SELECTED ESSAYS

Ending the Petroleum Age: Carbon Colonies & A Global Green New Deal

It has long been understood that though it is industrialised nations that have spent the vast majority of the earth’s total carbon budget, the most immediate ecological consequences are going to be paid by the Global South.

We think of those consequences as the rising seas, stronger storms and faster floods. But it is not just an ecological price being paid, it is also a political one. For those living in resource colonies, carbon emissions are a guarantee of both atmospheric and administrative misery.

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Irreversible Shift


London, which built itself by prying open protectionist territories to its products, is now being hollowed out by an internationalized world market of its own creation. Londoners, today, are the ones being forced from their homes as a new city grows of buildings built not for living in, but, in Boris Johnson’s words, as “safety deposit boxes in the sky.”

What happens to a city when it is not built for living in?

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Refugee Stasis

The boy didn't sleep in the tent last night. He has someplace he goes. In the city maybe. It’s better, there’s more space when he’s gone. But TZEZHS4XS01082016 can’t help but feel jealous. TZEZHS4XS01082016 hasn’t been able to leave the camp for months. He could leave if he wanted, but what if they called his name while he was out? He lifts his wrist up, clicks on the light on his watch. 07:31. Why even check the time? It annoys him every time he does it. It’s best to forget the time.

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Industrial Colonialism: Egypt, Germany & The Maintenance of the Modern World

On October 1, 2017, the submarine S-42 set sail from the ThyssenKrupp shipyard in Kiel, northern Germany. The fourth of four submarines ordered by the Egyptian government since the outbreak of the Arab revolutions — at a cost of €1.4bn — quietly passed through the Kiel Canal to the port city of Emden. There, it met a French Corvette-class attack ship, also newly built for the Egyptian Navy by France.

Together, they set sail for Alexandria.

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The Battlefields of Jerusalem

When Donald Trump declared that the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital there was a strange strain of news item that emerged, warning of potential repercussions from Arab states and Arab streets. Imaginings of a region aflame with impassioned Muslims sparking a third intifada animated the pages of newspapers across the world; a parade of stereotypical tropes summoned by lazy journalists designed to kindle familiar fears and to hide the cold, systemic violence of Israel.

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Hollow Words

Multiple fractures, cigarette burns, abrasions, fingernails forcibly removed and every finger broken, dozens of lacerations all over the body, on the soles of feet and ears all ending in a broken neck and suffocation. Giulio’s body was found semi-naked by the side of the road.

The marks of Egypt’s security services are instantly recognizable. No one has any doubt about who killed Giulio Regeni. And so Egypt and Italy’s diplomatic and economic relationship has been thrust into the spotlight.

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Welcome to Lesvos

I see the young man of the night before, sitting alone and smoking, staring at the black sea before him, his phone dark in his hand. Next to him a dozen young men lie asleep under grey blankets, their enormous UNHCR labels flapping in the wind.

“You OK?” I ask.

“Yes. Thank God. You?”

“Fine. Can I help you?”

“Help me?”

I’m not wearing my high-vis jacket. He thinks I’m running with him, that I just got off a boat.

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