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Considering all the blame for the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico being thrown at everyone from BP to the President, I would just like to say, this oil spill is my fault too.

The oil spill is my fault.

I am complicit in this country’s reliance on oil and the quest to obtain it at all cost.

I could have written letters of complaint to my representatives and the media when Ronald Reagan rolled back the higher CAFE (mileage) goals that Jimmy Carter had set during his Presidency. (We could have had cars that average 50 mpg by now, as the Europeans do).

I could have demanded and bought a more fuel efficient car – surely even if I needed an SUV the car companies would have fast-tracked better technology to make them more fuel efficient, especially if the public voted with their wallets and choice of car.

Instead of complaining about gas prices (knowing prices in the US are among the lowest in the world) I should have been complaining about CAFE standards.

If there was to be a raising of the gas tax, I should have insisted it went to public transportation infrastructure, fast trains and the like.

I shouldn’t have voted for politicians that I knew were taking money from oil companies – I mean, did I think that their votes wouldn’t be influenced by the millions of dollars flowing into their campaign coffers from Exxon and the rest?

I should have voted such corrupt politicians doing the bidding of their corporate sponsors out of office.

I should have been advocating for campaign finance reform and publicly funded election campaigns, so my representatives weren’t so concerned with answering to their corporate donors instead of answering to us, as well as spending all of their time raising money instead of working on the work of the people and the protection of our precious assets.

I should have protested in the street and demanded the records be released when Vice President Cheney held his secretive energy policy meetings with all of the big wigs in the oil industry with not one environmentalist involved.

I should have paid closer attention to the dismantling of regulations and the stacking of the agencies overseeing those regulations with industry insiders, over many years, as happened with the MMS and throughout our government.

I should have been more suspicious of the leanings of an administration that was so stacked with ex-oil people that even the Secretary of State worked for Chevron and had an oil tanker named after her.

I should have protested louder when my country went to war with Iraq, knowing full well that that country had nothing to do with 9/11 and we were probably going there, with the cost being borne by us all, and most excruciatingly by our young soldiers and their families, for oil.

I should have been more suspicious when our troops were directed to protect the Iraqi oil wells and the Ministry of Oil, rather than the munition sites, or even the museums and other institutions housing the priceless treasures of the region where civilization began.

I should have realized that the response to the attacks of 9/11 needn’t have been war, rather it would have been more harmful to our attackers to reduce the source of income that is funding those repressive regimes and their dictators whose existence act as incubators for the terrorists – our reliance on their oil.

I should have turned off CNN and stopped buying the NY Times, etc. when those media outlets, through either knowingly complicit or, at best, lazy journalism, started pushing the corporate line, and aiding the dissemination of propaganda instead of reporting facts.

I should have written letters to the editor.

I should have protested on the street.

I should have screamed at the top of my lungs when the Supreme Court ruled that Exxon could ultimately get away with the Exxon Valdiz spill and the environmental damage it brought upon the pristine Alaskan landscape with a mere financial slap on the wrist, while the concern for fishermen and others whose lives revolved around and relied upon the health of that environment faded away.

I should have complained louder about the subsidies the oil companies were getting to make their billion dollar profits.

I should have loudly supported a windfall profits tax that would have to go to green energy development.

I shouldn’t have laughed at those Europeans with their "silly" small cars (except a few of the really silly ones).

I should have called the Mayor of Malibu when I lay and walked on that beautiful beach and found tar balls sticking to the soles of my feet and on my beach towel, the product of oil drilling off the coast of California. That’s not cool.

I should have attended Republican campaign events and thrown some of those tar balls when someone chanted, "Drill Baby, Drill"

I could have called, wrote letters/emails/faxes to my Representatives, Senators, President, etc., saying that this wasn’t a future I wanted for my children.

It’s my fault.

Originally posted to adsdan on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:07 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  The trick is to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      take responsibility without badifying yourself. It's true that it's your fault (100% my fault as well), but it's also true that your goodness is incorruptible (my point of view (applies to everyone)).

      I didn't necessarily get the sense that you were making yourself bad, but I wanted to add my 2cents anyway. Also (in my head) I changed all your "shoulds" to "coulds."

      I think our impact is dependent on the mindfulness that we bring to our behaviors.

      Oh and in response to your third to last point, I would like to offer this old axiom from the oil industry:

      "Make tarballs, don't throw them."


    •  So ... what about ... (0+ / 0-)

      the next step of "I can ..." and "I will ..."

      If you are to share the blame, why not share the solution going forward?

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:15:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No it's not your fault (5+ / 0-)

    we have a representative system of government and those representatives have failed you because they are in the pocket of industry.

  •  I'm still mad at you for not getting real HCR. (0+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me you did this, too?

    This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:21:15 AM PDT

    •  We didn't get real HCR for the same reason (0+ / 0-)

      the poster mentioned we're not reforming energy policy: Our Congressmen, president, and administration officials are in the pockets of the corporations.

      Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

      by virtual0 on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:26:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We are all complicit.  Unfortunately, the problem is not just this one "spill".  There have been and there will continue to be Coal Slurry Dam breaks in the US.  Right now there is a natural gas well leak in Clearfield County, PA that is leaking natural gas as well as the fracking water that is used to extract the gas.  Yes, we need publicly funded elections, as well as the other things.

    join me at

    by Tony Barr PA09 on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:22:21 AM PDT

  •  You've included (0+ / 0-)

    the average American, Republicans, and the media in your blame. Why not include the entire universe? Spreading the blame out so that it's entirely meaningless  will definitely ensure that Obama and the Democratic Party are off the hook.

    Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

    by virtual0 on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:24:40 AM PDT

  •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we can blame the oil companies, they are greedy, they are like drug peddlers, they don't care about anything but the cash and they will lie, cheat, steal and murder to continue in their trade.    But they couldn't sell and do all that with the cash we give them, if we didn't give them the cash.

    Our representatives may be bought, but they couldn't be bought if we didn't give the oil companies the cash and the power it brings to buy them, and if we were diligent in voting out representatives who vote against the common interest.

    Like any 12 step program, we have to acknowledge we are part of the problem, we have to own our share of the responsibility for our actions, we have to change ourselves.

    ASiegal's five percent solution could work.  We could demand more and make it clear that campaign contributions, boots on the ground and votes depend on representatives voting our interests not the corporate interest.

    We have to conserve, support people for office who support us once in office, and be willing to be patient as well.  It can't all change overnight.  But it can change and it starts with us.

  •  adsdan, your stream of consciousness verse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    taps our feelings in a facts and figures can't.

    Thank you. I would like to add an eKos tag to your work.

    "Never, desist till we ... extinguish this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, will scarce believe that it suffered a disgrace and dishonor to this country.

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:32:41 AM PDT

  •  Glad we cleared that up. We'll send you a bill. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Oil's well that ends .. well .. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ablington, EthrDemon, freesia, DawnN

    Oh, well.

    Meanwhile, this spectacle as disturbing as it is, is absolutely nothing compared to the massive human, animal and nature toll that air pollution from burning fossil fuels has wreaked upon our environment for hundreds of years.

    18,000 people will die prematurely this year in CA alone, from the effects of particulates caused by the burning of fossil based fuels.

    Symbolically, if it takes a disaster like this oilpocalypse in the Gulf to wake us up, then so be it. But the destruction has been going on all our lives.

    Saul Alinsky:
    Power is not in what the establishment has, but in what you think it has.

    by shpilk on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:50:35 AM PDT

    •  You're dead right about that ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, freesia, DawnN

      .. I'm trying to raise the awareness of the impact of port pollution (particularly the dangerous health effects of the burning of extra dirt diesel by ships - container and cruise) in our neck or the woods. Take a look if you'd like. On this issue, Californians are way ahead of the knuckle draggers here on the East Coast.

      •  It's such a damn shame that the scientists who (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, freesia, DawnN

        have been telling us in no uncertain terms for many decades are ignored, until disaster strikes.

        Our continued use of fossil fuels is [quite rapidly in evolutionary terms] destroying this planet's ability to support higher life forms. 200 years is a wink of an eye to higher forms of life on Darwin's scale.

        We've been killing off whole species, wholesale.

        It's unsustainable, and it's got to stop.

        Saul Alinsky:
        Power is not in what the establishment has, but in what you think it has.

        by shpilk on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:05:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I should have voted for... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, jfromga

    ...more people who want to improve our education system so as to weed out right wing hypocrites.

  •  It's everyone's fault and no one's fault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's the sticky part of a democratic society: nobody's fully in charge, so nobody has bottom line responsibility.

    No one person decided we were going to have a petroleum based society. No one person can decide we're not going to anymore.

  •  And you'd have been a one-man movement. (0+ / 0-)

    What good would it have done.  One feeble voice in the wilderness would not have mattered.  Yours, mine, the people commenting here.  We couldn't even stop the war in Iraq, and we were millions strong.  I have come to the conclusion that demonstrations simply don't get the desired result.  It didn't work for the anti-war people, it won't work for the Tea Party, and it certainly won't work to get people to do something they don't want to do.  You get tuned out.  It's not what you want to hear, but it's the truth.

    So you do what you can.  You buy small cars.  You limit their use.  You move to places with better public transport.  You tweak the thermostat in your house for economy.  You plant trees.  You do your part, but unless everybody else does theirs, you're just one guy with a shovel when there's a canal to dig, a forest to reclaim, or a subway to build.  You can't do it by yourself.

    So you try to influence those around you.  Your neighbors.  Your family.  Your co-workers.  When they ask you why you drive a tiny little death-trap of a car when you could clearly afford something bigger, shinier, and by their estimation, better, you tell them why.  Maybe they'll laugh.  Maybe they'll roll their eyes.  Or maybe they'll listen.  You never know.

    FWIW, when gas was $4.50/gal., I would take my little bitty hatchback (a Scion xA) to Lowe's and pack it full.  People would do a double-take as they saw how much I was getting in the back of my little car.  They'd ask me what kind of mileage I was getting, or where they can get one.  That's what works - leading by example.  Deeds, not words.

    This space intentionally left blank.

    by Steaming Pile on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:02:05 PM PDT

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