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Johnian magazine issue 45

Editor’s note

Written by Hannah Sharples (2011)

1 min read

The future is always uncertain, despite our best predictions. I intended to write this introduction about the changing nature of the world’s climate and the measures we can all take to protect the environment. This topic is, of course, still very pertinent and important, but it would be remiss of me not to also mention the recent changes brought about by COVID-19 and the uncertainty many of us now feel from day to week to month.

I encourage you to check your emails and the alumni website for updates as the College continues to reassess its work and events in light of the pandemic. It is advisable to defer to the experts and be kind to one another, and it is my sincere hope that you all stay safe and resilient through the days, weeks and months ahead.

In times like these, when it is all too easy to focus on the short-term, it is vital that we do not turn away from long-term goals. In 2019 the UK government announced its target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and in this magazine experts from academia and business explain the effect climate change is having on our planet and share practical strategies to counter this.

Professor of Glaciology Pete Nienow dives into the icy waters of melting glaciers and the science behind their shrinking, and John Mounsey and Dick Thompson, who remember surveying a now vanished glacier in Iceland, support Pete’s article with their anecdotal evidence. On later pages you can discover the College’s approach as summarised by Emeritus Professor Jane Heal; listen your way through Ivan Guevara’s music journey; and hear from appropriately named Laura Plant and Olivia Green on measuring environmental impact and what changes we can make individually.

I hope these articles encourage critical thinking about the planet’s ecological emergency and that this magazine proves good reading material for those of you stuck at home.

PS Please email me your thoughts on the magazine and head over to our news page to read more alumni stories and experiences.

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Hannah is the Alumni Relations Officer (Publications) at St John’s. Overseer of the alumni blog and Editor of Johnian magazine and The Eagle, she commissions, writes and edits articles from and for Johnians. Previously, she worked for Clare College and the Cambridge Schools Classics Project, and she holds an MA in Classics from the University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall).

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