The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.

Green Life

The oil spill…

Like many of you, I am beyond disturbed with this oil spill situation.

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First, the problem: The oil spill. I’m sure you all know how bad this is for the planet, the environment, for people and for wildlife biodiversity.

Right now, no one can predict the terrible long term effects this will have on the water and all the creatures who rely on it to live, including humans. The amazing people who are working to clean up the spill are already having serious health problems, as are animals like fish, dolphins, whales, birds, turtles, and land mammals. It’s so sad, and so frustrating.

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The solution? There isn’t one yet, but here is what is being done so far…

Right now, about 20,000 people employed by various White House agencies from the Coast Guard to the Environmental Protection Agency to the Fish and Wildlife Department are working in the Gulf to clean up the oil, though more oil is being pumped into the ocean every day.

President Obama has come under fire for how he has been handling the spill, and I, too, was very upset until I saw this video [below]. He made me feel like he is handling the spill very seriously and explained everything in a clear manner. I appreciate having a President who speaks concisely and clearly so we all can understand these sometimes complex issues – what a relief. Often times I feel like when politicians talk my eyes glaze over in boredom and I don’t know what the hell they’re really saying. Obama keeps me interested and makes me feel like I have a good handle on what’s going on and I truly appreciate that

Like I said above, I do understand the anger and frustration not just for the Gulf residents but for those of us in other parts of the world who are seeing all of this horrible footage and feeling helpless. Unfortunately I’ve been reading that the hair booms I told you about before are not being used. It turns out the hair booms were absorbing both oil AND water, rapidly becoming too heavy and sinking (though they are tethered so they’re not littering the ocean). Now they are trying to use booms made of sorbent material (wrapped in cotton socks) that only absorb the oil and not the water and are much more effective.

The root of the problem…..and how to change it:

The United States produces around uses 21 million barrels of oil a day. In one day! And we produce around 6 million. It’s obvious that we are in way too deep. We are sucking the earth dry.

When will we wake up?! As long as the sun shines, the wind will blow, (“The Sun is largely responsible for wind patterns around the world. The pattern begins in the tropics-around the equator-where the Sun heats the air, which becomes lighter and then rises. Cooler air rushes into the area where the warmed air was, and the process is repeated again and again. The heat of the Sun-along with the eastern movement, or rotation, of Earth on its axis-causes this pattern of air movement around the equator. And this pattern, in turn, affects wind patterns all over the world.” – SOURCE), so why aren’t we harnessing these amazing gifts of natural energy? The solution is all around us. We have miles and miles of land so perfect for wind turbines and roof after roof just begging for a solar panel. The government should be doing everything it can to make these solutions the norm, including making it cost-efficient for individual households to obtain them.

Alternative energy sources, ones that have little impact on the earth and its inhabitants, are the answer. Yes, it would mean spending some money now, but it would also mean creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and potentially saving the planet. And in the long run could actually allow us to become energy self-sufficient and even see a profit. The United States has the capacity to produce as much, if not much much more, energy than we use with wind power alone. What are we waiting for?

The White House is listening. Just a few days ago Obama stopped any off-shore drilling in the Arctic for the foreseeable future. And the Cape Wind project in New England has just been greenlit – the biggest off-shore wind farm in the country. We have to all get together and be as loud as we can until something changes. Call your representatives, call them everyday, and tell them you support an “ambitious Renewable Energy Standard focusing on wind and solar power.”

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