February 01, 2020 by Extinction Rebellion
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As a visitor to Britain from Brasil, I have found a copy of The Hourglass in the parish church in Launceston. I read this with interest, taking particular notice of the front- page story about the deaths of environmental defenders. It made me upset and angry to read what is happening in the Amazonian region of my country.
It is reassuring to know that Britain is giving publicity to ill-treatment of Amazonian natives. I wish to take your newspapers to Brasil, share them with others, and have satisfaction in feeling that we are not alone, but supported in another country far away
Carmen da Silva, Brasil
Every woman I know has benefited from
family planning and access to contraception,
in contrast to the vast unmet need for this
in the Global South. The new State of the World Population report published by the UN Population Fund estimated that there were 89 million unintended pregnancies. According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 22,000 women die every year because of unsafe abortions, almost all of them in developing countries. Niger, a country where millions go without adequate nutrition, women on average have seven children. Some of them end up as economic migrants trying to escape extreme poverty. In Kenya, parts of the country, desertification is spreading due to extreme pressure on the land from the expanding population.
Of course those of us in the Global North have a significantly greater carbon footprint than those in the Global South but on the whole we have significantly reduced family sizes due to access to family planning and empowering women.
Infinite human population on a finite planet is as absurd as infinite economic growth on a finite planet.
Helen Murray, Brighton
Song for the planet
As we were handed a copy of your newspaper yesterday we mentioned to the distributor that we have written a climate crisis rap and PLANET song as our contribution to fighting the climate crisis.
They can be found on https://youtu. be/OIFfoSNCNmU (PLANET) and https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-FfSVKQLC8 (Climate Crisis Rap song).
We shared your article about Creating Liveable Streets as Climate Action with our friends and will ask our local council for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. And we will continue to request that pollution monitors are erected at local traffic junctions, to show that pollution levels regularly exceed ‘safe’ limits.
Gudrun and Adrian, North London
I picked up the Hourglass at an Extinction Rebellion weekend event in Bradford yesterday, and I would like to congratulate you all on a superb publication. It’s informative, well written and presented, and inspiring. Not the easiest thing to be inspiring when the reason for this publication is, in fact, the end of the world. But, I live in the here and now, as you clearly do. Thank you. I will join you in with your efforts. I will be planting trees in Yorkshire next month with XR. I have been a professional gardener for 20 years, with particular emphasis on supporting wildlife in domestic gardens, but I plant trees anywhere for free.
Liz Hunt, Bradford
Re. Blythe Pepino’s article
I read with interest Blythe Pepino’s article on p7 of issue 4 of Hourglass. I was mystified as to how increased emissions can be claimed to be nothing to do with population, when it is humans whom most of us believe are causing excess, and thus climate change. Keen to know more about Birthstrike, I tried to access the website quoted, to read her essay in full. But I was presented with a load of website options, each offering to ‘reduce the length of my url’. I was reluctant to reduce the length of any part of me, even those of which I had no knowledge. So I know no more about Birthstrike. However, I do not understand how a move towards a greener, more natural way of living can NOT include reducing our population, or at least getting it under control first. As Pepino says, we might find it limited by famine, flood or disease some time in the future. Would it not be better to encourage voluntary control before that befalls us?
Richard Hawker, Hockering
Dear Richard, try this URL instead:
You shouldn’t lose anything… And Blythe’s article is well worth a read. – Ed
Left wing, right wing
The most recent edition of Hourglass is only the second I have read but I am generally very impressed. I am also pleased to be part of the team that are distributing it.
I am not so impressed by the presumptions of some of your readers. From reading the publication, one would assume that the environmental movement, is the sole preserve of the left-wing.
Hopefully I don’t need to point out that traditional left vs right distinctions ceased to be credible 30 years ago, but I do appreciate that they linger on in many places.
I regard myself as a liberal-centrist and yet I am part of Extinction Rebellion. I also know several people who would regard themselves as slightly right of centre who strongly believe in climate change, are terrified by it, and want to take action.
I acknowledge that more of the climate change deniers group toward the ‘right’ but (at least in my area) the right-wing are the majority. They are, therefore, the people we must get ‘on side’. Childishly presenting them as monsters and ‘the enemy’ will achieve nothing.
Chris Wozencroft, Aylesbury, Bucks
Re. Adam’s letter
Although well intentioned, Adam Martin’s letter seeks to reinforce, not reduce, political division by uniting the forces of the left in order to do battle with the forces of the right, a business-as-usual MO, symptomatic of an adversarial political system designed never to unite a society.
Climate and ecology don’t give a monkeys about left and right and we have no time left to waste on these battles, so let’s try to reach out with politeness and kindness to sow seeds and, if nothing else, dispel the myth that our project is just a communist conspiracy.
We only ever really learn from people who are different to us.
Paul Scholes, Teignmouth
We picked up a copy of your heartening newspaper in our local coffee shop.
Sixty years ago, as a school boy, I thought that burning fossil fuels and releasing the extra heat from the sun stored for millions of years, could warm the world; the science was wrong but sadly the prediction is correct.
Having been involved with small scale hydro power, thwarted at every turn by government regulations; fighting railway closures and pressing for re-openings; I am currently tearing my hair out regarding the continuing ‘murder’ of our hedgerows. There is much talk of planting millions of trees,
and we have planted many, but landowners still obsess over having ‘tidy’ hedges! Yes the roadsides may need to be uprighted, but with government support the tops and field sides could be allowed to grow. Loss of crops would be minimal especially if headlands are also left for wildlife, and the resulting shelter would be a positive bonus, especially here in Cornwall. Thousands of miles of hedgerows containing millions of ‘trees’ could begin to sequester a massive amount of carbon at the stroke of a pen.