the New Year and its resolutions are fading… Now here is a system of resolutions, pledges, audit – and celebration – that will work. Equinoxes are uniquely well qualified to be the Earth Days they actually are, and help us ‘do our bit’ to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis. Here’s why, and how: Continue reading
In fact, it proposes two Earth Days – the equinoxes, which come around
every spring and autumn.
Equinoxes are the best days to focus on our home planet, thanks to two fundamental properties:
1) Equinoxes are true planetary events.
They are fixed events in Earth’s orbit around the sun. Billions have passed. Billions are yet to come.
2) We are equal under the sun at equinox.
Equal day and night – 12 hours each – wherever you are on the planet.
Together these irrefutable qualities give equinoxes unique power and resonance.
Our climate and biosphere are now universally recognised to be in crisis, as this chart* of 1000 years of ice core and 50 years of atmospheric data starkly shows.
The equinoxes in March and September are here to help. If they are adopted as official Earth Days, they can become action rallying points for us all. This is how it will work: Continue reading
26-10-19, 09.17 UTC (Earthtime). Many humanoids will “fall back”* to a logically correct time tonight, when they set their clocks to approximate to the solar noon of their slice of planet Earth’s surface. This is wise, for they have been getting up increasingly in the dark, Continue reading
The Autumn equinox coincides with my last day with the Royal Opera on tour in Japan. We will have just performed the thrilling opening sequence of Verdi’s Otello in Tokyo at the moment of equinox – UK readers will be having breakfast (08.50 BST). Whatever, wherever, whenever… Happy Equinox! Continue reading
These words of the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead – who with others 50 years ago in 1969 chose this fixed event in the calendar to be the first Earth Day – apply precisely to the equinox.
The Spring Equinox is a natural Earth Day, with a host of advantages built in. Not only that, it has a twin on the other side of the year: the Autumnal Equinox (September 23). Continue reading
This is the transcript of a reading given on December 15th at St Clement Danes Church as part of the Christmas Concert of the talented young choir Coro.
Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit and head up and out into deeper space. The astronauts were Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders and they orbited the moon ten times during December 24, 1968. On the fourth pass, at 4pm GMT, as they came round again from the dark side of the moon Anders saw something emerging from below the lunar horizon: Continue reading
EQ is a reimagining, half a century on, of Margaret Mead and others’ choice of the Vernal Equinox of 1969 as Earth Day*, but coupling it with the Autumn Equinox to make twinned biannual Earth Days. But equally, equinoxes are excellent prompts for clear, rational and logical thinking. Hence a post about this great book, published in 1930. Continue reading
Happy Summer Solstice (not summer equinox, as Justin Webb had it this morning on @BBCR4Today). The Swedes get the equinoxes and the solstices – as do all high latitude peoples, and today these ancient rocks will be hosting al fresco parties, for they are at the end of the island of Smögen, a popular and picturesque shrimping port – and party venue. Continue reading
” ..but, eternally having sunshine in equal nights and in equal days, the good receive a less toilsome life, not vexing the earth or the water of the sea with the strength of their hands to achieve a meagre sustenance; instead, in the presence of the honoured Gods, those who delighted in keeping their oaths pass a tearless existence…”*
Stephen Hawking is 75! Indomitable doesn’t come close to describing his life.
He became a research fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge shortly before I joined as an undergraduate. By then he had already outlived the prognosis of his first diagnosis, in 1963. This is a promo video of Caius choir’s birthday tribute; the full piece is here. I remember Continue reading
As it’s the Summer Solstice today I will end this post with a personal footnote, for I first met Michael Solomon Williams at the 1989 solstice in a magical performance of Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He was six, and the ‘fetched’ Humble Bee to my Bottom. So more of that anon… now Common and Kind – which is Michael’s #JoCox #moreincommon -inspired initiative, subtitled more in common in music. Continue reading