Hourglass Newspaper

Embracing Outsiders: Folk Tales for Terrible Times: The Story of Baba Yaga

Imagine that you are walking through a forest at dusk. Pine and larch trees loom above you. There is birdsong and a river somewhere nearby. It is spring, or autumn, always an in-between season. And you are tired. It has been a long journey, and soon you must find shelter and sleep. Then, as you enter a clearing, you see something that shakes you into wakefulness. First there is the fence, made up of twelve posts, long and slender, shining like bones in the last of the evening light. Eleven of these posts are capped with skulls, grim and…

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WE WON’T BE SILENCED

It’s the evening of the 12th of December and I am with a close group of friends waiting to see in the results of the election. Despite the mulled wine and a few tentative jokes there is an air of tension in the room, all of us thinking about what climate and social policy will dictate our future and what plans could be in place that might lead to a climate apartheid. The exit poll results flash up on screen and I realise with a horrible dread that the future we had dared to hope for isn’t going to happen.

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ECO-FASCISM: THE THREAT IS REAL

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, eco-fascism is “Radical environmentalism of a type perceived as excessive, intolerant, or authoritarian”. When a government uses a threat to the environment to justify autocratic rule and the removal of rights, we call it eco-fascism. Attaining net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 would be easy if we imposed authoritarian rule. The oil and gas industry could be shut down overnight without regard for massive job losses, transport infrastructure collapse, and a host of other potential outcomes. However, disengaging from civil rights, workers’ rights, borders and immigration, Indigenous sovereignty, and feminism, creates…

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BABIES DON’T PRODUCE EMISSIONS, OUR SYSTEMS DO

We live in a strange world where nuanced discussion of important topics is typically sacrificed in favour of reductionist bickering, with extremist leaders and the media at large pitting the most extreme views against each other to boost ratings. The BirthStrike message, calling for collective action and a just, systemic- level response to our environmental and social crises, is being white-washed by incorrect and divisive reporting that associates our movement with ‘over-population’ and its historical connection to ideas like eugenics and genocide. This irresponsible and dangerous reporting encourages judgemental ‘footprint’ comparisons and shrouds the real issues such as consumption,…

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WHEN WRITERS REBEL: Jessica Townsend meets Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood

They say don’t meet your heroes.Perhaps this is because you can’t have a relationship with someone on a pedestal: it’s much easier to worship from afar. When I go to meet Margaret Atwood at the Covent Garden Hotel in London, I have forgotten this wisdom and my head is full of fantasies. I am here to see her to ask for support for the Writers Rebel project, which encourages published writers to focus on the climate crisis. Margaret Atwood is not only one of the most renowned novelists on the planet, she has also been defending its ecosystems for…

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DUTCH COURT RULES PEOPLE MUST BE PROTECTED FROM CLIMATE CHANGE

People have a fundamental right to be protected from climate change, according to a ruling by the Dutch Supreme Court. Upholding previous rulings made in 2015, the court announced at the end of December that the government in the Netherlands must hold to a promise to cut emissions by at least 25% from 1990 levels, by the end of 2020. The Dutch government had appealed against the initial rulings, which were brought to the courts in 2013 by environmental organisation Urgenda on behalf of 900 Dutch citizens in a bid to see national emissions lowered by between 25%…

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“THIS PLAY WILL SOLVE CLIMATE CHANGE” REUSABLE THEATRE

Reusable Theatre came into existence in response to the climate emergency, when I asked myself that difficult question: what can I do? As a theatre maker, my instinctive answer was to create a theatrical response, with the aim of spreading the word and inspiring others to take action. I called the piece This Play Will Solve Climate Change – aiming high! – and recruited four actors to devise it with me. The rehearsal process was an intensive time of discovery and exploration. We read widely, and interviewed people from all walks of life to explore the huge range…

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Denmark Makes Climate Action Law

Friday 6 December 2019 saw an important victory in the battle to address the climate and ecological crisis. Denmark’s new Climate Act will entirely revamp Denmark’s climate policy by law, and thrust it onto the world’s centre stage by showcasing the only effective political solution: changing the system itself. Eight out of the ten parties in the Danish Parliament agreed on the new national Climate Act that mandates binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent (compared to the 1990 level). The target date for tangible reductions is 2030. In a world-first, Danish law requires…

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YOUR QUESTIONS AND THOUGHTS – EDITED BY THE HOURGLASS TEAM

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. Hello. Just a quick thanks to whichever lovely person decided to put the BSL (British Sign Language) sign for ‘help’ on the back page. It makes someone like me (a Deaf BSL user) very happy to be included in this movement. Thanks Anon UK The back page artwork was designed by Charlie Waterhouse of the XR Art team. Glad you liked it! – Ed Dear Sir, I…

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What I learned from my stay in prison

The van is cold and uncomfortable. We wait outside the prison gates for what seems like an age. My anxiety builds. Eventually I’m led to the main process building. The staff are friendly. I’m escorted to a waiting room. Five other prisoners are chatting. We introduce ourselves. They ask me what I’ve done. When I explain, they become friendly and animated. Lots of thanks. I’m sitting next to another prisoner, who I will call May. She’s in her late twenties. I have a book with me called The Overstory and May talks excitedly about forests and the environment. After…

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