Dec 8, 2020
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A Clear Conscience and a Bright Blue Sky (2020)

The goal of any ad is to make us feel good about a company and its products. This ad from the Melbourne, Australia-based BHP Billiton multinational mining, metals, and petroleum company, fits the bill. According to its advertorial gospel, published in The Economist October 2020, by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, electric cars will save the world. But this glossy hope does not tell the whole truth. The ad states that ‘by 2030, there could be 125 million electric cars on the road.’ More cars on the roads, this is the hope for our future and these are the words of a company responsible for so much destruction. Still fresh on our environmental awareness radar is the 2015 collapse of a dam at the Samarco-BHP mine. This was Brazil’s largest environmental disaster, it killed 19 people and spilled roughly 40 million cubic metres of toxic sludge into communities, the Rio Doce river, and the Atlantic Ocean, 650 km away[1]. BHP Billiton is also responsible for the Ok Tedi environmental disaster in Papua New Guinea. Between 1984 and 2013, BHP’s mine discharged about two billion tons of untreated mining waste into the Ok Tedi river[2]. This is the same company that has violated scores of indigenous communities’ rights across the Americas. The trail of environmental, social, and public health disasters linked to BHP[3] is a long one and yet they want us to think of them as the saviour of the world, they want us to believe that they are the ‘Big Thinkers’ who leave a small carbon footprint. It is hard to take and even harder to understand why such ads could be printed. One hundred and twenty-five million electric cars will not solve the problems of pollution that will occur through their manufacturing process; the extraction of tons and tons of copper needed to build the hearts and the veins of these cars will not make our planet better. The only ones to profit are the investors and perhaps the marketers selling us on the fallacy that our conscience should be clear.[4]

[1] BHP faces first step in $6.3 billion UK claim over Brazil dam failure
[2] Ok Tedi environmental disaster
[3] Broken Hills: Six cases from BHP’s long trail of disasters (PDF)
[4] According to the Visual Capitalist website, an EV contains about 183 lbs. of copper. 125 millions cars multiplied by 183 lbs. equal twenty three billion pounds of cooper.

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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel H. Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Videopoésie / Videopoetry, coécrit avec Valerie LeBlanc, vient de paraître aux éditions Small Walker Press.

Daniel H. Dugas is a poet, musician, and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia. His eleventh book of poetry, co-written with Valerie LeBlanc, Videopoésie / Videopoetry has just been published by the Small Walker Press.

Date: April 2020
Genre: Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry
Français/English

Videopoetry / Vidéopoésie

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