I am sure I speak for almost everyone in the United States (and perhaps even the world) when I say that this oil leak disaster has made me unbelievably angry and sad.
If you are a shepherd, or even if you aren't, you may have heard by now about Matter of Trust's efforts to create wool and hair-filled booms to sop up the oil. Shepherds and hair salons have been urged to send along their spare fleeces and hair trimmings for this effort.
And of course we comply, enthusiastically, because this effort requires basically no effort on our part. Allow the hair salon to sweep up my hair and dispose of it? Well, I do that anyway! And then I can feel good about "helping" with the crisis? Awesome! These are the kinds of efforts that Americans can get behind!
Turns out that BP has not asked for the booms; does not want the booms; and at this point, has stated that they will not use the booms. But that's OK, we console ourselves, because we made the effort, and that's what matters.
Except it doesn't.
What about making some sustained, long-term effort that might actually make a difference by reducing our dependence on oil? Nope, those kinds of efforts we aren't so good at. Give up our gas guzzler, or at least attempt to drive it a hell of a lot less? Commute by public transport or shared vehicle? Try to reuse or do without instead of buying cheap consumer crap from China? Grow more of our own food, or make a conscious effort to purchase locally, and forego tomatoes in December and strawberries in February? Fill our freezers with locally-produced food instead of frankenfood like chicken nuggets?
And my biggest pet peeve, though admittedly the most minor of them all: turn off our g.d. car when we run into a store, doctor's office or bank? (Can you tell this last one drives me particularly up the wall? I have been known to leave notes on windshields about this because: COME ON! It is not that much effort to turn a little key! And if your car heats up/cools down a bit while you're gone, big deal!)
All of it, even a little bit of it... too much effort, apparently.