The Gulf Oil Spill – It’s on you, America!

My Smart Car uses less than $300 a year and can hold a week's worth of groceries and an admittantly apprehensive golden retriever!

Written on June 16, 2010, on the morning after Obama’s historic Oval Office address to the Nation

Get ready, ’cause I’m getting on my high horse!

Those of you who know me realize that I’m a radical Obamist. I think the sun shines out of his ass.  Really.  I do.  And I think he’s handled this old Spill in the Gulf thing as well as anyone could be expected to have.  I mean, just how do you solve a problem like Maria?  This thing is huge.  What?  He’s supposed to do nip-ups and make it disappear?  He’s supposed to get pissed off and his divine wrath will somehow plug the hole?  News flash: governments can only do so many things at once.  Sure, the Minerals Management Service was a party on the rocks heading for the rocks, but we had two wars on the go, 47 million Americans without health care, and a global financial meltdown.  Our President was, I think you’ll agree, a little busy.  Reform, particularly reform of entrenched bureaucracies, takes time, especially when that entrenched bureaucracy is having as much fun as MMS seemed to.  Rome wasn’t built in a day; nor was Sodom destroyed in one.  No, wait. It was.  Never mind.

In any case, my point is this.  The responsibility for the oil spill ultimately lies on us – and by ‘us’, I include Canadians, because 1) I am an Americanadian and 2) Canadians are even bigger energy hawgs than Americans. According to the World Bank (last updated June 15, 2010), in 2007, Canadians consumed 8,169 kilograms of energy, per capita, while Americans consumed 7,666.  Compare that to other industrialized countries:

  • Australia – 5,992
  • The Netherlands – 4,909
  • Russia – 4,909
  • France – 4,258
  • Japan – 4,057
  • Germany – 4,027
  • United Kingdom – 3,464
  • Italy – 3,001
  • China – 1,484

What’s wrong with us?  I’ll tell you what’s wrong: we’re a stiff-necked people.  Never mind the Jews (Israelis, incidentally, use only 2,875 kilograms of energy a year).  It’s us North Americans who have refused for decades to do one damn thing about our addiction to oil.  What made Jimmy Carter, the first President I ever voted for, a one-term President?  A little thing called the Iran hostage crisis.  Oh, and the fact that he had the temerity to tell us that we had a problem with oil and that, if we didn’t do something about it, that problem would grow and grow and grow . . .  just like the oil spill filling up the Gulf of Mexico right now.  For advising us to turn the heat down and wear a cardigan, we banished him to that penumbral shadowland haunted by ex-Presidents, where he has labored ever since in the service of world peace, and put in his place – ta! da! — Ronald Reagan – a nice man, but a terrible President (don’t go all flinty-eyed on me; I said he was nice), and so far down the oil companies’ pockets that he was sucking lint with every breath.

Come on, people!

Stop criticizing the President for not being mad enough or empathetic enough or for wearing the wrong kind of pants. . . .  (What is it with Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson anyway? (  What does she want him to wear?  Hip waders?  Overalls?  Hot pants?  Oh, excuse me.  He’s supposed to dress like Thad Allen?  He’s supposed to pretend to be in the Coast Guard? The way Bush pretended to be a fly boy?  Give me a break!

Instead look in the mirror and see the person who has not written his Congressman asking that a carbon tax be put in place; who has objected to wind turbines in her neighborhood because they aren’t pretty; who just had to buy that Hummer, but somehow didn’t have to buy that Prius (thus potentially martyring themselves for the cause); who invests their money on Wall Street in the hopes of making more money, but not in green investments in the hopes that our children might have an actual planet at the end of this wild ride.   Criticize that person.  Then do the right thing. Get off your duff and help us out a little here. We could sure use it.

The common wisdom is that we get the politicians we deserve.  Not true in Obama’s case.  We don’t deserve him, but we’ve got him.  So let’s just be grateful he’s not a warmongering idiot like Bush and get on with it.

223 thoughts on “The Gulf Oil Spill – It’s on you, America!

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  9. the oil spill in mexico really affected the eco system around that area, it would take years to clean those mess “

  10. Bearie23 says:

    I also know most people will not stop driving and being a pedestrian like me, but I actually feel good walking. I get exercise, and I do not have to pay for an expensive gym bill. I get really tired of people balking at me about how can I get anywhere without driving because I have worked my entire life, and I arrange to live close to work so I do not have to drive. Even when I lived a few miles away I took the bus, so it is possible to get around without a car. You just have to plan out things a bit more this way, but you save a lot of money in the long run, and help the environment as well!

  11. i love new cars specially those prototype ones that have some out of this world feature*`.

  12. Tommi Crane says:

    One point I wish to make here. This stupid comment I keep seeing everywhere about our addiction for oil.
    Do some damned RESEARCH before you open your mouth or pick up a pen, or type one letter in your blog.
    Nearly everything we USE is made with an oil product.And before you blast people for buying trucks (how else to haul trees, luggage, groceries for more than an infant, bags of mulch, any diy products??

    And blasting people who have joint problems and can’t get INTO a teensy car that can’t cough it’s way down the interstate is thoughtless and idiotic, or who are SCARED of having to drive on an interstate in a car that, should it be in a wreck, will likely be smashed to bits along with everyone else inside.
    Or how about having to take a 6-12 hr trip to see your children and grandchildren and having NOWHERE to put any luggage or gifts, and arriving in a wee car that has you so tense and upset from the traffic that you can’t even enjoy those kids and grandkids when you get there.

    Ok, another point. If that oil spill (that to my mind is as much Obama’s fault as BPs in that he refused them a place to drill except in deep water) was so bad, how is it the seafood there is already ok for eating and the restaurants have plenty? I just saw that report on the evening news Friday night.

    If you can’t use common sense when you write, and tell the TRUTH, just go knit or something.

    • ampedrage says:

      Hey Tommy dude you are really showing your ignorance and stupidity. We have a serious problem with Oil and if you do not what to face that, thats fine. But do not try to stand in the way of us who simply had enough. And you should follow your own advice and do some research. All those 25,000 products currently made from oil, can all be replaced with one natural renewable source. Hemp. Its not a dirty word. It was not so far in our past, one of the main cash crops in the us. It was used in everything from fuel, cloths paper and even plastics. As far back as 1940. The only reason hemp is illegal and we use oil, is simple greed. If you still can’t see that after everything thats happened in the last 50 years or so, then you are lost and there is no bringing you around, so just kindly step out of the way, and keep your peace.

    • Bearie23 says:

      I have not been back here for awhile, but I just wanted to point out there are other ways to travel than driving. I am a life long pedestrian and I fly or take public transit. Also, you could opt for buying smaller presents for your family, like gift cards as opposed to lugging around lots of heavy gifts. Honestly most kids like to pick out their own things anyway, and a gift card would be ideal for those purposes. Also, this entire rant about how oil is used for everything is just that: a rant invoked by the oil industry that is threatened by the use of alternative energies, and alternative ways of being. I know once when I bought a soda at a gas stationed I was asked to sign a petition to help get Prop 23 on the ballot here in California, and I told them I refused to sign. He said “Oh you believe in climate change” like I was one of those deluded liberals he so hated, so I told him exactly what he did not want to say “Yes I am one of those deluded liberals that believe in climate change.” I actually refill the soda bottle and reuse it for water later, so yes I believe in reusing things, and not making a huge footprint. We can explore alternative energy sources, drive less, take public transit, all of this helps!

  13. IDESS says:

    IDESS is an independent organisation providing training services to the maritime and offshore industries.

  14. Tom says:

    I would love to trade my pickup truck (a daily work truck) for a hybrid, but it would have to be a full size hybrid pickup so that I can continue to do my job in the construction/rennovation field. I don’t have enough money to do that right now due to the lack of work caused by anemic home sales. If only our leadership would fix the economy, and jobs, and stop spending on two wars, and quit spending my kids futures on stimulus that hasn’t gotten me any work, I’d get right on buying that hybrid work truck. Do any of the Obamists know when that might be?

  15. T. Christopher Fairchild III says:

    never seen so many liberal retards… wow

    • ampedrage says:

      And how are conservatives any better? The true retards in this are the ones that know we’re slowly killing ourselves, but are too lazy to change. But even these retards can be saved through a bit of common sense. But the other group of retards the ones that believe nothing we do will have a lasting affect, these retards are beyond help. So T. Christopher Fairchild III what retarded group do you belong to

  16. Transport marfa » Adauga Transport international…

    Continuing with Things you Don’ t Need To Know About London , and looking for a new bus system for its capital Havana, Che Guevara– at the time Cuba’ s Transport Minister– placed an order for 450 London buses. The height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, th…

  17. JB says:

    Perhaps we should all just move into mud huts and use fire for heat.. no wait that would take trees. Ok just don’t worry about heat. We can all just put on our fur coats.. no wait can’t use fur poor animals would be hurt. Umm well maybe just maybe we wake up from dreamland and work on real solutions and not buy into the radicals on either side or the ideology scale. Perhaps some common sense compromises and not bet on anyone type of energy source but use them all as effeciently as possible. Bush didn’t do it and Obama can’t solve it.

    • sittingpugs says:

      I like the way you began the comment. Reminds me of parents who discourage or flat-out forbid their kids to learn self-reliance and gain experience in the cold, harsh world of “real life”, and instead, implement an entourage-venture-out-only-in-the-day-time-to-avoid-the-dangers way of living…which is no way of living. One could go out only during the day and in large groups, but inconvenience and injury could still befall one. One could stay indoors all the time, but danger could worm its way into one’s house. One could pack up the house and move inside a cave, where humans may no longer be an immediate threat but other forms of Nature still exist.

      Umm well maybe just maybe we wake up from dreamland and work on real solutions and not buy into the radicals on either side or the ideology scale. Perhaps some common sense compromises and not bet on anyone type of energy source but use them all as efficiently as possible

      Question is, in whose dreamland are we, collectively as a society/nation/culture, currently immersed (by default or by legislative force)? Perhaps it’s too big of a question, too meta-scale.

  18. pink magic says:

    Wind turbines are a joke. They’re infrastructure requirements to energy generation ratio is laughably high, and their energy efficiency is sad.

    The only way to feasibly generate the amount of power the world consumes is furthering nuclear research.

  19. redkruzer says:

    Nigeria and
    The Jamaican article I refer to in the comment directly above and therein cite to the URL
    is titled as above:
    Therein lies the significant connection to the Oil pirate barons causing the gulf spill i.e. oil,
    and Nigeria’s apparent similar ongoing catastraphe :
    Nigeria’s agony dwarfs Gulf oil spill – US and Europe ignore it…
    | :

    The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastro…
    More oil is spilled from the Niger delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico.”

  20. redkruzer says:

    A Most Significant Book: “Confessions of An Ecomic Hitman” (see Amazon) makes the Jamaican saga as described below ring too true. Combined with it is the below June 24 2010 NPR story, and J Feldman’s decision.
    I am getting sick to the core of my stomach:
    Authorities in Jamaica say reputed drug lord Christopher Coke is behind bars. Attempts by the United States to extradite Coke triggered violence in Kingston in May that claimed the lives of 76 people.

    And the Economic Hitman look alike: a well written article: :
    As the Dudus saga plays itself out in Kingston, two of the questions that remain unanswered are ‘why is the United States pushing so hard?’ and ‘why now?’. The world is full of dons and drug lords, not to mention the fact that the American plate is full with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a billion Muslims who are being encouraged to attack anywhere at anytime. You would think that they had more immediate things to concentrate on.

    Yet they continued to poke and push, treating every Jamaican that went through U.S. customs like a criminal, openly questioned the personal honesty of the the Prime Minister Bruce Golding and even suggested that the Jamaican Labor Party were in violation of their mandate to govern Jamaica. In fact, the Americans haven’t even got an Ambassador to Jamaica anymore. Obama has left the position open, a serious diplomatic slap in the face. All of this tension is for the Don of Tivoli Gardens? Something isn’t right. Dudus just isn’t that big of a problem.

