Does Anyone Actually Care About the Oil Spill or "We're Doomed"

I live in pretty much the most liberal area of Virginia--Arlington County.  All five of our County Board members are Democrats, the voters overwhelmingly vote for Democrats for state and federal offices, and most of my neighbors and friends would characterize themselves as politically liberal.  I suspect most of them would also characterize themselves as environmentalists who care about their impact on our environment.  All of them would express concern about climate change and the US's profligate use of oil and fossil fuels.  And they all most certainly are outraged by the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet even among these people with environmental convictions, there appears to be a complete lack of connection between their daily activities and our ongoing "addiction" to fossil fuels.  Here are some examples:
  • A week ago a friend of my daughter invited her to go swimming at the local pool.  According to Google, it's 6/10ths of a mile on foot.  She and I walked over.  As I was leaving I noted a neighbor from my block dropping off her daughter at the same pool in her minivan, and I watched her get back in and drive home.
  • Another of my neighbors works in a building less than 900 yards from her house.  Yet most days she drives to work.
  • In another case, a neighbor has a 16-year old son who works in a local five and dime.  The establishment is about 8/10ths of a mile from their home.  On most occasions, they drive over to pick him up after work--even on days with beautiful weather.
  •  We needed to provide our house key to a neighbor's daughter so she could care for our cat.  I called over to their house and her father said he would come right over and get the key.  A couple minutes later he drove up.  They live 800 feet away!!!!
If this is how environmentalists take to heart the need to change our habits and protect our environment, then we are most certainly doomed.

(Image from NASA)

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