Hourglass Newspaper

THE CLIMATE IS A-CHANGIN’

People of Earth cease what you’re doing And know that the oceans around us are growing The icecaps are melting, the glaciers are going Our leaders keep on ignoring The gravest threat the world’s ever known For the climate is a-changin’. Giant corporations that profit from oil Your fossil fuel boom you continue to sell It’s the last chance soon to be saved by the bell Can you not hear, it tolling? If you don’t stop soon, we’ll all go to hell For the climate is a-changin’. Yes Senators, Governments…

ISSUE TWO
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The sound of Nature

Listen up! Are you a good listener? Let’s start with rhubarb. A few years ago a farm in Yorkshire posted a recording of their rhubarb growing. The bursting buds and squelching mud are quite a surprise – a mixture of popcorn and beatboxing. Tuning into the soundscape is an important way of reconnecting with the rest of the living planet, for example bird calls, the thrum of pollinators, and running water. Every ecosystem has a unique sound, as each organism occupies their own ‘sonic niche’ in order to be heard. But not all the sounds around us are…

ISSUE TWO
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Snapped Ankles HARE & HOUNDS, KINGS HEATH

I’m fifty-four years old, 6’3, and have the grace and poise of an arthritic hippopotamus, so I am not renowned for my dancing skills. It takes a lot to get me to shake my stuff without inhibition. Lots of beer can sometimes do it, or, apparently, a live performance from London post- punk ravers ‘Snapped Ankles’. Arriving on stage in gillie suits, wearing antler horn head-dresses, and looking like Mad Max versions of neolithic shaman, they set to weaving a hypnotic beat with bass, drums, vintage electronics, and home-made synths made out of logs that they hit with enthusiasm.

ISSUE TWO
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Eco Grief

Death is an everyday occurrence and yet death is incomprehensible in the mind of the living. An old person dying is an ordinary event, but it is extraordinary if it is someone you love. The impact of grief can be so overwhelming that it can strip a person’s life of meaning and rinse them through with a renewed intensity of love, but with nowhere to enact it. Eco-grief is as overwhelming as, and maybe more intensely incomprehensible than, the loss of a loved one. If you fully accept the science and everything that we may lose as a result;…

ISSUE TWO
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BRITISH WILDLIFE ICONS: The bumblebee and the importance of wildflowers

A small insect that has been lucky enough to receive media attention over the last few years due to declining numbers is the humble bee. Over a third of the food we eat relies on pollinators to grow, and there are a number of factors impacting bee populations across the UK. One of the biggest threats is the loss of habitat. Over the last fifty years, intensive urban development and the increase in land being used for agriculture has meant the rapid decline of wild areas. Friends of the Earth put the figure at 97% loss of wildflower meadows…

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Civil Disobedience is Inevitable

We are entering a time in UK public life where faith in long standing democratic processes and decision making are in terminal decline. The evidence of this is all around us. There have emerged single issues like Brexit and climate change, which the representative constituency system has failed to properly address. We have arrived at a point in western democracies where civil disobedience is soon to become the norm. Governmental laws now dictate the fine detail of our lives. My own campaign against the absurd TV Licence Fee tax is a microcosm of the police state in which we…

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RIGHTS OF NATURE

I am a member of a group of lawyers that has written a Declaration of Rebellion to call for Justice for All. We call for climate justice for everyone on Earth, for intergenerational justice, and for ecological justice. I will write about the last point here. Historically, in the UK legal system nature has been seen as inanimate and treated as property. Trees, rivers and mountains are owned by the landowner on which they sit who (subject to some planning and environmental regulations) can do what they like to them. Last year I set up Lawyers for Nature to…

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FOLK TALES Gilgamesh and the Death of Eternal Life

Once there was a story about a powerful king who mistreated his people, defied his gods, and sought to abuse the fundamental laws of nature. I know this sounds like most of the hero tales ever told, but this is the original. The very first of the man-child god-hero genre. Here is the birth of a monomyth that has soaked into our collective narrative consciousness for over 4,000 years. Here is a thick thread of ego and masculinity that leads all the way to our modern knot of catastrophes. Here is Gilgamesh. Generally regarded as society’s ‘earliest surviving literary…

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