If you’ve paid any attention to any news this week (local, national, and even international), you’ve likely heard about the environmental disaster that is the Refugio Oil Spill.  To sum it up, a pipe carrying crude oil operated by the Plains All American Pipeline ruptured in a culvert just north of Santa Barbara, California. Of the approximately 105,000 gallons that leaked before it was shut down, about a 1/5 of that rolled its way right into the Pacific Ocean, endangering marine life.  The rest of it has mucked up the coastline and put the people and property of the surrounding area at risk. This is the song that popped in my head this week when I heard about the spill…

Now the song has nothing to do with oil spills, and everything to do with the indigenous people of Australia being pushed out of their native lands, but there is something visceral about the music that matches the feeling I get inside when I hear that man has managed to screw up some other natural habitat by being careless. The lyrics also make me want to sing (shout?) to the oil companies.

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
Let’s give it back**

Refugio belongs to the snowy plover, the pelicans, dolphins, crabs, sea lions, elephant seals, and countless others.  But now, their home looks like this:


A fact’s a fact, it belongs to them, how are they going to get it back?

There are many organizations helping to clean up the mess, including the Coast Guard, the EPA, and even experts from my alma mater, UCSB and I am grateful to all of them. I can only hope that their efforts have swift returns.

What are your feelings on incidents like this? Is the transportation of crude a necessary evil? Are we doing enough to expand sources of renewable energy? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


**Song Lyrics Courtesy of: Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning Lyrics | MetroLyrics