    The idea that outside interests have manipulated the situation for a long time begins to form when you question the truth of what we are being told….”:
    And NPR reported on this:

    Fugitive Drug Lord Arrested In Jamaica

    Jason Beaubien and Renee Montagne

    June 23, 2010

    Authorities in Jamaica say reputed drug lord Christopher Coke is behind bars. Attempts by the United States to extradite Coke triggered violence in Kingston in May that claimed the lives of 76 people.

    Copyright © 2010 National Public Radio®. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


    After last month’s deadly days-long assault on a neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica aimed at capturing a reputed drug lord, it all ended yesterday a whole lot less dramatically. Gang leader Christopher Coke was picked up at a police roadblock. The attempt to arrest Coke for extradition to the U.S. left more than 70 people dead. NPR’s Jason Beaubien was in Jamaica during those clashes, and he’s here to tell us about this latest turn of events. Good morning, Jason.

    JASON BEAUBIEN: Good morning, Renee.

    MONTAGNE: I said a roadblock. Exactly what happened? How was he picked up?

    BEAUBIEN: Well, it appears that Christopher Coke was driving into Kingston, Jamaica, apparently to turn himself in and was stopped at a roadblock and arrested. He was with a minister who had been involved in several of his family members also turning themselves in. And it appears that that’s what his intention was, that he was trying to turn himself in.

    MONTAGNE: Now Christopher Coke was an infamous gang leader in Kingston. How significant is this arrest?

    BEAUBIEN: This is really huge. The confrontation that happened in Kingston when an extradition warrant was issued for him was like urban warfare in the part of Kingston that he controlled. And when they said they were going to come in and get him, the people in the neighborhood barricaded the streets. They set up sniper positions, and more than 70 people died in this four-day-long confrontation as authorities attempted to come in and arrest him.

    MONTAGNE: And so he’s something of a local hero, because, what, all the people who died weren’t all his, you know, lieutenants, or his fellow gang members.

    BEAUBIEN: He was very much a local hero. I was struck by – right after this confrontation, we were actually – some of the journalists were allowed into that area where this intense firefight had occurred for days and people were locked inside their homes as soldiers and police had stormed through the area. And even just mothers who had been pulled out by the soldiers still continued to say that they supported Christopher Coke, that this was a man who did more for their neighborhood than the government had ever done for them.

    MONTAGNE: One other thing this attempt to arrest him also did was it showed how – you know, the relationship between Jamaican politicians and organized crime.

    BEAUBIEN: It really did highlight this longstanding tradition that has built up in Jamaica, where politicians basically gave control of particular neighborhoods to particular dons, as they called them. And the dons would deliver votes – entire neighborhoods would vote entirely for one political party. And in exchange, the politicians allowed the dons to do whatever they want, basically, in those neighborhoods. And in terms of Mr. Coke, they’re saying that he was running drugs out of there. He was running guns out of there. People say that he was running extortion racquets. And they’re saying that this isn’t the only neighborhood where that has been going on.

    MONTAGNE: Well, given what you’ve just described, what, then, was driving this? I mean, what got the Jamaican officials to decide to go in after him?

    BEAUBIEN: The Jamaican officials were basically dragged in kicking and screaming to extradite him. And the prime minister himself came out and said that he had authorized the Jamaican government to pay $50,000 to a Washington, D.C. lobbyist to fight Mr. Coke’s extradition. So this was being driven by a U.S. request for him to be extradited to face drug smuggling charges in New York. And it’s not clear that this is going to lead to an overall cleanup of this relationship which has developed not just with Mr. Coke, but with other people in these neighborhoods and Jamaican politicians.

    MONTAGNE: Jason, thanks very much.

    BEAUBIEN: You’re welcome.

    MONTAGNE: NPR’s Jason Beaubien.

    Copyright © 2010 National Public Radio®. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to National Public Radio. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR’s prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

    NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

  21. […] US, Europe…, pro-Obama Oval Office speech June 16 (would’ve missed it), pro-Carbon tax == the-gulf-oil-spill … s-on-you-america == Toronto star’s […]

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  24. Chris Graham says:

    Wow, you deleted all three of my comments! What, don’t want to be proven wrong in front of your friends?

    You responded to one, and only one, and that ONE that you responded to, you didn’t even do it thoroughly (or intelligently).

    Here’s what you said: “Bush took us into Iraq for no good reason. That’s warmongering. Obama is trying to get us out. I’m afraid jumping into a tar pit is easier than getting out of one.”

    Obama is trying to get us out? What happened to that deadline that he was going to have us out by? That was, what, a year ago? Why did he send MORE troops to Iraq?

    You ignored my point about Afghanistan, too. Obama is advancing the war in Afghanistan, not pulling back. Also, Bush only occupied 60 countries (it was a little less, actually, but I don’t have the exact number). Obama, on the other hand, is now occupying 75 countries. Can you explain that? Or are you going to erase this comment again so that you can keep pretending the sun shines out Obama’s behind?

    • Sorry, there, Chris. You had a number of comments, all separated from one another in different windows, which made it rather difficult to respond. As for Afghanistan, when Obama became President, he announced a review of the strategy in Afghanistan, if you remember. It was a very thorough review and took a while. He consulted with the generals and adopted the position they urged, which was to do a major push in the country, as they did with the Surge in Iraq, and then start to draw down in 2011. That plan is still underway. Now things are going very badly, so everybody’s getting nervous. Petraeus is urging everyone to not panic. I frankly wish we’d get the Hell out now, but the date for withdrawal was always 2011, not a year ago. Check your facts.

      The US has garrisoned the world. There have been bases everywhere since World War II. You might want to have a look at Tom Engelhardt on “The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s”. This isn’t Obama. This is the good old US military industrial complex.

  25. ampedrage says:

    Being sarcastic or do you really believe that rubbish.

  26. fdaray says:

    Oil spill, don’t worry! Its only a point in the globe that was spilled by oil considering the wide wide sea and ocean.Sooner, it will be flash by the angry wave and turn particles, then evaporate and see no more.

  27. on point says:

    Just happened here and am not quite sure what to think of all this. I have personally never seen the sun rise on any president’s bum. Putting your trust in a government official seems rather trite to me. I vote for whom I think would be best to represent my political views. However, in no way do I put my hopes and dreams into another person on this earth.

    The beauty of America is free will. The down turn of free will is that what we do has a ripple effect on the community in which we live. I recycle, but I also own a BMW and a 2001 Ford Taurus. My wife, two kids, and English Setter could not fit in a smart car.

    My opinion is that the oil spill is disastrous with far reaching ramifications. What we learn from this blunder and how we move forward is what is important. Bantering back and forth with inflammatory comments has never solved much in any relational conflict I have ever been involved in. I am not quite sure how it helps solve anything here.

  28. bilal says:

    so interesting.

  29. buxton777 says:

    Ya another American stuff up that the whole of the world is going to pay for.

    • Chris Graham says:

      You know, you have some nerve saying that. America is the #1 most charitable nation in the world. We FEED the world. We come to the aid and defense of countries when they’re in trouble. And you come here on an American website, using the AMERICAN Internet, to insult us. You ingrate.

      (The sad thing is, American liberals agree with you.)

      • I am a citizen of the United States. My family has lived in North Carolina for over two hundred years. My father patrolled the coast of Japan in a submarine during World War II in the US navy. I pay taxes and I vote. America is a great country, but it is not a perfect country, and I defend the right of any citizen to speak freely in an effort to improve it.

  30. ariefhidayat says:

    I agree with u melissa
    Very nice..

  31. It is really hard to keep on blaming people when it comes to a disaster like BP is currently having. I hope they will keep on looking for ways to solve the problem first and then investigate what is wrong and determine the cause of the incident.

    I would suggest if possible that they would build a huge structure and zip;cover the entire source where the oil is coming out.Once it is completely close then they will use a robot to fix it.

    No human can swim a place swarm with oil..I think one robot can.

  32. harlan says:

    that’s true…….

  33. Wes says:

    I agree that we are ultimately at fault, however, this is much more complicated than writing your congress man or woman. Big oil is the pillar of the Global Economy. Weening people off of it by means of litigation is unrealistic, and I’m afraid that until something else takes the place of oil in the economy, it’s going to take many more disasters of this caliber before we do something significant about our addiction.

    One big point of disagreement though, is the implementation of a carbon tax. We are taxed enough, quite frankly.

  34. ampedrage says:

    I don’t know about the smart car but you can look into converting a gas burner into electric. I’m converting a 1996 Ford Probe GT.

  35. Dan says:

    You might want to pick a different car for your high horse. Smallest doesn’t equal most economical. There are lots of cars that cost less AND get better mileage AND carry more.

    And $300/year? If that’s all you drive, why do you HAVE a car?

  36. Johnny says:

    Dear melissahardytrevenna,

    While I don’t disagree with anything that you have posted, you failed to mention the hundreds if not thousands of individuals who will lose their livelyhoods because of the oil spill. Oh….lets not forget that the ecology of a great deal of the Gulf Coast will be destroyed as a result.

  37. J. Nelson Leith says:

    Oil is traded on a global market; once it comes out of the ground and goes on that market it doesn’t make any difference how much energy the country it came from uses in general. It only matters how much specifically petroleum-derived energy the world as a whole uses. Too bad your high horse doesn’t travel further down Research Road than This-Factoid-Seems-To-Support-My-Political-Prejudices-ville.

    And, BP’s safety record (out at sea where the “environmentalists pushed them” as the whining supply-siders are crying, AND on land) is magnitudes worse than other oil companies with leases in the US, so it’s not even the fault of Big Capitalism OR the Big Socialism of America’s regulatory system. How much worse is BP? Over 700 OSHA violations when other oil companies were all under 10. []

    Both business and regulation could certainly use some reform, but neither of those are what this spill is about, because the other oil companies have not racked up anywhere near the violations that BP has, with the exact same profit motive and under the exact same regulations. Scientifically, this is lack of correlation utterly refutes the lame talking points on this spill from both the anti-business left and anti-regulation right. Which is fancy talk for: pundits on both sides are either lying or stupid.

    It’s not about America, it’s not about green regulations, and it’s not even about the oil business. The partisans are full of crap, as usual. And it’s not about the sub-contractors; even HALLIBURTON was trying to get BP to be more careful. This spill is about one company, BP, full stop, end of story.

    And, the president should be judged on how his administration deals with BP, full stop, end of story. Not how he talks about it, not how he says he feels about it, not what he promises about it. What he does about it.

  38. Ann says:

    hi. in all times in usa nobody try to make economic automotive engine. usually it was from 3 to 9 litres, but in eu and japan during past 30 years was strong trend to smallest engines volume. now it’s time to think.

