BP Logo Designs: Share Awareness About The Oil Spill Disaster

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-06-3026

On the heels of Earth Day, I was greeted — no shocked — by yet another environmental disaster that was located somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico: an oil rig exploded and spilled oil off the Louisiana coast. I take the conservative’s stand in most respects, but not when it comes to environmental concerns.

With the oil spill disaster in the Gulf expected to wreak havoc on our environment and the livelihoods of so many Americans, I continue to get visceral reactions to the images of this catastrophe that are reported by the media. So how have you been reacting to pictures of dirty beaches, toxic brown sludge in the waters and oil-covered wildlife? I’m sure you’re as disgusted and outraged as I am. It’s gotten so that I don’t want to see these images any more — they’ve been too disturbing. And as agitated as I am about this, I’m not sure exactly what we can do about this but sit and watch events unfold.

With lots of people angry, some have turned into anti-BP crusaders. For instance, there’s the “Boycott BP” Facebook community at 750,000 members strong and counting. While protesters have their hearts in the right place, it’s been pointed out that boycotting isn’t an effective strategy (meaning you’re not really affecting BP this way) since only a small part of the company’s profits is obtained from retail gas sales, as the Christian Monitor explains.

The fuel the 10,000 BP gas stations in the United States pumps also comes from a variety of refineries, so consumers can’t be sure they’re buying oil that came from a BP well. And the stations are all run by small business owners with contracts to BP, which are difficult and costly to break.

“Anytime you boycott a local gas station you’re doing far more harm to that station owner than who they’re buying their gas from.”

And here’s another take on this by Newsweek.

So is there really nothing much we can do? Well, some creative types took it upon themselves to find an outlet for their frustrations. I’d like to share this BP logo redesign contest with you, courtesy of logomyway.com: bash British Petroleum and win $200. Here’s a peek at some compelling entries:

BP Logo Design Contest

Something even more clever is the New Yorker’s take on this tragic disaster. Their latest cover is called After Escher: Gulf Sky and Water. I call it “Escher In Oil”.

Thoughts On Environmental Disasters

I’ve seen first hand, as someone who grew up and once lived in Asia, how the environment can just conspire against you when you don’t treat it right. As it stands, many of us are already succumbing to the pressures and consequences of environmental change. And not in a good way.

They’re stating that this oil spill is all an accident, but I can’t help but feel that there wasn’t enough that was done here to try to prevent the accident from happening. And I’m saddened about how big business can do so much damage and easily neutralize the work that so many environmentally conscious folks have tried to achieve with their own simple lifestyle changes. No, it’s not all about money, or the pursuit of big money. There’s a lot that’s far more important — society, the world, people, the Earth and all its creatures, health, relationships. Prevention would have been so much cheaper. So much cheaper.

oil spill
Image from CNN.com

And the costs here are hard to fathom, ranging from those incurred by British Petroleum (who claims responsibility for this) and Oyster farmers who make a living off the wetlands to the rest of the ecosystem in the surrounding areas. There are probably long term effects you won’t be hearing about till much later too, affecting people who live around the impacted areas.

Sometimes the cynic in me kicks in and I wonder — what good is there to try to do the small things (for a goal, mission or cause) when some big thing can just come along and wreck everything? And being a personal finance blogger, this is not too far-fetched an analogy you’d make to compare what happens to our own personal finances either: how frustrating is it to be doing the small (and the right) things (e.g. saving small bits of money here and there) when some big catastrophic event can just blow away your efforts? And many times, that emergency fund won’t be enough. It helps, but it may not be enough.

Something went wrong here when some people got together to try to figure out how to manage the risks of something like this happening. For more of a community’s view on the oil spill disaster, take a look at this Reddit thread on the topic. Interesting how there are some claims that a $500,000 device could have prevented a potential cost of $560 million and counting (info lifted from the aforementioned Reddit discussion).

An acoustic trigger is a football-sized remote control that uses sound waves to communicate with the valve on the seabed floor and close it. It costs about $500,000. This rig had a replacement cost of about $560 million. The cleanup costs are still spiraling.

Quite an incredibly sobering way to teach us about risk management and the importance of preparation and prevention. Here’s hoping that “the powers that be” can get control of this situation soon.

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Edwin @ Finantage June 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm

It really is the big changes that affect our environment the most. Yes individual people, in big enough groups can make a difference but realistically that primarily just helps their own emotions towards the subject.

Businesses themselves will rarely make those big changes. A business is in it for the profits and will do whatever it takes to make those profits, which most of the time means skimping on environmental protection. The costs of environmental harm are always soaked up by outside sources, be it governments or just the people living in affected places.

