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Running Head: NATIONAL PARKS ARE NOT FOR DRILLING

National Parks are Not for Drilling Alison Stavola University of Kentucky

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National Parks are Not for Drilling Our National Park system was created for the very noble purpose of preserving the beauty of our country's wilderness for generations of Americans to enjoy. “The National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916 to manage those areas then assigned to the U.S. Department of the Interior� (National Park Service). We as a nation have also agreed to be caretakers for animals and forests and natural habitats. Yet none of that matters to many people who are only interested on getting cheap gas, even at the expense of the environment. Destroying the natural beauty of the United States means nothing as compared to filling up our cars and keeping the thermostats in our homes turned up. This mentality, however, comes at the expense of every creature and the abundance of plant life. As far as some are concerned, beautiful landscapes and vistas become more attractive when the view is filled with oil derricks and drilling machinery, pumping out oil, particularly when it has not been imported from the Middle East. This, however, ignores one basic truth; sooner or later, there will be a spill or an accident that will permanently threaten all forms of life. This artifact demonstrates the mentality that the United States has developed, showing our dependence on oil and non-renewable energy sources. It shows that the large oil companies and those drilling in our national parks have destroyed habitats and forced animals away from their homes and, more often than not, killing them.


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Figure 1. Propaganda parody. Source: Crestock.com For example, in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the Exxon oil spill in 1989 cost billions of dollars, killed untold thousands of animals, and took decades to clean up. “Eleven million gallons of oil spewed into one of the most bountiful marine ecosystems in the world. It killed birds, marine mammals, and fish and devastated the ecosystem in the oil's path” (Miller, 1999, para. 1). We do not yet even know all the effects of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Even though the spill was capped in July 2010, there is still oil washing up on the shores of the Gulf Coast (Do Something, para. 3). But when no one cares about the environment, then the price we will eventually pay for pollution and destruction wipes out any potential savings. That holds true only if one attaches a price tag to the environment and recognizes that some resources, once damaged, are gone forever. Another issue with oil drilling that is affecting our national parks and many regions is called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for short. This process involves “injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals, many of them toxic, into the


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earth at high pressures to break up rock formations and release natural gas trapped inside� (Vanity Fair, 2010, para. 3). In order to do this, countless acres of land must be cleared and they then become filled with oilrigs and derricks towering over homes and farms. “This drilling has resulted in the destruction of trees, wildlife, and warnings of contaminated water� (Marcellus, para. 4). There have been numerous reported cases from homeowners living in or near fracking sites complaining about their water being contaminated by corrosive chemicals, destroying dishes and laundry, and causing rashes and dizziness in some (Vanity Fair, 2010). The water is often found to contain dangerous levels of methane, aluminum and iron. Water from fracking sites has also been known to catch fire because of chemicals in

it. Figure 2. Fracking water cover. Source: Indyweek.com The oil companies who partake in this drilling do not acknowledge the negative effect they are causing to the environment and the people and animals that live in it. Not when they have so many supporters who value production over safety and preservation. This sentiment likewise affects our national parks; where there has been much pressure to establish drilling on a widespread scale. These efforts are threatening many native wildlife species as well as contaminating the water supply for animals and humans.


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Drilling requires the destruction of land, or at a minimum, an alteration of the natural landscape. This in turn threatens an animal’s habitat, and once the drilling has begun, the toxins that are released into the air also result in a continuing threat. With oil drilling, there is always the big risk of an oil spill or leak, which can permanently damage habitats and even force animals to endangerment or extinction. The artifact depicts a strong stand on the issue. The poster's style is a satirical take on the images that have been distributed by our National Parks system for many years. The original was first published in 1939 by the Department of the Interior (Clark, 2010). Every National Park has its own scenic posters and cards for sale that captures its signature image, whether it be of Old Faithful in Yellowstone or Half Dome in Yosemite. But through this sarcastic use of artistic style, wildlife, the environment, and the natural beauty that is our parks system is put in its proper place; that is, none of it matters. With its bold and brash "Move along" - more like "get lost" - sentiment, the mountain goats are shooed away. However, they are not just animals, they are symbols for the environment, and the statement is really aimed at anyone who dares to want to preserve our parks system or oppose drilling. Neither animals nor those people who cherish the environment are welcome.


