Nine-step recovery plan offered for ‘oil addiction’


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following President Bush’s admission in his State of the Union address that the United States is "addicted to oil," Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, issued a nine-step recovery plan to combat the nation’s oil addiction.

    "Oil addiction can happen to anyone," Rogers said. "For too long, people have not faced up to their addiction and the consequences are now obvious. Your oil addition not only ruins your life and the life of your families, but the lives of most of the world’s inhabitants. We want people to know there is a light at the end of the oil rig. Despite the fact that we have close to 300 million Americans who are addicted to oil, together we will be able to overcome it."

    The plan is as follows:

    Step 1 – Admit you are an addict. Like most addicts, you probably have no idea what harm you are actually causing. Despite the shock of having a spotlight turned on your behavior on national television, Google "climate change" or "oil addiction" and you will see the thousands of articles that have been written about your addiction during the past 20 years.

    Step 2 – Do a searching and fearless inventory of your life. Start by taking a look around. Carry out a personal energy audit of your life. Look for wasteful and/or excessive use of energy, including the use of large, gas-hungry vehicles, houses that are 10 times larger than necessary and other evidence of profligate lifestyles.

    Step 3 – Turn Yourself Over to a Higher Power. Ask your main energy provider where your power comes from and if you could switch to "green power."

    Step 4 – Believe that a power greater than you can restore us to sanity. Ask yourself what your national, state and local government representatives, including your mayor, have been doing to control this addiction. If you do not feel they are doing enough, let them know and vote for leaders who have a plan of their own to help you fight this addiction. Check their campaign contributor’s list for evidence of insincerity.

    Step 5 – Make a decision to turn your will over to the care of someone more powerful (and less addicted). Is this really all your fault? Do you feel you need to lean on a force more powerful than yourself? 2008 is just around the corner. You can make combating oil addiction one of the major topics of debate in the 2008 Presidential elections.

    Step 6 – Make of list of people that we have harmed and be willing to make amends to all of them. Start with the Inuits, the polar bears, the residents of Greenland, small island nations, New Orleans (and possibly Miami).

    Step 7 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. There is no need to fly to these locations to make a personal apology.

    Step 8 – Realize that nothing but continuous action on the preceding steps can make a difference. Your dependence on oil will not disappear overnight. Start with mandatory caps on your consumption – and demand it of all Americans.

    Step 9 – Carry the message forward. The more people fighting the addiction, the more impressive the results will be. Host an Earth Day (April 22nd) Party or attend one of thousands across the United States to let people know how widespread the addiction is and how they too can fight it.

    Earth Day Network was founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970 and promotes environmental citizenship and year round progressive action worldwide. Earth Day Network’s global network reaches more than 12,000 organizations in 174 countries. Earth Day is celebrated by more than half a billion people each year, making it the largest secular holiday in the world. This year, April 22 marks the 36th anniversary of Earth Day. Informational resources are available at

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