- As Christians we see the problem as a spiritual and moral issue, as well as a scientific, economic and political one. We see our world attributable to God, the source and the one and only initiator of the universe, through whom all things came into existence. And in the poetic words of the book of Genesis, God saw that it was good. We therefore have a responsibility to care for our world. In addition, Jesus came to teach us how to live in relationship with each other; that we need to love our neighbour as ourselves. Therefore, again, we need to take others into consideration in everything that we do. We cannot pursue our own individual or corporate self-interest without taking into consideration the detrimental consequences of our actions or the effect on other people, either here or in the rest of the world.
- We see the current climate change crisis as the most urgent moral issue of the day.
- We accept that the climate is changing and, although it always has varied, it is now changing at an unprecedented, alarming rate, so much so that the existence of the human race on the planet is threatened.
- We also accept that the scientific evidence provided primarily by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who state that, with 95% certainty, this escalating change is caused by human activity producing increased levels of ‘greenhouse gases’, particularly carbon dioxide and methane, produced by the use of fossil fuels and extensive rearing of cattle respectively.
- Evidence of this includes, for example, rising sea levels, shrinking ice sheets, declining arctic sea ice, glacial retreat, extreme weather events, ocean acidification, decreased snow cover (source: NASA)
- We recognise that people around the world, mainly in poorer countries, are already experiencing, for example:
- Changes in seasonal weather patterns.
- Acidification of seawater and depleted fishing grounds.
- Flooding due to both increased glacial melt water and extreme weather.
- More frequent and more severe extreme weather events such as hurricanes.
- Rising sea levels.
- The displacement of peoples.
- The effects of pollution.
- Destructive mining and energy extraction.
A more detailed summary of a Christian perspective can be read in the Columban’s Statement on Climate Change here.
For scientific evidence, the definitive website is that of the IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [www.ipcc.ch]
We therefore strongly recommend that we can:
- Participate in any current campaign, such as CAFOD’s ‘One Climate, One World‘ [www.cafod.org.uk/Campaign/One-Climate-One-World] and that of the Climate Coalition [www.theclimatecoalition.org]
- Change our own lifestyle by making active choices that have less impact on the climate, e.g. by driving less, driving a smaller or eco-friendly car, using solar energy, offsetting carbon when it is necessary to fly, etc.
- Encourage our Parishes to adopt energy conservation measures, e.g. by becoming a LiveSimply Parish
- Actively urge our politicians to ‘work with all possible commitment and speed toward fair, ambitious, accountable and binding climate change agreements at national and international level’ (quote from: Anglican Communion Environmental Network)
- Promote a reading and understanding of Pope Francis’ latest encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’ on the care for our common home, which can be downloaded from our here.