“The Deepwater Horizon Task Force is continuing its investigation into the explosion and will hold accountable those who violated the law in connection with the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history,” said Attorney General Eric Holder after The Department of Justice filed criminal charges against a BP engineer for allegedly deleting text messages to hide the extent of the oil spill.
We joined our friends at the the Restore the Mississippi River Delta to offer online support for the campaign urging Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to support the RESTORE Act, which will assure that BP oil spill penalties go to help restore the Gulf Coast. (Blog post)…. Meanwhile, BP has a new license to drill. (Mother Jones story)
At Jerry Brown’s Governor’s Conference on Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future, our CEO Matt Petersen had a lively conversation with Arnold Schwarzenegger on “Perspectives on California’s Leadership on Climate Change.” (Post, with video link)
Today is the 25th anniversary of National Philanthropy Day, a day set aside by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to recognize the contributions that philanthropy and philanthropists make to our communities and the world. According to AFP, Americans give more than $300 billion annually to charitable causes like Global Green. With this support, the quality of life for millions of people and thousands of communities have been improved in many aspects, from education, healthcare and the arts to sustainability and community revitalization. In celebration of our donors on National Philanthropy Day, we here at the New Orleans office wanted to take a moment to say a special THANK YOU to all of our generous donors who allow us to continue our efforts improving the lives of New Orleanians and Gulf Coast residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill. » Read more: Happy National Philanthropy Day from New Orleans!
While fireworks, fun, and family punctuate our annual 4th of July celebrations, it is sometimes easy to forget that the 4th of July commemorates America’s declaration of independence. Our nation’s founders signed the Declaration of Independence to escape the tyranny of Britain and establish our citizens’ inalienable right: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
However as we celebrate this declaration, the BP oil spill continues to not only threatens the delicate ecosystems, beaches, communities, and economies of the Gulf Coast, it threatens these inalienable rights as well. It is we the people — as citizens, and not just consumers — that have the true power, but only if we exercise our responsibility as citizens of this great nation. To do so, we must come forth and engage in our communities, in the civic fabric of our nation, and not just allow ourselves to be defined as consumers. In times of crisis, we must come together — as a family of American citizens — and speak loud enough to make ourselves heard.
On July 2 in New Orleans, Global Green and the Green Collaborative — a group of more than 65 organizations and businesses from NOLA and the Gulf Coast — will release a new Declaration of Energy Independence.
On the longest day of the year, topping out at 95 degrees with a heat index well over 100 degrees, a team from Global Green made their way to the Louisana coast at Grand Isle. “One Tree Hill” actors Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols joined the group, which included Global Green CEO Matt Petersen, Global Green New Orleans Director Beth Galante, Global Green “Build It Back Green” Program Manager Camille Lopez, Global Green AmeriCorps VISTA Becki Chall, local fisherwoman and activist Margaret Curole, writer Justine Musk, and other guests.
The actors’ commitment to environmentalism and passion for saving the coast brought them on this journey with Global Green, and they wanted to see with their own eyes what the oil spill was doing to communities in Louisiana, in order to learn how they could help.
On Monday, I toured the waters off Grand Isle and their beaches with a group who came ready learn more about the spill, and to help the community which is reeling from the BP Oil Spill. Joining me were the actors Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols, writer Justine Musk, and Global Green’s Beth Galante and Camille Lopez.
Unfortunately, the fears I wrote about in my last post were affirmed – it was essentially a police state on the beaches of Grand Isle. We wanted to help in the efforts to clean up the spill, and find out how other volunteers can help as well.
We spent the morning touring the waters off Grand Isle, seeing the oil splashing up against the rocks of the bird sanctuary. Watching the oil gathering, and floating in patches everywhere. While on the water, the Coast Guard came for a closer inspection of what we were doing.
Later, we went to the beach to see first hand what was happening with the clean up, and see how we can help.
As I placed my foot on the BP-created sand berm separating us from the BP-placed tiger boom on this public beach, I immediately heard a siren (if you closely watch the video below you can see my placing my foot on the berm and hear the sirens). Looking to my left, I saw two ATV’s racing toward me with flashing lights. I expected the BP security guards I had heard about.
Somewhere in the Air, USA — I am on the way down to the Gulf Coast as I write (Delta has wifi!) to go out on the water in the Gulf tomorrow, and attempt to help clean up the Louisiana beaches impacted by the BP oil spill.
Joining us on the trip are Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols of One Tree Hill, the TV show. While they have the amazing ability to get nearly 20,000 twitter followers (@SophiaBush, @AUS10NICHOLS) in just a few days, they are just like many of us — angry about the spill, and wanting to help.
Write a Letter to the President: Send our letter asking the President to make sure BP’s fines includes a fund to create a greener, cleaner future for the Gulf
Drive Less: Combine trips, drive a vehicle with better gas mileage, take public transportation, carpool with friends and neighbors, walk or bike instead, find shorter routes, or even just skip a trip.
Keep your car in good running order: Keep tires properly inflated, get regular oil changes, investigate problems when they’re small. If your car is not running right, chances are, it will use more gas.
Say No to Plastic: Plastic is made from petroleum. Use your own canvas bags, reusable water bottles, and try to buy as many things as possible in aluminum and glass, or paper. Why store food in plastic when you can store it in glass?
Mr. President, we need you to lead in creating a clean energy future for this nation that starts with energy and fuel efficiency, advances renewable energy, puts a price on the pollution created from fossil fuels, and ends subsidies of oil, gas, and coal. We also need you to hold BP accountable for the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history.
Mr. President, in addition to full restitution for the impact of the oil spill to the jobs lost, impact to ecosystems, and restoration of all the devastation wrought by the BP Oil Spill, we must also ensure a lasting legacy for a cleaner, greener future.
Mr. President, when you address the nation tonight, Let’s transform the Gulf Coast, to the Green Coast, and help the region lead America off our addiction to cheap oil.
Using basic technology, volunteers, like myself, have begun an intensive effort to collect high-resolution photographs of Gulf Coast beaches using hand-held digital cameras, kites, and weather balloons in order to track the impact of the oil spill along the Gulf Coast. As you can see from the photos that follow, our approach is pretty low-tech, but once the photos that result are digitally stitched together, they provide a great overview of the coast, and are high-resolution enough to distinguish individual animals.