On Sunday 20th December, a group of 25 “actor-vists” dressed as BP executives hosted a fake farewell party inside the British Museum’s Great Court, marking the departure of the museum’s director, Neil MacGregor, and the end of his “cosy relationship” with the museum’s sponsor, BP.
The theatre group behind the protest, BP or not BP?, have obtained emails under the Freedom of Information Act revealing “cosy” relationships between BP staff and the museum’s director and the British Museum will soon decide whether to renew its 5-year sponsorship deal with the oil giant. The protest comes just a week after 10 performers were arrested at the Musee du Louvre during the Paris climate talks, when they challenged the museum’s sponsorship by the oil companies, Total and Eni.
Rhiannon Kelly, one of the performers taking part in Sunday’s performance, said: “The Paris climate deal has made the direction of travel clear – we must shift to a fossil free culture. So, when the British Museum decides whether or not to renew its sponsorship deal with BP, it must be ethics and the future of the planet that determines the outcome – not personal relationships. Rather than just preserving cultural artefacts, the British Museum should be in solidarity with the communities and cultures around the world that are already facing the impacts of climate change.”
The protest performance began when a group of vocal “BP executives” arrived in the Great Court, singing a rewritten version of Robbie Williams’s classic song, ‘Angels’: Through all the oil spills / And even our court cases / Neil [MacGregor] wouldn’t forsake us / Art sponsorship will save us / We’re loving culture instead.
A performer, playing the part of the departing museum director, joined the cast and was then showered with oily “champagne”, a “world” cake and dirty money. The performance highlighted the hypocrisy of the most recent BP-sponsored exhibitions and events at the museum, including Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation and the Mexican Day of the Dead festival, both of which encountered protests made in solidarity with Aboriginal and Mexican activists respectively. The “BP executives” also poked fun at the title of the next BP-sponsored exhibition, the ironically named Sunken Cities.
Following a Freedom of Information request, 19 pages of emails between BP and the museum’s outgoing director from January 2014 to January 2015 were released. Among opera and dinner invitations is an email sent by Neil MacGregor to a departing member of BP staff on New Year’s Eve 2014 at 6:39pm, which included the following lines:
“I am very sad that you are leaving BP and we will no longer be working together…”
“I have very much enjoyed every aspect of our cooperation, and have always known that we were working towards the same end…”
BP is one of the world’s biggest corporate criminals, receiving the largest corporate criminal fine in history of $18.7 billion for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The civil case against BP reached its conclusion earlier this year but new suits have been filed against BP for the damage the spill caused to the Mexican coastline.
The protest came just a week after 10 arts activists were arrested in the Musee du Louvre in Paris while creatively protesting the museum’s sponsorship deals with the oil companies, Total and Eni. Meanwhile, hundreds of climate campaigners had gathered outside the museum’s iconic glass pyramid, revealing umbrellas displaying the words ‘Fossil Free Culture’. It marked the coming together of a movement of artists and activists working to liberate museums and galleries from unethical corporate influence. Earlier this year, 36 leading climate scientists wrote an open letter to American museums and galleries, urging them to break their ties with the fossil fuel industry.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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