Climate and Ecological Crisis - What’s all the fuss about?

From 31 October to 13th November the COP26 summit will take place in Glasgow. World leaders will gather to accelerate the action towards the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.

Excessive amounts of gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are building up in our atmosphere causing a catastrophic greenhouse effect. It is heating up the earth at accelerating rates. These gases are mainly caused by the human activities of: 

Because of lack of action we need a miracle to stay below an average increase in temperature of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This is essential to reduce the most severe impacts of climate change. Already the average global level has increased 1.1°C. Between 2021 and 2030, global fossil fuel production needs to decrease year-on-year to limit global warming to 1.5°C. However, the UN Environment Programme has found governments’ plans and projections indicate an average of 2% annual increase for coal, oil and gas.

We are losing biodiversity in nature and the seas are becoming acidic because of their warming caused by extra carbon dioxide. Any loss in the animal kingdom causes a domino effect amongst other species including ourselves as I am sure you have seen reports of in recent David Attenborough TV programs. Furthermore, 400 billion tons of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions melts each year and is added to the oceans causing their levels to rise and slowing currents

As you can see, we are not on a good path for continuing to sustain all aspects of life. This is also a poverty issue because climate crisis is already wrecking the lives of millions of people. Those who did the least to cause the problem are the worst effected. The frequency of extreme weather conditions such as floods, droughts, cyclones, heatwaves and wildfires are increasing to unprecedented levels. People in poorer countries are at least four times more likely to be effected by extreme weather conditions than those in rich countries We all have a part to play – and we must act now. Some actions most of us can participate in individually are:

Although we are the problem, we can also be the solution

As Christians we are called by God to be ‘good stewards’ of His creation. There is a helpful bible study available by  the internationally renowned Christian climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe on the Tear Fund website (link below) to help us change our way of thinking about our relationship with the rest of creation. 

“Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”

~ Genesis 2:15

Saltash Baptist is establishing a small ‘Creation Care’ team to assist us in becoming an Eco Church. We will be using the resources provided by Rocha UK to help us ‘go green’ and take part in the challenge to demonstrate that we care for God’s earth. In the coming months there will be an increasing amount of references to this initiative in our worship services.

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