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THE OIL SPILL

'This Gulf is your Gulf, this Gulf is my Gulf'
An American commentary about The Oil Spill

The Oil Spill affects all Americans, whether we live by the sugar-like, sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico or on the windstruck, hardwood-forested ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina (WNC). We feel your pain, your sadness, your anger, your hopelessness, your outrage, your loss, your commitment to change, your resolution to stay the same, your resolve to make sure this will never, ever, happen again.

We of WNC understand AMAZING: naturally strange, absolutely mesmerizing, wildly wonderful, amazing nature. As you may know (because so many of your brethren took refuge throughout WNC and in Asheville, North Carolina, right after Hurricane Katrina hit), we of the Blue Ridge in Appalachia live amidst the oldest mountains in the world. It is crowned by Mt. Mitchell, the tallest mountain east of the great Mississippi River, which, as we all know from our childhood lessons in elementary school, flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Your Gulf. My Gulf. 

We are connected to you of the Gulf, as Americans, as human beings. To borrow from a phrase of one of America's greatest singer-songwriters, Woodie Guthrie, "This Gulf is your Gulf, this Gulf is my Gulf." Likewise, you would be sad for our Mt. Mitchell, our region, if it was as endangered as yours. If it were, as your way of life is endangered now, you lowlanders might borrow, too, from Guthrie's lyrics and say in solidarity with us highlanders, "This mountain is your mountain. This mountain is my mountain." For it is. Forever. At least as long as we exist as a country.

All across this great land of ours we can say with certainty, "This land is your land. This land is my land." That's why we must change how business is done in these United States. We can no longer tolerate our homeland being overrun and ruled by the old, outdated, powerful, monied, brutal, carbon-based corporations and executives whose only allegiance is not to this nation, but to the bottom line — be they Coal Kings as we face in Appalachia, or Oil Shieks that you face in the Gulf. Together, now, we must promise to ourselves and each other that we WILL, from this moment forward, preserve, protect, honor — as if they are our mother and father (and in many ways they are our mother and father) — and when necessary (as it is now) RESTORE Mother Nature, and in doing so we will restore and rejuvenate our Human Nature. We must. It is the only way if we, as Americans, as humans, have any hope, any luck, any prayer, to survive as a nation, as a world, as a speck of pearly white sand in god's universe.

I think, hope, talk, write and pray for the restoration of your wonderful, as Guthrie sang, "Gulf Stream waters" — and your wildlife. I do it not only for you, as a fellow American, but for myself, too. And I do it especially for my children and your children, for my children's children and your children's children. For they deserve nothing less. In the final analysis, they would expect nothing less of us, their mothers, their fathers, and when we pass through on the other side of That Door, to become their forefathers, their foremothers, their creators — not their destroyers.

-Byron Belzak
Publisher-Editor
TheGreenerHome.com
June 5, 2010

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P.S. The complete lyrics of Woodie Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land | Arlo.net | More>

P.S.S. 'Citizen's Arrest' of BP's Tony Hayward | Nytimes.com |  More>

P.S.S.S. 329 Photos of The Oil Spill | Huffingtonpost.com | More>

 


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