It looks like BP has managed to stop the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout. I hope that what we are being told is true. I hope that this temporary fix can be made permanent. But let's not forget that about 100,000,000 gallons of oil have been released into the Gulf of Mexico. The devastation that will cause for decades to come is beyond thought. A recent article in the New York Times Magazine reports on research into the long-lasting impact of previous oil spills, going back decades. It is not good news. We cannot become complacent again about oil. I don't have any simple answers. I just know we have to stay passionately concerned.
In our personal lives, we spent a few days near Speculator, NY at a cottage where Katie and Savanna and their grandson, Brendon are spending a couple of weeks. While we were there Ellen, Brendon and I made a side trip to North Elba, NY, near Lake Placid, which is where the abolitionist, John Brown, is buried and where he lived for a while in an interracial community in the 1840-50s. Brown was way ahead of his time. I read a biography of his life earlier this summer -- after we visited Harper's Ferry, where he conducted a raid on a federal arsenal in October of 1859 in an abortive attempt to spark a widespread rebellion of slaves and bring an end to the institution of slavery in the U.S. He was hanged for his efforts, but Harper's Ferry helped to spark the Civil War which led to the Emancipation Proclamation. It is interesting to take note that John Brown was not very different in both his mind-set and his actions from present-day terrorists. Yet there in North Elba, NY he is quietly commemorated and honored. I'll have some more reflections on that in future posts. I'm using his life in a sermon I'll be giving in Wethersfield Center, VT tomorrow. I'm struggling to see the connections between John Brown's fight against the evil of slavery, and what we can do today to overcome the evil of the extraction and burning of fossil fuel.