A still from Dune, 2021

The Ecological Prescience of Dune

Frank Herbert’s novel isn't just about space messiahs, giant sandworms, and trippy space drugs. At its core, the sci-fi epic is about ecology.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010.jpg

Where Did the Oil from the Deepwater Horizon Spill Go?

The public's focus eventually turned away from the 2010 disaster. Scientists, however, are still learning the scale of the devastation.
A crystal ball with an oil field inside of it

The Mediums Who Helped Kick-Start the Oil Industry

Apparently some people communed with spirits to locate the first underground oil reserves.
Oil refinery

What Comes After Oil Culture?

Almost everything about our culture today is built on oil. Can we imagine a world built on a different energy infrastructure?
Photograph: A Mohammadan praying towards Mecca when the Miezzin calls from a nearby mosque, with a Butane Gas reservoir in the background. circa 1950

The Jim Crow Roots of the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relationship

Americans started pouring into Saudi Arabia in the 1940s to develop the oil fields. They brought their ideas about segregation with them.
An illustration of the continent of Africa slowly being drained of oil

Is the “Resource Curse” a Myth?

Countries like Liberia and Chad have a lot of oil, and yet little of their wealth has translated into public welfare. Some blame the "resource curse."
Oil Rigs Fish

Can Oil Rigs Grow into Ocean Reefs?

Scientists suggest keeping old offshore oil platforms as productive fish habitats.
Russian oil

When Russia Conquered the World with White Oil

Russia was the first source of white oil, a Vaseline-like mix of hydrocarbons used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and plastics.

History Repeats Itself in a Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Two pieces look at a 1969 oil spill in California