A new TV commercial on energy and the environment debuts this weekend. The swooping camera shots of glaciers and freeways will be familiar, but the voice-over may not: “Our lives demand oil.” Yes, the 2.5-minute spot, airing in eight languages around the globe, is an effort by Chevron to urge humanity to seek out alternative energy — while continuing to cling to fossil fuels. Aimed at people who neither love nor hate oil companies, the ad states outright that Chevron is “not corporate titans” — it’s people just like you. And you really, really want to keep your convenient gas guzzler, don’t you? “People go to the idea of renewables,” says Chevron branding manager Helen Clark. “They feel it will all be OK. And of course this is not really true. Look at any statistics about the next 50 years, and oil is essential.” Chevron will spend $2.5 billion on alt-energy R&D over the next three years; in the same time period, it will spend $15 billion buying back stock to boost its own share value.

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