Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign Director Mary Anne Hitt rallies against mountaintop removal coal mining with her baby Hazel. Photo courtesy of Appalachia Rising.
Yesterday's massive Appalachia Rising rally and march was a big success - with more than 2,000 activists taking to the streets in DC to call for an end to mountaintop removal coal mining.
For some great recaps, be sure to check the Appalachia Rising website, these two posts from our campus coal organizers, and these two posts from Mother Jones' Kate Sheppard.
If you're unfamiliar with mountaintop removal coal mining, it is a destructive practice where coal companies blow up mountains to get at a seam of coal beneath. They then push all the dirt - much of which now includes toxins - into nearby valleys, which then poisons watersheds.
Take action against this practice right now.
The photos with this post (excluding the first one) were all taken by Jay Mallin and show the march, along with some folks getting arrested in front of the White House (the Sierra Club was not part of the civil disobedience).
Read Part IV of "Quitting Oil."
Have you got other ideas about oil and cars? Share them in the comments.
One reason the BP oil disaster makes us sick is the flood of heartbreaking images of dead or dying wildlife and despoiled wetlands coupled with an infuriating sense of helplessness. BP's “handling” the crisis, so there's nothing we can do -- right?
Oil has infiltrated our daily lives to an astonishing degree, but that doesn't mean we can't significantly reduce our use of it. Americans burn nearly 20 million barrels of oil every single day, most of it for personal transportation.
Even for the most committed environmentalist, to go completely oil-free overnight would be next to impossible. But taking the first step toward an oil-free future -- by simply reducing our current daily consumption -- is actually incredibly easy. It's also one of the most significant things you can do to wrest control of our energy future back from the Big Oil companies, which have enjoyed cozy political relationships and big government subsidies for far too long.
Each day this week, we'll highlight a different strategy for getting oil out our lives.
1. We Are What We Eat
If the oil disaster makes you angry and you eat a lot of meat, one powerful solution is sitting right on your plate. The U.S. meat industry is a major consumer of petroleum. In fact, raising one cow in a factory farm requires about 35 gallons of oil -- just under a barrel (according to The Omnivore's Dilemma, p. 84). Processed foods and corn syrup also heavily depend on petroleum.
* Cutting meat out of your diet for just one day each week is equivalent to driving 1,000 miles less per year.
* When you do buy meat, consider the source. Grass-fed, sustainably raised livestock are a breath of fresh air compared to the filthy, industrialized feedlots that have taken over the U.S. Click here for a directory of responsibly raised meat.
* Location matters. The label “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean “oil free.” Organic apples from Chile, for instance, use as much oil as non organic domestic apples because of the required transportation. Look for produce that’s grown as close to home as possible first, then consider whether it's organic or not.
* Farmers rule! The easiest way to get healthy and low-oil-use foods is to take you reusable bags to a local farmers' market. Most of the market vendors are local, seasonal, and sustainable.
Read Part II of "Quitting Oil."
Have you got other ideas for how we can get the oil out of our diets? Share them in the comments.