Friday, May 14, 2010

Rising Dark Tide

"Meeting" a novelette published by Lillibridge Press and now available on, deals with apocalyptic futures and ecological disaster.

Sadly, such things are coming true all around us every day. The ecological impacts of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are getting worse by the day as an estimated 210, 000 – 2,520,000 gallons of filthy crude oil continue to poison the sea-water, moving toward the coast like some rising dark tide out of horror fiction. The spill, estimated to be over 130 miles long and 70 miles wide, will soon hit the coastlines of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, devastating local economies and threatening hundreds of species in the Gulf of Mexico, including endangered and rare species. All this of course comes on the heels of the recent coal mining tragedy in West Virginia. One of the worst coal mining disasters in history, though not the first of its kind. Or, probably, the last.

What more proof does this nation need that fossil fuels are killing us? It wasn't enough that 97% of the world's leading climatologists have been warning us for decades about the dangers of global warming? Or, that oil spills like the current disaster have happened before, and are continuing? Or, that the build-up of coal-ash sludge has threatened entire communities in coal mining states? Public opinion is shifting slowly, haltingly toward the development of clean, renewable energy, like wind and solar. (About bloody time!) But, it's not enough. New clean energy legislation making its way through Congress is a step in the right direction, but it's long overdue, and probably not strong enough. Such legislation seeks to compromise with the interests of big oil companies, whose interests are only in making a profit for themselves, not in protecting the environment or local economies.

The big fossil fuel interests have been allowed to grow far too powerful. Corporate oil money fills and poisons the political process like the oil slick fills and poisons the gulf. The governors and representatives of coal states toady for the coal companies. This will only get worse as the Supreme Court's monumentally disastrous decision to regard corporate political bribery as 'legitimate free speech' (What were they smoking?!!!) opens the flood gates for more corporate influence toward weakening already insufficient environmental protection standards.

The only way to fight corporate influence is through a groundswell of public opinion against the fossil fuel industries. It's not there yet. I hope it won't take more needless deaths or irreparable ecological and economic harm before the people rise up and vote en masse against an escalating disaster. It would be great if all that anti-banking and anti-corporate populist rage (well deserved at that) could focus against an even greater threat to our future: fossil fuels. Remember: no matter what we do, the oil wells will run dry in another 50 years. Coal will be gone in maybe 100 years, tops. We simply have to switch to renewable energy sources eventually. Common sense dictates we start now, while we still have an environment left to save. Before coal mining destroys the last mountain range and poisons the last river, before more oil slicks devastate coastal fishing and threaten our food supply, and before global warming decimates more populations with coastal storms, flooding and drought.

The Sierra Club, Greenpeace and many other environmental organizations are trying to fuel public awareness of these issues. I hope more people listen, before it's too late.

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