"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Creation in Crisis; Christian Perspectives on Sustainability Part Two

I took this book to bed again last night and made significant inroads into its depths. It is so good, that today I have read much more of it and will be posting a review on Amazon soon.
Christian or not, we really do need to heed its message. After all, one argument often used by atheists against the need for religion is that there is no need of a faith or a God for them to have their own strong morals and ethics. We can, they say, be good without God.
OK, so the actions urged in this book have very strong ethical and moral support, albeit from Christian teachings. Any "good" atheist true to his own beliefs should also therefore find himself unable to ignore the reasoning in this book, founded very much on the scale of human suffering that will result from man's past actions exacerbated by the extent of any future inaction.

Sir John Houghton is currently Honorary Scientist of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research at the UK Meteorological Office, but his experience and qualifications as an eminent scientist over 40 years are immense. He of all scientists will most certainly know what he is talking about. He is also one of those many scientists, eminent and otherwise, who contrary to a common misperception, also feel able to have a faith, a religion. He is a Christian. And his own chapter in Creation in Crisis, Sustainable Climate and the Future of Energy, makes frightening reading indeed.

This is just a small snatch of part of his message for the climate change cynics:
"...it is only during the past century that increases in human population and the development of large-scale industry have begun to have widespread and severe effects on our climate...The change we are experiencing and which is rapidly growing is ...unsustainable because its impacts are largely adverse and will negatively affect our children and subsequent generations, many human communities (especially the poor and disadvantaged) and many ecosystems, which will experience great losses of species and biodiversity."
What adverse phenomena can we expect? The most worrying aspect is the projected rise in climate change refugees, displaced by a combination of flooding of their homelands, and extreme droughts, which will be longer and more severe as we advance into this century. A cautious estimate predicts that by 2050 there will be more than 150 million refugees, human tragedy on a vast scale. Where do they all go? How does the earth cope?
And no assessment on any other scientific topic, he assures us, has been so thoroughly researched and reviewed as the results of the IPCC's assessments and related reports.
Creation in Crisis reinforces the serious of climate change, looks in detail at all the causes, points to the possible solutions, and all within a Christian perspective. The overriding message is very clear. We have to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we have to act urgently. We also have to adapt to changes already happening, and unavoidable. We need to work on improved water defences, land management, water management, crop management, all to counter soil erosion, flooding, drought and heat. And we need a global cooperation. We also need the determination of us all, as encouraged and incentivised by governments. We need to work much more on energy efficiency, on developing non fossil fuels, on carbon capture and storage, and we need to act with a sense of urgency, akin to the mobilisation for war seen in 1941 by Roosevelt's government, or the British rally seen a couple of years earlier at the onset of World War Two.
Most of all, the book in its many and varied essays, emphasises the high level commitment and behavioural adaptations needed by you and I, now. For this to happen we have to really and truly understand, in our hearts and minds, that human well-being does NOT grow with economic growth, with consumerism and with excessive material comfort. This understanding MUST be promoted by the advertising industry and by those who guide and direct the economies of the nations.
There is so much good scientific fact, straight common sense and well reasoned ideas in this book. It is the very best from the finest scientific and theological minds. I can only say if you care at all about the future of this planet, about the future of your children and grandchildren, about the whole of humanity, (and ethically that must include us all) this book must be read; not only read, but recommended to others, and acted upon by all of us even if only in some small way, to start our own Ripple of Hope.
The photos by the way are off the book cover and attributed to Shutterstock. The refugees are crossing from DR Congo to Uganda. The car speaks for itself.

Here is a photo I took in the Nun's Valley in Madeira at the time of the Chestnut Festival held every November. This weather was exceptional for the area. The locals did not appear to have seen anything quite like it before. Clearly this was a part of the exceptional weather patterns resulting from climate change as predicted by the science and described by John Laughton.

No comments:

It's Time you knew - by Transition Rachel at YouTube

Many reasons to love La Gomera



with vapor trails


Total Pageviews