  39. wargirl1979 says:

    Great post, Melissa!
    I agree, it’s on us..We’re addicted! I’d also like to thank you for making those figures about energy useage available. I’m not much on following politics, so I’m sorta out of my depth replying to what I used to refer to as “all that political s**t”, BUT…this “accident” in our Gulf has enlightened me.
    My daughter sent me an email about three years ago. It was the one about the trashing of all our oceans, the one with the dolphin hung up in plastic garbage…If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth watching. That video started me on my green path, coupled with my daughter urging energy conservation. I’m ashamed to say that it took me so long (I’m 53, worked in a well-known aluminum plant almost 20 years, and preached aluminum recycling), but now I realize what is happening right in front of us to our Mother Earth, and we are ALLOWING it! It’s never too late to “go green”. I am now disabled; I’m one of those folks who have to choose medication over groceries each month. I can’t do much, but I’m a vegetarian, use those little squiggley light bulbs, turn off/unplug all appliances not in use, canvas instead of plastic, buy local, practice a positive mindset, I even use a refillable Eco-Canteen, consolidate my needs and make one trip instead of ten (rural, public transportation NOT an option), I do everything I can, and still, I feel like it’s not enough. I know the “Three R’s”– Re-use anything possible, Re-duce whenever I can, Re-cycle all, but I’ve added the fourth “R”– I RE-THINK EVERYTHING! Growing up as a “Baby-Boomer”, I think my generation got fed an excessive amount of incorrect information.
    Pres. OBama won my respect when he said he was listening to everything so he’d know which ass to kick first.
    Boys and girls, can anyone say, “ecoterrorism”? Since Day ONE of this spill, I’ve referred to it for what it was, a “DISASTER”… CNN has just recently started to refer to it as a “Disaster”, instead of a “spill”. Another thought–BP has been busted with HOW MANY lies since April 2oth? Just how ‘transparent’ have they been? What are they still covering up that hasn’t come to light yet? Also, BP will be able to write off the cost of clean-up as a business loss, costing us, the tax payers, in the long run…shit always runs downhill…
    As an Alabama resident, most of my adult vacations, and MANY weekends, were spent in Gulf Shores. Sometimes on a whim, I’d drive six hours on a Friday night, just to be able to watch the dolphins early Saturday morning, dig my toes in the white sands, spend all day walking, shelling, sunning, floating, and experience the sun melting down into the Gulf at sunset. (Ah, the vibrant colors, you can almost hear it sizzle as it sinks.) As night fell, in the darkness, I’d contemplate the Universe, gather all my ducks in a row, warm sand under me, expansive sky with twinkling stars above and the water…the water that goes on forever… I’d finally go upstairs to my room, and sleep with the balcony doors slid wide open, the sound of the surf in my mind all night. I’d awaken refreshed, have one last dip, walk along the shore, say goodbye to my old friend (the sea) and promise to return soon. Then I’d drive the six hours home, energized, relaxed, calm, and more able to handle the stress of every day life, until I am able to score another weekend off so I can make another escape, just six hours South– Yes, there IS more to South Alabama than the beach, but the ocean was my Nirvana, the place to retreat and gather strength; it was like spinach to Popeye.
    But I digress…
    This carelessness by a large, uncaring corporation is a crime against nature. Yes, I DO boycott BP, it just doesn’t feel ‘right’ to buy from them, and I am outraged over the loss of life, including human life, marine life, the pelicans, the swamps, the ocean & everything in it, AND the way of life of the many Gulf Coast residents. I also realize that, YES, our addiction to oil has gotten VERY out of control, and if some changes aren’t made, December 2012 could be the ‘destruction’ that some predict, instead of a ‘Universal Enlightenment’!
    One of the main problems with the solution of becoming a more energy-efficient nation is this—us poor people can’t afford the solar panels, the new cars, the better-insulated homes, the wind turbans, etc. What the hell are we to do? I’d gladly go back to riding a horse, but how the hell would I feed him?!?
    The crux is that some of the rich who CAN afford the energy efficient items, won’t buy them!
    What’s that?…”Crazy”, you say?…….It’s been suggested….
    We are all one, and we seem to have forgotten this fact…. we need desperately to re-member…’s gonna take all of us together to make change happen. On the positive side, it seems that recently, more and more people are getting away from the Church, and going back to God…
    an interesting site my lovely intelligent daughter sent me…

  40. Linda says:

    wow finally someone tells the truth. great article!

  41. norcalman says:

    Wow, you are on your high horse. So high, in fact, that you probably can’t read what automotive experts had to say about the Smart Car which were anything but positive. Click on links below to get an idea of what was said.

    Let me just say that if you truly believe that people will settle for automotive mediocrity in the wake of the gulf spill, well, you’re just dreaming. Perhaps a more novel approach would be to dedicate one’s self to a career in science and engineering as opposed to public complaining and ineffective, self congratulatory politics. After all, future technologies and alternate energy sources will come from the former whilst the latter will continue to drone on about the latest cause de jour.

    • DangerB says:

      Norcalman FOR THE WIN! Raise your hand if you want to look like a dud driving around in a roller skate car.

      Psh. No thanks.

      • I guess you drive a muscle car, right? Because you’re so strong and manly.

      • hisfool says:

        I can’t speak for norcalman, But it is beyond me why anyone would but a POS like the Smart Fortwo. It’s ride is terrible, can’t get out of it’s own way, is noisy and has lousy safety ratings. For just a few bucks more you can get a Corolla, Civic or any number of other cars with comparable fuel economy and far better ride, comfort, performance and safety. Maybe it’s a good car if you live in the city, but if you do why aren’t you utilizing public transit.

        BTW I drive a 10 year old Chevy Prism (aka Toyota Corolla) because it get’s excellent mileage, is still solid and runs like a top.

      • norcalman says:

        For the record I drive a 2008 Jeep Patriot that gets 25+ miles to the gallon. It would be higher except that I got it with full time 4wd.

  42. Few people are willing to self examine their own contributions to issues over which they complain. It reaches far beyond the environment or political issues to simple household arguments between husbands and wives. Human nature must want us to believe others should accept our way of doing things and adapt our solutions and way of life. Few recognize multiple acceptable solutions to a problem.

    I once tried to argue with the “legalize it” crowd that unless they are entirely growing their own Marijuana (or know who is growing it for them), they are contributing to the the power and violence of drug cartels. These individuals have little guilt over this, as they place the guilt entirely upon the prohibition law. Yet, they are the ones that consciously disobey the law, knowing full well the consequences of their demand. They could put an end to drug trafficking now by eliminating demand, yet they would rather smoke in private while blaming the law and wait for others to fix it for them.

    This is just an example, but we also need to recognize we are all hypocrites. All of us make decisions in our lives, and there will always be someone in another position that can look at the decisions we make and explain how those decisions hurt someone else.

    Obama gets criticized for things over which he has no control. So did Bush. I sometimes wonder if some of the ridiculous Obama criticism is retaliation for Bush being blamed for every bad thing that happened. I see one key difference – Obama seems to draw criticism over things people expect him to do – even before he was elected. I don’t recall the Bush criticisms as loud until he was actually in office and the Iraq invasion began.

  43. Greg says:

    @mommysarah – well said!
    “I would love to drive a car that gets 70-80 mpg. When you find me one that fits me, my husband, my two kids (including their car seats), and all our luggage that would be great.”

    I’m sure 99% of folks would agree that it would be great to have a small fuel efficient car. But tell me where to procure the cash to go buy one? (I’ll be paying for your health care soon which means even less dollars to invest in a “green” automobile). Where will the kids go? Please consider that we all have different life situations which put different requirements on our transportation needs.

    Also consider the energy used posting your self important drivel. I guess its ok for you to use energy how you please and point the finger at everyone else at the same time. There is no intolerance like liberal intolerance.

    I get a kick out of the libs blaming Bush for our current financial crisis – umm, folks, this was many years in the making. Also what happened to the Bush era war protestors? They seem to have disappeared but the wars have not – I guess Obama’s continuation on our wars is ok because he is a dem?

    Get a life, consider others, be open minded.

  44. jeunesze says:

    thonk is :think! and…sprnding is ..spending…!and afeter is AFTER!SORRY

  45. jeunesze says:

    Sure obama is not a bad human being …Sure it is not easy to fix a problem like that …But sometime you have to know where to look for solutions and stop asking the same person that did the mess to fix it …Asking young sTudent to thonk about solution is a very good idea and why not sprnding a full year searching …have they something more worthwhile to do …because afeter all to be able to find a job …dont you need a «world» first …et ask our children at universities all over the world to work full time on that job and see the result show them that they are important …and see a wave of good will …but it is again no place aNd time to dreaM?

  46. […] Written on June 16, 2010, on the morning after Obama’s historic Oval Office address to the Nation Get ready, 'cause I'm getting on my high horse! Those of you who know me realize that I’m a radical Obamist. I think the sun shines out … Read More […]

  47. Larry115 says:

    How true Melissa. The problem IS us! Most of us raised in the years following WW2 grew accustomed to certain luxuries which other people (most notably those who were bombed back to the stone age) simply didn’t have because they were too busy trying to rebuild – not to mention under the thumb of our occupying army.

    The USA and Canada never had a foreign military force invade and cause massive destruction and legions of refugees the likes of which the UK, France, China, Germany, Italy and Japan suffered. The rampant consumerism which began with the 1950’s ‘Horn Aplenty’ and our corporate run government (Eisenhower’s ‘Military Industrial Complex’) – and it’s “Feel Good”, “We’re Number 1” media – quite naturally led to an attitude of entitlement which (due to human nature) resulted in oblivious arrogance. Take a cue from ‘3 Days of the Condor’

    Just look at the ‘talking heads’ representing the interests of the status quo – have you EVER seen one of them who was NOT ‘fat and happy’ and content with continuing down the path to destruction? Certainly not Rush Limburger.

    (Let’s see HIM riding a horse to work when we can no longer drive oil powered vehicles!)

    So what if our 5% of the world’s population consumes 25% of the world’s oil!? We’re the world’s only remaining Superpower! (lol)

    Of course the old adage “Those who refuse to learn from the lessons of the past are destined to repeat them” escapes many in the USA as we’re constantly bombarded with soothing simplistic platitudes 24 hours a day 365 days a year via cable TV (entertainment) news. “We’re #1 by golly! The news says so don’tcha know!”

    Then it may interest some to read that during that famous ‘Miracle On Ice’, 1980 Lake Placid Olympic hockey game between ‘Team USA’ and the Russians, that the Russians took a dive and LET the US team win. That’s right. Let’s go to the video tape!

    I was watching that game on a big screen TV with some co-workers back then. Only a few days before I’d been sitting in Madison Square Garden (in New York City) behind one of the goals where I watched the Russians deftly beat a motley crew of self-described ‘hockey stars’ who couldn’t seem to stick to their opponents.

    The night of the ‘miracle’ I saw someone in a suit approach the Russian coach – someone I’d met face to face at the summer games four years earlier in Montreal. That man was listed in a Russian athletic guide as a ‘Cultural Attaché’ (read ‘KGB’) and on the night in-question he was seen arguing with the coach who ultimately threw down his clipboard as my acquaintance walked away.

    Immediately afterwards the coach pulled his most experienced goalie and replaced him with a young kid who couldn’t manage to block the Americans’ slap-shots and the Russians quickly sacrificed their lead ending with the loss of their chances for a gold medal.

    Why would the Russian government deliberately sacrifice a gold medal in hockey to a rag-tag bunch of boys who didn’t know the meaning of ‘Team Player’? They were trying to goad President Carter into allowing US Olympic teams to compete in the summer games in Moscow.

    Remember, Carter had barred our athletes from traveling to Moscow due to the Russian’s invasion of Afghanistan – over a proposed oil pipeline route from the oil fields on the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean through Pakistan – the SAME route the Bush/Cheney (that’s HW Bush) regime began a war to secure.

    If YOU controlled the American government AND the American fossil fuel industry, through which you personally became rich, would YOU let on there were better and cheaper sources of energy? Would you let someone promote the faster, safer and more fuel efficient vehicles used in Europe to the people (customers) of this country? Let’s not forget when Reagan/Bush first took power they removed the solar panels Carter had placed atop the White House.

    Then there’s their energy policy and Clinton’s. A few decades ago during the Clinton administration the US Department Of Energy established a program known as the ‘Inventions and Innovations Program’. According to their literature this program was to provide funding and leads to funding for those Americans who developed new or improved methods of energy conservation and/or generation.

    “Got a design for a carburetor capable of pushing a large car to 60mpg?; – apply for funding and get it into production so we can reduce oil consumption. Got a design for a higher efficiency boiler to turn steam power into electric power?; – apply for funding and power our great cities while reducing the smog over them.”

    Trouble was – all the hype promoted by the agency was useless because they never actually had any money to provide to the innovators! Just like George ‘W’ Bush’s de-funding the US ARMY Corps of Engineers – resulting in the levee collapses during Hurricane Katrina – this DOE program was just so much smoke and mirrors leading anyone who merely browsed the literature to believe there was serious interest in reducing US dependence upon the very commodity which fueled (pun intended) the fortunes of the very people ruling over the regulating federal bodies which were designated to safeguard Americans’ interests (ie: Minerals Management Service).

    Tell the truth – did any of you actually believe that by making Texas oil men President you expected energy prices to drop?

    According to oil industry insiders the middle eastern oil producers suddenly doubled their in-ground reserve estimates immediately after OPEC agreed to a policy whereupon production would be geared to in-ground reserves. The higher your claimed reserves – the higher a percentage you could sell on the spot market. Lower reserves would result in lower exports – all in the interests of ‘conserving’ what’s left (stretching it out a little longer) while also maintaining higher prices at the pumps which would continue to provide each producing nation the money to develop alternate income streams.

