Image credit: Steve Malagodi
The BP oil disaster continues to grab the headlines as the massive slick washes up on Gulf Coast beaches. As we watch these images with shock and sadness, many Americans are also being jolted into action. We are demanding clean energy—this BP oil tragedy should be a wake-up call.
We've seen many "Clean It Up" rallies taking place across the country, where thousands of attendees are gathering to say: No more offshore oil drilling—now's the time for a major investment in clean energy in the U.S.Local citizens from New Orleans to Virginia Beach to Seattle to Minneapolis and beyond are organizing some fantastic rallies, and the news is taking notice of these grassroots gatherings for clean energy.
"This changes everything," said Kurt Ehrenberg, a Sierra Club organizer based in New Hampshire, at the Londonderry, New Hampshire, rally on May 7. "It's a wake-up call that we need to make changes."
In Virginia Beach, rally-goers chanted, "Wind not oil!" as they spread a black plastic tarp across the beach's sand to simulate an oil spill.
And at the biggest "Clean It Up" rally so far (last Saturday's in New Orleans), the speakers brought home the economic impact of this spill. John Nguyen of the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans, spoke on behalf of the local Vietnamese fishermen who are in danger of losing an important aspect of their culture and some of whom who have already lost their jobs due to the oil disaster in the gulf.
Then George Barisich, President of the United Commercial Fisherman's Association, told the rally's attendees of the impending dangers to the livelihoods of Louisiana fishermen and the need for the federal government to use its resources to help mitigate this disaster and provide relief to the workers on our coast.
If you feel like you're missing out on this amazing grassroots work, don't worry—there's still time to organize a rally of your own or attend one near you.
Simply check out the Sierra Club's Gulf Coast Action Center to find an upcoming rally near you, and if there's not one planned, follow our simple directions to bring your community together to tell BP to take full responsibility for its oil disaster and have your neighbors unite in calling for a clean energy economy in the U.S.
And join our BP Oil Disaster group on our Climate Crossroads website to see photos and be kept up to date on these rallies and other responses to this disaster.
If we work together, this tragedy can be a turning point in U.S. energy policy. Enough is enough: It's time for clean energy.
Read more about the Gulf oil spill:
TH Exclusive: Photos, Videos, and More from the Gulf Oil Disaster
Must See Aerial Footage of BP Oil Spill Shows 'The Gulf Bleeding' (Video)
The Anatomy of an Oil Spill Cleanup: What Works and What Doesn't
Gulf Oil Spill: The Black and Oily Demise of Wildlife (Slideshow)