"This giant glacier has remained unmelted for centuries. Yet, the petroleum energy Humble supplies- if converted into heat- could melt it at the rate of 80 tons each second! To meet the nation's growing needs for energy, Humble has applied science to nature's resources to become America's Leading Energy Company. Working wonders with oil through research, Humble provides energy in many forms- to help heat our homes, power our transportation, and to furnish industry with a great variety of versatile chemicals. Stop at a Humble station for new Enco Extra gasoline, and see why the "Happy Motoring" sign is the World's First Choice!" - copy in small print in ad
I stumbled upon a mention of the two-page spread pictured above while reading Steve Coll’s excellent new book, “Private Empire” (Penguin Press), which highlights the outsized worldwide power of ExxonMobil. The ad—by Exxon precursor Humble Oil—appeared in the February 2, 1962 issue of Life magazine and features the headline: “Each day Humble supplies enough energy to melt 7 million tons of glacier!”
How times have changed. Fifty years ago, a major oil company had no misgivings about using the potential destruction of a majestic glacier to convey the enormous power of its energy output. Today, of course, scientists regard “the retreat of glaciers and mankind’s unembarrassed capacity to melt them as signs of a slowly unfolding global catastrophe,” as Coll puts it.
In case you’re wondering, the glacier pictured in the ad is Alaska’s Taku Glacier..