    Saudia Arabia, for instance, earlier had claimed 40 years worth of crude left in the ground but once this policy was passed that estimate doubled (not that they actually HAVE 40 years of oil production left). Soooo, we now see a rush to nuclear power and deeper oil drilling to stave off “The day after tommorrow” when the pumps grind to a halt and we all start imitating our EU cousins – just as Carter warned.

    Trouble with the nuclear option is – there’s also a reported shortfall in U235 and with so many plants proposed for construction it’ll be a rush to secure (militarily control) what U235 remains – and the routes to ship it. Sound familiar?

    Maybe some of you can explain another reason why solar to hydrogen technology is ignored in the USA while heavily subsidized in Israel? Why build off-shore windmills to power a few coastal communities when sea-side solar furnaces can be used to convert seawater into hydrogen gas which can be transported through existing pipelines most everywhere in North America? The sunlight is free. So is the seawater. Unlike high-tension powerlines there’s no risk of cancer or storm damage. The pipes, today, run right into people’s homes carrying ‘natural’ gas and conversion to hydrogen can be simple and inexpensive. We even have several firms producing fuel cells to create electricity from hydrogen and electric utility companies and automakers able to convert away from coal/oil with little lead time.

    So what’s the hold-up? “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone ISN’T out to get you”

    • Harry Elliott says:

      Larry, maybe we can use some of the “hot air” coming from you to replace oil as
      our energy standard. What channels are you watching anyway? My cable company doesn’t
      have “The Conspiracy Channel” You talk about the captains of US industry suppressing
      technologies in order to profit. Get a clue! We’re talking about capitalism here.
      You know, where free markets reward success in cost effectiveness with profits.
      Henry Ford was a right wing Nazi sympathizer that had a picture of Hitler in his
      bedroom. But guess what? He started out working out of his garage and then devised
      a method of how to make automobiles affordable to EVERY family. Now in most families
      there are more than one.

      My point is, what difference does it make who comes up with the new energy breakthrough
      and how? I think it would be irresponsible to assume that there are forces at work
      holding all this back, therefore the establishment must be destroyed in order to
      effect this change. If we stop drilling for oil, the Chineese won’t, and once our
      dollars aren’t worth anything anymore because we don’t back up and insure the
      stability of the world market. Why do you think barrels of oil are based on the dollar
      and not Euro or Yen. It’s Yankee ingenuity that will stop the oil spill, and
      come up with the new technology that will replace oil. It will be the private sector
      with the help of small business entrpeneurs that will get us out of this oil dependancy
      dilema. Funny, how Obama didn’t mention that in his speech. Remember: “I don’t
      know how we will get there, but we will.”

      If this Administration wasn’t so Hell bent on promoting progressive idealogies, and
      more cognizant about how capitalism and free markets work, maybe the investors
      wouldn’t be keeping their money in shelters. Yes, BHO, investors is part of the
      “how we are going to get there.” When are you going to get your foot off their throats?

      I remember the classic episode of the Simpsons, where Bart talks about the only
      three answers that you will ever need in your career. 1) It was like that before
      I got here. 2) I’ll look into it. 3) That’s a great idea Boss.

      Nice speech Mr. President.

  48. i’m renra from indonesia…i like your site

  49. sophia says:

    Was it not the former government employees in US that gave clearance to overrule the regulations that were set on the rig?
    Was it not Americans that were employed on the rig? I agree that it is not the single employee that is to take the blame, but for sure the site manager has a nationality and that all were aware that stepping out of the regulations (or giving clearance to do so) could in fact create a failure that could lead to a disaster like this.

  50. Dr.J says:

    I am voted for Obama, I voted against Bush in both of the prior elections. And I agree that people are foisting a lot of blame on him over this oil spill, but I think it is overflow from their anger on how he has handled other aspects of his presidency. I agree that it seems the media wants him to put on his cape, fly to the gulf, use his laser vision to weld the pipe shut, and his super-breath to clear the oil from the gulf. But at the same time, there is so much more that he could have done: force co-operation with other major oil company engineers to get new ideas, suspend our ban on foreign ships in the Gulf to allow other countries to assist in clean up as they wanted to,stop the use of dispersants, etc. I don’t care if he creates the by-now-disgustingly-overused “government commission” of do-nothings. We absolutely need to wean our dependance on oil and encourage alternative energy sources, and I thought it was a great time to talk about it.
    But to love Obama as much as you do, to me, means that you accept his words at face value. I will certainly not be voting for him a second time. Despite all of the promises for change, there is little evidence that he has done anything to break the mold of his predecessors. His administration has been plagued by the same kind of underhanded opaque government that every other one has. He thins that if he names a bill something pretty, people will believe that is what it will do without ever investigating what it actually does. The financial reform bill is nothing more than table pounding and wind-blowing that doesn’t fix a damn thing about what got us in the current mess. His health care reform bill was nothing more than health care expansion with no realistic cost cutting measures at all (until they force enough people out of private health insurance that they can begin to strangle costs with artificial limits to the supply of medical care.) GRRAAAAAA! I just feel so let down, so stupid that I could be duped this easily, so upset that nothing has fundamentally changed… it makes me wonder why we bother with this whole charade of democracy anyway. Same old pig, new coat of lipstick.

    If you like him so much, please take a look at my blog: .
    I used to be a true believer too. I wonder if you have gotten in deep enough on any of his policies to see the Obama that I see now?

    • I actually am slightly more cynical about these things than you give me credit for. I’m looking at a man who’s walking a tightrope at the same time he’s trying to turn this behemoth ship of state, rudders missing, keeling badly, around in very choppy waters with lots of sharks and a mutinous crew. Things take time and change has to be incremental. It’s taken us a hell of a long time to get into this mess and it’s going to take more than a nano second to get back on course. Remember the fuss the Right put up during the Health Care debate? Can you imagine the fuss if he tried to introduce radical change? I’m just saying.

  51. Michael says:

    Having government regulations is pretty words on paper. It’s a waste of lawmakers time unless there is funding for tough, impartial, enforcement.

  52. You may be missing the point. I’m not picking on him because he got mad or didn’t get mad. He dropped the ball big time. That oil should have never be allowed to hit the shore. He did nothing for over 28 days except turn down help we needed and talked and talked and talked. We needed action , action and more action. The Exxon spill in Alaska is still being felt on the shores of their coast. Over 20 years later. We didn’t need a committee of anyone to know once it hit the shore we were all doomed. This guy spent more time trying to find a way to stop Arizona then he did trying to protect the gulf coast. And now 60 plus days later he is still as lost as ever. And every minute of every day more oil washes up on some shore line. BP caused the leak, but Obama is the reason we have it all over 4 states.

  53. Harry Elliott says:

    He creates a panel of experts to solve this problem. The panel consists of lawyers and ex legislators, environmentalists and a Nobel Laureate in Physics. OK. The lawyers want to sue first and ask questions later. The ex legislator wants to make a case for cap and trade. The Environmentalists want to save the planet, stop global warming, and get a piece of the action that the lawyers sued BP for so they can further their agendas, all agreeing that if Bush and Cheney didn’t screw things up so bad this wouldn’t have happened. Meanwhile, the Nobel Laureate and his colleagues are filling 8 blackboards a day with equations that only THEY understand. I remember the movie “Heartbreak Ridge”, where Clint Eastwood remarked to his cmmander about the tactics of Eastwoods superior, who was a Naval Acadamy football player over from supplies? “Clusterfuck”

  54. GREAT POST! WELL SAID! I LOVE YOU! I have been so FRUSTRATED with people really! Where did all this Obama hate come from? I don’t understand it other than to say it’s racism, but of course you can’t call people racists anymore even though they clearly are. It took us a whole 8 years (and a whole lot of terrible terrible leadership and evil, unlawful acts) for us to have such venomous hatred for Bush (who clearly deserved all of it.) But in ONE YEAR some people have managed to conjure up the same kind of hatred for Obama.

    That makes no freakin’ sense to me. He’s got 3 more years, let him work people, then if you don’t like what he does, you got this little thing called democracy where you DON’T HAVE TO VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN! Geez-us. And you are right, we don’t deserve him. In fact I think we just pissed him off with are lack of action and personal responsibility. He can’t do this alone people. He is one man. Let’s help him out!

    I hope it’s ok that I rant on your blog. Thank you SO MUCH for the very humorous and totally on point post.

  55. tim says:

    The claims are going to be significantly higher than $20B.

    If BP wants to really clean up the Gulf, help the people there, get their company turned around – we have an idea – Buycott BP. Boycott no. Buycott yes. Are you a bold provocateur who can invigorate?

  56. Colin L Beadon says:

    Nah! It is too late for governments and their regulations. Drugs and AK47s, and those who propitiate, took the world away. Now world order belongs to the implacable and pernicious, and those who really don’t care a F….. Hope this frightens you enough to stand up, for it is probably be your last chance.

  57. Colin L Beadon says:

    Ah, I seem I’m signed in.
    It does not matter how you kick the blame of energy use about. It boils down all the time, to human population growth, and our inability to even discuss it, or fully appreciate our mother, Earth, has finite space, and finite recourses, though probably quite enough to insure we cause our own mas extinction.

  58. Joseph says:

    Also, disasters happen. It’s part of living daily life in an imperfect world. In the end we do what we can to try to prevent them from happening in the first place, though there’s not much we can do about the ones that have natural causes. But in the end they happen regardless. What matters is whether or not people learn from these disasters. So what I hope and pray for is that BP learns from its mistakes in this endeavor and ensures that there are stricter safety protocols in place BEFORE they start their next drilling project. But I agree with everyone here that first and foremost, the leak needs to be fixed. Stop pointing fingers, work together, and just fix it.

  59. dave hiscxo says:

    Follow your comment Melissa and a lot of it makes sense. However, the things that are overlooked in the whole fiasco of the Gulf Spill are things like money and greed – “its all about the cost to fix the problem” – and who foots the bill. The other thing is that BP seems to want to keep the problem “under wraps” or “in house” instead of canvassing intelligent input from other parts of society and the world. I believe this problem could have been fixed already if a world wide input into the whole thing could have been allowed.

  60. Joseph says:

    I’ve got nothing against Obama as a person, but I have severe disagreements with his policies. To me his policies constitute severe government intrusion into our private lives. His health care bill, like all the rest of government welfare, is a severe violation of the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. This principle states that the community of higher order should not interfere in the affairs of the community of lower order but should support it in its endeavors. The government (community of higher order) is supposed to merely support the private sector (community of lower order) by ensuring that the people are free to conduct commerce just as long as no crimes are committed. This health care bill and all other government “charity” violates this principle. Because with these the government is directly interfering by forcing people to help others through taxation rather than giving the people the freedom to choose whether or not to charitably help someone. I talk about it in my blog. I even disagree with the way he’s handled this. All he used this disaster for is to try to push through what I call “cap and tax.” I’m all for looking for cleaner fuel and energy alternatives, but the hunt for these alternatives should be done with the spirit of free market productivity and innovation that we are supposed to be famous for, not by government mandate. That’s something I talk about in my blog as well. From what I’ve read the alternative that shows the most promise is making gasoline and diesel from oil extracted from algae. What I would do if I were in office is encourage the private sector to look into this….creating much needed private sector jobs for the growing and harvesting of algae and the extraction of oil from the algae. But I would still encourage exploration of domestic sources of crude oil too that can be used as a backup in case terrorists get wind that we’re using algae as a source of oil and attack that source with a biological warfare agent.

  61. unikphoto says:

    Wow! Melissa,

    Right on target, very well written, I tip my hat to these ponderings. I myself I’m not an American, but I live just below the U.S., here in Cabo, and you nailed it right on target. I love the U.S., I’ve gotten so much from it and have many friends there, but so often I see waste when I go there, people live in luxury and they don’t even know it or even care to know about how well Americans live, the standards are so high.

