Visitors to the London Natural History Museum were met by a Santa with a difference when Santas Against Excessive Consumption (SAEC) dropped in last Saturday. Visitors were treated to placards saying ‘Lappland is melting’ and ‘Reindeer can’t swim’ placards, explaining what excessive consumption is doing to the planet.

The leaflet handed out to bemused visitors explained why the Santas are so upset: the “excessive consumption of oil is causing Lappland – our home! – to melt. Why is this relevant to the NHM? Because Shell, the world’s third largest oil company, is also the new sponsor of its Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition”.

It continued: “Despite attempts to ‘greenwash’ its reputation via blanket advertising and cultural sponsorship, Shell is still heavily implicated in producing ever-greater quantities of the oil and gas that are destabilising our climate to such an alarming degree. Climate change is set to wipe out millions of plant and animal species and to devastate the poorest regions of the planet”.

According to one of the Santas “We had a bit of interaction with people waiting to skate on the British Airways-sponsored ice rink. Half the rink was closed because it was too wet and slushy – the ice had melted. The employee with the thankless task of trying to herd us out disagreed with me when I suggested that this was symbolic. His word? ‘Ironic.”

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