Not too long ago, most Americans probably felt a distance–both physical and mental–from the oil drilling process. That changed after the BP disaster off the Louisiana coast, where 4.9 millon barrels of crude oil released into the Gulf of Mexico. So we may have a little more empathy now for countries that are dealing with the prospect of oil extraction that could ravage the local environment. But how much?
In the video above, commissioned by the government of Ecuador, people in New York City’s Madison Square Park get a taste of what it’s like when oil rigs come to the neighborhood. The video, created by EO Integration and audio post shop Sound Lounge, shows New Yorkers becoming increasingly angry and incredulous as they grasp what they think is going on.
The whole thing is part of the I Am Yasuni campaign, which is intended to raise awareness of Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park. The park is home to two tribes who are voluntarily isolated from civilization, extreme biodiversity (it’s thought to have the most varieties of tree species on the planet)–and 848 million barrels of oil, or 20% of Ecuador’s total reserves. Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s president, asked the international community in 2007 for 3.6 billion dollars over 13 years to help preserve the space.
Too bad it won’t draw much attention if the tribes living in Yasuni get publicly irate like these New Yorkers if drilling begins.