Creationtide came to an end this week and Climate Week runs from October 8th to Sunday 16th. The link between the two is easily made. If we are to respect God’s creation then climate change and all it entails must be must be uppermost in our minds.
But ‘creation’ doesn’t just mean the natural world, or if does then we are part of it! We are created beings with a responsibility to all creatures and created things, be they sentient or not, and it is probably not too odd to start with our responsibility to ourselves. How many of us take care of our own wellbeing with as much diligence and concern as we do for our cars, pets or gardens? If God created us to enjoy and be actively concerned for the world, we’d better start by making sure we’re not running to fat and putting extra stress on our hearts: otherwise what use will that be to God?
Then when we look around us we will see a beautiful created world which also needs restraint, extra care and compassion. What use would be a world which is also over-stressed and liable to collapse? Which is true at the local, the national and the global level, none of which can be taken for granted. Small steps as well as grand gestures and serious change in political priorities will be required if we are to change direction as a 21st century world with 20th century habits. As the Bishop of Salisbury has memorably said, There is no Planet B!
We’ve all heard of the Paris agreement – which, thank God, was ratified this week by enough ‘Parties to the Convention’ for it to come into force on November 4th. And there were important steps forward in Montreal this week on emissions from international aviation. In Witney this month we will elect a new MP: how aware of environmental issues will he or she be? Some of us were at Kencot Solar Farm this week for a photo opportunity organised by Christian Aid to try and influence our new representative at Westminster.
But our own daily actions all make a difference, to us as well as to the air that our neighbour breathes, and cumulatively to the world we share with our international neighbours near and far, as well as to our own generation and the next and the next. Could we possibly consume less, use less fuel, throw less away? Could we do more to influence the world around us, the people and politicians, and the atmosphere we all share? You can read about ‘carbon offsetting’ on local firm Climate Care’s website which also gives tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.
8th October 2016