An Outrageously Injurious Legacy?
The real cost of gas:
Back when Captain Joseph Hazelwood ran aground in Prince William Sound on Bligh Reef, his New York State Driver’s license was revoked for his third DUI.
Lo and behold, he was apparently drunk on that fateful evening when his Exxon Valdez slammed into that reef named after another sea captain who had an ill -fated voyage on the Bounty. Some 22 years later, we’re still dealing with the horrific aftermath of this spill and Exxon has despicably avoided financial responsibility!
Now, we have Tony Hayward of BP in the spotlight—we might suggest he was drunk on greed as the CEO of the fourth largest corporation on our precious planet. But our troubles are not entirely due to pilots drunk on alcohol or CEOs and shareholders drunk on profits—because, of course, all of us have long been drunk on consumption. It’s a classic case of “both-and”.
Russell McDougal, good friend & neighbor, inspired artist and acronym master, i.e. ART (Arranging Reality Tastefully), has motivated me to come up with a few acronyms of my own for OIL — I’ll warn you, I’m as angry as anyone about the haunting reality of the spill in the gulf:
Obviously Insidious Liquid
Outrageously Injurious Legacy
Outdated Indulgent Lifestyles
When I’m willing to acknowledge all the benefits and freedom that oil has afforded our society, I’ll reluctantly offer one more acronym for Oil here:
Outstanding Ingenious Libation
There, I said it, it has provided for most of our modern wonders. However, our addiction to oil ( you fill in the acronym ) has run it’s course. It’s time to liberate ourselves!
It is a commonly held belief that people will only change their behavior as a result of personal pain and suffering. Of course, most humans would rather avoid facing this mess in the gulf and deny that each and everyone of us is responsible. Our insatiable appetite for consumption drives risky behavior on the part of all companies to keep satisfying our cravings. We have become a species that is very clever at avoiding personal responsibility. It is easy to blame “other”.
I believe it is important for humans to feel the pain and suffering the oil drenched birds in the gulf are experiencing. Perhaps that pain will inspire us to change our behavior. Are these tragic images enough to open our hearts and inform us that we all created this horrific disaster together? How much more horrendous does this tragedy have to get, for us to take immediate action? To simplify our lives and reduce our consumption is a great place to begin. To convert our energy supply to clean, renewable sources is another!
While we do our own searching and recognize both our complacency and our complicity, we must demand that our corporations and our governments put the health and well being of our planet and our communities at the top of the “economic-pyramid”. We must re-visit our belief that economic growth is the answer to all of our problems. In fact, we need to completely redesign this economic model that places money at the top of the pyramid while all other human endeavors are subsumed beneath the weight of “economic growth”.
We must begin in earnest to design and implement an organic, natural system of ecological accounting. While we demand this transformation of the system currently run by public and private powerbrokers, we must also demand radical change in our own behavior and buying habits. By doing so, we will replace the pursuit of money and ever increasing quarterly profits as our primary motivation for living.
Once we face the damage caused by our individual choices, we can make better choices. We can experience contentment in simple pleasures, we can appreciate the beauty of nature in its natural state, we can learn to relax and trust that economic growth is not the solution to our problems. We can experience joy in simply being here now! Our new focus and our renewed purpose must be simplicity and happiness! It is time to place a high value upon human kindness, cooperation, love and a positive vision of our shared future with all life on Earth. We can dedicate ourselves to a shared mission “to bring forth an ecologically sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet.”
When recently asked how can we respond to a tragedy of the magnitude of the Gulf disaster, His Holiness The Dalai Lama offered this, in his endearing way of speaking, he shared advice he received as a child:
“If a way to overcome a tragedy, then no need to worry – If there is no way to overcome a tragedy, still no reason to worry”. He continued: “There are many positive signs of caring and compassion growing in the world. Develop positive action and realistic methods — positive vision & sincere motivation — personal conduct must be open, honest, truthful and transparent. This is necessary to reduce problems and human suffering”
Let’s make sense together!
After graduating from Harvard University with an interdisciplinary degree combining, child development, innovative education and urban social policy, Bud devoted his energy to hosting professional conferences and seminars in the mountains of Colorado as National Sales Director for Snowmass Resort. He was marketing and development Director for John Denver’s Windstar Foundation. He has designed and founded educational programs for Rotary International’s Preserve Planet Earth Campaign and was Founding Executive Director for an inner city, after school service learning program. He is an awareness instructor and wilderness guide for Sacred Passage and the Way of Nature. He recently served as Vice President of New Business Development for Oblique Design – a Boulder based branding and full service advertising and marketing firm. Consistent themes of honoring nature, advancing education and promoting healthy living have guided Bud’s life and career path. For more than 30 years, Bud has devoted his passion and energy to raising awareness that we are all living in an interdependent, interconnected world where there is more than enough for all of humanity to live in peace and harmony.