Counting on … day 374

10th November 2022

At COP27 it is Science Day plus a special focus on future generations – what kind of world are we preparing for them?

If we are called us to beat swords into plough shares,  

we are also called to turn military jobs into green ones.

If we seek to establish peace,

we must generously offer both love and practical gifts. 

If we shift from passive to active travel, from cars to cycles,

we shall need cycle paths and secure shelters.

If we replace petrol engines with electric motors, 

we must also turn petrol stations into recharging points.

If we swop meats for a vegan diet, 

we must also turn beef farms into arable farms,

sheep fells into woodlands,

dairies into nut fromageries.

If we switch to green electricity,

our pension funds must invest in renewable energy.

If we green our pensions, 

surely we will green our banks too.

Creator God, help us to see the changes we must make,

Give us the wisdom to support them, 

the energy to achieve them 

and the joy to celebrate them.

Amen.

The Green Tau: issue 4 & a half

Me and /or future generations?

How we solve a problem depends upon aims for the future: are we seeking a short term or a long term fix? The nature of democracies is that governments’ timescales limited to the time remaining until the next election. In the UK that time scale is now 3 1/2 years. In France the next presidential election is less than 12 months away. Governments want to be re-elected so opt for policies that will win the favour of their most important voters. It is not surprising that at the G7 Summit President Macron has shied away from banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the near future. The UK’s Department of the Environment released a press statement that “…all [G7] countries committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050…” but gave few details or commitments as to how that target is to be achieved. 

2050 is that beautiful place in the future when all things will be both green and rosey. But if we are to live in that future (or rather if our grandchildren are to live in that future) we need to tackle action now. Like the Covid virus, global temperatures increases and climate change will not hold back until we’re ready to tackle the problems. We need to be radically changing the way we generate energy now, the way we farm – now, the way we use energy to transport our selves and goods – now, the way we heat and/or cool our buildings – now, the way we consume – now! Otherwise our carbon emissions will continue to accelerate global warming and we will have no chance of keeping global temperature rises below 1.5C. 

There is a real conflict of interests between politicians with a five year view of the future and the rest of us  who see the future as somewhere to enjoy our old age and where our grandchildren will thrive. This is why it is important that we a) make all the changes we can in our own lifestyles, and b) campaign, sign petitions, write to our MPs and do we all we can to make climate change and carbon emission reductions the most important political issue of this Parliament. 

Hands Up! We’re all guilty protest: London October 2019