Photo by Ganesh Ramsummair.
If you’re an engaged citizen, chances are you try to lower your carbon footprint and make climate-conscious decisions. You recycle, maybe you’ve cut back on plastic, or invested in an electric car or solar panels.
But did you know that the concept of “carbon footprint” was the inspiration of an advertising firm working for none other than oil giant, BP?
Almost 20 years after its conception, the term “carbon footprint” is all-pervading.
What we’re doing is good but not good enough
Many of us individuals are doing our bit when it comes to climate change, but is it enough to save the planet?
I think we should continue (and increase) avoiding consumer products and other things that damage the environment. But why are we focusing on what Jane Bloggs down the road is doing? Why aren’t we instead looking more closely at the fossil fuel companies?
Jane might live in a place where there’s no public transport so she’s forced to buy a car to get to work and buy her groceries. She might not be able to afford an electric car and, besides, there are no places to charge it. Maybe she doesn’t recycle because there are no collection services. Maybe she buys food covered in plastic wrapping because that’s the only option at her local shops.
If I didn’t think closely about Jane’s situation, I’d feel annoyed by her choices. Just like I’m annoyed with my friends when they buy a giant SUV or plastic bottled water. I feel annoyed at these individuals but why do I rarely think about the companies who produce all this crap? Crap we sometimes don’t even have a choice but to consume.
Because they duped us.
BP and Ogilvy — an oily dream team
BP is one of the largest private oil companies in the world. With a 12-month revenue of $222.7 billion, they explore, produce, and supply oil and petrochemical products. Or “energy solutions” as they prefer to say. Perhaps you’ve dropped into a BP service station to fill your car up with some of their energy solutions. Although I try to…