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8:33 a.m. - Saturday, Jun. 05, 2010
MsLeslie... not part of the solution
Iím looking at the pictures on the news. Now Iím seeing them on the internet. I shouldnít look. Iíve seen it all before. It just makes me so sad, and it makes me so angry.

I lived in Valdez when the Exxon Valdez ran aground. I was on the beach when the first sea otter coated in oil was discovered. I lived a few yards away from the rescue center where hundreds of otters later were washed, fed tons of crab, and eventually released back into the wild. I also saw the birds there, oiled. Some of them were caught, cleaned, and saved, but what I remember mostly, was just piles and piles of dead birds. The images were ghastly and are ghastly still. Just Google ďvaldez oil birdsĒ.

Now I am seeing the first images of birds oiled in the Gulf of Mexico. These are just the beginning and I donít know how Iím going to cope with the horrors I know are coming. Iím seeing these magnificent pelicans, standing at waterís edge. Just standing there with a kind of confused majesty. Iím seeing too, the little gooey tarballs with eyes; just blinking when the oily surf washes over them again and again; patiently waiting for death.

I am so angry.

I am so sad

I prefer to take my emotions one at a time, but this thing is bigger than my anger. Iím angry and sad., but even that isnít enough.

When I look at the birds, it makes me realize that they are just a part of the price I pay for every gallon of gasoline I pour into my old Dodge Ram. Every mile I drive brings death and destruction to something, somewhere; And each time I turn the key in the ignition, I am making a decision that all this death is acceptable. I forget about that when I canít see what Iíve done; A kind of denial, I guess. And now, even though Iíve seen it twice in a close and personal way, I keep on making the same decision. I keep on driving because I see no real alternative. Driving is what we do here. It just is,

And so Iím angry at big oil for the cynicism and disregard and angry at the government for the greed and incompetence.

Iím sad for the death of a land and the unnecessary suffering of untold numbers of living things.

And Iím so ashamed that I am a part of all this.

Happy Thoughts, Deep Breaths

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