorder

        by Senor Unoball on Tue May 25, 2010 at 10:43:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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