Known for her outspoken political views and ongoing advocacy in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, OTEP frontwoman Otep Shamaya responds to the BP oil spill in the following online post:
"I find myself deep in the rolling green of the beautiful Southern territory of flavorful Fayetteville, Arkansas. The hills are rich with a monochrome flora and the arching landscape is crested by a silky blue sky brimming with billowing clouds moving slowly overhead like an enormous ghost armada returning victorious from war. The heat is thick and sweltering.
"It is a strange and wondrous sensory experience.
"I see all this and am amazed how anyone could live surrounded by such beauty but care so very little about maintaining it.
"I wonder if future generations will ever believe days like this actually existed or will they assume that these are just the words of a demented mind twisted with fantasy or folklore? Perhaps they will lament on the rugged Eden that their ancestors took for granted and squandered in the heavy stink of apathy and inaction?
"I remember my home, beautiful Los Angeles, and how sad it is that we do not have skies like those over Arkansas. Our sun rides high above a nicotine stain of a haze hacked up from the millions of cars belching their lower-regulated exhaust into our atmosphere.
"I remember the live webcam of the BP oil spill currently vomiting millions of gallons of crude into our ocean, killing wildlife, poisoning our water, and ultimately us.
"If we do nothing, we are consenting to the murder of our planet and condemning future generations to endure a reality far worse than the one we were left by those who failed us generations before.
"How many more brave American soldiers must be sent far from home, to kill, to fight, to be injured, to die (or see their friends die) in senseless wars for oil? (Much love and respect to the U.S. Armed Forces.)
"How many more innocent animals must perish, confused, suffocating and choking in stinky goo, due to our selfish inaction and apathy?
"How many more American dollars will WE allow be sent to fund Iranian nuclear capabilities or the Saudis and ultimately al-Qaeda?
"What else needs to happen for us to demand a LEGITIMATE clean energy policy to purge this parasite of petroleum from our national skin?
"I realize this will not be an immediate fix. There will be no mass exodus from fossil fuels. Our infrastructure is too dependent on it. Like any junkie, we must be weaned slowly from our petroleum addiction.
"It might be a little painful, sure, but Americans are made from hard stock. We braved the rocks and jagged edges of pioneering the wilderness of a new country and we can do it again.
"But it only works if we do it together and (this time) do it RIGHT. Clean energy and alternative energy sources will create AMERICAN jobs. Solar, wind, hemp, algae, ethanol, natural gas, et cetera, et cetera, will empower and fortify our workforce. Not just financially, but intellectually, and it helps secure the health and beauty of our only home — planet Earth.
"Let us reclaim our pioneering spirit: 'If not us, who. If not now, when?'"