When I read about that oil rig disaster off the Louisiana coast, my heart sinks. I mourn the loss of the eleven workers who were not found and are presumed dead. I also mourn the devastation to the environment caused by the resulting spill. That spill now threatens a delicate wildlife habitat along the coastline and other areas.
When I heard the news of the explosion on the rig, my memory took me back to the 2008 campaign, and those cries of “drill, baby, drill” at the Republican convention. I thought they were inane then; I still think they are inane. We don’t need more oil; we need renewable energy sources. That’s why I was saddened when President Obama approved even limited off-shore oil drilling a couple weeks ago. Maybe now he will reconsider that decision.
It would be helpful if Catholic bishops and others put the issue of renewable energy on their front burner. When we think about global moral questions… not much else matters if we don’t preserve the planet as a safe place for future generations to live. And of course, this is not just a question of avoiding oil spills. It’s a question of reducing our use of carbon fuels sharply and moving to ever greener lifestyles. I wonder how many Sunday homilies touched on this subject during Earth Week.