How Do We Move From Dirty Energy to Clean Energy?

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Yesterday I started a 5-day trip through five of Global Exchange‘s 2011 campaign goals, based on a campaign email they sent out. Here is their second goal:

Transition from dirty energy to clean energy: The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest oil spill in American history, and oil from the spill continues to impact lives and livelihoods throughout the Gulf. Through this tragedy we have been reminded of the negative consequences of our dependence on dirty energy and our need to support clean alternatives for people and the planet. One year after the devastating Deepwater Horizon explosion, Global Exchange will release Black Tide by Antonia Juhasz, a book that is a “searing look at the human face of BP’s disaster in the Gulf and exposes the human failings and the human cost of man-made disaster that will be with us for a very long time.”

I’m constantly talking with people about how to wake up our civilization from its consumerist, self-destructive stupor. Letting global neoliberal corporations and governments run amok then bailing them out, criminally negligent passivity in the face of tens of thousands of species extinctions in our lifetime, steadfast refusal to acknowledge our worship of the car and the internal combustion engine leading to environmental cataclysms…all these things are evidence that despite a small requirement of some pretty simple common sense, as a society we are ignoring our destructive patterns.

So when I hear about a book like this that has the potential to wake people up, I get excited. I remember when An Inconvenient Truth gained serious notoriety. It didn’t completely fix anything. But it did move a massive number of people forward in their understanding.

Hope is that thing which translates idealism into motivation for others to begin working for something worthwhile.

Where does your hope lie? What stimulates your optimism? How do your relationships with those you love reinvigorate your hope for change? Can you read a book like Black Tide and empathize with the humanity in it as you engage with the reality others suffer from our material whims?

And the next question is the critical one: how will you transform your life, in small and large ways, to implement change you know is necessary, including pledging at least 20 hours in 2011 to being an activist to make change real?

Hearing about how last year was Canada’s hottest year ever is another indication that we really don’t have a long time to delay before citizen activists have to take over the global corporate agenda for the sake of us all, human and otherwise.

Will you roll up your sleeves with me?

This all is the second reason why I support Global Exchange. And so should you.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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