    I visited in April and I took the elevator in an office building in San Antonio, Texas. I got in and to me the elevator seemed SO huge inside, about 6ft x 6ft and at least 8ft in height. So I mustered enough guts to tell a person that was just there inside and I said, “boy, such huge elevator, so spacey!”, and she replied, “oh, I couldn’t really tell, I see these all around”. I thought, “wow, this lady hasn’t the slightest clue of what most countries use in their buildings…spoiled, spoiled, spoiled”.

    It is true, America has had to lower living standards, but at the same time, they will still be pretty good compared to others.

    Thank you for your thoughts Melissa,

  62. tmabona says:

    Looks like u’re driving a car. As opposed to using Public Transport…
    The main sources of ecospherical damage are: Industrial production (Cars and just about all the other products we use in everyday life), Deforestation (areas used for cattle then used as MEAT), airtravel and private transport (using cars)…
    Cheers, T

    p.s.: I’m not a Professor in Physics but what on earth is a kg of energy? That sounds profoundly unscientific.

    • See world bank data: Energy use (kg of oil equivalent per capita) energy use refers to use of primary energy before transformation to other end-use fuels, which is equal to indigenous production plus imports and stock changes, minus exports and fuels supplied to ships and aircraft engaged in international transport. Source: International Energy Agency.

    • hisfool says:

      OK, I use a car, there I said it, I drive a Chevy Prism (a Toyota Corolla incognito.) Public transportation is very limited, and I make anywhere from 4-8 calls in various areas of southern Vermont daily. To far to bike and public transit is neither available or viable. The only alternative is the most economical vehicle you can afford.

      Face it, it is easy to sit in an urbanized area and say public transit is the answer. However most of us in the US and Canada do not live in urban areas but in rural areas. Only 4 or 5 states have population densities approaching those of Europe and Japan. Twenty seven have densities lower than 100/sq mi (about 39/sq km for those on the metric system.) I have not been able to find any definitive numbers regarding minimum density for a viable public transit system, but logic says that there needs to be at least 200-400/sq mile.

  63. mike00000000001 says:

    The pro government bias is finally being revealed. No offense, but it is becoming obvious that liberals are biased in favor of big government. And I do mean biased. Oh lets just give him a chance right? Nothing could possibly be his fault right? Its all just going to work because “yes we can” right? After all these years I finally understand that liberals have a great big set of sunglasses on when it comes to big government. You are greatly unaware of the dangers of big gov being to big. In fact, you are biased in favor of it.

  64. Adrian says:

    Do you know why Canadians consume more energy? Because our urban areas are more spread out and we have to transport goods over longer distances. We also have a scattered population in northern Canada where you have to burn energy to keep warm.

    And as smug as you look in your “smart car,” perhaps you should consider taking the bus.

  65. Pat Erickson says:

    I agree, Melissa. We don’t deserve President Obama, but we’ve got him and frankly I think not only sunshine comes out of his beautiful butt, but gold as well. Good article.

  66. Songbird says:

    Melissa, right on girl!! Right ON!!

  67. frustrated says:

    Mellissa, sorry to disagree but I think Obama so far has proven to be just as bad as Bush. His paralysis on the disaster in the Gulf seems to be a lot worse than Bush’s on Katrina. It is interesting that people excuse Obama because after all, what can he do that BP isn’t already doing? He can’t just as well as he says suck the oil out with a straw.

    You and most of the posters on your blog are giving Obama a pass when you shouldn’t. He could have assembled experts from the industry and come up with a plan that works. He could have gone on TV and shown some leadership by announcing a plan. He could have sent BP packing and brought in someone with more experience to be in charge. How about those who plugged the wells in Kuwait after Saddam Hussein blew them up in the first Gulf War? The problem is that Obama, you and most of the posters on this site seem to have a blinding hatred for the oil industry. Obama is listening to his political advisors on how to use this to pass Cap and Trade rather than to technical experts. In the meantime the oil continues to gush. Right now I can care less about Cap and Trade or anything else. Fix the leak!

    Please be careful with your Smart Car.

    • OwensOpines says:

      Why do you only blame Obama? What about Congress? The Republicans were quick to start screaming for hearings on what Democratic candidates in the primaries might have been promised when they could have been launching investigations into MMS last year and BP when the oil spill happened. Congress is not supposed to sit around and wait for the President – that’s why the make the laws.

  68. LOVE YOU. Beautiful post; read my mind. Rock on with your bad self 🙂

  69. sittingpugs says:

    I mean, just how do you solve a problem like Maria? This thing is huge

    The same way you’d catch a cloud and pin it down.

  70. Mikyung Lim says:

    I agree with you. People are not rational in demanding how President should feel or not showing enough emotion etc.etc.

    “Emotion? What Emotion? What’s emotion got to do with Politics? What’s emotion got to do with problem solving?”

    I am also grateful that Mr. Obama exists to save, redirect this country !

  71. Josh Hoffman says:


  72. owensopines says:

    The BP Disaster has created enough blame and finger-pointing to go around. However, the entity most responsible for this tragic saga is our broken Congress. Congress; specifically the House of Representatives, had the power to launch an investigation into the Materials Management Service (MMS) as soon as the scandals in connection with the oil industry were revealed. And Congress could have launched an investigation into BP within days after horrible explosion and fire.

    The current investigation, during which BP CEO Tony Hayward performed so abysmally, was not started by Executive Order. Neither was the MMS created by Executive order nor legislation. The MMS was created by James Watt who was Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan. But Watt, the original “drill baby drill” proponent was blatantly anti-environment. In fact the sole purpose for which he created MMS was to expedite resource extraction and to collect oil development revenues; safety and protecting the environment were definitely not in his plan. An agency created by secretarial edict can always fly under the radar unless something specific attracts attention. Otherwise, there would exist a real possibility of over-regulation for the purpose of posturing by both the left and the right.

    If Congress was working with the President and for the American people instead of trying to score points and get re-elected, the sheer magnitude of the BP Disaster might have been mitigated by quicker response by all agencies involved. If Congress had started the investigation into MMS last year, the severe breaches in safety and environmental regulations would have been discovered and perhaps addressed before the mess. Do you really think that drilling would have been continued without at least a short moratorium if the horrors revealed by the current investigations were known last year?

    We need to impose term limits on the entire Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate in November. We certainly can’t get any worse than the current gridlock!

  73. Dr. F says:

    As Thom Hartmann is so fond of saying, Obama, on his worst day, is way better than Bush-43 was on his best. Now I’m gonna have ta start paying more attention to BHO’s pants.

    When you’ve got some free time: Google worklessparty. I think you’ll find some challenging reading there.

  74. Lois Kackley says:

    I just wanted to add my name to this list of reasonable attitudes toward BObama. The Gulf disaster strikes terror in this heart especially when I think about my country’s abysmal record in resolving conflicts and imbalances of power.

  75. Kayleigh Williams says:

    Excellent post Melissa! Keep up the good stuff.
    Kayleigh, London UK

  76. arifinfo says:

    hello, nice to visit ur blog 😀

  77. ziibi says:

    You go girl! I completely agree with you. Thank you for the much needed lecture. I consider myself trying to fix my part in this mess but realistically I am a spoiled American that can be doing more and saying more.

  78. The operative word is “we”. We all need to do what we can to help, research, educate and activate, for ourselves, our children and for those around us. We have an obligation to help those who are too tired, ignorant, or clueless to get what is happening. Anyway, I enjoyed your blog and hoping you all have a wonderful weekend, and encourage all to do one thing different this weekend to help!


  79. ostordavid says:

    I agree Melissa too.
    But people, you? What do you do to stop the global warning, global warming?
    It’s not the time of the speaking and saying big things. Organize programms for present the ideas os environmental protection.
    Use public transport, not your own car. Buy a bycicle and ride! Take off air conditioning systems! Use alternative energy sources.
    And if you made that things, you can say big things. But until not.

  80. […] The Gulf Oil Spill – It’s on you, America! (via Words is Me) Birželis 19, 2010 — Karina Written on June 16, 2010, on the morning after Obama’s historic Oval Office address to the Nation Get ready, 'cause I'm getting on my high horse! Those of you who know me realize that I’m a radical Obamist. I think the sun shines out … Read More […]

  81. mkeup says:

    Ste from Italy

  82. We the consumers have the pot in the hand. It is a responsability to claim for what is right, no need to fight slow, by staying on our rights. But how much people do really read the Constitution? How many of us are real conscious of it? How much we can fight when lots of us have little idea of it. That is a starting point for those who wanting to pursue righteousness on the Nation. All of us are invited. Lest kick some….ss.
    ~Great Love to you,
    Thanks for posting this,
    Mirian from peelingtheorange.

  83. Melissa Hardy –
    Many thanks to you for this post.

    I’m writing from North Florida & our preserve along the shore is the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge – famous for
    monarch butterfly migration & re-introduction of the whooping crane.

    Readers may want to take a look at a fresh collection of essays by my writing pals

    I’ll also send you a note in email. Mine is
    jgaoffice at gmail dot com
    Again, many many thanks for this essay.

    Jan Godown Annino

  84. Thanks for the great post. we all (well, most) agree that we have to decrease our reliance on oil. Yet we do little or nothing to change our lifestyles. The oil spill was caused by American greed for energy, combined with BP greed for cutting corners to get to profits in the quickest way possible.

  85. oasis says:

    Good post.I think that.

  86. dthanja says:

    …great post! I fund it both funny and a little sad that many people here in the US and abroad maintain a mindset that Obama is The Savior of the World, able to wave a wand or his hand or something and fix a whole host of things… yesterday. Like many, I hope one of the things that comes out of this terrible ecological disaster is a major change in not only energy policy but a real move away from oil dependency and real investments in the usage of alternative possibilities.

  87. soratothamax says:

    I did an article similar to this:

    It’s sad really. But you express exactly what I feel. Keep it up! 😉

  88. soratothamax says:

    People have been blaming the wrong person. Government has nothing to do with business. The Oil spill is the result of the Oil Company. Now it is the government’s fault it let it become like that way back in Turn of the 20th Century, so blame Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson. It’s something called Laissez-Faire, where government has little to do with businesses. Why? So businesses can make more money. If government got involved, capitalism would decline. That’s why government can’t get too involved.

    America dug this hole. They complained about oil prices rising, and when the oil company decided to find another source to lower the prices, it created a disaster. So instead of complaining, America needs to help fix this issue too. this is your nation, get off your butts and do something. If you’re not, I suggest people be quiet and wait patiently for something to be done.

  89. So this one is on you, dear gringos! Yes, this is true, and for more reasons but incredible high energy consumption.

    Do to others as you want them to do to you. Luke 10:25-28 or
    Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself. Confucius

    Example: For many, many years US oil companies have been severely damaging rain forrest and other land, men and species in Ecuador by careless and irresponsible handling and depriving much poorer people than you are. They can only grind their teeth about it. Nobody cares nor compensates nor pays for the clean up. Now it happened to you by a foreign company. You are calling for damages and all this. This time you are on the “victim” side. How does it feel? Will it change your minds for those many cases where you are on the “offending” side?

    • idesignerk says:

      Nice post and good angle on this mess. It is nice to see a clear thought. Our state is on the receiving end if this and true, it feels pretty bad. Obama and team should take your thoughts to heart.

      Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Luke 10:25-28
      Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself. Confucius

      It seems like shutting down the all the oil wells in the gulf and sending those people looking for work is also like punishing the good kids in the class because the bad kid was so bad. I wonder if that ever happened to Obama or his people when they were in school. Did they like it? Was it ever in the bast interest of the class?

  90. witspun says:

    It was an absolute pleasure to read your post.For the simple reason that you grabbed the bull by the horns.No point comparing Bush to Obama- you are insulting Obama by even trying.Also lets not regionalise the gulf spill- the whole world is riding the horse called Petra Oleum- what happened here can happen anywhere anytime.Keep up the good work.

  91. Postmanisms says:

    We agree. Well done. Check out our version at

  92. tim says:

    You sound like a bold provocateur who can invigorate.
    Buycott Bp. Boycott no. Buycott yes.

  93. hisfool says:

    Interesting article, however there is one major problem with using consumption figures to point fingers at the US and Canada. Our size. Face it both countries are similar in that they are much larger than all of the industrialized countries on the list. Much, much, larger-heck, many states are larger than the majority of the other nations on the list. (I know China and Russia are larger, but they are by and large not industrialized, with the majority of the countries having only rudimentary roads and services.)

