Hourglass Newspaper

BUILD AT THE SPEED OF TRUST

It’s March 2019 and I’m helping Jake load four full drum kits out of his van and back into storage. He tells me, “Samba is definitely the way forward. I realised it after the last protest we both did playing those two djembes. It wasn’t enough. With Samba drums you can march. Everyone can hear you coming and they all want to join in.” I’ll be honest, until I saw it for myself, I had no idea why marching drummers would be good at a protest. But I trusted Jake. I’d played with him for years, watched his effortless…

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A proposal for an Ecoside Law

Right now, large-scale and systematic destruction of the natural living world – ecocide – is legally permitted. Current regulations simply do not stop the scale of harm we are witnessing play out across the planet. Climate litigation (suing) may result in compensation, but it cannot prevent dangerous industrial activity from continuing. We believe ecocide must become an internationally recognised crime, implying personal criminal liability for government ministers and CEOs. Without such a crime in place to protect the Earth, climate and ecological justice are next to impossible to achieve. Ecocide is not just about CO2 emissions. It is…

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UNDERSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM

It’s not the only reason I’m a climate activist, but being involved predominantly in human-based issues of injustice, environmental racism is a key reason to devote considerable time to this issue if nothing else. A few years ago, I heard Corey Booker speak about the pig farming industry in North Carolina. I learned that parts of rural North Carolina are known as hog country. Home to many pig farms, the area is infested with buzzards, flies, and the stench of rotting carcasses and faeces. Waste from the farms is flushed out into lagoons and then sprayed over surrounding fields.

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PERE UBU

BUSH HALL, LONDON Pere Ubu, the avant-garage band founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1975 from the ashes of proto-punk group Rocket From The Tombs, launched their latest album ‘The Long Goodbye’ at the beautiful art- deco ‘Bush Hall’ in West London on Friday 13th September. Led by vocalist and sole surviving founder member David Thomas, the band have been pushing musical boundaries for forty-five years, and this latest album is possibly their most ambitious and challenging yet. Davis Thomas suffered serious health issues recently and was hospitalised during the US leg of touring their last album.

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COLNE VALLEY IS OUR AMAZON RAINFOREST

HS2 is a transport project that will involve destroying acres of British countryside. It’s an express train service to climate and ecological disaster and it’s the first thing the Government should scrap if they are serious about the situation we are in. It will cost over £100 billion of taxpayer’s money, for a project that is incompatible with the 2050 net zero emissions target and that will destroy over a hundred ancient woodlands, and hundreds of other precious wildlife sites. Local groups have been mobilising along the proposed new trainline for some time now, notably in Colne Valley…

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YOUR QUESTIONS AND THOUGHTS

Hi Readers, Thank you for your many letters offering support and suggestions for The Hourglass newspaper. Here’s a selection of some of the comments you’ve sent in. Many thanks for the copy of The Hourglass newspaper. We don’t usually get “radical” communications through our letter boxes in Knowle Solihull, just advertising from care homes and financial advisors. Please include information on how we can pay for our future issues of Hourglass news sheet, as at last someone’s imparting information of real importance! In this area people care very little about climate change, the heating is always on and…

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A day in the Cotswolds

The Great Western Railway website performs a useful calculation when I book my ticket for a Cotswolds day out. Making this trip by train I’m responsible for 58% less CO2 than if I’d gone by car. As we begin to take the true environmental cost of travel seriously, expect to see much more of this extra detail. I chose the Cotswolds because it’s a perfect destination for our carbon-conscious times, as we redefine what we understand by tourism. What counts as a satisfying leisure trip? Does a day out (ideally by public transport) among this region’s gorgeous golden stones…

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New land management approach can help earthworms thrive

The UK’s earthworm population has the potential to triple and farms and could save on costs, according to the results of an experiment by scientists at Cranfield University. For his PhD research, Dr Tom Storr found that using cover crops to protect soil and introduce organic matter increases earthworm numbers and provides financial savings for farmers. Dr Storr, supervised by Dr Jacqueline Hannam and Dr Rob Simmons of Cranfield University, compared the use of a cover crop mixture in a wheat/maize/lettuce crop rotation on lowland peat soils to a sample treated without cover crops. The experiment was…

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Exploring the Chilterns

The turbo train roars away and deep peace descends on Great Missenden station. Once the country railway mood music would have been clanking milk churns and cooing racing pigeons in straw baskets. Today the only sound is the unfolding of my map and a sweet rhapsody from a wren. I’m in the heart of the Chilterns, and a tangle of footpaths leads to all compass points. The Chilterns is an appropriate destination for a car-free future. The Metropolitan Railway was promoting days out into this glorious wedge of countryside to the northwest of London even before the…

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THEATRES DROP THE CURTAIN ON OIL GIANTS

Two of the UK’s most prominent theatrical companies have cut their ties with some of the world’s largest oil multinationals following threats from supporters to boycott the institutions. On 2 October, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) confirmed it would end its partnership with BP at the close of 2019. BP’s sponsorship has supported the RSC’s scheme providing £5 tickets to 16-25-year-olds since 2013. Film and stage actor Mark Rylance called for the RSC to drop BP earlier in the year when he resigned from his post as an associate artist at the theatre company. RSC artistic director…

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