Earlier this week I gave away four Nalgene bottles in a random drawing of 20 readers leaving comments with their thoughts on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Even after the 20 spots were taken readers kept their thoughts pouring in. Here is a small selection of the good ones, swing over to the original post to read them all (there are a lot of good ones I wasn't able to fit in here).

The oil spill in the gulf has pretty much cemented my position as an environmentalist; the consequences will be far reaching and at this moment are largely unpredictable. The more we depend on oil, the more we continue with the business of wrecking our planet. If we put 1-3% of the profits of big oil into green research, we'd be making a HUGE impact for our future.

- Jonathan W.

I'm incredibly pessimistic about the Gulf oil spill at this point. It's obviously becoming the worst environmental disaster in at least a generation, and seems poised to only get worse. I don't trust BP at all, and I'm pretty disappointed in the government for thinking that BP was trustworthy in any way related to this situation. I think the President should declare a state of emergency, and as Robert Reich suggested, put BP into receivership until this matter is resolved.

- Mary G.

As a lifelong environmentalist, it hasn't particularly changed my attitude toward oil, but my hope and undying dream would be that it affects the attitudes of non-greenies. How many people have to die in wars and accidents before people wake up to the fact that by changing their behavior, they will change the world. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, so excuse me for blathering, but I think the focus needs to be on the damage done to people, not just the damage done to the environment. That is the primary way we are going to move the needle on this issue. After all, when was the last time you hugged a tree? Now, when was the last time you hugged a person?

- Kimberly M.

The oil spill in the Gulf has sent me through the seven stages of loss... all but the acceptance part. Hearing the coverage of the spill has me taking my skepticism to the next level. I don't think that BP has done everything they could- I feel they want to keep the well operable so they are avoiding options that would end the wells life before they can pump it dry.
All this, in the end, will motivate me, but I'm worried that most of the population won't be willing to make changes to the way they live. WE NEED TO GET MOTIVATED, WE NEED TO MAKE SOME MAJOR CHANGES TO THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT/USE/WASTE ENERGY.

- Ellie

Sadly I used to think people opposed to offshore drilling were NIMBY's who didn't like the look of them. I really hadn't heard much about the environmental impacts of drilling (I guess my head was in the sand). I think we need to take a second look at where and how we get our petroleum.

- Jonathan O.

I grew up swimming in the waters off the coast of New Jersey. I would say those years of learning to navigate the flows and tides of the ocean defined who I am today. I am so saddened to see how this oil spill will affect all of those who spend their idle time and even more important their livelihoods on the gulf. For too long it was easy for people to believe that fossil fuels- if harnessed domestically- were a safe and cheap fuel. Maybe now this will really turn the country's attention to clean energy.

- Amy B.

The only saving grace with this disaster, as Shea has said elsewhere, may be that it's so massive a screw up that it will be impossible to mitigate through typical evasion tactics and corporate spin. It puts corporate greed and irresponsibility squarely under the spotlight. Even more, though, the near destruction of the Gulf might serve as the object lesson we slow learners need in the destructive effects our dependence on fossil fuels has for the environment. Not "the environment" in the abstract sense we usually mean, but the place in which we actually live, here and now.

- Todd S.

I've always seen oil as a risky yet nessesary evil since almost everything we use is made of or with oil....including Nalgene bottles. Sadly our world would not funcion without it so we need to keep becoming less reliant and tax the **** out of it!!!!

- Jonathan G.

Putting the environmental cost of oil use in the forefront of national attention might help spur more people to be increasingly mindful of their petroleum use. Could this even help further spur sales of EVs? It seems like this could become the moment when we start dialing back our consumption.

- Philip P.

I am disgusted by the oil spill and my reliance on it. I am moved to tears with images of wildlife suffering at the mistakes of man. I am fortunate enough to have found a job which requires NO commute, and recently moved to a very biker and pedestrian friendly city, which will help me drastically reduce car trips. However, there are so many other things we use in everyday life that require oil - how about how everything is packaged or made of plastic? We need to really focus on finding alternatives - even if at a higher cost to consumers. We are destroying the earth - literally - because of our dependence on oil.

- Maijaliisa

After the oil spill in the gulf, it really hit me on how reliant we are on oil to live, and how the corporations aren't trying to minimize our use of it. To have a leak for over a month is truly irresponsible. After this incident, the government needs stronger control over offshore drilling rigs.

- Cindu

This is even more important to me as I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This is one of the most beautiful place in the world & there is so much wild life, lots of beautiful wetlands & bayous. The wild life is amazing, there are dolphins, pelicans & many more sea animals. It will not only touch sea animals but also sweet water ones. I don't know what's going to happen but the future looks pretty bad.
I love Nalgene bottles & I haven't bought bottled water in years. I use filtered water.

- Elizabeth R.

Before the oil spill I would do things like recycle, not take extra trips, etc. I cared about the environment but it wasn't something I actively thought of all the time, I just kind of did what I was "supposed" to do. Now I am doing doing research on how to further reduce my consumption of all resourses, fossil fuels included. This has really brought the problem to the forefront of my mind.

- Jen

I think the best way to stop this oil leak is to use all the BP big whigs to cram that hole up, at least then they'd be trying to 'save' our eco-system...

- Ashley P.

I agree that this is a terrible mess. However, we should learn from this and make off shore drilling safer. We don't ground all planes when we have an accident.

- Zack P.

What about you? How has the oil spill affected your thoughts on oil, fossil fuels, and consumption in general? 

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

What MNN readers think about the oil leak
Read what some MNN readers think about BP's ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.