It seems that the world’s largest oil producing countries will stop at nothing to keep drilling, despite the fact that doing so aggravates climate change and its devastating effects. Oil-producing heavyweight Saudi Arabia recently unveiled a new tactic: making oil rigs look cool.
The country’s Public Investment Fund, its sovereign wealth fund, has announced a new tourism project named “THE RIG.”, a more than 1.6 million-square-foot (150,000 square meters) resort inspired by offshore oil platforms. As you might have guessed by the name, THE RIG. is a literal oil rig in the Persian Gulf featuring 3 hotels, 800 rooms, 11 restaurants, a roller coaster, a water slide, a Ferris wheel, go carts, bungee jumping, scuba diving, and a performance arena, along with many other things.
Did I mention that you can get to THE RIG. by ferry, yacht, cruise, or helicopter?
Now, all of that might sound cool in an alternate reality in which our planet wasn’t in a climate crisis and where fomenting needless pollution was a good idea. But we live in this reality, where fossil fuel companies are wrecking the climate and humanity is in a “code red.” In this reality, Saudi Arabia’s shameless attempt to court the public’s favor for its oil rigs by literally creating a nice, shiny, and fun rig is despicable. It’s also dangerous because it downplays the challenges posed by climate change.
You would never be able to tell from the way the country advertises THE RIG., though. It’s obvious that no dollar was spared in the creation of the resort’s slick announcement video, which shows you videos of people with THE RIG. in their eyes. You can check it out below.
THE RIG.’s website is top-notch as well, even though its purpose is evil.
“Offshore platforms were created for discovery. THE RIG. takes that legacy to the next level,” reads a statement on the resort’s website. “This is the ultimate living laboratory for pioneering new thrills, extreme sports and adventure. Climb aboard and experience the future of adventure.”
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To add insult to injury, the Public Investment Fund maintains it will follow “leading global standards and best practices” on environmental protection in order to sustain the environment around THE RIG. The easiest way to do this that doesn’t cost any money would be not to build the resort at all, but what do I know?
It’s unclear when THE RIG. will be open to the public or whether it’s even been built yet. What is undoubtedly clear though is that Saudi Arabia’s new resort is an entirely unnecessary and wasteful venture that only makes the climate crisis worse.