Wreckers of the Earth: a map of ecocidal capitalism in London
OCTOBER 2021 NOTE: This version of the directory is now out of date. For an updated version, see here
“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” Utah Phillips
London is one of the main worldwide hubs of ecocidal capitalism. This city is home to oil and gas giants including BP and Shell, as well as many of the world’s most devastating mining corporations. Perhaps even more significant is London’s role as a global centre for the banks, investors and traders who fund the planet-killers and launder the profits. As well as the insurers, law firms, arms dealers, security companies, PR agencies, lobbyists, and others who provide critical support.
Our “Wreckers of the Earth” map of London identifies and locates them. It comes in several forms: a poster map; an online map; and a written directory.
This A2 poster shows a map of central London with locations of 130 companies, their addresses and one-line introductions.
Click on this link to download a high res version for printing (OrangeDox, 10 MB). And here for a medium res (3 MB) image to view on screen.
We could only fit a small sample on the poster — the online version has a lot more. It features over 300 companies, with bios, references, and links for further information. This is available in OpenStreetMaps:
You can also see a version in Googlemaps here. (This allows viewing in Google earth, but you also have to put up with all of Google’s clutter advertising nearby restaurants etc.)
You can also download all the data in this spreadsheet, including geo coordinates, to make your own map.
We’ve also put all the written information together in a Wreckers of the Earth company directory. As well as all the company information from the online map, this also features sector introductions explaining more about the roles these companies play.
You can read it online here.
And you can download it here as a PDF.
The “Wreckers of the Earth” project …
These are just the first outputs in our ongoing “Wreckers of the Earth” project. We’ll be publishing more info and analysis soon.
Capitalism is burning up our planet, devastating ecosystems and communities in its ceaseless hunger for profit. Everything is for sale, and the one great goal is growth: producing and consuming ever more stuff, even as it kills us. This engine of mass destruction is driven by burning forests: the long-dead forests of fossil fuels, and the living forests of today.
Though we all play our parts in the consumer system, some humans play much bigger parts than others. The people killing the earth are those directing the machine — and trying to crush our resistance to it.
Our “Wreckers of the Earth” project has two aims: to identify some of the main planet-killers; and to show how they work together as an overarching system of power and profit.
To break things down, we identify three main categories of wreckers:
- Primary planet-killers: companies on the “front lines” of ecological devastation. Hydrocarbon extractors, mining giants, agribusiness empires, plastics or cement producers, and other major polluters.
- The facilitators: the banks, investment funds, insurers, law firms, security companies, etc., who provide the supply lines and services without which the “front line” companies couldn’t function.
- Ideology industry: the institutions promoting and normalising environmental destruction, runaway growth, and the profit motive. Including media, academic units, think tanks, lobbyists, PR firms, and the boom industry of specialist “greenwashing” initiatives.
Future work in the project will investigate the links, from investment to ideas, that connect these together.
Wreckers in London
Ecocidal capitalism is a global system, but its nodes are local: right here, around the corner. Our particular focus is on identifying its bases and networks in London and the UK.
London is one of the main global hubs of ecocidal capitalism, home to fossil fuel giants and to many of the worst mining polluters. It is the world’s second largest financial centre (after New York). It is the key financial marketplace for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”, in bankers’ jargon), and for trading oil, metals, minerals and other “commodities” sucked out of the earth.
Lax regulation and tight security make London a money-laundering haven for the world’s tyrants, oligarchs, and billionaires. Its imperial legacy still lives in the infrastructure and services it offers: insurance markets, law firms, arms dealers, PR agencies, universities, down to prestige shopping and investment property.
Future work may also look beyond London to other parts of the UK.
Please get in touch if you have any information to add or other comments on this project!