While fireworks, fun, and family punctuate our annual 4th of July celebrations, it is sometimes easy to forget that the 4th of July commemorates America's declaration of independence. Our nation's founders signed the Declaration of Independence to escape the tyranny of Britain and establish our citizens' inalienable right: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However as we celebrate this declaration, the BP oil spill continues to not only threatens the delicate ecosystems, beaches, communities, and economies of the Gulf Coast, it threatens these inalienable rights as well. It is we the people -- as citizens, and not just consumers -- that have the true power, but only if we exercise our responsibility as citizens of this great nation. To do so, we must come forth and engage in our communities, in the civic fabric of our nation, and not just allow ourselves to be defined as consumers. In times of crisis, we must come together -- as a family of American citizens -- and speak loud enough to make ourselves heard.
On July 2 in New Orleans, Global Green and the Green Collaborative -- a group of more than 65 organizations and businesses from NOLA and the Gulf Coast -- will release a new Declaration of Energy Independence.
This statement represents important and widely-held views on energy efficiency, fuel conservation and other issues, but it calls for much greater urgency in pursuing renewable energy sources and technology.
It represents a call to action by our fellow citizens. And we must allow join with our family, and speak loudly together.
It is urgent we stop the BP oil spill, accelerate the cleanup of the Gulf, and help get our fisheries, and other members of the economy and community working again. But we must also come together in urging our nation toward the true energy independence that is essential to maintaining the fundamental rights upon which our founding fathers built this nation.
We can all join with the citizens of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast by showing our support for this vision of the future, and sign the Declaration for Energy Independence now.
Also posted on Matt Petersen's Huffington Post blog