Glenn Beck wants to be taken seriously as an activist, so he used his immense financial fortune to manufacture a rally in Washington D.C. at which he babbled incoherently for hours about “honor”. Whoop-tee-doo.
The photograph below shows what an activist with guts looks like. For the last 15 hours, a set of Greenpeace protesters have been hanging about 50 feet above the frigid Arctic seas underneath the Stena Don offshore drilling rig in the waters between Greenland and Canada.
I respect the courage of these protesters, but the most effective activism isn’t about showboating. It’s about making the change you really want to see in the world.
The purpose of the Stena Don protest is to prevent the rig from finding oil until the ice of the chilly waters starts to make it impossible for the rig to continue its work. But then, in order to make their way the long way up to Baffin Bay, the Greenpeace protesters burned a large amount of oil. They paid oil companies to drill that oil so that they could protest against drilling oil. The protest provides courageous images, but it doesn’t make much sense.
If you want to make a real difference, instead of just adopting a heroic pose, here’s what you can do tomorrow: Take the train to work instead of driving. Walk or bike to work, if you can. Consolidate the trips in which you need to use a car. Carpool. Stay home instead of going out to be entertained.
Sure, you can’t do it every day, but if enough Americans take these actions just a little bit more than they already do, they will shut down an offshore drilling rig. New offshore drilling operations can only continue for as long as they’re profitable, and they won’t be profitable if there’s a glut of oil.
We can stop the expansion of offshore drilling if we have the modest courage to make small sacrifices in our lives. Do you care that much?