The BP Oil Spill Disaster

The Dallas Morning News Religion Blog is a shadow of its former self, but today their “Texas Faith” panel addressed the BP oil spill disaster. There are no Pagans on the panel, so I added my thoughts in the comments section. I’m repeating them here.

Modern Pagans realize that we were not placed on the Earth, we grew out of it. Thus, the Earth is not merely our home, it’s our Mother. We should treat it with the same respect and honor we show our human mothers.

Paganism teaches that we are responsible for our actions. BP is directly responsible for this disaster – it must also be responsible for stopping the leak, cleaning up the ocean and coasts, and compensating those whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted.

Paganism teaches that everything is connected, and so we too bear some responsibility for this disaster. If our demand for oil was not insatiable, there would be no need for off-shore drilling and we would not be supporting unfriendly governments in other countries.

Paganism teaches us to see things as they really are, not as we wish they were. And the reality is that our dependency on oil isn’t going away any time soon. But the longer this dependency is allowed to continue, the longer we’ll keep sending money to places like Saudi Arabia and the more chances we’ll have for a repeat of this disaster, or something worse. We can’t wait for the oil to run out – something must change, now.

If the cost of gasoline and other fossil fuel products reflected their TOTAL costs (not just production, refining, and distribution, but also their military and environmental costs), then we would have an immediate incentive to use less now, renewable energy would become more viable, and venture capital would flow into energy alternatives.

Reverting to an iron age economy is neither necessary nor desirable. But we cannot permit this disaster to be simply the cost of doing business, for BP or for us.

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