Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BP: Beyond the Pale

I realize there are other news stories worth caring about--tornados in the Oklahoma, flooding in Nashville, the financial mess in Greece and crazy hatchet-men killing kindergartners in China--but I can't tell you how frustrated I am by how the news media's coverage of BP's disastrous oil spill in the Gulf fails to measure up to the size of the tragedy. Right now there is no mention of the oil spill on the front page of and only a tiny text link entitled BP knew of problems on CNN.

Aside from this amazing set of photographs from, I have seen surprisingly little in the way of photo journalism, news updates and commentary on what this environmental disaster means for our energy policies.

I say show us more leaking oil pipes. More blackened birds. More stranded fishermen. More poisoned fish. Show us more spoiled beaches and estuaries. Get Americans angry with BP and its hollow, cynical "Beyond Petroleum" greenwashing campaign.* I want otherwise complacent citizens to realize that this is our wake-up call. It's just not about reducing our reliance on foreign oil. It's about reducing our reliance on oil, period. Yes solar is in its infancy and wind farms make noise and interfere with your otherwise perfect view, but they don't foul the land and water for thousands of miles. President Obama is looking for ways to kick-start our economy and investing in green energy seems like a great place to start. For my part, I'm going to do everything I can to reduce my carbon footprint. Biking and walking more. Fueling up less. And never again at BP.

*That link is to an op-ed article by one of the creatives who worked on the "Beyond Petroleum" campaign. I feel fortunate that none of the big companies I've helped market have done anything I'm truly ashamed to be associated with. In fact, right now I'm kind of proud to work for P&G, which pretty much invented cause marketing 20+ years ago when Dawn helped wash Exxon Valdez oil off of wildlife.