"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.

Saturday, 10 December 2011


It is in our gift to stop harming our planet.

There is now widespread scientific agreement on the parlous state of the environment, in spite of the cynics and skeptics who would love to believe that the earth will always be able to sustain the profligate Western lifestyle as it spreads across the whole world. Earth has finite resources and is groaning under the strain.
In any event, many of us are beginning to feel unease with the current materialist and consumerist culture of the West; we hold visions of a simpler, more satisfying and “better” way of life, more connected at a spiritual level with our fellow beings, with nature and the cosmos.

An Environment Agency survey in 2007 of 25 leading scientists and environmentalists asked them for their ideas on the 50 most important things that will save the planet. Some of the suggestions require input at organizational, national, governmental or global level. Some require clever science. But there are many ideas we can take on board individually or locally as a community, by changing the way we behave; and many of these will actually save us money. So here are the behavioural items, in order of priority:

· Power down, use less energy and say goodbye to standby. There are some very good inexpensive gadgets on the market to help here.
· Consider generating your own renewable energy using currently available schemes see http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy
· Fly less.
· Buy less, buy better. Buy secondhand not new, on need not greed. Support the charity shops.
· Use the local Freecycle scheme where possible to dispose of your unwanted stuff. http://uk.freecycle.org/
· Make your home as eco-friendly as possible with water and energy saving devices and adequate insulation.
· Stop seeing money as the one big indicator of success!
· Stop buying wood products from unsustainable sources.
· Support Fairtrade and fair-trade – think about where goods come from.
· Is your car journey really necessary?
· Grow your own.
· Ditch the decking and the patio heater.
· Think community – think local.
· Wake up to wildlife and biodiversity.
· Use pedal power or even “shanks’s pony” wherever possible.
· Know your own carbon footprint and reduce it! See tools at http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/ and http://www.decc.gov.uk
· Support stuff that lasts and can be repaired.
· Use the internet creatively – e.g. the U.S. led site http://www.treehugger.com/
· Shun unnecessary packaging whenever you shop.
· Wear more layers and cut down on heating bills.

The full list and the detail can all be found at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ (and search for “The 50 Things”).
High up on the full list at number 2, after “standby,” was the vital role that religious and faith leaders can collectively play. “Religious leaders need to make the planet their priority,” the report concludes: “The world’s faith groups have been silent for too long on the environment…” I agree wholeheartedly and I discuss at some length in my own book some of the faith initiatives that are already in hand. They need our support and prayer.

So let’s all work to reduce our carbon footprint. We need to tread more gently on our earth.

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