    Most of the other countries are much more densely settled, making mass transit very viable. Not so true here in North America. For example, here in Vermont we average a density of 65.8/sq mi. One sixth of our population is in the Burlington Metro area, so in reality, it is probably less than 50/sq mi outside of the city. Choosing a “middle of the road” country for comparison, the UK has a population density of 659.6/sq mi. over 10 times higher. Japan’s density is 873.1/sq mi. the Netherlands 1036.5/sq mi. Which by the way is close to the density of the city I live in. (We do have a fairly good public transit system here.)

    It is easy to point fingers, but the reality is that public transit is not a viable option for most of our countries and for many of us, contractors, sales persons, etc. it is not an option at all because of the rural areas and multiple stops we must make in the course of a day.

  94. essentialsimplicity says:

    I find it funny that people are blaming Obama he is doing the best that anyone in that position could do. Americans and the whole world in general need to lessen their dependency on oil. The only way that it can be done of course is through financial incentives, but in order for that to work governments need to take part in such incentives.

  95. kmariej says:

    Girl, you need to get on your high horse more often!!!

  96. Kathy Moore says:

    I agree completely with Melissa. And the problem with Gretchen Carlson is she’s jealous because she doesn’t know how to make sun shine out of her ass! Kudos, to healingmagichands. Regarding Solar, and the Prius. I would have one, too, as many Americans would, if we could afford them. But how anyone can BLAME Environmentalists for the Energy Mess is totally baffling to me. That’s like saying, if we could get rid of all the Rape Crisis Counselors, no one would feel the need to rape??!!

  97. Sorry but the ass kissing of Obama is sickening. What could he have done? Gee I could write a list of about 400 items. How about letting everyone that has tried to clean up the spill clean it up? How about letting the states put up berms? How about returning the one million dollars in donations from BP to his campaign as a gesture of disapproval? How about letting the dutch ships help? How about telling the coast guard to suspend the beaureaucratic bullshit when approving ships to help? How about letting the fishermen deploy booms?
    It’s sickening to listen to everyone jump up and down and clap when the government suggests taxing us back into the stone age. This Carbon tax will fund forms of government that will be outside our constitution and will create new layers of law that will pick our pockets. No tax is a solution. LEt’s get that straight. I’ve lived in Europe, both Italy and England and the chimera of paradise that many americans associate with European socialism is horribly misguided and suffers from a complete disassociation from reality.
    I doubt you will approve this comment since you will be preening yourself over the positive comments and I’m guessing that you have no interest in hearing a different opinion…………..

    • OwensOpines says:

      Brad, Perhaps because lived in Europe you haven’t had time to spend in the Deep South, especially on the Gulf Coast. Otherwise you would understand that the reason OSHA requires breaks after working in the sun for 20 minutes is because of the heat. When the temperature is 95 degrees, it could be 110 out in the sun on the beaches. The starkly beautiful white sand (that is being ruined as I type) reflects even more heat. The workers are in eminent danger of heat stroke and sun poisoning.

      And your lack of understanding of the functions of the federal government may explain why you want to blame President Obama. Congress has the right and the responsibility to call for investigative hearings – which is what they should have done when the MMS scandals were exposed.

      • Interesting critique of my comment. It’s interesting in that it has nothing to do with my comments.

        First let me say that I am only blaming Obama in response to this blog that literally “thinks that sun shines out of his ass” and says he has no cupability for the way he has handled the spill. No where in my comment have I given BP a pass. On the contrary I think BP whould be held accountable for cleaning the whole damn thing up and if, as I suspect, the management is found to be negligent in causing this spill then they should all get canned. If solid evidence surfaces that they did this on purpose, in any way, then they should feel the full force of the law.

        I never mentioned Osha’s work restrictions. I did mention that the obama admin. has done nothing to clear the way or cut red tape. He has on the other hand staged a series of photo ops. He has threatened BP into putting up 20 B to cover claims. Could some one please point out his legal justification for this? Is that the way we care going to do it from no on? There is some kind of accident or environmental disaster and the President just makes up an extra judicial fine and announces it on Cable news. Gee that’s a triumph for American Law.

        As for not living in the south, you are dead wrong. I have lived in the deep south, and yes it was during the summers. My point is that our overtaxed society is now going to be slammed with another gargantuan tax. This is Obama’s plan, BP creates a disaster, he watches it happens and then decides that he will reengineer our culture to force us to skip along a mythical yellow brick road to a green paradise. Can someone please explain in detail, with known and tested technologies, how we get to this fantastic oz? Can someone please explain how we will be able to afford another massive tax increase? If you can’t anwers these questions then please list the thing the President actually DID excluding walking around and looking at the spill………..

  98. coolfire1997 says:

    OK i get what your saying but there is no point of arguing its bp fault and they are suppose to have a back-up plan and its not Americas fault its the government’s fault witch yes is still America but there should be no off shore drilling also this could be a mass extinction because they they are drilling over a large habitat and now its hurricane season it could kill land animals across America but what im getting at is that yes you are right but the way you said made it sound like its our fault for relying on other Countries oil and like i said its the governments fault.

  99. Keith says:

    We love the Gulf Coast and the white sand of Alabama’s coast and the Florida panhandle. We have been going there all of my 48.

    Two things.

    Not so many words, So much more action. so….Say less, do more.

    Think Harder, be smarter. Don’t take the livelihoods from people that are working hard in one of America’s remaining industries. In medicine they say go and do no harm. This month Obama puts the squash on the space program looks like 5000 (thats right, five thousand) will loose jobs soon.Well educated smart and having served their country at the edge of science and innovation. Go find a job somewhere else. Ask any Louisianan what is he largest industry in their state. Oil – off shore. Hey its getting shut down too. Obama and team needs to think harder and be smarter. I thought they were the intellectuals, the smart ones. Bummer.

  100. madmarlin says:

    LMFAO… everyone here speaks of wanting to do something to reduce their oil use and consumption. It will never happen in your lifetime or your kid’s lifetime and probably not even for your grandchildren. Nearly everything we touch today has oil attached to it in one way or another even the computer you’re using to read this. When I can pull up to filling station and pump something other than gasoline or diesel I’ll do it! Until then I’ll use what is being offered for sale and pump it in for whatever vehicle I can afford to drive. In regards to blaming Obama… he can’t be blamed for the oil spill any more than Bush was blamed for Katrina. All we can do is hope for change in November 2010 and in 2012.

  101. Good rant. You pretty much hit the main points and I agree with all of them. I get quite upset hearing people complain that it was Obama and the MMS that signed off on the oil well back in April of 2010. Heck, he wasn’t even in the office 90 days yet. He was still trying to remember where the executive bathroom was… and he’s supposed to have already fixed everything that had been messed up for the previous 8 years? Then again if the complaint is that he didn’t get rid of the bad MMS people then those complainers have to admit that Bush put bad MMS people in there in the first place so it still becomes, IMO, Bushes fault.

    Yes we (collectively) use too much energy. However we (wife and I) do try to do our part. We’ve driven Hybrids for 6+ years and we quite satisfied with them. Recently we traded them for non Hybrids however our new cars are top of their class for fuel efficiency and in the top 10 overall with almost everything over them being Hybrids… and in a few cases Hybrids below them too. With a bit of tweaking of the laws we could open up the US market to a wide variety of highly fuel efficient cars from Europe… all not allowed in the US due to some antiquated diesel laws.

  102. gregw89 says:

    I agree that people have somewhat jumped to he conclusion that the President was going to run in the phone booth and fly out, dive a mile down in the ocean and plug the leak using his laserbeam eyes. As you said, the spill isn’t the only thing the leader of a 300 million plus population country has to worry about. Plus he’s seemed to have done something in getting BP to put up $20 billion and he’s visited the gulf four times now.

    I can’t watch petty newsreporters like Carlson and others because their entire purpose is to get under the skin of rational people or promote the prejudice of many people in our country.

    I hope that the President’s call for clean energy will not fall on deaf ears and that we will finally see the green revolution which Carter called for years ago. If the gulf spill doesn’t convince us it’s time to change, I don’t know what will.

  103. Candace says:

    Perfect post, amen sistah! and love ass/sunshine comment. Right on board…and on foot!

  104. Wallace Dean says:

    Seriously? It’s not the American people that we have to blame here. Oh yes, I drive a gasoline car… Are there many more options (realistically!), of course not. It would be unrealistic for me to take a bicycle 30 miles to school everyday. Not only that, but our politicians (Obama too) have their pockets in the billion dollar industry as well. The government doesn’t want to see any true fix of the situation unless they can make a profit from it….And the by-products of the electric car batteries are more harmful than the gases released from a gas engine will ever be. Cars can be made to run completely on water :)…so call out the American people? Sure…for not throwing out our silly so-called educated elite. It’s not even an Obama issue….This is a government and corporation issue.

    • Erin Currin says:

      Why do you work 30 miles from home? We’ve been conned to believe we have to drive great distances for jobs.

      If you took a job closer to your home or found a home closer to your job, you COULD find alternate means of transport.

      • Wallace Dean says:

        It’s not work, it’s school. It seems a no brainer to me for the reason. It is still cheaper for me to drive the 30 miles than it is to move away from home at the moment. I work very close to home, and plan to keep it that way even after I graduate…if it is cheaper to live near than commute some ways to save money.

        I’m a student work hours are limited, and life requires money. I don’t believe in handouts, so I make choices that benefit me.

    • charleski81 says:

      I gotta agree with you. We are indeed oil addicts but we aren’t to blame in this situation. And by blaming ourselves we let the major culprit off the hook, if ever so subtlety. This isn’t a natural disaster, or even a “man-made” disaster, it’s corporate-made disaster. If anyone has been following the hearings surrounding this crisis they would see that oil companies have zero contingency plans for something like this, even though they routinely shrug off safety and environmental regulations.

      We go after drug dealers who supply addicts so why not use the same logic here?

  105. mommysarah says:

    I would love to drive a car that gets 70-80 mpg. When you find me one that fits me, my husband, my two kids (including their car seats), and all our luggage that would be great.

    • Joseph Santostefano says:

      Per capita MPG’s on buses are generally much higher than 80 mpg and they can hold several families and their luggage, but maybe not their baggage.

  106. Rebecca says:

    Thanks, Melissa ~ I said something very like this on the blog I write for the other day

    And in several others before that ~ and only got one comment and that was negative bilge about the president. I don’t understand people like that. If they’re going to stick their heads in the sand (not to say up their . . .), I wish they’d go do it in Florida or Alabama or Mississippi or Louisiana.

    I’m glad to see someone else speak out so forthrightly about how President Obama is better than we deserve. Thanks again.

  107. Ken says:

    Yes what was not done in the past is gone and who you want to send to jail for violations that lead to this disaster that did kill people will not make up for this loss… But what the US can and should do NOW is, based on the facts that BP did willingly violate drilling safety laws and has 800% more safety violation then any other US driller working in US waters, the US must shut down all BP drilling, refinery, and transportation activities in the US.

    BP, if they chose to work the wells, drilling sites, tankers, and refineries in US territories and US Waters or Leased lands, BP may do so, only if they contract the direct operations and management of all of these operations to US petroleum companies or consulting companies who do have a safe operating record.

    BP has proven and has testified in the Congressional hearings on this disaster that as a company they condone drilling operations that fail to meet the US safety laws and industry guidelines. In congress BP produced no documentation or testimony that the BP company had issued any orders to the drillers on BP rigs that US safety laws and industry guidelines were to be followed. In testimony BP said they did not know why the people on the rig did not follow US safety laws and industry guidelines as apparently BP gave such latitude to make such decisions down to the lowest level of BP management.

    Drill baby Drill if you must, but don’t let BP run free again, never. In a few years, after BP’s new CEO and management team can prove they are operating safely in other countries and have posted a performance bond and have paid for all the loss caused by this disaster should their management be gragly phased back into any remaining BP operations in the US.

