Remember that old wives tale told to children that babies come from storks? Here is the addendum to the tale…and everything else comes from oil. When President Bush delivered his now famous quote, “We’re addicted to oil,” I don’t think he quite realized how prolific that was. He obviously meant in the form of gasoline/energy use but petroleum by-products are used to make plastics, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals (like you lotion and makeup) and even your clothes, and author Amanda Little takes you on this journey in her new book, “Power Trip“.
Little traveled the country for two years, starting her journey on the “Cajun Express,” an offshore rig located miles from the coast of Louisiana, and ending her trip back in Louisiana, spending time with Hurricane Katrina victims as they move into their near zero emission homes as part of the Make It Right program. In the middle, she spent a good bit of time visiting companies developing alternative energy sources.
The end of her journey is spent with the leaders of tomorrow, but these are not your typical Generation Xers or a group of kids who feel “entitled” to everything. These are the people who are refining the new environmental justice movement. These are children who are growing up in areas that have shouldered most of the hidden costs of our country’s fossil-fuel based lifestyle, and they’re making change door-to-door, not via the power of Capital Hill lobbyists.
Ultimately, Little feels that although the challenges seem daunting, she believes that with everyone working together, from the smallest neighborhoods to the largest corporations, we can create meaningful change.
Little concludes, “What we are witnessing isn’t just the birth of new technologies or a new economy, it’s the birth of a new politics–and potentially the birth of a new consciousness.”
For those of you looking for a light Saturday afternoon read, this book is not for you. But for those of you who want to delve deeper into a world that is literally held together by oil, yet walk away with hope, then by all means, find a comfy chair.