This independent TEDx event is operating under license from TED
June 13th, 2010

TEDxOilSpill Expedition Gets Under Way

We’re a country with a very serious case of attention deficit disorder. Michael Jackson’s dead and most people don’t much care anymore. Oil’s been shooting from the bowls of the Gulf at a rate of 5,000…12,000…19,000…50,000(?) barrels a day for 54 days.

We can’t afford to forget about this. My fear is that many have already forgotten or no longer care.

The TEDxOilSpill Expedition will spend the next week pushing the envelope, traveling our Gulf coast and gathering the images, videos, thoughts and ideas that will be the Ritalin and behavioral therapy for our national ADD.

Duncan, Kris, Pinar and I will be using whatever means necessary to give you a firsthand account of the spill and tell stories about how this spill has torn apart the cultural and ecological fabric of one of the most amazing (and biologically productive and culturally diverse and beautiful and powerfully strange) places on our planet. We’ll do it as best we can in real time.

But this oil in the Gulf is more than an incident. It’s a really hard slap in the face that’s got to wake us all up from a century of dependency on oil. We cannot afford to wait for one person, whether that be a scientist, a business leader or the President himself to lead the charge away from oil. It will take an army of scientists, business leaders, the President and folks from all walks of life. TED is the perfect catalyst to move such an army.

As such, the TEDxOilSpill Expedition will also be gathering and assembling the nuts and bolts of a presentation to kick off the TEDxOilSpill event to be held on June 28th, 2010 in Washington, DC. The images and videos and stories we gather will help us all in attendance to get our arms around the Deepwater Horizon disaster and help focus our attention on mitigating the existing damage and helping find ways to make sure none of us has to relive this.

I’ve been in touch with the others tonight, scattered as they are across the country. Lots of logistical hurdles to jump. There’ll be no sleep with our minds racing like this. Tomorrow we’ll meet in New Orleans International Airport, brave the 95% humidity and head down to Grand Isle, Louisiana, one of several epicenters in this disaster. We’ll make our way east by plane, flat bottom boat, pirogue, car and legs and, yes, we’ll burn oil in the process. Everyone’s got to shoulder a bit of the blame for this mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. More to come…


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June 28, 2010
Washington, DC