As we write from Global Green’s New Orleans’ office — which we opened in response to Hurricane Katrina to help this great city rebuild better, healthier, and greener — our nation and the world sadly yet again watches Louisiana in growing horror as a catastrophic environmental disaster begins to exact its heavy toll on America.
We mourn first for the 11 immediate victims who lost their lives when BP Oil's deep drill rig exploded last week. These hard working Americans, just like the 29 coal miners recently killed in West Virginia, lost their lives to provide us with the energy we need to maintain our modern lives by working in one of the world's most dangerous industries - carbon intensive energy production.
We are just now starting to consider the second wave of victims as millions of gallons of oil begins its march - without apparent end - onto Louisiana's shores, as well as our Gulf coast neighbors. The impact will likely include:
- The destruction of the livelihood of thousands of families who depend upon the fishing, shrimping, oyster harvesting, shipping, and tourism industries.
- More than 400 different species poisoned, potentially killing hundreds of thousands of animals, including countless migratory birds, fish, dolphins, and whales.
- The contamination of fragile coastal wetlands that protect hundreds of thousands of Louisianans, including New Orleans, as well as our nation's critical oil and gas and shipping infrastructure, and the most productive estuary in the nation.
As Louisiana and its Gulf coast neighbors watch their families, cultures, communities and environment struggle in the days, weeks and months to come, we must:
- Pull together to respond in any way we can, and as necessary, to help protect the lives and livelihood of so many, prevent the poisoning of ecosystems, and slow the destruction of coastal wetlands.
- Call upon our leaders and insist we make the necessary transformational investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy now, while passing legislation to reduce our green house gas emissions.
- Ask our leaders to pass legislation requiring more regulation of not just the financial industry, but our oil and coal gas sectors as well - to protect human lives as well as the natural systems that give us life.
Thank you for your continued support, and for all you do as citizens in your neighborhoods and communities.
Matt Petersen Beth Galante
President and CEO Director, New Orleans Office
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