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Eco ChurcH

Eco Blog by Chris Marshall (Member of our church)

Eco thoughts for May

In a world that seems more divided than ever, and where our attention is focussed on those caught up in war and civil unrest, or managing daily financial difficulties here at home, how can we focus on living more sustainable lifestyles?  Our governments have put environment policies way down their priorities list and even climbed down on essential climate targets; and as I write this the Scottish government has just scrapped its commitment to cut emissions by 75% by 2030, causing a major rift with the Scottish Green Party.

We all appreciate that the economy is under immense pressure and there is just not enough money to tackle all the issues that we see as essential but the longer environmental damage persists the more costly it will be in the future. In countries, like ours, where supermarkets are open 24/7 or we can order virtually anything on line any time we chose, people have lost the sense that our lives are so intricately interconnected with nature.

Last week the United Arab Emirates faced the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in a desert nation. Pictures showed planes trying to taxi through flood water whilst people waded through oil-slicked floods to reach cars they had earlier abandoned. Paragraph after paragraph told of the inconvenience to travellers at Dubai airport suffering delayed flights, with tourist having to survive on duty free goods, and being squashed in like animals, and quoted as saying ‘it’s dangerous and inhumane’. There was no appreciation or understanding that staff or suppliers had been unable to get to the airport to do their jobs, nor any compassion for the locals whose homes and businesses had been destroyed in a matter of hours! And it was only after scrolling down the article that there was one sentence that reported a 70 year old man died after his vehicle was swept away by strong currents, whilst in Oman 10 school children died when their school bus was swamped by flood water!

Torrential rain also fell in China but this time devasting vast areas of rice fields, destroying crops and causing extreme hardship for thousands of families who rely on this food and source of income, but this had far less media coverage. For most of us the floods in UAE will have little impact as it will not affect us directly, but the loss of the rice crop will, by pushing up retail prices for us here. In other parts of the world widespread drought has also led to the failure of other crops meaning the cost of flour, cereals, chocolate and other foods will all increase putting further strain on our already stretched finances. It is a global economic reality with immense implications to health and welfare of millions of people across the world.

I was interested to read last week about a GP who was facing being struck off by the British Medical Council for being involved with the Just Stop Oil Protests, her crime; peacefully holding a sign saying no to new oil. As a doctor her fundamental duty is to protect health and life. She was quoted by the BBC as saying ‘the climate crisis is the most significant existential threat to global health we have ever faced. This is why I felt compelled to address what I see as the most critical health crisis currently unfolding- one that is already causing widespread death, disease and destruction globally and is set to worsen.’ and she is not the only doctor facing charges for trying to get that message across.

So, what can we do in the face of issues of such magnitude? We are not all called to stand outside Parliament with placards or put our jobs on the line but we can all continue to do our bit because lots of little bits do really add up. So, if you have a garden with grass join in the no mow let it grow ethos for the month of May. I’ve already seen butterflies, bees and other insects landing on the flowering dandelions and daisies so let’s give nature a bit of respite and allow it to attract and pollinate plants and flowers. Apologies to all you hay fever sufferers, but as with most things in life we tend to focus on how something affects us as an individual; sometimes we need to focus on the bigger picture without being overwhelmed.

Eco Church - An A Rocha UK Project

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