August 2019

 

Dear Friends,

The payback for the very high late July temperatures was a thunderstorm on a Biblical epic scale that made it sound as if the house roof was falling in! I was half wondering if I needed to get the hammer, nails and wood from the garage. We are enjoying the weather to a degree, but days of extreme heat does have an effect on us after a while and of course can be potentially harmful for some. Despite some sceptics, it is very difficult to ignore both the link with and the consequences of global warming creating extreme weather systems across the world. Whilst the Government’s commitment to zero carbon emissions by 2050 is commendable, in reality not only will it be a challenge to meet, but without a real commitment from nations across the world to drastically reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and to cease the reducing of rainforests to create farm land, our efforts in the UK are a drop in the ocean.

People may ask what possible difference I can make to the massive threat many people will face in the future facing the rise in temperatures, shortages of water and extinction of species. Every journey begins with a step and we are making that when we reduce, recycle and reuse; when we ask ourselves what is the consequence on others through my choices and subsequent actions and when we pray to God about the situations, fears and challenges we face concerning the environment and for those who can influence changes in behaviour at all levels.

I have been reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of the first human foot on the Moon and the real sense of world pride at the achievements of visiting another world and the hope that this would bring for International cooperation, peace and opportunity, not just for further exploration of the Solar system, but for eradicating the injustices and conditions condemning people to lives of poverty, treatable diseases etc. Fifty years on we can see how the Moon Landing stimulated the growth of technological advances, but little has changed it feels in terms of giving greater opportunity, without damaging the environment, to people on earth.

There is still hope of further exploration of the Moon and other planets and even putting colonies in space, but before we export our ability to both enhance, yet potentially damage other worlds, I would rather see money, energy, intellect and will being put into reversing the damage we are doing to our own planet and working for a just, fair and tolerant world. We are being warned that if we are to reverse and prevent further damage, we only have a small window of time in which to do this and if we look at the response of the large Industrial Nations, there appears to be little appetite to do anything that change the status quo. We owe it to our children, our grand and greatgrandchildren to take seriously the challenges and necessary actions we face for past and present behaviours and my prayer is that we will put the necessary pressure on those who can respond to our concerns and that they may respond before it is too late and the earth does not become a desert.

Canon Tony