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Paradigm shift in the House of the North – reflecting on ‘The Sky’s Limit’

Paradigm shift in the House of the North – reflecting on ‘The Sky’s Limit’

  I’m trudging towards the top of Am Faochagach following my dear friend Greg Muttitt, who was for a long time central to Platform and is now part of the wider family. The smooth crest of this mountain rises like a whale’s back. Its lack of crags must have led to its name – Am...
So Switched On - The dream of London’s energy democracy

So Switched On – The dream of London’s energy democracy

The train hurries south on the main line towards Brighton, carrying me away from the event I have just attended, ‘Power to Us’ organised by Switched on London at Myatt’s Fields in Brixton. Looking out from the carriage, over the roofs of the houses of Purley stacked up this steep sided North Downs valley at...
Today's oil drilling round could bust us through UK’s climate limits

Today’s oil drilling round could bust us through UK’s climate limits

The UK government is pushing a massive new offshore drilling programme, that will take the UK beyond its climate limits. Oil companies had until 2pm today to bid for 1200 blocks covering large swathes of the sea off North-west and North-east Scotland and England. This is the the 29th Offshore Licensing Round, and it aims to identify hundreds of millions in...
For Lucy Fairley, founder of Helix Arts and Crossings

For Lucy Fairley, founder of Helix Arts and Crossings

My friend and Platform ally Lucy Fairley has died, aged 70. We’ve known her and her work for nearly 25 years and worked especially closely with her in the late 1990s. She founded Artists Agency in Sunderland in 1983, and in 1987 appointed Esther Salamon to join her initially as Placement Officer, then as in...
The new is being born - reflections on Paul Mason’s ‘Postcapitalism’

The new is being born – reflections on Paul Mason’s ‘Postcapitalism’

  In these days of constant turbulence, in which what is nonsense on Tuesday becomes common sense on Wednesday, and what is common sense on Thursday becomes nonsense on Friday, I have found Paul Mason’s ‘Postcapitalism’ a valuable touchstone. This is a book profound, provocative and demanding a response. With boldness and a breadth of...
This is water defending itself – Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline on Westminster Bridge

This is water defending itself – Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline on Westminster Bridge

Forty feet wide by ten feet high the banner drapes delicately from the solid structure of Westminster Bridge. Standing at the parapet, gazing down at the brown river, we can see the upturned faces of over a hundred passengers looking up at us from the tourist vessel ‘Millennium Dream’. They are clearly trying to decipher...
Strip away the carapace – the Ice Age, BP, and the British Museum

Strip away the carapace – the Ice Age, BP, and the British Museum

It pushes me quickly to tears. I’m kneeling on the cold stone floor of the Great Court, legs tucked beneath me, one foot crossed under the other. I’m listening to a rendition of A Requiem to Sinking Cities – an agit-performance in the heart of the British Museum. Silent figures hold up two banners, ‘#DropBP’...
Power Station Giant Down... and commemorate!

Power Station Giant Down… and commemorate!

Last Wednesday, at 11am, another giant landmark in the history of UK fossil-fuel power crashed to the ground. Never mind a landmark, this was also a giant seamark that aided navigation at the start of the Thames and Medway estuaries for hundreds of vessels every day. Its end came with two huge bangs that juddered...
We need to hear Black Lives Matter on climate and pollution

We need to hear Black Lives Matter on climate and pollution

Tuesday’s news was dominated by Black Lives Matter’s audacious action to shut down City Airport and to force the issue of racism into the media discourse on climate change and environment. You would think that reportedly swimming or paddling their way across a dock to reach the runway was no mean feat but their success...