Tuesday, July 8, 2008


In case you didn't know, Chevron is behind the new website WillYouJoinUs.com. Not only is the name of the website crafty in its implication that an oil company is leading the way in exploring alternative energies and alleviating America's oil addiction (their business!), but the website is full of little games and tools that make it seem like Chevron is open to a number of options for America's energy future. Take for example their fancy little game called Energyville (click the name to play!) in which players get to choose which energy sources their futuristic city will rely on.

Despite my ability to fulfill 85% of my city's energy needs with a combination of solar, wind, and hydroelectic power, I wasn't surprised to discover it's impossible to complete level 1 without constructing a giant petroleum platform.

The "Your City Needs Petroleum!" message didn't disappoint me as much as some of the scenarios for the future that Chevron assumes in this cute little game. The fact of the matter is that cities today DO need petroleum to fuel cars, power plants, and other critical parts of our infrastructure, but Chevron takes the petroleum assumption too far by inserting petroleum into the energy equation long after it needs to be phased out.

For example, consider the "Breakthrough!" alert that popped up in year 2020 of the game:

Let's face it, oil supplies are finite and it's unlikely (to be generous with my words) technology can fix that. However, Chevron would like us to believe that with more research, more government funding, more tax breaks, and more time that they can discover ways to essentially create oil from thin air.

If you have a few minutes on your hands, give Energyville a shot. Even if the game isn't too "gamey," it's certainly fun to realize it's all a bunch of oil industry propaganda!

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