ISSUE TWO

IN OTHER NEWS

NASA engineer David Burns has proposed a fuel-free engine that could propel spacecraft at “almost the speed of light”. It is said to violate the fundamental laws of physics, but he is confident that it is worth a try. Archaeologists at a church in Dingwall discovered a 1,200-year- old Pictish standing stone with beastly carvings “unlike anything found before”. Historic Environment Scotland’s John Borland praised the “creativity and individuality” of Pictish sculptors. Departing chief medical officer for England Sally Davies has called to ban snacking on public transport to tackle child obesity. Her final report supports extra tax…

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WE NEED YOU TO LISTEN

Much of the criticism surrounding the Extinction Rebellion movement is that they scare children and make them fear for their lives, but it’s no different to children seeing death and war on the news everyday. The moment something is presented to the public that requires people to be proactive and change their own lifestyles, there’s an issue. We are murdering our planet step-by-step, tearing down our forests tree-by- tree and killing our animals one-by- one. As a young person, I’m not scared. I’m empowered. My generation has done more for this planet that any other generation has even thought…

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ADVOCATES JOIN FORCES TO CALL ON UN TO ENDORSE WORLDWIDE FRACKING BAN

Over 460 grassroots groups across the world have called on the United Nations to endorse a worldwide ban on fracking via a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterre. Signed by actors and Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson and Amber Heard, authors Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben, Al Gore’s daughter Karenna Gore, fashion icons Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corré, human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, climate expert Dr. Robert Howarth and public health expert Dr. Sandra Steingraber and many others, the letter states that the “continued production, trade and use of fracked hydrocarbons for energy, petrochemicals and plastics torpedoes our global…

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CAN FARMING METHODS PREVENT THE UK FROM FACING FOOD SHORTAGES?

This summer, the UK limboed between record-breaking heat and incessant rainfall. Now, August’s wet weather has brought this year’s wheat harvest to a “shuddering halt”, according to the deputy president of the National Farmers’ Union, Guy Smith. In 2018, Defra found that wheat crop fell 5.1% on the previous year, while barley production decreased by 7.9%, and yields of staples like potatoes fell by roughly a quarter. This was attributed to unusually high levels of spring rainfall and a dry summer. Some farmers are learning to adapt, for example 60-year-old Sivalingam Vasanthakumar from Devon who donated his sheep…

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LETTER FROM THE EDITORS

Dear Readers, We’ve had a fantastic response to Issue One of The Hourglass, which was widely distributed across the UK in September. Some of the responses can be seen on page 14. (Here) We’ve also had requests for copies of the newspaper from as far away as Western Norway, Finland, Amsterdam, New York and Canada. It’s almost as if people around the world are calling out for climate reporting… With this in mind, we’ve also added more pages to this issue, and made the font bigger, which a…

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LIVING IN TWO WORLDS

My generation and my parents’ generation have failed. We have failed because I can still hear people suggesting that climate change is a conspiracy or an exaggeration. We all benefit from science every day, one way or another, yet so many don’t listen to the warnings. We blindly go about our daily lives wrapped in a blanket of convenience, ignoring or denying that our reliance on fossil fuels, on wastefulness. A world minority is causing real damage. If most ordinary people aren’t aware of the damage, then politicians and the media have a lot to answer for. About…

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REGENERATIVE CULTURE IS THE ULTIMATE REBELLION

It is written that a culture grows wise when old men plant trees they will never sit in the shade of. There are no maps to where we now find ourselves. We are all making this up as we go along. There’s a truth worth telling. But there are lessons from history and wisdom from people in the Global South that have already lost their worlds to our madness and greed; these are cultures that co-operate to adapt to harsh futures and collaborate to lessen the effects of industrialised civilisation. Adapt or die has always been nature’s lasting invite…

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THE CLIMATE CRISIS IS A HEALTH CRISIS

Working as an NHS doctor can often feel like an uphill battle. Bottlenecks in the emergency department, constant staff shortages, and lack of funding are among the challenges the health service is up against. All our attention is focused on delivering the best possible care to the patients in front of us. The traditional NHS winter crises are now matched by summer crises. Trends show that during heatwaves A&E admissions go up with an increasing number of respiratory and cardiovascular deaths amongst the elderly. Extreme heat also raises pollen and aeroallergen levels, triggering asthma which affects around 5.4 million…

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Art in an Emergency / An Interview with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer

Like so many of us, writer Neil Gaiman and musician Amanda Palmer have been struggling to come to terms with the enormity of what is happening to our planet. Anyone who has followed Neil’s writing and television work or Amanda’s music in recent years will have noticed environmental themes rising in prominence. There is the apocalyptic figure of Pollution in Neil’s Good Omens, and Amanda’s references to rising water and hotter summers in her new album There Will Be No Intermission. But as political instability and glacier melt worsen, the husband-and-wife team wanted to strip away the metaphors and…

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