Fossil Fuel Fix

tar-sands-before-after

When a person is in a state of advanced addiction, he or she will be more and more likely to do anything to get his or her fix, even though this puts the person’s health and even life in danger. The fix becomes more important than the overall quality of life and health of the person. The person who is an addict will find new veins when others no longer suffice and will lie to friends, family and to him/herself in order to keep getting the fix. No matter what the increasing costs, the addicted person will find ways to keep paying to get the fix. The addicted person will take ever increasing risks to get the fix that has become the center of his or her life. Sleep, work, play, exercise, and time with loved ones (everything vital for human flourishing) all become secondary to getting the fix. The addicted person may resort to crime or even violence, all for the sake of the fix. The addicted person will either experience recovery or die. These are the only two real options. Death may come quickly or slowly and painfully, but death will certainly come unless the addicted person finds the resources within and without to live in recovery.

As a global society, but especially here in the United States, we are in an advanced state of addiction to fossil fuels, and we are taking measures that are dangerous to our health and life in order to keep getting our fix. We are constantly trying to find new veins to get the fix we need. We are lying to each other and ourselves about the consequences of continuing to get our fossil fuel fix. Even when we poison ecosystems of land and sea, we still must have our fix. We blow off the tops of mountains and strip lands bare of forests to get our fix. We will even go to war to maintain our fossil fuel fix. No matter if the land shakes or our waters are poisoned, we must have our fix. Even when the whole body of our planet is warming, we must have our fix. We want to believe the lies of the fossil fuel pushers: “Climate change is a hoax – The gulf has recovered – Fracking is safe for the environment – Waste-water disposal wells don’t contribute to earthquakes – Tar sands oil is ‘ethical oil’ – Methane leaks in the natural gas industry are insignificant.” When a global society is in a state of advanced addiction, it will do anything to get its fix, even if this puts the heath and life of all human civilization in danger. Our fossil fuel fix has become more important than the overall quality of life and health of ourselves and our planet.

There are only two real options in relation to our addiction to fossil fuels: either we will continue to get our fix at all costs and eventually destroy ourselves and much of life on earth, or we will find the resources within ourselves and within our communities to live in recovery for the sake of ourselves and all life. Recovery must begin now – this is not an addiction we can afford to pass down to our children and generations to come.

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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
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2 Responses to Fossil Fuel Fix

  1. Rebecca Morton says:

    Mark, I appreciate your interventions and reminders to us. This is scary stuff and we do seem to be living as an addict does–in denial and ready to destroy our planet, our own lives and the lives of our children. I long for a new vision of life in community and yet I find myself ever more compelled to retreat from social engagement. Thank you for being the wholesome and hopeful face of protest on our behalf. Stay well and live strong.

  2. Rebecca Morton says:

    Defenseless under the night
    Our world in stupor lies;
    Yet, dotted everywhere,
    Ironic points of light
    Flash out wherever the Just
    Exchange their messages;
    May I composed like them
    Of Eros and of dust,
    Beleaguered by the same
    Negation and despair,
    Show an affirming flame.
    -W.H. Auden

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