Oil, Supply, Demand & Choices

11Jun10

With the BP oil spill there has been a lot of anger focused on BP and the US government’s response to it. While justified, we must remember that BP is simply supplying the “demand” side of the equation. You and I ask for that oil. We drive cars, remain on the grid, travel by airplane, buy plastic, like our gadgets that must be recharged daily…. BP gives us what we want, and to satisfy our demand the oil companies are going to further and further extremes – in the case of the BP oil spill drilling a hole 3 miles under the surface of the ocean.

But we can change that. We can choose to “demand” less. If we are angry at BP what choices are we personally making to cut down our reliance on them? Let’s look in the mirror, admit the truth and make better choices.

Photography is a powerful medium that can show us what our energy choices do to the environment and our communities. It is sad to learn that BP (apparently in cahoots with the Coast Guard) does not allow photography along the Gulf Coast without their permission. If true, who is in charge here and what kind of nation have we become that corporate interests outstrip those of the nation’s people?

In the meantime here are two portfolios of photographic work that very clearly show us the impact of our energy choices.

What Is American Power?

Edward Burtynsky’s Oil



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