On 4 October 2012, Newsnight economics editor, Paul Mason, was supposed to join Platform to discuss The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London at the LRB Bookshop. Unfortunately, Paul was called away at the last minute for filming, so he kindly made a pre-record of himself discussing some of the ideas in the book instead. In this 10 minute clip he touches on fracking, oil company power, capitalism, the climate crisis and social movements.
You can buy copies of The Oil Road here.
In a unique journey from the oil fields of the Caspian to the refineries and financial centres of Northern Europe, Platform tracks the concealed routes along which the lifeblood of our economy is pumped. The stupendous wealth of Azerbaijani crude has long inspired dreams of a world remade. From the revolutionary Futurism of Baku in the 1920s to the unblinking Capitalism of modern London, the drive to control oil reserves – and hence people and events – has shattered environments and shaped societies.
In The Oil Road, the human scale of village life in the Caucasus Mountains and the plains of Anatolia is suddenly, and sometimes fatally, confronted by the vast strangeness of the oil corporation BP. Pipelines and tanker routes tie the fraying social democracies of Italy, Austria and Germany to the repressive regimes of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. A web of financial and political institutions in London stitches together the lives of metropolis and village.