This year, the IPCC (the UN-run Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warned that humanity has 12 years to avert—or limit—catastrophic climate change. Despite the severity of these warnings, the fossil fuel industry more or less continues to boom. In America, for example, huge and costly pipeline projects are underway, in an effort to expand American oil and gas industries.

Faced by the prospect of severe climate change, we seem to polarise ourselves. On the one hand, we continue with the day-to-day routine of business as usual. On the other, we listen to organisations like the IPCC, taking on board the troubling and uncertain futures they envision. What colour is oil? uses metaphor to navigate between blind optimism and unpalatable pessimism during an Age of Oil and worsening climate change.