As I write this, the oil from the BP disaster still spouts, the tourism industry in the area is reeling, and hurricane season is just beginning. On the first day of summer, instead of reveling in their busiest season, hotels are fielding cancellation calls and small businesses that support tourism are going under.

A mid-June survey of by the Knowland Group of 50 hotels across the Gulf Coast found that 60 percent were experiencing group cancellations—up 18 percent from their survey conducted two weeks prior, and up 25 percent from their initial survey when the disaster began.

Columnist Mitchell Beer, CMM, who writes for our Web site and magazines and is president and CEO of The Conference Publishers Inc., summed up my feelings precisely: At the root of this problem is our insatiable addiction to oil, and it’s our responsibility to view our jobs as an opportunity to cut energy use on a major scale.

If the tens of thousands of readers of this magazine took some baby steps right now to green their meetings, think of the impact it would have!

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