Press Release


All-Consuming: Conversations on Oil and Water begins with a conversation at the Chicago History Museum on Tuesday, November 18.

CHICAGO – As rising gasoline prices dictate changes in lifestyle, we have yet to come to terms with the world’s limited supply of oil. A billion people in the world may live close to water but still lack access to safe drinking water. Droughts are hitting the American south and west while rivers are flooding our heartland. What questions does the relationship of oil and water raise at a global, regional, and personal level? The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) presents All-Consuming: Conversations on Oil and Water, a year-long statewide series of free public programs using the lens of the humanities to examine the key issues related to access to, control of, and consumption of oil and water.

All-Consuming will kick off with "H2Oil: Mixing Oil and Water," a conversation between Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything, and Steve Edwards of Chicago Public Radio that will discuss the key questions about these essential resources. This event will take place on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark St., Chicago). It is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. For reservations, contact the IHC at 312.422.5580 or

As an expert on peak oil, an eco-philosopher, and a writer, Richard Heinberg is uniquely suited to engage in these questions. His latest book, Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines, examines both oil and water and addresses many of the cultural, psychological, and practical changes we might have to make as nature dictates new limits. Steve Edwards is currently the Acting Program Director of Chicago Public Radio and the former host of Eight Forty-Eight, Chicago Public Radio’s award-winning weekday morning newsmagazine.

"H2Oil: Mixing Oil and Water" is presented in partnership with the Chicago History Museum. ThisĀ event will also feature images from Fresh by artist Tiffany Holmes, a series of pieces that examine bottled water consumption.

From Fall 2008 to Fall 2009, the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will present All-Consuming: Conversations on Oil and Water a year-long statewide series to increase public knowledge of oil and water issues by engaging Illinoisans in conversations about the individual, regional, and global impact of these two essential resources. Programs will feature scholars, scientists, ethicists, artists, and philosophers as guest speakers. For a full calendar of events or for more information, please visit or call 312.422.5580.

Upcoming All-Consuming programs in Chicago include "Yours, Mine, Ours, or Theirs? Accessing and Controlling Oil and Water" (January 2009), and "All’s Fair in Oil and Water: Conflicts, Compromises, and Compacts" (March 2009). Upcoming statewide programs include "Crosscurrents: Ethanol, Oil, and Water" and "It All Flows Downstream: Oil and Water Consumption and Consequences."

All-Consuming: Conversations on Oil and Water is funded in part by grants from the Motorola Foundation, The Boeing Company, and Illinois American Water. Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5) and Illinois Channel are the media sponsors.

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

# # #