Tag Archives: earth day

How do you pray about an oil spill?

Today is the 45th celebration of Earth Day.  Monday of this week was the fifth anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in US history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The damage to the Gulf was more severe and longer lasting than even the pessimists predicted:

Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of Gulf Restoration Network, says that after five years, there are more questions than answers about what the lingering impact of the spill means.

“Dolphin deaths continue, oil is still on the bottom of the ocean, tar balls keep coming up,” she says. “And nobody really is able to say what we may find in five years, 10 years. It’s really distressing to me.”

Sarthou says there’s no certainty the spill won’t be a problem for generations to come. (NPR)

So, five years after this disaster, and 45 years after the nation started trying to do something about this kind of thing, we ask again, “How long?”   Below is a repost of one of our original commentaries on the oil spill from May 20, 2010.  The oil well had been gushing for a month already, and we asked:

How do you pray about an oil spill?

It’s a legitimate question:  The news is getting worse by the day for those of us many miles away, and no doubt by the hour for those living in the area of impact.  This morning we learned that some experts believe the amount of oil leaking may be much more than even the revised estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. More worrisome than that, there is now real concern that the oil may join the Gulf stream ocean current, which would send it around the tip of Florida and all the way up the East Coast of the United States, staining beaches and killing wildlife as it goes. Continue reading

Looking for Hope on Earth Day #44

“Hope springs eternal,” we say, and Earth Day certainly demonstrates that truth.  Earth Day was founded in hope in 1970; as you will read below, we are still hopeful.  The question is, should we be?  In the face of all of our challenges, where should we look for real hope?  These are my Earth Day #44 thoughts (see some earlier year’s thoughts here and here:

Madison Wisconsin, can arguably claim to be the historical center of the modern US environmental movement.  This small city has direct connections to many of  the movement’s pioneers:  John Muir (Yellowstone National Park), Aldo Leopold (“Sand County Almanac” and many other works), Sigurd Olsen (The US/Canadian Boundary Waters), Gaylord Nelson (founder of the first Earth Day), and Cal DeWitt (Au Sable Institute).  Perhaps because of these historical connections, the current voices of the environmental movement can often be heard in this city, and what these voices are saying – and not saying – is worth noting. Continue reading

Earth Day at 40: What is the Environmental Movement Thinking These Days?

Earth Day (TOMORROW!) is a world-wide celebration.  Some estimates put the expected number of people participating in related events this year at upwards of 500 million.  But there are few places where Earth Day means more than it does in my home state of Wisconsin.  Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, was a senator and former governor from our state, and he had a lot of company and strong support:  John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Sigurd Olson and Frederick Jackson Turner are just a few of America’s environmental heroes who have roots in this state in the middle of America.

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