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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...
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...
Subsidising spills - British public pays BP $300 million to drill and spill

Subsidising spills – British public pays BP $300 million to drill and spill

BP came under criticism this week when it caused a 95 tonne oil leak from its Clair Field into the North Sea. The company decided not to clear up the spill, and wait for the oil to wash further out to sea. The new spill comes as BP no longer pays net taxes to the...
The changing wind - shedding the carbon skin

The changing wind – shedding the carbon skin

  I am cramming chocolate into your mouth. I feel the dampness of your lips against my fingertips and see the brown squares tumble into the darkness. It takes seconds to complete the task, but the time draws out, slows down. All around is mayhem. The wind makes the shrouds howl. The sound thrusts a...
Drawing Red Lines - from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

Drawing Red Lines – from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

I watched the twitter feed and followed the news early last December filled with a mixture of excitement at what unfolded in Paris and mild envy of companions who were immersed in the ebb and flow of events around COP 21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. As the reports of the...
“You come from the premise that we are guilty already” - notes from the BP AGM 2016

“You come from the premise that we are guilty already” – notes from the BP AGM 2016

Bob Dudley, Chief Executive, who appears tired, pale and jowly, looks up from his notes and addresses a set of questions that have been put to the Board. This particular set from delegates at the Annual General Meeting of BP, are grouped together under the bracket of ‘concerned with climate change’. He peers out at...
6 reasons why #Budget2016 really really shouldn't subsidise North Sea oil even more

6 reasons why #Budget2016 really really shouldn’t subsidise North Sea oil even more

Osborne is announcing his #Budget2016 on Weds, and there’s lots of pressure from the oil barons for more subsidies and tax cuts. Their income has been hit by the falling oil price, and in all those years of bonanza profits they never thought to save for this rainy day (even though it was predictable given the mostly cyclical...
This Bitter Earth - rendering the invisible visible

This Bitter Earth – rendering the invisible visible

During my leave over the summer I was really glad to catch the performance Arctic Requiem outside the Shell Centre in August. Here’s a piece I wrote about it, prior to Shell’s decision to cease drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The rain lashes down. A strong south westerly drives it along the Thames, across Jubilee...

How to save energy jobs in Scotland: Public ownership, not tax cuts

As thousands of North Sea oil workers lose their jobs, helicopter pilots threaten strike action over redundancy arrangements and Unite criticise the oil companies of failing “to plan for a rainy day when the sun shone”, we thought we’d share an extract of this new report. ——————————————————- Extract from “Jobs in Scotland’s New Economy”, published by the Scottish...