Looking Beyond the Oil Spill

A joint statement of the Leadership Teams of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and the Sisters of the Humility of Mary:

“For the human family, this home is the earth, the environment that God the Creator has given us to inhabit with creativity and responsibility.” This message of Pope Benedict in January 2008 was echoed in President Obama’s recent address to the nation, when he reminded us that oil is a finite resource. Indeed, all of Earth is finite, and learning to live responsibly on our planet will require that we grow accustomed to living with enough, rather than insisting on always more.

The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is an alarming wake-up call. Beyond the implications for regulation, safety, and disaster preparedness, this human and ecological catastrophe signals to us the perils of a culture that continuously pushes the boundaries of Earth’s capacity. An economy that relies so heavily on staggering quantities of fossil fuels cannot be called “responsible.” Our relentless drive for production and consumption-even at the expense of human lives, communities and ecosystems-cannot be called “safe.” The devastating, wideereaching, and long-lasting effects of this crisis make it clear that our present course cannot be sustained.

We must use this event to insist on the development of eco-friendly energy sources on the part of federal, state and local governments, industry and in our daily lives.