Friday, April 30, 2010
It's Not Easy Being Green
The New York Times and most major news outlets are providing fresh reports that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is moving toward land and that the oil is leaking much faster than initial estimates. What started as the tragic loss of eleven lives is threatening to become a much larger disaster. In addition to maps showing the endangered bayous and marshes, the New York Times and others are reproducing pictures of the encroaching oil slick from Greenpeace, such as the one above.
According to their mission statement, "Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future." In this unfolding environmental catastrophe, they are certainly holding up the first part of that mission, but what about promoting solutions?
After 9/11 and Katrina, people across the country eagerly rushed to lend a hand. On blogs, people posted links to charities that were on site helping people and suggested other ways to get involved. Companies held blood drives, food drives, and assembled care packages. In the face of adversity, private citizens and organizations came together and demonstrated the real strength of America in the bonds of community and free association.
Looking at Greenpeace's news releases, blog pages, and action center, there don't appear to be any suggestions of things that people can actually do to help. According to Wikipedia, Greenpeace has more than 2.8 million members around the world. Aside from sending emails to politicians demanding an end to offshore drilling, what is the world's premier environmental activism organization doing to actually help the environment when it is needed most? The answer, sadly, is nothing.
However, there are ways you can help! CNN reports that there are conservation organizations that are seeking volunteers and donations to begin the cleanup efforts. The Audubon Society, Alabama Coastal Foundation, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Mobile Baykeeper, Save Our Seabirds, Oiled Wildlife Care Network, and the International Bird Rescue Research Center are all gearing up on the Gulf Coast to help birds and other animals that become fouled by the floating oil. Unlike Greenpeace, these organizations can actually make a difference.