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Figure 3. Propaganda parody. Source: Crestock.com Compounding the ‘in-your-face’ attitude is the additional "Nothing to see here!" More than sarcastic and insulting, these words are worrisome if not frightening. We are basically told there is nothing of beauty left to see, almost a prediction that it is just a matter of time before a spill or some other tragic insult to the environment takes place. It almost seems as if they are telling us to better adjust our mindset now and get used to the idea that Zion, Yosemite and Yellowstone could turn into something as ugly as the New Jersey Turnpike. Through its satire, the audience this artifact attempts to address is the people who support oil drilling, but do not realize the negative effect it has on the natural parks. These people want cheap gas and believe that oil drilling is the only efficient or proper way to create energy. They are uninformed of the other possibilities that exist to create


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alternative and renewable energy that do not come at the expense of nature and our wildlife. The ad is telling these people, by use of sarcasm and satire, that the oil companies are taking over our national parks and wildernesses and ruining them. The trees in the background have been transformed into oilrigs and derricks, and the animals are forced out of their habitats and onto a rock, which is not natural for them but it is the only place for them to go. Soon enough, the drilling will expand and take over the entire park or there will be a spill that forces the animals out of their habitat, threatening their very safety. The creators of this work are hoping that people will look at the advertisement and realize the negative effect oil drilling has on the environment and on our animals. While the creator of this satirical artifact is unknown, he demonstrates ethos by the way he portrays the animals and the situation. He changed a normal poster from the 1930s encouraging people to get out and explore the beauty that the country has to offer, to demonstrate the inevitable truth - our parks are at risk of being taken over by oil companies who want to make a profit and do not care about our land, and people who are only too happy to see it occur. The creator shows, through changing the poster, that he cares about our national parks and the animals that call these habitats home, and he wants them to be preserved as originally intended. The creator proves his credibility to the audience by selecting a poster from 1939, which shows that he is knowledgeable of the national parks and their original welcoming message, and making it more “modern�, which demonstrates that he is aware of the current issues threatening our national parks. The creator convinces us of his moral character by demonstrating that he cares about the issue and he wants to see an end to drilling efforts in our national parks, for the


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betterment of our country. The logos of the artifact is easy to be seen and interpreted because we know about drilling for oil and how oil companies efforts are spreading to national parks. It is factual data that cannot be manipulated, because we witness it, directly or indirectly, every day. The creator of the advertisement portrays this issue correctly, because it shows the land cleared, the trees replaced with oil derricks, and the animals being pushed away from their habitats. This scene occurs in reality, all over the world. Even in Uganda, there are oilrigs being built in their large national parks. The artifact depicts the same story as this image: a park that has been plowed to create roads and drilling sites, and animals being forced further and further away from their natural habitat. One cannot argue against this artifact by trying to disprove the creator and his logos because the scene is real.

Figure 4. Tullow Oil Rig. Source: online.wsj.com The pathos is very easy to be seen in the artifact because of the animals. Seeing animals distressed or in pain tugs at our heartstrings and makes us want to help them. The artifact shows two lone mountain goats on a rock with nowhere else to go. There were probably more of them in a herd in the past, but only two are left. The rest were


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most likely killed by the oil and its effects on the air, or because their land and source of food was disrupted. The goats have been forced to migrate to a rock high above the ground, away from their large habitat and from any source of food. It could only be a matter of time until that rock is taken over by the oil companies, leaving the animals with nowhere else to go. The creator of the artifact wants people to look at the advertisement and realize that oil drilling is hurting animals and possibly leading them towards extinction. He wants supporters of oil drilling to reevaluate oil drilling and realize that it causes much more harm to the land and animals than good. Also, the message is that along with the harm to animals, the natural beauty of our national parks will also be lost. The artifact is arranged in a way that is very similar - almost identical - to the original poster. The creator maintains the old-fashioned 1930’s style with the font and the colors of the original. The image is largely the same, of course with a few additions to the skyline, and the colors are the similar, only enhanced. The words on the original poster were “The National Parks Preserve Wildlife” (Clark, 2010) where as the satirical artifact says “The National Parks are for DRILLING! Move along, nothing to see here!” (Crestock, 2009). The artist chose the words on the new artifact that were sarcastic to highlight that many in our country have adopted a mentality that oil drilling is the only way to go, and to show that it has taken over our wildlife and the beauty that once was present in our national parks. In the original poster, the focus is more on the mountain goats, and the background is more blurred out, but in the new rendition, the colors become brighter surrounding the oil-drilling site and darker around the goats, causing us to shift our focus to the rigs instead.


