On 8 March 2014 the Climate Guardians (including Quit Coal activists) officially opened the Lorne Sculpture Biennale 2014 with a ‘Coal Requiem’ performance.
Coal Requiem by Liz Connor
Angels have an elevated vantage on the earth that can be likened to that of cosmologists. From the vaulted skies of our planet’s atmosphere this choir of Angels sends forth this warning drawing on the perspective of cosmologists and poets.
We call upon the people of Lorne to witness to this message from light years beyond: we inhabit “a minor planet of an average star, lost at the edge of an inconsiderable galaxy”, one among some 140 thousand million galaxies within our observable cosmic horizon. We recall this cosmic perspective, from up in “… this most excellent canopy … this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire.”
When the Voyager space probe sent images of the inner Solar System from beyond Neptune, this planet, our home, appeared as one pale blue pixel. At first a technician mistook it for a speck of dust and tried to brush it away. The late Carl Sagan saw this tiny fleck and he wrote of the planet earth as …..“a dust mote suspended in a sunbeam: on it everyone you love, every human being who ever has lived out their life, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilisation, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there, on this dust mote.” The cloud-and-sea embossed blue marble we know from near-Earth satellite images dwindles to this featureless pale blue dot when viewed even from Saturn.
It is easy to forget, swarming as we do on this over-crowded terra firma, that we live on a lonely planet in the vast, possibly lifeless firmament and there is nowhere else for us to go, nowhere else to take refuge from our self-inflicted travails. We have been cocooned in a ‘goldilocks’ atmosphere that has given and nurtured life throughout the ages. Yet in space time those millennia of evolution, that brought intelligent life into being only a few hundred thousand years ago, are but a ‘cosmic eye blink, an atomic flicker’ in deep time.
ClimActs is a political theatre troupe using spectacle and humour to draw attention to climate change. We formed in response to Government inaction on increasingly alarming findings by climate scientists that we are fast approaching a ‘tipping point’ after which we will not be able to avert catastrophic climate change. Our acts include the Climate Guardians, Coal Diggers, the Frackers’ Guild and the Flat Earth Institute.
Read about their current actions in Paris: