Emma Thompson - A poem to SHELL

Last edited 2 September 2015 at 9:28am

Today, Emma Thompson joined the giant polar bear Aurora and 64 activists outside Shell's London HQ to protest the company's Arctic oil drilling.

She composed this poem and performed it to activists, the press and Shell staff. You can find out more about the campaign at www.savethearctic.org/ArcticRoar

Just what is your problem, you people of Shell
That makes it so damnably hard to discern
The danger we’re in, our descent into hell
Or do you just think we should burn baby, burn?

The science is complex. Denial’s a breeze,
But take a good look at the Arctic, please.
IT’S MELTING, I’ve seen it and all ‘cos of oil
So do you just think we should boil baby, boil?

I do sometimes wonder what you would say
To a granddaughter, eyes tilted upwards
And asking “what happened here?
What was the story? The bears
And the icebergs
The Beauty, the glory
Where can I see them now, Grandaddy dear
And you’ll say “in books, love, in books
Or p’raps here on my laptop
Look here – isn’t that great?
But they went the same way as the Dodo my sweet.”

“Why did they go that way,
what was the cause?”
“Well, they went the same way as the dinosaurs
They outlived their welcome
Just natural disaster
You know nothing lovely like that lasts forever.”

“But Grandad, we drilled in their home
In the Arctic, we drilled there for oil
It melted and that’s when the Big rain would fall
And water that should have been bound up in ice
Sluiced through the villages
Drowning them all
Brown, dirty water
That should’ve been blue
Liquefied slaughter
Wasn’t that true?”

“Perhaps but dear, that’s what they asked us to do.
Don’t you see?
It was business, not greed.
We burned oil in our cars, in our lorries, our works,
We all did it,
don’t think it was one of the perks of the office,
dear, no, we were all at it
all of us, Mum and Dad too
so don’t give me that look
you haven’t a clue
it wasn’t my fault
I was just doing my job
I was following orders
And earning a Bob
( or two)

Truth is, my darling
I’ve had all my fun
My time here on Earth is all over, it’s done

I’ve had all I need or want
Often much more
And thinking ahead was too much of a chore.”

“But Grandad, oh Grandad, my feet are all wet.”

“So they are, love, how sad, I’m sorry my pet.
It was too late to stop it
So now it’s all through
And oh dear, my poppet
It seems so are you.”


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