As pointed out by Bristol (UK) Indymedia, Shell has tried to cleanse its dirty business with cultural grants. It sponsored the Bristol Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (2007) while simultaneously menacing wildlife, like the bird pictured here. In Africa, Shell’s environmental record in the Niger Delta is the stuff of civil war. At least 6,800 spills have been recorded by the UN Development Agency.
Likewise, Chevron/Texaco has actively denied its criminal negligence. The documentary Crude depicts the attempts of indigenous people of South America to attain some measure of justice from Chevron/Texaco, which has decimated whole ecosystems and forced the relocation and near extinction of villagers in regions ‘developed’ by Texaco in Ecuador.
Meanwhile, BP, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on promoting its green image in the lead up to the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, must answer for the inadequate precaution and cleanup associated with that disaster. What’s more, the tar sands of Canada pose an even greater threat. BP’s plans to extract oil from the tar sands pose an enormous environmental threat due to the vast amount of carbon that the project would release into the atmosphere.
All told, the virulent efforts of these companies’ marketing departments to convince the public that they’re all fine corporate citizens would be laughable if they weren’t working. Polls in the wake of the failed Copenhagen round of climate accords have found that the number of citizens in the US, UK, and Germany who are concerned about global warming has been dropping significantly. Nevertheless, it is clear that sea levels are rising, if only because BP has managed to inject millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.