    Good Luck

  108. Use video to promote your products at ShopWatchBuy says:

    This is supposed to be worse than setting off a nuke… I guess we had it coming…
    Shop Watch Buy

  109. T. Christopher Fairchild III says:

    Wow you’re stupid even for a typical obama supporting radical liberal nutjob. Did you ever consider that Canadian’s use a lot of energy because it’s @#$*ing COLD there? Do you like heat in your house? I do.

    As for all those other countries you compare us to that use less energy – it’s either because they’re POOR and they can’t afford to use much energy (China, Russia) or they are taxed into oblivion (The Netherlands) to the point that they can’t afford anything.

    If you don’t like having wealth and the freedom to buy things with it as you see fit move to some shitty country where they don’t have those freedoms and SHUT UP!

    I have an idea for how to stop the oil leak – your smart car, with you in it, should be put in a car compactor and compressed to extremely dense block of metal and organic mater which we could then plug the hole with at the bottom of the ocean!

  110. DR says:

    Excellently written piece. I want to thank you for your insight and refreshing thinking.

  111. TaylorGooderham says:

    I agree that us Canadians are energy hogs. I hope we can change that, and I agree entirely on your point.

  112. Hempdigler says:

    I really blame this oil spill on environmentalists. If the environmentalist movement would stop pushing oil companies further and further out to sea. Making it more and more dangerous, and more and more difficult. We would not have this problem. Shallow water drilling and drilling on land (ANWAR) would be far less complicated, far less dangerous, and far less disasterous. Environmentalists really have no one to blame but themselves. The eleven people that died did not die from greed, they died due to the complexities of deep water drilling.

    • Hempdigler says:

      And hey nice smart car. Thought you would like to see how it got rave reviews on crash tests but nobody notices how the car does a 450 degree turn and crosses 2 lanes of traffic after the initial crash, does not seem very smart to me.

      • You are doubly whacked.

      • witspun says:

        Hey Chief – if all of us were to drive the smart cars- we wouldn’t have to worry about high speed crashes/chases/losses of life and would be living a far better /greener life.The only ppl who really want humungous gas guzzlers that go from 0-100 in notime at all are ppl who want to prove themselves- at what – god knows.

    • Wow! Are you from Bizarro World? I’m sorry, but . . . really?

    • essentialsimplicity says:

      Are you serious? The reason why it’s being moved further offshore is due to the fact that little oil is left close to the coast. Why is this? It’s because of our endless thirst for oil.

  113. kelliejwin says:

    Good post!

  114. Nice post and I agree with all of it but feel a lot of impatience with the fact we are still at war with no end in sight. Regarding the oil spill, who caused the oil spill when after all it was you and me! And deregulation/lack of over sight. I’m can’t wait until the light rail is completed here in Denver near my place-about 2 years away, maybe 3. I will still need a car to go to court but otherwise will be able to use mass transit 90% of the time.


  115. Scott says:

    Um, isn’t it BRITISH Petroleum, the largest company in that fair kingdom across the pond. While Obama is guilty of plenty in this fiasco, why not hold the real culprits accountable. I didn’t spill any oil. Neither did you. Sure, the big picture is about consumption, but FOCUS … if you know how … and lay the blame squarely in those Nancy-boys’ tweed-covered laps.

    • I would say that North Americans are accomplices in this crime. We let BP do it. If we had taken real action years ago, there would have been no Deepwater Horizon and no oil spill. I’m all for prosecuting the pants off of them, but that still doesn’t let us off the hook. Obviously ‘we’ are a construct. As individuals we ain’t so bad. But ‘we’ as a collective have been asleep at the wheel.

    • Dave says:

      Hey Scott. I wonder how you feel about a certain US company called Union Carbide. Remember them? They are the US company that abandoned the community of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India after a leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, and other toxins from the plant, resulted in over 500,000 people being affected. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Other government agencies estimate 15,000 deaths. Others estimate that 8,000 died within the first weeks and that another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. This community is still feeling the effects of this industrial disaster. They have been left to suffer! Over 25 years later there are still civil and criminal cases pending in the United District Court, Manhattan and the District Court, Bhopal, against Union Carbide.

      So, before you get on your high horse about British Petroleum check out the USA’s own industrial record. When you point a finger there can be three pointing back at you!

      ps. I believe 39% of the shareholders of BP are American

      • Dave says:

        ps: That should read, ‘United States Disrict Court’.

      • Campbell Rankin says:

        I agree Dave, American attitudes stink.
        “..lay the blame squarely in those Nancy-boys’ tweed-covered laps”.

        Wow where do you start with that level of ignorance! So with 40% of BP owned by Brits and 39.6% owned by US – who should take the blame Scott?? It isn’t British Petroleum as your ignorant president spouts – it has been just bp for 9 years! So wrong again.
        I mean some fat old guy in a cowboy hat who imagines that that he can just throw out insults isn’t worth a reply – but I do note how he shows a specific interest in laying something in a “Nancy-boy’s lap” – perhaps that is where his true interests lie?

        Best of luck in coming out of the closet.. LOL.

    • Erin Currin says:

      BP is 40% American owned. It is no longer a BRITISH company. It is a GLOBAL one.

  116. Excellent post. I admire Obama and voted for him, but I don’t think the sun shines out his ass, actually it is up in the heavens above us. And we should be using it as our major source of energy instead of burning oil and coal.

    I have been driving a Prius for 3 1/2 years now, I decided to do something about my energy foot print a long time ago. we get, on average, 50 mpg. For some reason, they change the formula of gasoline from winter to summer and in the winter our mileage drops and in summer it rises. We also have a pickup truck which we don’t drive on a daily basis. We did not get rid of it, and never will because as far as I know despite the great mileage it isn’t very efficient to haul firewood, sand, cement and other bulky items in a Prius. Also, it is very hard for the front end loader to put the sand into it. . .

    I also wash my clothes in cold water and hang them on the clothesline to dry. We wear sweaters in the winter, and next to nothing in the summer. That is a start, but I am so jealous of our friend in WI who recently installed a photovoltaic array in his front yard and uses passive solar to heat his hot water plus he has a super efficient house and a ground source heat pump. Someday we’ll have the monetary resources to copy him.

    It truly is time for Americans to acknowledge that our addiction to oil and our willingness to pay big money for it is what has fueled the oil companies, given them the resources to do this sort of drilling and the big big bucks required to lobby and pay off whoever they have to in order to be able to skirt regulations.

  117. ste says:

    Hello! For those asking how much is the diesel Smart rated, it’s 71 MPG, if I did my maths right. Mine is just like yours, black and yellow, and it’s gorgeous (and, as the name says, smart).
    Ste from Italy

  118. Mike says:

    I admit that I am part of the problem. My excuse is that marketing is SO good that we truly think we need a Hummer. That it’s ok to use one fourth of our income for transportation expences. That if we drive that huge diesel dually it doesn’t matter what our shoe size is.
    Personally I am building electric busses at a company named Proterra. It’s new and it’s exciting that industry is interested in lowering our fuel consumption.

  119. euphqueen1 says:

    I am SO TIRED of hearing people say the oil spill is like Hurricane Katrina. Oil leak…massive flood in New Orleans…NOT the same! The federal government knew the levees protecting the city were damaged but never repaired them. It was their responsibility to take care of the problem, it was their responsibility to help the people affected, and they flubbed it. What exactly is the federal government supposed to do about the oil leak? What do they even know about how to fix an oil leak? All the experts in the field work for the oil companies! This is BP’s mess and they need to clean it up.

    In the meantime, anyone griping about oil companies and not changing their energy consumption patterns isn’t doing one bit of good, so I hope we are all doing our part.

  120. Dave Olufs, Just 4 Measure, Ltd says:

    Our mirrors reflect a lot of work needed to minimize our ecological footprint… homes, businesses and personal modes of transportation, just to start.

  121. popscure says:

    Perfect example of supply and demand. We need to use less and less energy and it should start with our homes and cars.

  122. Ashley Rene says:

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more!

  123. DKN says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. The Obama hating on this one is driving me up a wall. Thank you.

    And thanks, also, for that world bank list – very interesting!!

  124. bmj2k says:

    “Written on June 16, 2010, on the morning after Obama’s historic Oval Office address to the Nation”

    Um, historic how?

    “Our President was, I think you’ll agree, a little busy.”

    With the McCartney concert, right.

    ” I mean, just how do you solve a problem like Maria? This thing is huge. What? He’s supposed to do nip-ups and make it disappear? He’s supposed to get pissed off and his divine wrath will somehow plug the hole? News flash: governments can only do so many things at once. ”

    Did you say that after Katrina? Because polls how Americans think this response is equally poor.

    ” Never mind the Jews (Israelis, incidentally, use only 2,875 kilograms of energy a year). It’s us North Americans who have refused for decades to do one damn thing about our addiction to oil. ”

    Never mind the Jews? That came out of left field. What are you really saying?
    BTW-Jews are a religion, and Jewish people are found all over the world. Do you mean the people of Israel? They are Israelis, and believe it or not, a great many non-Jews live there.

    I am not accusing you pof anti-semitism, but many signs in your blog seem to indicate…

    • Have you read your Bible, where God refers to the Israelites as “a stiff-necked” people? Check it out.

      And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
      Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
      — Exodus 32: 9-10 (KJV)

      God was angry at the Israelites because they were ignoring His laws. I was comparing Americans to the ancient Israelites who know what they were supposed to do (break addiction to oil), yet ignore it.

    • BRay says:

      Hey dummy,
      “Jew” is an ethnicity, not merely a religion, look it up. We are Jews due to our blood lines.

      Thought I’d point that out.

      A Jew (also stiff-necked at times).

  125. Ivor says:

    Or maybe defending the indefensible is sometimes just plain too difficult.

  126. WHOOO HOOOOO!!!! Great blog!!!!! I was getting all fired up right along with you!!! Nice to read someone with similar views to my own….Congrats!!!

  127. Ivor says:

    I’m amazed. We’re 14 posts in and a Conservative hasn’t chimed in and told you to “go f*©h yourself” back to Soviet Canuckistan. Maybe they don’t read text first thing in the day.

    I am unaccustomed to playing partisan politics, but I am accustomed somewhat to reading commentary on blogs and news posts.

    I have to say I support your view and I am pleased to see that at least 1 others do too. Well, 13 if you take the knit picker as neutral.

  128. I am an Obama supporter too, and I have been telling everyone I know it is ridiculous to think he is not working hard on this crisis. Glad to hear some others feel as I do!

  129. Cyndi says:

    Very good post 🙂

  130. Pirogoeth says:

    Thank you! I am so tired of everyone blaming the President for not going out there and plugging the leak himself. He can only do so much. The fact that to do on simple thing seems to need to be approved by 50 agencies is something he might, might, be able to work on. Why aren’t people yelling at BP more? It’s their mess, not Obama’s!

    • I agree. BP is to blame. Obama is doing a fine job.

    • onyerbicycle says:

      It is the responsibility of all of use who use oil based products.

    • Joseph Santostefano says:

      People are rightfully blaming Obama because corporations don’t just engage in non-profitable behavior by themselves, they need to be forced. Obama isn’t instituting any kind of regulation about safety measures or how deep you can drill or anything. BP was woefully unprepared for this and it wasn’t because the technology didn’t exist to prevent it, it was because no one was forcing their hand to implement it and they still aren’t. Obama’s energy plan advocates for more of the same, fossil fuels, nuclear, and no regulation

  131. thecodger says:

    Well said, Melissa. As a first step, I’ve switched to using synthetic oil, and I also recycle. Perhaps someone could add another 10 steps to create a 12 step program, the kind that work for a lot of addicts.

    The Codger

  132. Erin Currin says:

    Thank you for an engaging and frank post… 🙂

    The key is to be sure you understand the facts… The 10% ethanol in our fuel effectively deleted most of the advantage of driving a Prius, other than the fact that it’s a potentially great technological start. (I had one… As soon as ethanol came out mpg went from 47-50 down to 35-38!)

    We have the potential to build vehicles that get over 100 miles to the gallon (and have for decades).

    We are being MARKETED to… even by the green companies.

    Do some research. Don’t do something just because the TELL you it’s green. There is no excuse that takes away the responsibility that each of us has for our world.

