Posts Tagged ‘oil’

Oil, photography

April 6, 2013

Following up on Louis Helbig‘s presentation at Edinburgh College of Art comes Suzaan Boettger’s review in Brooklyn Rail of three books of photography of oil landscapes, Burtynsky’s Oil, J. Henry Fair’s The Day After Tomorrow: Images of our Earth in Crisis, and Richard Misrach and Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America.

The review addresses the approaches of the three photographers and comments on their aesthetic and art historical context.  There is a larger piece of work which would encompass, for instance, the also important books by James Marriott/PLATFORM including Next Gulf: London, Washington and the Oil Conflict in Nigeria and The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London.

These books provide a counterpoint because rather than focusing on the visual in the context of the industrial, they narrate the relationship between the impact on the lives of people living with the oil industry and our lives in London, or Scotland, or wherever and how we are complicit through financial investments, whether that’s JP Morgan Chase or Royal Bank of Scotland.

Social license to operate

December 27, 2011

BP is definitely splashing around the cultural sponsorship – there has been press coverage of the £10 million to cultural majors

in London, and now they are also sponsoring the Cultural Olympiad.

Art Not Oil want artworks for an online exhibition.  Send them before the end of February.

Corporations, Climate and the UN

December 11, 2011

A significant report from the Polaris Institute on corporate influence, documenting the ways that lobbyists infiltrate UN climate change negotiations.

Parallel with PLATFORM‘s work on challenging the ‘social license to operate’ culture, including the recent publication Not If But When, Culture Beyond Oil.

Shell accused of fuelling violence in Nigeria

October 6, 2011

PLATFORM continue to focus on the issues of corporate responsibility for oil conflict in the Niger Delta through their project Remember Saro-WiwaThe Guardian‘s extensive story on a new report by the social and environmental activists highlights the consequences of Shell paying off militia groups to stop them damaging pipelines.  This funds and stimulates conflict with other groups.  Shell periodically changes sides, thus exacerbating the situation.  But Shell are proud that none of this disrupts production, regardless of the number of people who die as a consequence: at least 60 in one incident.

Brief to make KEYSTONE XL an international issue

October 3, 2011

Brief for a campaign extension

Bill McKibben‘s team along with a number of other NGOs and activist groups in the US and Canada have been campaigning to stop Obama signing off the Keystone XL project.  The extension of the Keystone pipeline is a fundamental to the development of tar sands oil.  Tar sands are one of the most polluting forms of oil extraction and only viable because of the approach of peak oil.  We are faced by a choice: get off our addiction to fossil fuels, or continue into even dirtier and more destructive habits.

The Keystone Pipeline and its extension run from up near Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, down to Houston, Texas (see transcanada’s map).  They are literally a throat down the middle of North America with which to feed the addiction.

The Tar Sands Action campaign in the US is well supported and reaches out to a large environmental community, but there is relatively low awareness in other parts of the world.

In an email exchange with members of McKibben’s team it became clear that there was a need for creative and environmentally active people outside the US to create artworks, actions, logos, graffiti and other forms of intervention in order to raise awareness and show solidarity.

Current campaigning in Washington seems to be focused on encircling the White House, visibility at all Obama’s public engagements, securing mass arrests of celebrity figures to maximise news coverage.

If you are interested in responding to this (unofficial) brief then do something.  If you want to, you can send proposals to and also to the Tar Sands Action team, but we’ll just say “get on with it”.

Budget: whatever you can invest in time and materials.

Timescale: sooner the better – 6th November is a key date when it would be good to have some shared plans.

Insurances: none required.

Sights and Sounds of Bitumen Extraction

March 20, 2011

“Changeable Places brings together individuals from different contexts working with stories about particular places of environmental sensitivity.”  The post Sights and Sounds of Bitumen Extraction in Alberta Canada provides a deep exploration of a locality.

Tradable Energy Quotas: a solution for peak oil and climate change?

March 3, 2011

Beth Stratford edited the recent report on Tradable Energy Quotas for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil Peak Oil on Wikipedia).  She is Energy and Finance Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, and an MSc student in Ecological Economics.

If information campaigns are inadequate for motivating behaviour change, and carbon price rises are regressive, is there another approach?

This lunchtime seminar will critically consider the role that Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs) could play in shifting social norms, engaging ordinary people with the task of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and guaranteeing fairer access to energy when the going gets tough.  It will also explore barriers to implementation – including issues of public perception and policy space – and try to identify useful areas for future research.

Lunchtime presentation and discussion

1:30 – 2:30pm  9th March 2011

Lecture Theatre D, Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh (Peter Wilson Building, Kings Building campus, EH9 3JG)

For thoughts about Peak Oil please also look at PLATFORM London’s blog.

Beth Stratford edited the recent report on TEQs
<> for the All Party Parliamentary Group on
Peak Oil: <>.  She is
Energy and Finance Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, and an
MSc student in Ecological Economics.Beth Stratford edited the recent report on TEQs <; for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil: <;. She is Energy and Finance Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, and an MSc student in Ecological Economics.

Deep Horizon isn’t over

December 16, 2010

Naomi Klein describes how the Deep Horizon crisis isn’t over just because we can’t see the oil gushing.  She spent a week on a research ship looking at the impact of the dispersed oil on ecosystems.  She links this with Tar Sands and other high risk strategies to maintain our addiction.

Torrey Canyon

October 24, 2010

The Torrey Canyon disaster was the largest shipwreck to that date and resulted in large sections of the British and French coastlines being polluted by crude oil.

It was 1967. They didn’t know what to do with the oil so they put a lot of what washed up on the island of Guernsey into a disused quarry. They are just starting a bio-remediation project now.

and I found the following other interesting pieces including some pics in the Guardian story…

The death of Deep Horizon

June 7, 2010

The Natural Resources Defense Council has a multitude of interesting information about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on its web site including an animation of the daily movement of the slick.

And from the organisational to the personal, the signs people make are always interesting,

In memory of all that is lost, courtesy of BP and our Federal Government

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