This oil spill was one which shocked the nation. People saw the pictures of oil-soaked birds and sludged beaches, and they began to think. This oil spill was what had politicians and people calling for change.
One year after the spill, the first Earth Day was celebrated. President Nixon founded the Environmental Protection Agency and signed in the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. This one, tiny oil spill was what tipped social change and triggered all these events.
That oil spill changed the way we view the environment in this country. Certain people and groups are trying to use the current spill in the same way. Let this disaster serve a purpose through changing society and consuming less oil. More Americans polled are ranking the environment as extremely important to them every month. Use less. Save more. Support petitions which you believe will help the current situation. And sing loud - oil isn't the answer of the future.
Social change is slow. The first Earth Day took a year to be established after the Santa Barbara. The Gulf Spill is longer and more drawn out than the Santa Barbara one, so it has less impact on our societal consciousness, especially in competition with various wars and the financial crisis. Still, don't forget yourself, and don't let others forget what a disaster this is.