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Figure 5. National Parks Preserve Wildlife. Source: tomclarkblog.blogspot.com The style and language that is used on the poster may appear too lighthearted for the issue at hand. The artist did this on purpose to make it seem like the issue of drilling in our national parks is something that we can just shrug off and forget about, as portrayed in the “nothing to see here!” at the bottom of the poster. It seems that lately our country, more specifically the supporters of oil drilling, actually views the issue as unimportant and they do not care about the environment and the negative effects of drilling. The artist is trying, through his language, to attack their ideas and help them shift their focus to reality - our national parks are in danger of being depleted and destroyed by oil companies - and not just believe what politicians and supporters of oil companies want them to believe. The artifact’s delivery is on a blog on Crestock.com, along with numerous other satirical posters imitating advertisements from the 1930s and 40s. The poster is a visual presentation on the issue of drilling that accompanies an article on a blog and it takes a


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purposefully extreme stance of this issue through the satirical style. This poster is definitely memorable for anyone who views it. It takes such an extreme viewpoint through satire to show how detrimental oil drilling is for our land and environment, and especially how it is affecting our national parks. The sad image of the mountain goats forced out of their habitat makes the viewer want to help them, and in order to do so, they must stand up against the oil companies and their supporters who want to take over our national parks at the expenses of their beautiful landscapes. The viewer of this poster will remember that the oil companies are less interested in people who care about the environment, or the animals that live in the land they are destroying. This is proven by “move along!” on the bottom of the poster. The creator of the artifact was very successful in getting his point across. He wanted to make known the fact that all those who want cheap gas can permanently ruin our national parks, and he exploited this to show us the real story behind oil drilling. He stayed true to the facts, appealed to the viewers, and made a convincing argument. His argument is that we need to stop relying so much on oil because it is destroying our land. Our country’s reliance on oil has become a big issue. Many people believe that this is the best way to get cheap and plentiful energy, and they either do not know about, or do not want to acknowledge, renewable energy. The truth is that alternative energy is so much more efficient and better for our country and the environment in the long run. There are several different types of renewable energy that can be obtained through natural resources in the land and in the environment without destroying it, unlike oil. Some of these include solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy, and hydroelectric dams. Although jobs could be terminated for many people by shutting down power


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plants and oil drilling sites, just as many jobs can be created for the development of renewable energy. The unavoidable truth is that oil and fossil fuels are limited, especially in the United States, and we will eventually run out. Many oil companies have resorted to offshore drilling, which comes with many risks and high cost. Solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power will always be able to be obtained, so long as there is sun, wind, earth and water. Switching to renewable energy can take away our dependence on foreign energy sources and possibly help boost our economy because the energy can be created here in the United States. The poster therefore provides us with one more lasting point. Once the oil reserves in our national parks run dry, where will our nation next turn? The oil will be forever gone, as will the animals, the scenic beauty, and the environmental preserves. Will the price of that oil still seem so cheap?


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References 11 Facts about the BP Oil Spill. (n.d.). In Do Something!. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-bp-oil-spill Bakke, L. H. (2009, August 4). Propaganda Parodies Part 2: Join the Proctological Corps!. In Crestock Blog. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://www.crestock.com/blog/design/propaganda-parodies-part-2-join-the proctological-corps-183.aspx Bateman, C. (2010, June 21). A Colossal Fracking Mess. Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/06/fracking-in-pennsylvania201006#gotopage1 Clark, T. (2010, August 21). Tom Clark: Wildlife: WPA Posters, 1936-1940. In Blogspot. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/wild-life-wpa-posters-1936-1940.html Connors, W., & Bariyo, N. (2010, April 29). Uganda's Oil-Drilling Plans Draw Opposition. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487044647045752080208668450 4.html Harden, B. (2002, November 22). Approval of Park Drilling Angers Environmentalists. The New York Times. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/22/us/approval-of-park-drilling-angers environmentalists.html Hattem, J. (2010, December 26). Natural Gas Companies Could Start Drilling In National


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Parks. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/26/natural-gas-companiescou_n_774112.html Miller, P. A. (1999, March). Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Ten Years Later. In Alaska Wilderness League. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://arcticcircle.uconn.edu/SEEJ/Alaska/miller2.htmSorg, L. (2011). N.C. Landowners signing one-sided agreements with fracking companies. In Indy Week. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/nc-landowners-signing-one-sided agreements-with-fracking-companies/Content?oid=2483380 When Did the NPS Begin (2009, December 8). In The National Park System. Retrieved October 7, 2011, from http://www.nps.gov/legacy/legacy.html

National Parks are Not for Drilling - Stavola  
National Parks are Not for Drilling - Stavola  

Alison Stavola uses Neo-Aristotelian criticism to analyze a visual image

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