Posts

The Jury is not out

 In a world where large corporations make millions with products that damage the environment, it is difficult to find a way to protest that will make the corporate leaders pay sufficient attention  to change their behaviour. Damaging property is not something that the church supports, but we can understand the frustration that leads concerned people to take unusual actions in order to bring attention to the problem.  The Guardian reported on the trial of a set of Extinction Rebellion protesters who: "...deliberately sprayed graffiti or smashed windows of the Shell building in Belvedere Road, central London, on 15 April 2019." One of the protesters, "quoted Sir David Attenborough and former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his evidence."  "He said: “I believe if I don’t do whatever I can to protect our Earth, to protect life on this Earth, to stop the death and injury that is and will be happening, I’m committing a crime, a really serious crime, and I’

A Diet for the Planet

 The food we eat has an effect on the planet. Meat tends to have the highest impact, as a table from the website Greeneatz.com shows. Lamb (to my surprise) comes in highest with beef not far behind. Even  cheese is fairly high, but of course it comes primarily from cow's milk.    Rank Food CO2 Kilos Equivalent Car Miles  Equivalent 1 Lamb 39.2 91 2 Beef 27.0 63 3 Cheese 13.5 31 4 Pork 12.1 28 5 Turkey 10.9 25 6 Chicken 6.9 16 7 Tuna 6.1 14 8 Eggs 4.8 11 Vegetables are the most planet-friendly food, and anyone who has spent time in India knows how excellent vegetarian food can be. Fake meat is increasingly available in stores and restaurants, though the additives may make some consumers wary (I am).  Top chefs take an increasing interest in vegetarian food. The Guardian (9 April 2021) published an article recently about  Ángel León who has taken an interest in the "tiny green grains clinging to the base of the eelgrass." The grain turned out to be good:  "León put t

Preserving Bees (and other insects)

 Bees are not merely important for the honey they produce, but for pollination, which matters for crops as well as for gardens. We have known for a long time about the effect of pesticides, The good news is that the amount of pesticides is decreasing. The bad news is that the problem has grown worse, not better. Damian Carrington writes in the Guardian (1 April 2021): "Modern pesticides have much lower toxicity to people, wild mammals and birds and are applied in lower amounts, but they are even more toxic to invertebrates. The study shows the higher toxicity outweighs the lower volumes, leading to a more deadly overall impact on pollinators and waterborne insects such as dragonflies and mayflies." ( SOURCE ) The data comes from a US study from 1992 to 2016. Fewer insects can affect other animals that feed on them. The Eco Committee at St. George's is planning an insect hotel in the garden as one very small step toward helping the insect population.  

Christopher Jage-Bowler's sermon addresses the meaning of Lent in the world today.

 Christopher Jage-Bowler has kindly given permission for his sermon from last Sunday (Lent 1) to be posted here. I specifically requested this sermon, because it emphasizes one of the themes of this blog, which is that simple everyday acts in our lives affect the environment and thus God's creation. As he says: "...giving up chocolate or beer or wine for Lent is rather small fry." We face larger challenges, not just during Lent but afterwards as well. Sermon 21/02/2021 Lent 1 Genesis 9. 8 – 17; 1 Peter 3. 18 – 22; Mark 1. 9 - 15   Jesus said: “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly”.  Lent 2021! It feels a bit like we began Lent before Christmas – with the lockdown, the “great shut down”. We have been giving up all sorts of things on and off for a year now. Is this now second lap Lent?  The church’s call to mark the 40 days before Easter has, in recent years, fallen on deaf ears. The idea of intentionally doing without, entering into the discip

Message from the Diocese

 We have received several messages from the Diocese about ecological issues. One is from our Bishops The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes and The Right Reverend Dr. David Hamid, and it warns:   "Much human activity, in its sometimes careless domination of God’s gift of creation, produces carbon dioxide (among other greenhouse gasses) as a by-product. The science tells us that, unless we manage to reduce these emissions, there will be an irreversible consequence:   the temperature rise in our planet’s atmosphere will have very serious effects on all life, human or otherwise."  A second message offers a list of suggestions aimed in particular at church  buildings. These include obvious actions such as maintaining the roof and the gutters, and looking for greener ways to provide heat in the building. Insulation is, of course, one of the recommendations.  They also suggest considering whether to very the times for services to adjust them seasonally, for example meeting in the afte

Environmental Performance Index

A goal of this blog is to highlight reliable information about the environment. Yale University has offers a report on " Global metrics for the environment: Ranking country performance on sustainability issues " that includes country by country rankings. In a section called "About the EPI" [Environmental Performance Index] the authors explains the basis for the ranking:  "The 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. Using 32 performance indicators across 11 issue categories, the EPI ranks 180 countries on environmental health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy targets." ( SOURCE ) One of the features of the EPI is a " Living Atlas " that shows scores by country. The United Kingdom is ranked number 4 in this report, France 5, Germany 10, and the United States 24. 

Record Ocean Heat in 2020

 The planet is in hot water. The Guardian has published an article called "Climate crisis: record ocean heat in 2020 supercharged extreme weather" that makes the point that the oceans have reached their hottest level in recorded history, with consequences for rainfall and the rise of sea levels. Here is a LINK to the article.