The only way to change that is through regulation that forces the costs upon the sources of the damages. As I don’t know the situation in great detail this is more of a theoretical approach. This company clearly thought the risk of what happened didn’t justify the $500,000 expenditure (assuming the decision makers even knew). But had they known they would not only have to pay for a new rig but also pay the insane costs of the environment damage, you can bet that they would have put that equipment in.

2 Cents @ Balance Junkie June 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm

What a fantastic article. I think you captured how a lot people are feeling. We work so hard to save a few hundred dollars here and there and these corporations throw money around (away?) by the billions. When they mess up, they hand the bill to the taxpayers.

Silicon Valley Blogger June 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Could the costs reach the billions? That’s going to be a major dent in this oil company’s golden coffers. But yes, it’s the big things that can make or break us now, don’t they? Surely, an event such as this will spark/trigger some regulatory changes.

Edwin @ Finantage June 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I can’t even imagine how high the costs could go. But I do think that there would be plenty of environmentally harming businesses that could no longer function.

Ryan@TheFinancialStudent June 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Anybody still think “Drill Baby Drill!” is a good slogan to chant?

*No political debate intended, but I feel that the phrase appropriately sums up with what is wrong with our attitudes towards energy use, regardless of who spoke it.

Edwin @ Finantage June 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Ryan, I think pretty much every political slogan from all sides is silly. They are all based on getting people to remember some simple line that they will associate with that party, and whether it’s true or not never matters.

Rob Bennett July 1, 2010 at 4:23 am

what good is there to try to do the small things (for a goal, mission or cause) when some big thing can just come along and wreck everything?

You never really know how big an impact the “small things” you do will have in the long run, SVB. In a direct sense, what you do only has a small effect. But it might be that someone will notice what you do and it will influence them and that person will go on to change the world in some huge way. It’s like the move “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We don’t always see the effects of doing good. But good always triumphs.

I know about all the evidence pointing the other way. I still say that the practical reality is that, if things were as bad as they sometimes appear to be, we wouldn’t even all be here today. All the beautiful things that really are here today for us to wonder at are realities too. They are realities that were brought into being by the good actions of people who came before us who didn’t get to themselves see the fruit of their efforts.


Funny about Money July 1, 2010 at 5:32 am

The report that BP cleanup crews have been burning sea turtles alive has me wishing I could boycott petroleum products altogether. They apparently are refusing to let rescue workers retrieve wildlife, including highly endangered species of sea turtles, trapped inside booms collecting oil. They just set fire to it and immolate the creatures.

Could anything say more clearly how evil these people are?

Jason July 1, 2010 at 6:34 am

While I believe we must do so responsibly, I still absolutely believe we need to make use of our own natural resources.

LL July 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

what good is there to try to do the small things (for a goal, mission or cause) when some big thing can just come along and wreck everything?

I feel this way sometimes, too. But small things can still make a difference. For example, if we are opposed to oil drilling, we could take steps to reduce oil consumption. Those companies wouldn’t be drilling if there wasn’t a huge demand for the toxins they pump out of the ground.

I still need to drive, but I can do so more responsibly, combine trips, sometimes walk, ride a bike, ride a scooter. And the next time I buy a car, I could look for maximum fuel efficiency. I could even wait for a plug in car. I can work toward conditions that would enable a gas-free lifestyle for me in the future.

I agree that we need to make use of our natural resources. But we possess the technology to be so much more efficient with resources than we actually are. Generally, we do not take full advantage of those technologies because of short-term economic considerations. It’s past time for all of us to give more consideration to the long term consequences of wasteful and short-sighted actions.

Stella July 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Very thought provoking. Greed and the profit motive are responsible for a number of recent “disasters”: Goldman Sachs, Bernie Madoff, health insurance rescessions, etc. Remember how after 9/11, Bush encouraged people to be patriotic and keep the economy going by continuing to spend money. Corporations, however, used the catastrophic event to layoff thousands and bolster stock dividends. Where was their patriotism?

Len Penzo July 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

@Stella: “Corporations, however, used the catastrophic event to layoff thousands and bolster stock dividends. Where was their patriotism?”


All the best,

Len Penzo dot Com

Ryan@TheFinancialStudent July 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm



Credit Card Chaser July 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

@ Len

I will second your sigh – (sigh) 🙂

Consumermiser July 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Those logo designs, while cartoonish, make me sad because they remind me of all the fish, sea life, and organism that are being destroyed as a result of BP’s conduct.

And then there is the non-wildlife environmental and economic impact. The region will not be the same, at least not for a while. The rest of the country will also feel the effects.

We need to the best and brightest engineers and scientist and the average Joes and Janes to step forward with solutions on how to contain and get rid of the oil spill. I would love for a small business person or entrepreneur to emerge with a great solution that creates more jobs and inspires us all.

