Beware: A planet drunk on oil, now ruining itself…

Who spilled our oil?

A monstrous oil spill is gushing as much as 2,500,000 gallons of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico.

This disaster is expected to be catastrophic for the land and people in the gulf. The oil has already reached land, contaminating wildlife sanctuaries. Authorities are so concerned about the impacts of more oil reaching land that they are prefer to set the gulf on fire, burning as much of the oil as possible.

Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is raking in windfall profits. BP, which operated the sunken rig, more than doubled its first quarter profits in 2010 to $5.65 billion.

I’ve just signed an urgent petition at Avaaz.org urging U.S. law-makers to overturn plans to expand offshore drilling. As the latest massive oil spill shows, offshore drilling isn’t safe or clean. The world needs clean energy investment to tackle climate, not expansion of dangerous and dirty energy sources.

Addressed to President Obama and members of Congress, it reads, simply: “We urge you to permanently call off plans to open up more of the US coastline to dangerous offshore drilling. Instead, invest in a clean and safe energy future.”

As Avvaz.org notes, “Before the spill, U.S. President Obama and Congressional leaders were planning to ramp up offshore drilling. Now, with the spill, the politics have shifted — and an opportunity has opened for the world’s biggest historical climate polluter to shift away from oil and towards climate-safe energy sources. At a moment like this, when leaders are making up their minds, the world’s voices can help tip the balance.”

Let’s hope it works – but the world is so addicted to its oil, and the petro dollars are so powerful – don’t hold your breath on this…

Read my blog post from March 2009: Mixing oil and water: Media’s challenges in covering human security

BBC Analysis, 6 May 2010: Gulf oil spill washes up on political shores

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