Making of The Color of Oil: a contemporary pattern for unleashing the potential of science and technology journalism
MetadataShow full item record
Ideologies, intellectually and religiously driven, color both politics and economics. The relationship between government and the governed, human rights and the rule of law all are affected by such ideologies. However, unless humans are willing to change dramatically lifestyles honed in hundreds of years of historic developments, energy and energy abundance are arguably the most critical needs of modern society. In many ways energy has transcended ideology although there are still unrepentant ideologues advocating otherwise. It was this realization, augmented by a few events, that brought about the writing of The Color of Oil. The authors felt a need to combat popular errors being promulgated by the media in an area of such great importance to the entire human enterprise: Energy. A nonsensical 1999 cover story by the usually reliable Economist magazine provided the last straw. Someone had to set the record straight. But the dour-to-hostile climate that surrounded oil and energy at the turn of the century presented certain challenges to getting the work published. As it turned out, the unique qualifications of a science and technology journalist, the author of this thesis, played a key role in making the publication a reality, and then a phenomenon of sorts. In some ways, The Color of Oil suggests a meaningful new role for science and technology journalism and journalists in a media environment driven by movie stars and media profits. The book was produced on a short timeline and with limited resources. The book's message has played a role in key political decisions in the United States and around the world; as a direct result of the book, the authors were invited and participated extensively in development of energy policy in Texas and at the national level. It has effected billions of dollars of commercial enterprise, providing as it did the blueprint for development of Cheniere Energy, Inc., a $2 billion Houston company that today is one of North America's premier LNG receiving companies. And testimonies from readers of The Color of Oil suggest that the book has produced meaningful personal wealth for many of its 30,000-plus readers.
Oligney, Ronald Eugene (2005). Making of The Color of Oil: a contemporary pattern for unleashing the potential of science and technology journalism. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from