Jesse July 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm


I wish I could boycott petrol as well. I don’t have a car, and I walk and bike everywhere, but we live in a automobile driven economy. For the products that I consume to reach me, they must be driven by gas guzzling semis

Craig July 10, 2010 at 5:58 am

It’s really insane that here we are, this technological giant of a country, and we can’t come up with a better way to deal with this oil spill.

Dave Doyle August 1, 2010 at 6:18 am

The problem is the lack of regulation by the government. We’re all in favor of smaller government and less taxes until something like this happens. It’s a wake-up call that we need to protect ourselves and our environment.

Goran Web Design August 3, 2010 at 4:30 am

Big business should be held responsible for the damage they leave behind after raping our planet. Here in South Africa we have the teensy problem of disused mines not being able to pump their polluted water out, and this acid mine drainage is now overspilling into our natural waterways. The mining companies who have hauled tons of gold out in days gone past just refuse to accept responsibility. What a joke.

Credit Girl August 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Totally agree with you, Dave. Our environment cannot stand up for itself so we should be its voice. Afterall, us and our children and grandchildren will have to live with the consequences.

Ed Rooney August 4, 2010 at 11:26 pm

It’s true, unfortunately, that when big disasters like this can, and obviously do, happen, they can make you feel like there is no point in trying to do what little amount of good we can do for the environment. However, thinking this way can cause a slippery slope sort of scenario, where eventually no one would do anything to help, and that would, I’m sure you would agree, not be a good thing at all. So, we must keep up the good fight in any way that we can, in my opinion, no matter what!


Aury (Thunderdrake) August 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Such an issue like this shouldn’t be all about money. Unfortunately, when you ask the folks at business, I’m afraid I’d have to mention the contrary. It pretty much IS about money. If cleaning up that spill was profitable, you can bet some folks looking for a buck will clean that spill up in a new york second.

You offer an incredibly powerful piece of insight though. Some things can just come along and.. Blow everything up like a nuclear bomb. Though I disagree that life is truly chaotic (namely because consistency over the years in people serve as a good definition of this) We can’t underestimate how powerful the next curve ball can be.

Internal versatility is a very valuable asset indeed.

Allen Scott August 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Okay were do I start. More government regulation you say. Okay BP paid Obama big bucks, OBAMA waves regulatory requirements to BP. Accident happens. BP blamed, government inaction causes problem to get worse. A disaster plan was on the books on how to handle this exact problem… burn off before it becomes too huge to handle. NO BURN.. TOO huge to handle as a result. No fireboom was available although required by law. Government did not purchase said fireboom. WHY? TOO MUCH MONEY? Yet they waste billions. WHO is greedy? I would say UNCLE SAM. Private industry is only trying to stay in business and find ways to work around all the impositions placed on them by Uncle Sam. Why are we drilling in the gulf? Because drilling is forbidden by LAW on LAND. Why must we continue to drill for more oil? Because other MORE efficient fuel sources are forbidden by LAW… NUCLEAR. Why are we not pursuing alternate fuel sources? The costs of producing alternate fuel does not compete in the marketplace as a viable alternative. SOLUTION RAISE THE COST OF NATURAL RESOURCES by HEAVY REGULATION AND HEAVY RESTRICTIONS forcing the price up thus making alternate less efficient fuel alternative more attractive to investors.

As far as natural fuel being toxic. REALLY? IT came from the earth, it is totally organic, it was made from organic compounds, and it will return to the earth. The earth has been here longer than we have been and I suspect it will be still around long after we are gone. ONE VOLCANO can do more damage to the environment than us humans can. PLUG IN CARS really? and where will you get the ELECTRICITY to power it? LET ME GUESS WIND? NOPE the number one source of electricity generation is COAL. ANOTHER natural resource in huge supply also being regulated to the point of almost shutting down the industry. YET we still have mine accidents. GOVERNMENT regulation will not solve the problem only make things worse.

Now everyone go out and buy a horse and buggy and stop using fossil fuel. And oil will still be leaking in the GULF through natural processes.

Yes the BP accident was horrific, but in the whole scheme of things, there are much worse things happening on earth not caused by man and we focus our attention on the MINOR things MAN does to man. Let’s talk to someone from NASHVILLE and see how concerned they are about an oil slick in the gulf shall we?

As far as bad things happening to man. Yes this is life. If we put our trust in material things then we are limited in our abilities to face huge catastrophes, but if we place our trust in God’s limitless abilities, things take on an entirely different perspective.

shamar September 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

I want to win $200 because i want the new xbox360 slim.

Jeff October 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm

President Obama is not doing anything to help with this; i think it is hurting this country; look at all the money that is being lost on this. It is also hurting the taxes the government is not getting. If something is not done soon this country will go into a dark age.

WP Bonds January 5, 2011 at 11:16 pm

This was a terrible disaster. Everyone that should have done something did not and they have come up with the stupidest ideas to try and fix it.

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