Day 217: Photographing the landscape of oil

Canada and Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil suppliers, only have fifteen years worth of oil left. It takes 500 years to produce the equivalent of the 30 billion barrels we use each year, meaning it’s a question of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’ it runs out.
After seventeen years of photographing industrial lands it occurred to Edward Burtynsky that oil is underpinning the rate of industrial development. He documented the arc of oil, from the ground to everyday usage, through a series of pictures which show everything from the wellhead to a car engine.
The overuse of oil is a massive danger to our society. Burtynsky used his skills as a photographer to raise awareness of this, and he encourages us all to use our various talents to the same end. In 30 years, let’s look back and say truthfully that we did as much as we possibly could.