Oil and gas has shaped our economy, our politics and our society for the best part of a century. More than that, it’s shaped the people we are, the way we think and the way we feel.
If climate breakdown demands that we move beyond oil and gas, then how are we to reshape the culture we live in? How are we to reshape ourselves?
One starting point is to understand just how we came to be so embedded in oil and gas. Crude Britannia – How oil shaped a nation, (published by Pluto 2021) tells this story through a journey of discovery. Co-authors James Marriott and Terry Macalister explore the Thames Estuary, the Severn Estuary, Merseyside, the Forth & Dee estuaries, and London in their endeavour to address these concerns.
Crude Britannia is built out of conversations with the widest range of people from these localities, people who have helped shape the UK’s oil realm – from trade unionists to oil company CEOs, from retired refinery workers to film makers, from climate activists to international oil traders. It is a symphony of many voices. More than this it is an exploration of the oil culture we live in, and of the music, film and stories of our lives. It comes with its own soundtrack.