Report on TedxOilSpill

Amazing. Breathtaking. Inspiring. Cathartic. The TedxOilSpill talk brought together a wide range of individuals committed to creating a better world to share and generate new ideas. The organizers Nate Mook and David Troy self identify as entrepreneurs looking for market driven solutions that will pull all of us into a better tomorrow. Some themes that came out of the day included oil addiction and how to’s on breaking the habit; collecting evidence of environmental crimes; cleaning up toxic oil; and the pros of taking personal responsibility.One solution offered to get us all off oil – the Tesla Roadster – an all electric vehicle that gets 244 miles per battery charge. I was invited to sit in it (okay, I begged and pleaded to sit in it and they finally relented.) It is a two-seater, low to the ground, has super fat tires, and no gear shift. Just a go pedal and a stop pedal. But it is FAST! Gets to 60 in 3.7 seconds. Think golf cart meets the Millennium Falcon.The newest technique in crowd-sourcing is the Oil Reporter – a smart phone app that publishes your phone’s pictures to an interactive map. So now, anyone with a smart phone can be a reporter on the oil disaster by photographing oil on the beach, wetlands, or wildlife and uploading it to the map. All the photographs are open-source so it is also a good place to find photos as well.The X PRIZE Foundation is known for pushing innovation through competition by offering up a substantial amount of prize money. Moreover, X-prize winners do not hurt for media attention. The X PRIZE organization announced that they are setting up a prize for Oil spill cleanup techonology. God’s speed XPrize!! Dr. Carl Safina, BPGlobalPR creator, and Dr. John Francis all reminded us that change begins with one person.”If you think the status quo is unacceptable, then don’t accept it!” – BPGlobalPR”You only have this moment to do the thing you think you need to do.” Dr. John Francis “We need to make a moment out of this disaster.” – Dr. Carl SafinaI was really honored to be a speaker at the TedxOilSpill. I decided to share a painful story about my personal tragic connection to the oil industry to illustrate how devastating extraction and mining disasters can be to families. If you missed the livestream don’t worry, you can watch the event here.Also, see the shocking yet beautiful photographs by the TedxOilSpill Expedition Team here.Casey DeMoss Roberts is GRN’s Assistant Director of Water Resources.

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