I am sorry.

Kat Haber
Posted September 6, 2020 from United States

I’ve lived for 30 years 20 minutes away from the Grizzly Creek Fire which shutdown down I-70 for 2 weeks. I speak for myself. May I ask the commissioners who have worked in the oil & gas industry to raise your hands? I apologize to you. And I share for all of us a simple way to say I’m sorry. Why/because/and.

Why am I sorry? I/we have failed to notice the signs of our crashing climate sufficiently. I am sorry that jobs attached to the oil & gas industry have been so subsidized, skewing market forces. I am sorry that so many children and citizens suffer from lung disease and cancers caused from oil & gas extraction. I am sorry that oil & gas lobbyists influence politicians funding their campaigns.

What part of this are we sorry for in this pandemic pause?

To the oil & gas employees who will testify after me, I am sorry.

We the people have failed you. You have talent, skills, and training. And if you and the companies you work for used them in a renewable, sustainable way might we both supply energy we use and not toxify our air?

or waste 13-15 million gallons of water per fracked horizontal drilling?

or wreck the land and soils that your rigs sit upon and run through? Congratulations to the oil & gas industry on your efficiency!

But it is killing us.

There is no economy in a community that is sick, dying, and dead.

I’ve been in isolation for 6 months recovering from COVID.

I’ve stopped flying. I’ve taken the insurance off my car and have not driven for 6 months. I know what it is to struggle to find breath. I am a long-hauler.

I walked across the country in the Great March for Climate Action in 2014.

From one end of Colorado to the other and upclose to the oil & gas infrastructure destruction,

I smelled the odorous gases,

I heard the loud noises,

I sucked in that air,

I wondered about the wasted water,

I cried for the animals and their disturbed places,

I saw how unfairly located these were next to poor neighborhoods.

I am so sorry. Because we were ignorant. And we can rethink our way of living now. Individual actions alone are simply not enough. We need you to make urgent and radical rethinking of policies that will transition this sector this decade for Colorado. Thank you for listening.

This story was submitted in response to From Poetry to Paintings .

Comments 5

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Nini Mappo
Sep 06
Sep 06

Hello Cat,
You express the climate crisis in this story.
"There is no economy in a world that is sick, dying and dead', is a wake up call, or ought to be to policy makers on the economy and climate.

Thank you for sharing this deep piece that stirs up the urgency to take care of our home, the Earth.

Jill Langhus
Sep 07
Sep 07

Hi Kat,

All I can say is "argh:-(" When will it stop?! Thanks for sharing and for being such a staunch environmental activist. We need many more of you!!

Hello, Kat,

This is poetry written as a wake-up that this battle for climate action is not yours to fight alone, but for all of us. I'm so impressed with your love for the environment that you've given up a lot of conveniences and even walked across the country. Like you said, "individual actions are simply not enough". Please never stop writing. Your pen is powerful, too!

Paulina Nayra
Sep 12
Sep 12

Dear Kat,
I am sorry, too. The convenience and comfort. that we enjoy now is energized by the oil and gas drilled from the earth. And our only planet earth is in pain. I am sorry that the lives communities near the sources of energy are threatened now. I pray that those who are trapped will be rescued.
Please take care.

Sep 19
Sep 19

Thank you for sharing beautiful.