In light of the enormous environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, we thought it would be worthwhile to revisit some of our discussions with experts on how oil economies operate, the distortions of power oil wealth introduces, and the future of oil as an energy source. While these conversations tend to focus on developing countries, now more than ever, the political and environmental effects of oil are increasingly felt around the globe.
Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil
This discussion with journalist Peter Maass, author of Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil, examines "oil's indelible impact on the countries that produce it and the people who possess it." It includes the debate over remaining Saudi oil reserves, vast inequalities in the distribution of Equatorial Guinea's oil wealth, attempts to rebuild Iraq's oil industry, and the court battle between Ecuador and Chevron.
Photography as Advocacy: A Half Century of Oil and Misery in the Niger Delta
Virtually all of Nigeria's oil is pumped from the nine states that make up the Niger Delta in the southeast of the country. Yet the delta remains the poorest region in the nation. Political gangsterism, corruption, and poverty seem to converge there. At this event, photographer Ed Kashi and others talk about oil in the Niger Delta and the use of photography in advocating for social change.
The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea
Remote, forbidding, and volatile, the Caspian Sea long tantalized the world with its vast oil reserves. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a wholesale rush into the region erupted, in turn setting off a tense geopolitical struggle. Steve Levine, author of The Oil and the Glory, discusses his account of the latest phase in this battle for control of "black gold."