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“Unprecedented Change”? What does a corporation in transition look like? - notes from the Shell AGM 2016

“Unprecedented Change”? What does a corporation in transition look like? – notes from the Shell AGM 2016

“Innovation and care are in our DNA”, says the soft female voice-over that accompanies the new promotional video by Shell. We, the attendees at the corporation’s 2016 Annual General Meeting in the Circus Theater, Scheveningen, sit comfortably in our red velvet seats watching the massive screen above the heads of the Shell directors on the...
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...
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...
Beauty & Banality - the Shell Shareholder Presentation, London

Beauty & Banality – the Shell Shareholder Presentation, London

‘Without roses it cannot be done’. Joseph Beuys’ statement asserts the vital role of beauty in activism. Embodying that vision is the banner that was unveiled in front of the Shell Shareholder Presentation at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster London on Thursday 21st May. Made by Suzanne Dhaliwal and Amanda Cid of UK Tar Sands...
Stranding the Leviathan - a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

Stranding the Leviathan – a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

We are in the dim light and red velvet of the Circustheatre in Den Haag for the Shell AGM. Up on the podium are the assembled bishops of the company. Eight in the back row all non-executives. Five in the front row: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Executive, the Chairman and two non-excutives. Behind...
Shell AGM - Securing the comforts of the present generation at the expense of the next

Shell AGM – Securing the comforts of the present generation at the expense of the next

Last week I headed home from the Netherlands, crossing the North Sea from the delta of the Rhine to the delta of the Thames, after having attended the Shell AGM in Den Haag with friends and allies from Greenpeace, ShareAction, Observatorio Petrolero Sur, Milieudefensie and Global Witness. This year’s Shell AGM was a quieter affair...
It exists because it exists - Bioregional activism in the Chesapeake watershed

It exists because it exists – Bioregional activism in the Chesapeake watershed

Mika Minio-Paluello, Anna Galkina and James Marriott travelled in North America as part of a tour over September and October to promote The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian to the City of London. The tenth of a series of blogs on the journey comes from Maryland … St John’s Church, Baltimore, Maryland “Crabs...
Canadian museum accepts oil sponsor despite censorship

Canadian museum accepts oil sponsor despite censorship

Last week the Canadian Museum of Civilisation announced it had struck a sponsorship deal with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. It’s easy to see why this will be a PR coup for CAPP. But the Museum CEO’s beaming acceptance of oil money seems like an announcement that no lines will be drawn and no...