From CT Rising Tide
This morning during rush hour, activists with the climate justice network Connecticut Rising Tide dropped two large banners off of the Portland Bridge in Middletown and over Interstate 91-North in Hartford, to highlight the irreparable destruction in the Gulf of Mexico on the 3-month anniversary of the oil disaster, and to demand an end to our oil addiction.
“The Deepwater Horizon explosion has caused the worst ecological disaster in history,” said Mica Taliaferro, a Hartford resident and a member of CT Rising Tide. “Eleven rig workers have been killed, fishery economies have been bankrupt, and precious coastal ecosystems have been damaged beyond repair. Three months later, it is time to critically analyze our consumption of oil. We need to be sure a catastrophe like this never happens again.”
The large banners were in full display for the morning rush hour, stating “Put a Cap on Big Oil” and “End Oil Drilling: Bikes and Buses!” The banners conveyed the demand for an end to massive oil drilling, and a shift towards sustainability through measures such as increased public transportation and safer bike lanes.
Since the start of the leak three months ago, well over 100 million gallons of oil have poured into the Gulf. Activists say that the sheer size and devastation of the spill is enough to warrant the total abolition of offshore drilling. We need to shift away from fossil fuels towards renewable sources of energy. “It has become abundantly clear that our dependence on oil is destructive and unsustainable, and must soon end for the health of the planet and those living on it,” said Kevin Hayes, a student in Middletown and member of CT Rising Tide.
The leak was finally contained on July 15th, after oil spewed into the Gulf at a rate of 35,000 barrels per day since the initial explosion on April 20th. Considering the extent of this damage, the moratorium placed on offshore drilling by the Obama Administration does not go nearly far enough; a permanent ban on offshore drilling is the only acceptable measure to take to prevent another catastrophe.
Activists emphasize that the oil disaster is not an isolated problem, but one which stems from America's addiction to oil and other dirty energy sources. Our lifestyle of over-consumption has lead to an unhealthy dependence on environmentally destructive fossil fuels, polluting our water and air systems, and contributing heavily to global climate change. "We need a massive energy shift away from fossil fuels and into locally generated energy systems in order to begin to repair the damage that has already been done and build towards a more ecologically sound future,” said Kevin Hayes.
Rising Tide is a grassroots network of groups and individuals who take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change and promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis. We are an international network born out of the conviction that corporate-friendly and state-sponsored solutions to climate change will not save us. As a matter of survival, we must decrease our dependence on the industries and institutions that are destroying the planet and work toward community autonomy and sustainable living.