Seder Table Talk: The BP Oil Spill AnniversaryApril 28th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
by Eric Harris, Press Secretary, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
originally posted on the RACblog
As we celebrated Passover this year, we also celebrated the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, the global day of environmental advocacy. Talk around my seder table centered on preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Religious Action Center and the upcoming Consultation on Conscience. But then things took a darker turn as we began talking about the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill disaster.
We all agreed that there were many elements to this dialogue that were baffling and frustrating. For example, despite the devastating impact the oil spill had on our ecosystem, our economy and the residents and communities of the Gulf, our fight to end our country’s crippling addiction to oil continues to feel like a losing battle. It also angered us to learn that 11 new deep water and 49 shallow water-drilling permits were recently issued in the Gulf. “We fight an uphill battle,” said Sustainability Program Coordinator Rachel Cohen in her recent op-ed in the JTA. “Despite the influx of media, money and public attention to the gulf last April, we’ve yet to see Congress act to restore the Gulf, prevent future disasters or set our country on the path to a cleaner energy future. As a nation, we have stood by idly as the people of the Gulf continue to suffer and our entire country stands at risk of yet another catastrophe.”
I have faith that Rachel is right and I sincerely hope that as we sit at the seder table next Passover, the discussion about our planet’s future and the environmental health of Gulf communities is a much happier one.