Hearing about an oil spill sends us through a flurry of emotions. Sadness, anger, fear, and guilt. Knowing that we humans are the cause of this destruction is not a good feeling. Even though we don’t like seeing this happen time and time again, when you’re not directly affected it can be easy to fall back on old habits and go on living our lives as we normal do.
This time, the latest spill in Santa Barbara has been a huge wake-up call for me. As a UCSB Alumni, Santa Barbara will always be my home away from home. To know that the beaches I once enjoyed are now littered with oil and no longer suitable for surfers, campers, beachgoers, and wildlife is devastating. What’s more is that this isn’t the first spill that has happened in the area. In 1969 an estimated 3 million gallons were leaked from an oil well explosion that was so powerful it cracked the seafloor in 5 places! Yet we still continue to drill and build pipelines in the places we wish to protect.