I just received the July 25, 2005 edition of Fortune Magazine. It has a number of interesting articles in it, but the subject I want to talk about is framed by the advertisements that show up on the inside front cover and on the back cover – two of the most expensive advertising locations in any magazine.
The inside front cover has a solid blue background with a small amount of white text. At first glance, I thought it was an ad for a Microsoft Windows competitor – the color scheme is exactly the same as the infamous “blue screen of death” that occasionally affects older windows machines.
However, the text of this message is much scarier that having your computer crash 5 minutes before you need to print out the presentation to your boss’s boss.
It took us 125 years to use
the first trillion barrels of oil.
We’ll use the next trillion in 30.
So why should you care?
That message is from Chevron, one of the world’s largest petroleum companies, not from a group whose purpose is to preach conservation. Chevron is so concerned about the implications of their message that they have set up a web site at www.willyoujoinus.com to solicit ideas and discussions about possible solutions. It might be a good idea to check it out and join in their discussion. You can even view the advertisement that captured my attention.
The back cover of Fortune was a black on white text ad with the only color being some highlight of a couple of words and that cute little green and yellow sun that BP has adopted as their logo in recent years. Fully half of the page is taken up by seven words.
It’s time to
BP spends a lot of money telling us that their initials stand for “beyond petroleum” instead of British Petroleum. They also loudly talk about being one of the world’s largest solar companies, with revenues of more than $400 million USD. As I illustrated in BP versus Exelon, BP’s solar business accounted for about 0.14% of its total revenues in 2004; petroleum related portions of the business accounted for almost all of the other 99.86%.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:34)
If BP is really ready to think outside the barrel, its leaders need to invest in a fossil fuel alternative that already supplies more than 7% of the world’s total commercial energy, even though the physical process underlying it was discovered several years after my mother was born. Mom is not a spring chicken, but she is still going strong. Compared to all other energy sources, nuclear fission is an infant capable of many decades of sustained growth.