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Eco ChurcH

Eco Blog by Chris Marshall (Member of our church)

Thousands of years ago humans were nomadic; they were hunter gatherers, they learnt to live with the seasons, and the weather patterns; they ate whatever food was available and followed the seasonal migration routes of the large mammals. After the last Ice Age, once the climate was more stable, people became farmers. They settled in fertile areas and grew crops. They became sedentary groups and the concept of land ownership and estates was established; and inevitably defence and conflict over the land soon followed. The settling of these communities became the biggest social change that ever affected our species and disputes over fertile land is still highly contested today.

With our modern day living we have lost the ability to work with the land and the seasons. With our desire for food and products all year round, high intensity farming and the habitat loss required to satisfy our desires, has had a huge impact on our natural world. Huge swathes of forests have been cut down and flood plains have been drained to make way for farm land without understanding the importance they play in a balanced eco system. Vast polytunnels use thousands of litres of water every hour and have a constant light and heat source so we can have unseasonal foods regardless of the time of year.

In Napal traditional goats herdsmen have maintained the tradition of farming stretching back for millennia. Now warming weather is affecting the high altitude grasslands, and cheap imports of cashmere wool from China is making it almost impossible for them to continue their way of life and the younger generation are moving away to the cities leaving their culture behind and an elderly population who are getting too old to work. One herdsman who was interviewed about climate change said “we don’t know about the science that you talk about, here we just know that there has been a drastic change in the weather patterns”.  With the loss of this culture comes also the loss of those who know, respect and work with the lands and seasons.

Unfortunately, this is happening more and more across the globe, poor understanding of ecosystems has left vast swathes of land infertile or desert like making it inhospitable for plants, animals and therefore humans, pushing pressures and the consequences elsewhere. It is now the younger generation who are taking up the mantle for change and wanting to make their voices heard.

A survey of 1,000 children in the UK aged 6-11 found that 93% of these youngsters are worried about environmental issues with over half voicing their concerns to their parents. They shared their top concerns which included climate change, species extinction, and plastic pollution in the oceans, and 86% of parents were left stumped on how to answer their questions.

And therein lies our problem – How do we start to tackle these issues effectively when we don’t know what to do? Should our cars all be electric, should we all change to heat pumps, can we eat meat, what beauty products should I get, why can’t we recycle more rubbish in the New Forest, so many questions with no single answer.

So, I hope we will be able to hold some events at Trinity Church to highlight issues of concern and invite specialists to come and talk to us or show us alternatives and would encourage you to let us know what answers do you want and we will try to get the information somehow.

We can’t change the world by ourselves but we can all make a difference. So let’s talk about what we can do, and perhaps we can take a small step just by purchasing more seasonal produce this month.

Eco Church - An A Rocha UK Project

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