Posted by: ARC | June 2, 2010

Silence in the face of an oil spill. And then Action


The week after the Gulf Coast oil spill, Green Faith’s Fletcher Harper registered two kinds of responses. Industry experts observed that oil spills are unavoidable. (“Several have noted without irony that the US has it good because its environmental laws are so tough citing countries like Nigeria, which apparently has suffered an Exxon Valdez-equivalent spill every year since 1969. This kind of response is the pastoral equivalent of telling a family that’s just lost a loved one in a horrible accident that “stuff happens.” It doesn’t cut it.”)

The second type, Rev Harper recounts  is people wanting to take action. “NPR carried a story about the effectiveness of hair as an attractor for oil, and described hundreds of barber shops and salons shipping their trimmings to where volunteers are stuffing the hair into cloth tubes, creating hair-filled booms to skim the Gulf’s surface and to collect the oil.”

Rev Harper cites a report about the Sierra Club’s Executive Director, Michael Brune viewing the spill from a helicopter. ” The report noted that Mr. Brune was silent during the ride, and that he said very little after it. The report went on to relate several of Mr. Brune’s words — and I don’t remember even one of them. But I do remember being grateful for his relative silence, and for his allowing himself to be moved.” Link here for the full story, and here for a reaction from the Ecumenical “Green” Patriarch.


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