  133. Bravo! Being from Louisiana, this oil spill saddens and sickens me. Sad, because I can see that my home state will never be the same again. Sick, because it could have been prevented from happening in the first place. Thank you for sharing.


  134. Josh Newsom says:

    “I know how to stop the oil spill and heal our economy: Solar panels and energy effecient windows!” -Obama

    I think that is what people don’t really get. Of course I don’t follow polotics very closely but as I watched the speech, I got the feeling that this guy is disconnected from the people.

  135. ravensmarch says:

    As a Canadian who is trying to not be an energy hog (92.5% efficient furnace, starting to replace the CFLs with LED bulbs, given to indoor sweaters) I’m going to suggest something to all those who have and will after this comment cried out their support– remember that shouting, “Hear, Hear!” in a forum like this, while nice, doesn’t actually get anything done apart from encouraging a single author. Applaud, by all means, then haul out a sheet of paper and write a physical letter (which works better than email as it’s harder to delete) to those in power, expressing your views.

    Cynicism suggests that very little will change regardless of a legion of raised voices, but you’ve at least earned the right to complain about the lack of change. Who knows? It might actually do something.

    • Yes! It is about each of us doing our part and all the little things a person can do, throughout their lifetime, that adds up to being extremely helpful. I am sure there are many very easy solutions such as, shorter showers, getting a compost, walking/biking/busing when able (instead of driving) etc. etc. etc.

      • Carol says:

        Thank you.
        We can all do what we can, when we can. Maybe be surprised at just how much more we can do if the ground is dug a little deeper.

    • hy mayerson says:

      i find it hard to believe that writing to politicians makes a bit of difference…
      george washington led us into battle…not the case today for todays leaders…
      congress needs to start by having the same medical plans as most of their constitutes…
      until one of them starts a significant move in this direction, we are all headed for the slaughter house in due time, which is now marching faster…

  136. ihmheavy says:

    Fantastic post. So very true (and I’m Canadian, sigh).

  137. wbosch says:

    I’m curious. The Smart Car mileage is estimated by the EPA at below 40 mpg. How do you do less than $300 in gas per year? My Honda Civic Hybrid does upper 40s (47-49) consistently and frequently above 50 mpg, and I spend over $300 on gas per year. Are you not doing much driving? I fill up twice a month at most.

    GM should have stuck with the EV-1, but they killed it. We live in a super size me culture and with a bad economy that is still not changing. Unfortunately we suffer from memory loss and it will all go back to “normal” soon.

    • I’m just around town and it’s a small town. However, the Ford Escort I had before, when my driving habits were identical, cost me four times more.

    • tdatx says:

      I have a smart and drive it about 15K miles a year; was one of the first with one. EPA rates the smart at 41MPG highway. Its funny, when I see it on the news they only indicate the 33MPG, which is city only; doesn’t sound impressive when I have gotten 31 MPG on the highway with my G35. I drive about 60% highway and pull out about 38-40 when I bother calculating. Melissa looks like hers is European, though, it may be different. I hear the diesels (not available in the US) get around 80.

    • Larry115 says:

      >”The Smart Car mileage is estimated by the EPA at below 40 mpg”

      What American’s should be incensed over are the regulations which are CLAIMED to improve air quality by restricting diesel emissions through prohibiting sale of certain diesel powered vehicles in the USA. CARB seemed to start the trend and, here in NYS, the legislature followed by ‘rubber stamping’ what CARB had ruled.

      Diesel powered vehicles manufactured by American auto, truck and bus makers utilized the cheapest engines designed – quite simply because they COULD and politicians and the ‘talking head’ media trumpeted the cause to appear ‘green’.

      So we’re still stuck with particulate belching heavy and ‘light trucks (pick-ups, SUVs & vans – according to Federal import quotas)’MADE IN THE USA’ whilst our European cousins were busy developing cleaner-burning diesel fuel, engines and more fuel-efficient drive trains.

      It’s now reached the point a person in the EU (and most everywhere else outside the USA) can buy an EU sourced diesel vehicle which runs cleaner than a gasoline powered vehicle made in the USA!

      Several years ago I learnt of the (then) proposed ‘Smart Car’ from a contact at Swatch (partner in development with Daimler-Benz). Wish I’d had the money back then to invest because while the US-sold version gets at most 40mpg burning gasoline – you can buy a diesel one (same body) for use outside the USA which gets as much as 75mpg!

      Take note all the original EU nations provide some version of National Healthcare to all their citizens (and refugees) which is funded through income and VAT (‘Value Added Tax’) taxes.

      Like any responsible business manager the leaders of these nations must balance their budgets so every Euro spent reducing costs due to ill health can return (ROI) many MORE Euros for use elsewhere.

      In the USA with all, but the retired, indigent or Government employed, receiving THEIR healthcare funded through private means there’s no real financial incentive for those elected to reduce healthcare costs by reducing incidence of illness and injury. OSHA’s workplace enforcement has ALWAYS been lax with official policy being NOT to accept any ‘formal’ report (of unsafe/unhealthy working conditions) from ANYONE except a ‘permanent employee’ or manager. ‘Informal Reports’ MAY be accepted from anyone but THOSE are only verbal so no official record is maintained.

      This policy results in friends, relatives, venders, ‘temps’ and part-time workers (or any observer) being denied the opportunity to file a Formal Report related to injuries/illnesses/deaths resulting from unsafe/unhealthy conditions in the workplace. By default it ALSO results in increased incidence of injury and ill health as there are no regulatory ‘teeth’ to bite perpetrators.

      Further; anyone attempting to file an ‘Informal Report’ to OSHA may find (as I had) their identity reported to their employer – resulting in dismissal FROM their employment – driving up unemployment and drain on social service costs – but I digress.

      By virtue of the need to reduce healthcare costs – EU leaders use inducements to coerce THEIR automakers into producing vehicles which are less likely to cause illness or injury to the motorists OR bystanders. Remember; the ‘Trebbie’ is no more.

      A side benefit of reducing emissions to (to reduce healthcare costs) was increased fuel efficiency (ie: Smart Car, Ford Fiesta, etc). Reducing fuel consumption (demand) for petrol and diesel naturally lead to reduced need for crude oil. However China, India and the African nations have seen a dramatic rise in oil powered vehicles as lifestyles improve. This causes greater demand for oil which offsets reduction in demand in the EU nations while demand remains steady in the USA – thus the need for new sources of oil (hence drilling in the Gulf of Mexico).

      Seeing as the US consumes roughly 25% of known oil production – an EU style (France, Germany,) healthcare system, properly administered to reign-in costs, would result in a healthy populous, more powerful vehicles with greater fuel economy (and SAFER to boot!) while reducing necessity for military conflicts.

      This reasoning, however, virtually explains the current state of the US economy, foreign, domestic and energy policies. As someone else here had already stated – the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ warned of in President Eisenhower’s farewell address.

  138. Melissa says:

    Just ran across your post…

    This. Thank you. 🙂

  139. Scott says:

    Although I am all for reducing a carbon footprint and alternative energy sources, these things will not happen for a while. Any carbon tax will just be passed on to the consumer as they always have, and just like when gas was around $4 a gallon, they will complain but pay anyway. FYI a Hummer is MUCH more green overall than even a Toyota Prius when all factors are accounted for. More environmental damage is done creating the battery for the Prius than the amount of the gases spewed out of a Hummer its entire life cycle. Add that to the fact that the lifespan of the Prius is half that of a Hummer, and it gets worse. Am I for owning Hummers? NO, far from it. I am all bout going green, but the media and companies do NOT tell the whole story. THAT is what we need to be searching for, that truth. Although a republican, I am not a blind follower. Obama has done as well as anyone could during this crisis and deserves no criticism. We just need to get through this with action and not blaming, then move on to the future with this fresh in our minds.

    • Agreed – the whole story is what is important here. I do not own a vehicle at all and actually prefer walking/biking and/or taking public transit.

      I believe if you look into the reason why Canadians have a higher percentage of energy use it is due to our extreme weather and spread out populace.

    • hy mayerson says:

      How about electric forklift batteries?

      When I grew up we all lived in row homes.

      Levittown started the the single home craze.
      Now many of us live in a large single home, many with high ceilings,
      large lawns…Like the commentater above said,
      we have met the enemy & it is us…
      I admire big O – he just bit off so much more than he could chew…
      he is much like i am, only O’s appetite is much bigger…
      it is wearing him out…
      he will keep on keepin on…

  140. I am an Obama supporter as well but a disapointed one. Why are we still at war? Why did we end up with half-assed health care reform? The Dems have to stop being wimps. The problems left behind by Bush are enormous and they won’t be solved by catering to conservatives who don’t want them solved. I’d rather Obama be a one term President who actually got something done than a tepid two-termer afraid to rock the boat.

  141. Alan says:

    That meanns – I hear you and I am with you. Well done

  142. Alan says:

    I’m hear you. Well done.

  143. You may appreciate this essay in Harper’s by Wendell Berry, “Faustian economics” available at

  144. Victoria says:

    Too true. I’ll be honest in saying that there was no urgency in my attempts to limit my dependency on oil until this spill. I get the feeling that many, if not most, Americans were equally ignorant before this as well. The sad part is, one of the arguments I’ve heard in the aftermath is that “we need oil.” Need…apparently more so than the water in the Gulf and the fish in the sea. So even after this atrocity, people are still being willfully ignorant. Not examining their lives, not thinking “How can I do my part?” It always takes someone higher up to tell them what to do and how to do it. It’s embarrassing.

    PS I think the sun shines out of Obama’s ass as well.

  145. Love this post! And you’re right, what could Obama possibly do? Great thoughts and insights! Thanks for the great post.

  146. mwarren06 says:

    do you mean kilowatts instead of kilograms of energy?

  147. Mike says:

    one ugly trait of americans is that we are extremely hipocritical. We will bitch and moan about polution and the oil spill, but ask us to trade in our pickup truck for a hybrid and we’ll roll our eyes.

    The oil spill is a distaster, no doubt about it. I dont care if you are an evironmentalist or not, it has to bother you. All of that wildlife getting distroyed makes me sick to my stomach.

    If anything GOOD can come out of this, hopefully its that americans will see that; “maybe buying a 4 cylinder engine isnt that bad of an idea afterall, or maybe putting some solar panels on my house isnt a bad idea…”

    Alot of times it takes something major, like this, to spark some sort of movement.

  148. tdatx says:

    One interesting thing I learned from this disaster- half of the oil in the ocean is natural (from seepage, etc), and a small amount is from spills (which are obviously much worse because they are so concentrated). The other half? RUN OFF and other “incremental” discharge from our daily lives. Ouch. We double the amount of oil in the ocean globally just from our lifestyle.

  149. Great post!

    People will always need something to blame, it’s their security blanket, their pacifier. People blamed Bush during his administration and with good cause, the man was an idiot. I think Obama is doing a fantastic job and it’s good to see someone else is an “Obamist”.

  150. Right on. In the immortal words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    • Carol says:

      There could not be a better comment of taking responsibility where responsibility is due. Responsibility lies with man whether man induced stupidity of disasters or not. I wonder how much energy is used to blame instead of finding or acting on solutions to the problem.

  151. jeezejulia says:

    Here, here!

  152. Raul says:

    Everyone needs to stop blaming and start fixing.

  153. I totally agree with you, it’s too bad that so many people don’t see this… We are all in the “oil business” as far as I’m concerned… it’s all our responsibility… after all we supported BP, we voted for them with our dollars… and that is the only really effective way to vote for anything. We have not been very good at heeding the advice and subtle hints from intelligent people such as the likes of Pres. Carter and so many others and it will catch up to us – most definitely 😦

    • Carol says:

      Absolutely! I love your insight Melissa as well as so many others posting.
      I can’t always physically step in, or even financially, especially now during these hard times. My thanks to all who share the evironmental issues and open my eyes to even more of what is going on out there.

  154. jackie says:

    I so agree Melissa……the oil spill is a world disaster……no arguing…yelling…..suing….blaming…will plug the hole any faster….People who have to criticize, blame, judge, degrade other are sad people indeed with poor self esteem that dont take the time to see the whole picture

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