Right now, we’re focused on the tragic events in the Gulf of Mexico along the southern coast of North America.
There, a giant oil drilling platform exploded in mid-April, and now millions of gallons of oil have poured into the ocean. It might turn out to be the largest environmental disaster in American history–but it’s also a moment when we can help the US and its leaders understand the depth of their addiction to fossil fuel, and the real need to get off dirty energy now.
Most of us like what President Obama campaigned for. But after taking office, he has not acted courageously on climate and energy issues. In fact, just a month ago he ended a longstanding moratorium on new offshore oil drilling. He told Americans it was safe.
Hopefully this tragedy will be a wake up call that can help President Obama see that he was wrong. More importantly, it will give him the chance he needs to finally explain to Americans why they need to stop relying on fossil fuel and join with other nations to lead the planet toward renewable power. And of course if the US shifts its position, this fight will get easier all over the world.
There are a few things you could do to help President Obama see the light:
First, is sign this petition, which our American coordinators will deliver to the White House next week. It asks for real presidential leadership on clean energy–and a ban on new offshore drilling. If you’ve already signed, multiply your impact by sharing the link with a couple of clicks on Email, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else: http://www.350.org/drilling-ban
Second is join the Facebook group against more offshore drilling. Politicians are starting to pay attention to Facebook, and this group is currently the largest social media hub against drilling–and a home of spirited discussions about a different way forward on energy. http://www.facebook.com/dontdrill
Third, you can donate directly to people impacted by the oil spill. If you have a little spare money this week, we know our friends in the Gulf who are fighting to keep their communities free of oil could use a hand. http://www.350.org/gulf-donations
Fourth, keep building this movement in your community. The oil spill is just one of many tragedies related to our continued reliance on dirty energy. Addressing their root causes requires a sustained movement big enough to tip the balance.
Dirty oil is easy to see. The climate crisis is hard to see. We need President Obama and other world leaders to draw the connection between the two.
And they will, if you keep pointing it out.
Bill McKibben and the 350.org Team
P.S. For those of you new to the 350 movement (thousands of you have joined in the past few days) check out our gameplan for 2010 by clicking here: http://www.350.org/2010