Better World Club

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Corrections - Last Washington Watch:

Hey, If You're Going to Use That Drill, How About Some Novocaine?

Update from Michael Shultz, former Greenpeace employee

In the April 20th issue of Kicking Asphalt, we published a piece by former BWC employee and Greenpeace organizer Michael Schultz defending President Obama's decision to increase drilling off the U.S. Coast.

The title of the article read, ''Hey, If You're Going to Use That Drill, How About Some Novocaine? Or Is Obama's Policy One That An Environmentalist Can Love?''

Of course, this preceded the British Petroleum oil spill that is now a major crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

The editors of Kicking Asphalt wish to inform our readers that the words ''Only A Crazy'' were inadvertently left out of the headline before the word ''Environmentalist.'' The headline should have read: ''Or is Obama's Policy One That Only A Crazy Environmentalist Can Love.''

. . .the word ''Masochistic'' might also have been accidentally dropped.

We apologize for any confusion.

Go to article.

Update from Michael Shultz, former Greenpeace employee

Obviously, the oil spill in the gulf changed my opinions a bit. If an opinion isn't subject to change when circumstances warrant, then it's not a very well thought-out opinion. This was the first major offshore oil problem in the US since 1969. But the effects could be devastating enough to change our public perception and open the way to new solutions to our energy problems. I've always believed that crises precipitate change. As people in traditionally pro-oil states are inundated with the effects of their choices, it will fundamentally change their attitudes about long term betting on offshore drilling. That should open a cultural space for a new push for clean energy with both conservative and liberal support.

The problem with implementing clean energy solutions is that many people won't see global environmental problems for what they are. If we had a majority of global thinkers in the US, solutions would be easier to implement. We don't. Not yet. This spill might help people connect the dots and see the problem from a higher level. I think that Obama can use this event to redirect his energy strategy towards more renewable production and development.

We give our money to big corporations like BP because we've ceded them the production of the things that satisfy our needs and desires. If you want to do something to change that, organize within your local community or figure out a way to make a living by serving a need in your community. That way, we can more easily recover from environmental and economic disaster because we're addressing problems in our own backyards, which also undermines the dominance hierarchies that are the bases of many corporate and political structures, and creates local interdependence and self-sufficiency. In other words, power with rather than power over.

The issue that I was trying to get at in my original article was simpler, though. We are facing extremely complex global issues, and simplistic arguments from either political pole are generally wrong.

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