5 things you can do related to the Gulf spillMany of us feel like we're watching a slow-motion, multi-week disaster unfold with no way to personally make a difference.
Here are five things YOU can do.
1) Join more than 11,000 others and make your voice heard.
Tell President Obama to restore the FULL moratorium that was put in place under Bush I (and offered protection to our coasts for decades) and allowed to expire under Bush II. Obama, like Bush II, let this expired moratorium stay. It needs to be put back in place.
President Obama is, as of last week, putting in place what I'd call a "mini-moratorium." It partially addresses what we're seeking but due to it's limited scope, only offers partial protection. Learn more about this subject and send President Obama a note here.
2) Volunteer in Florida and Gulf.
If you live in the Gulf or Florida regions you can document what you see and find on our Spill Tracker here. We also have a oil spill volunteer toolkit here (pdf).
If you're in this area and have never connected with a local chapter, now is a great time to do it. The list of the local dozen chapters in the Gulf and in Florida is here.
3) Join thousands across America on June 26th as we come together to make our voice heard.
On June 26 we are coordinating a nationwide event. It's called Hand Across the Sand. It will take place in most-to-all coastal states in the United States. More information on Hands Across the Sand here.
4. Stay up to speed on spill details.
Our blog, Not The Answer, has been live for two years. We started it and our Not The Answer campaign when the moratorium was allowed to expire in 2008. We've helped document numerous spills that have occurred during that time, most noteworthy was the spill last fall in the Timor Sea which had very similar characteristics to the current Gulf spill. This spill lasted ten weeks before it was stopped.
Related, a few relevant Twitter feeds to add to your mix are @surfrider @envirosurf @bpglobalpr @skytruth @jimmoriarty
5. Support alternatives.
The United States has 3% of the world's oil and uses 20% of the world's oil. We can not drill our way to national security, it's mathematically impossible.
This doesn't suggest we need alternatives, it says with clarity that we need alternatives.
Part of this statement points to the simple need for us to use less fuel. If you drive a vehicle getting low MPG, think about that choice and what it means in the grander scheme. If you can use Skype or video conferencing instead of flying, understand these choices save massive amounts of fuel.
If you hear about local, state and national governments looking to invest in alternative energy solutions... pay attention. I can't suggest that every alternative energy proposal will be good because every one will have it's own set of unique costs and impact. Becoming part of that dialog will help you understand the various costs and the proposed return on that investment.
The best way to understand what is happening in the Gulf, the best way to be part of the solution to the disaster in the Gulf... is to engage.