Sep 30, 2022
Over images typical of fossil fuel company ads that have been accused of "greenwashing" their practices, a new viral video explains that oil giant Chevron is "actively murdering" people across the globe as it continues to extract fossil fuels despite warnings from climate and energy experts alike.
"We at Chevron believe there is nothing more precious than life," the voiceover says over footage of a newborn baby and mother. "And the most precious life of all is the dead kind, that has been compressed for hundreds of millions of years under massive rocks until it magically becomes oil."
The parody ad, which was released Thursday, goes on to show a wind power farm, a child's birthday party, marine life, and a picturesque image of an oil rig at sunset as the narration explains that the oil it refines and sells as gasoline makes it possible for "a cool-ass tank" to "crush a clay hut" and an airplane to "take a businessman 3,000 miles to have dinner with someone, or whatever, all the while releasing greenhouse gases that are transforming the planet right this second."
While the images displayed continue to show an idealized image of families, pets, and nature, viewers are assured that "we at Chevron straight-up don't give a single fuck about you, your weird children, or your stupid, ratty-ass dog."
The company also has "billions and billions of dollars," the narrator says, "to pay for this commercial time, this cheesy footage, and this bullshit music, all so you'll be lulled into a catatonic state that makes you forget one singular fact: Chevron is actively murdering you every day."
The fake ad was released weeks after the U.K.-based group InfluenceMap revealed that the five largest fossil fuel companies--Chevron, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies--spend a cumulative $750 million per year on public relations campaigns to make the corporations seem committed to climate action, while spending just 12% of their capital expenditures on low-carbon activities.
The parody, which was produced by film director Adam McKay, amounted to a "surprisingly honest" advertisement for Chevron, said the Climate Ad Project.
"Normally I'm anti-fossil fuel advertising, but this one should be watched by everyone on the planet," said Jamie Henn, director of Fossil Free Media, which supports the movement to end fossil fuels by pushing back against industry propaganda.
Along with the video, McKay, who directed the climate crisis-themed satire Don't Look Up last year, posted several doctored images of news coverage of Hurricane Ian, which killed at least 21 people when it devastated parts of Florida this week.
The images showed news outlets labeling the storm Hurricane Chevron, Hurricane Exxon, and Hurricane Shell, referring to scientists' warnings that the continued extraction of fossil fuel is intensifying extreme weather events.
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