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From the recent events unfolding off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico, it now becomes clearer that pursuing dirty forms of energy, fossil fuels, increasingly more difficult and dangerous to bring to market, should be a practice that we, as a nation, need to leave behind.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday,

“Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said their worst fear is that the well could leak at 100,000 barrels a day, if the well head breaks. Friday, industry experts estimate the spill rate at 20,000 barrels a day to 25,000 barrels a day. If those rates are accurate, the spill could already rival the 11-million gallon Valdez (Exxon) slick that economically and environmentally devastated part of Alaska.”

This moment is a clarion call to ramp-up the immediate diversification of America’s energy portfolio.

Energy efficiency, wind, solar, geo power are clean and smart. This energy revolution will create millions of jobs, foster US energy independence, be environmentally friendly, reduce our national trade deficit–the justifications are legion. We now need the collective will to move past looking to the ground for our brighter future when its above our heads. I advocate for natural nuclear power — the nuclear fusion reactor that’s 93 million miles away, it’s called the Sun.

In 2004, I wrote a scathing article on BP’s marketing plan to reform their dirty fossil fuel image by concocting a more clean and sustainable rubric from which they would do business: BP became “Beyond Petroleum” instead of British Petroleum.  In this era of rampant green washing, it is high time to put real teeth into holding our energy corporations accountable towards moving our nation and world forward into what we need our future energy sector to be. ~ Byron

Public, Propaganda and Profit — The History of PR (Byron DeLear / 2004)

So I’m reading in Foreign Affairs about how out of the 20,000 oversea storage containers coming into American ports daily, only 400 are inspected by federal authorities – and if all 400 contained shielded nuclear weapons – only 40 of them would be detected. This “10% rate of detection” would not include the 19,600 containers not even looked at. If we are to believe Bush’s portrayal of a “decades long global war on terrorism”, spending Billions over in Iraq to defend Billion dollar Halliburton contracts seems like it’s missing the point a little doesn’t it?

It’s National Security, stupid.

Course what kind of security are we paying for? So I’m considering all these obvious signs of the interests of the people not being served, and I come across an ad by British Petroleum – you know, “BP.” Well it turns out that BP – British Petroleum – is no longer British Petroleum – it’s “Beyond Petroleum”. Beyond Petroleum? The same British Petroleum that re-infested Iran in 1953 following a CIA-sponsored coup d’tat?

Yep, that one.

Well, what are we to understand from this face change right before our ad-laden eyes? If we take the advertisement’s word for it, “The world’s energy needs aren’t diminishing. But at BP, we see a future that can be cleaner, brighter and more powerful than ever. It’s a start.”

Now, if I hadn’t worked in media and the entertainment industry for twenty years, I just might think, “Wow, look at that, a multi-national conglomerate with a conscience…”

But I know better.

I know better because only living things have a conscience, and the corporate entity that has arisen in the midst of civilization – having been brought to monolithic stature by its legal definition of having all the rights of a live person – is not alive. And its undead-like rapacious appetite for profits has every living system on Earth in decline.

Every living system.

I know that BP’s renaming itself is not true corporate reform – it’s just an example of a PR campaign at work – I know that someone or some team has been paid money to re-form public opinion about oil — to reeducate the public as to the mighty conglomerate’s benign influence and vision of, “…a future that can be cleaner, brighter and more powerful than ever”

Give me a break — “Beyond Petroleum”

Let’s take a little ride into history to see the origins of the modern PR campaign to illuminate just what is behind the designs of this light and sound show we all almost constantly bathe in.

Here’s a quote: “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas in disguise.”

Sounds a little like a innocent word game, “British Petroleum” becoming “Beyond Petroleum”, doesn’t it?

Well it ain’t no word game – PR is thought control and propaganda and that quote was from Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister of Nazi Germany.

Again, “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas in disguise.”

Hitler’s “Genocide” became “solution” – is this too harsh an indictment against BP?

Not considering the genocide being methodically conducted against every living system on this planet.

Our solutions need to be more than just mere words.

Where did this media-method of controlling public opinion come from?

Newspaper mogul Randolph Hearst was delighted to wield American public opinion and lead popular support for the Spanish-American war through the unfounded accusation against Spain after the US warship Maine exploded and sunk. Hearst proclaimed to newspaper illustrator Frederic Remington, “You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war. President McKinley got his, “Splendid little war” – as the ambassador to England, Teddy Roosevelt called it — and the public turned bloodthirsty through Hearst’s “yellow journalism” made it all the easier. It soon became apparent that in a democracy the controlling interests need “thought control” — because they couldn’t take what they wanted by force.

A few years later this “control of the thought of the world” through media reached new heights during WWI in America, when reported tales of the German “Huns” committing atrocities like tearing off the arms of Belgian babies – or the illustrations of impaled and bayoneted babies — again turned the pacifist populace into raving warmongers–through propaganda.

Noam Chomsky explains to us that, “Hitler was very impressed with the successes of Anglo-American propaganda during World War I and felt, not without reason, that partly explained why Germany lost the war (WWI).”

The WWI propaganda machine of England was called “The Ministry of Information” – in America it was the “Committee on Public Information”. One of its members was Edward Bernays, founder of the Public Relations industry – Also known as PR.

It was called Propaganda back then, but I guess “propaganda” became a dirty word – for the obvious nefarious reasons – but it was just a “mere” word, wasn’t it?

So “propaganda” is now euphemistically reformed…Voila!

“Public Relations” – sounds cozy, huh. Like a distant branch of the family tree you never knew. Kissin’ cousins.

Edward Bernay’s pivotal book was simply called, “Propaganda” and as the father of PR, he reveals the technology to regiment “the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers.”

Fast forward to today and we see how this PR technology has evolved to become the chief component in a system of control — the ability for the Governments of the world to control their citizens, for Corporations to create their consumers, and for the Establishment to manufacture public opinion like a product rolling off an assembly line.

So next time you see that touchy-feely BP ad with sun-drenched yellow and life-giving green, think twice about who got paid and
why to bring this “corporate transformation” before your eyes.

This is BP – but it’s not “Beyond Petroleum”…

It’s “Beyond Propaganda”.

It’s time to take BP, nay, the entire fossil fuel industry to task, and move our planet beyond petroleum. A decent and survivable future demands us to fundamentally transform the way we power our global economy. You can do your part by joining the chorus of sane voices calling for this Copernican shift to build a truly brighter reality for a more sustainable expression of civilization.