Home | About | Donate

The Stain of Big Oil Is Smearing Earth... and Our Culture


The Stain of Big Oil Is Smearing Earth... and Our Culture

Mel Evans

This week marks the 5th anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. The company continues to be hounded by the legal fallout, including criminal convictions, and it is desperate to do whatever it can to cleanse its public image. This is especially challenging in the face of intense criticism globally from the fossil fuel divestment groups like 350.org, the #keepitintheground campaign and the movement to end oil sponsorship of the arts.


Dispersants are the classic example of the coverup being worse than the crime. They break down oil in a manner that increases its bioavailability (ability to cross cell membranes) and therefore its toxicity. I weep for Flipper.


Here in New Orleans we will see close to a million people arrive this week for the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, sponsored by Shell. The Jazz Fest Foundation’s new building and performance center and gallery is sponsored by the foundation of Helis Oil, which just this week also won the right to begin fracking in St. Tammany, a community just north of New Orleans. Helis also sponsors sections of both New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Two weeks ago the annual French Quarter Fest was held, sponsored by Chevron and I’m sure there are many, many more such instances here in S. Louisiana, but it is such a sickening (literally & figuratively) development that these are the only instances I can bring myself to mention at this point …


The emulsifiers that get put into our foods probably have a similar effect on our digestion; recent research using mice suggests that that is the case in terms of disrupting our intestinal mucus layer thereby allowing stuff to get through that ordinarily wouldn’t have.


Ring around the oil well
Pockets full of cash
Ashes ashes
We all fall down!