No matter what oil companies say, drilling on sensitive landscapes and seascapes is risky. Disasters happen, and when they do, pristine environments and sensitive wildlife are destroyed for generations — if not forever.
Greenpeace, in partnership with Don’t Panic London, has released “A Song of Oil, Ice and Fire” that points a finger at Shell Oil’s plans to drill in the US Alaskan Arctic this summer. Its take-no-prisoners presentation outlines in stark terms what could happen if Shell Oil gets it rigs into the Arctic.
The artworks include “Pearblossom Highway” by David Hockney, “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth and “An Arctic Summer: Boring Through the Pack in Melville Bay” by William Bradford. In the resulting art by British montage artists Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips, scenes are transformed by the oil company’s drilling equipment, showing the impact of oil spills and explosions.
President Obama, who has taken a strong position regarding climate change, defended his recent decision to allow drilling in the Arctic because he says it’s impossible to stop oil exploration in the Arctic completely. While environmentalists disagree with that judgment, Obama says he has already eliminated the most sensitive Arctic areas to drilling, including the Bristol Bay.
Moreover, the US administration has also finalized a proposal to set aside a majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, a move intended to prevent drilling across some 12 million acres in northeastern Alaska — oil companies have been angling for the Refuge for many years. Despite that, the region’s defense is not a sure thing.
All artwork courtesy of Greenpeace.