No Picture

The Oil Spill That Energized a Movement

Source: Al Jazeera

The pictures looked so familiar – the ruined rig, a spreading stain of oil, birds and wildlife dying, a massive effort to clean up the deadly spill.

But instead of depicting the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, the photographs I was looking at in the library of the Santa Barbara, California Historical Museum showed a spill that happened four decades ago.

It was an event that changed Americans’ attitudes toward the environment forever.

Today, Santa Barbara is an affluent, laid-back beach town set between the mountains and the sea, with hardly a piece of litter to mar its pristine beaches. read more