Six women are climbing one of London’s newest and tallest buildings as a protest. The women are climbing the Shard, a rather ugly looking and impractical skyscraper in Southwark, on the South Bank of the Thames. Southwark was famous for the Taberd, where Mr Chaucer lay before he set off to Canterbury on his pilgrimage. Today Southwark is famous for a piece of architectural folly on a grand scale, which is now being climbed.
The climbers are members of Greenpeace, who will no doubt get some welcome publicity from the stunt. They started climbing as dawn’s early light broke over the city of London this morning. Greenpeace have explained that they chose to climb the 310 meter Shard because it sits in the middle of the headquarters of three oil companies. That makes no sense to me, but I am sure that it makes some kind of sense to someone somewhere.
It is odd to direct the Greenpeace campaign against oil companies; they simply provide what people want, and whether their product is good or bad for the environment, Greenpeace are simply targeting the business that delivers the pollution, not the people that create the pollution. If they adjusted their target to those who create the pollution we all might wake up very early to find Greenpeace climbers on top of our roofs.
But targeting the oil companies seems to make sense to Greenpeace, the media and the world at large and also to the climbers.
I hope that the climbers don’t fall off. That would make no kind of sense to anyone anywhere.