Life changes sometimes pull us out of current projects. Getting married on July 3 did that for me. My last trip was about 2 weeks before the wedding, but during our trip to Oregon, I didn't keep up with all the happenings on the Gulf. I did get to talk to some people about the Gulf as we went around OR and was happy to see that even as far removed as the Pacific Northwest is, people were still interested and concerned. We didn't look at a paper or the television the entire time we were gone (OK, I watched the last 20 minutes of the World Cup Finals at a winery in Willamette Valley). I saw the headlines of the capping of the well during our stop in Denver for my NANPA (North American Nature Photography Assoc) board meeting. The meeting was nonstop from the time we got there until the time we left. During that time I was elected to be the President for 2012.. Lots of work, but for an organization that works with and for nature photographers and all others who enjoy nature photography.
What struck me the most during our trip to Oregon (besides the beauty of OR coast, great wine and the Columbia Gorge) is that people are all still going about their lives as if nothing has happened. Yes, the BP Oil Spill as created havoc on the LA, MS, TX, AL, and FL coastlines. But somehow we all are still living the same way. Using oil.. Using oil products. I know that change cannot be accomplished overnight, be we need to be focused with a goal of less oil dependency and strive for more efficient ways of travel. I hear the word "Staycation" bantered around for this summer. People are staying closer to home because of the expense and, I hope, because of the environment. But we all would like to travel. We have become a global society and it will be difficult to go back to being citizens of a state or nation and not the world. Being a global society means interacting with others from around the globe. Not just on the telephone or internet, but in person and seeing the wonders of their part of the world. To this end, we need to explore more efficient uses of mass transit with less of a carbon impact. I'm still waiting to have a transporter room(think Star Trek) at home (or at least in town). I just won't be the first to use it.
As you finish this summer, think of the ways that you can help the environment.. Getting a new car? Think MPG or Hybrid. Recycle. Plan trips so your car useage is more efficient. Think of alternative sources of energy for your house or business (saw some wineries using solar power). These are just the tip of the iceberg of things we all can be doing.
I'll close with an image from Washington state that proved to me that people really do care. Even in the Pacific Northwest, people want BP to clean up its mess..