Are we responsible for the Gulf Oil Spill? How much less oil can we really use?
Mark Mykleby, the author of a Letter to the Editor of the Beaufort Gazette in South Carolina, writes: "The oil spill is my fault. I'm sorry. I haven't done my part." "Here's the bottom line:" he says, "If we want to end our oil addiction, we, as citizens, need to pony up -- bike to work, plant a garden, do something." Mykleby and others are calling for us as citizens to look at how our lifestyles rely on cheap oil, and thus provide the demand that sent BP out to harvest the stuff in pristine and difficult to reach places. "Of course," as Thoms Friedman says, "we expected them to take care, but when you’re drilling for oil beneath 5,000 feet of water, stuff happens." The question is: to what extent can our individual behaviors reduce the demand for oil? Riding a bike, planting a garden, taking public transportation, staying away from plastic bags and water bottles-- how much can these individual actions really add up to a big decrease in the demand for oil?