Category Archives: Climate Change

Protect. Restore. Fund.

At this time of Creationtide, and on this day when hundreds of thousands are striking around the globe and taking time to protest about the way we are trashing God’s Creation, let us all take time to think about our part in defending #naturenow.

Here is a video by the amazing Greta Thunberg and the pretty amazing George Monbiot!

PRESS RELEASE: The Time is Now, not 2045!

Press release from Green Christians 9 June 2019

Aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions after 2025 is ‘complicit in violence’, warns Green Christian.

The charity finds the deadline of 2045 promoted by the Climate Coalition for the Mass Lobby of Parliament on 26 June 2019 ‘troubling’. Green Christian argues that in continuing to feed climate breakdown for so long the UK would cross a ‘moral threshold’ and hold future generations to ransom. They call for courageous political leadership at a time when public demand for action on the crisis is surging.

In its statement published today, Green Christian say that the disruption to the UK of aiming for net zero by 2025 will pale beside the violence to poorer nations and today’s children which is implicit in delaying it to 2045, let alone 2050. The charity says the UK has ‘no right to slough off this responsibility, and the vicious consequences of doing so, on those who have no voice and no power’.

In May 2019 the independent Climate Change Committee advised the government that it was ‘feasible’ that the UK could stop its contribution to global warming by 2050. The Climate Coalition, which is led by larger charities and civil society organisations, has shown that it can be done by 2045. The Coalitionencourages the public to lobby MPs to enshrine this deadline in law, to be brought forward ‘if the science demands swifter action’.

Green Christian argues that it is political choice, rather than scientific evidence, that determines what is ‘feasible’. Since the actions of Extinction Rebellion over the Easter period this year, there has been an upsurge in public concern on climate change, and a declaration of ‘environment and climate emergency ’ in Parliament*(See note 2). The charity argues that the mandate exists for immediate, focused, co-ordinated and equitable action across society, on a scale last mobilised in World War II.

Chair of Green Christian, Paul Bodenham, said, ‘Scientists have been warning about global warming since the 1980s. Now it’s too late to avoid making sacrificial, disruptive choices. A 2045 deadline for net-zero, let alone 2050, should trouble everyone’s conscience. With every year we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, more lives will be lost and the risk grows of catastrophic breakdown. 

‘If the UK is serious about international leadership we must acknowledge the debt our country owes to poorer nations and to the young and unborn. The profound insecurity they now face is mainly due to the privilege, power and indifference of today’s industrialised societies, of which the UK has the longest history of all’.  

In its guidance for the Mass Lobby Green Christian advises its members to ensure MPs understand the risks of the Paris Agreement failing to limit warming to 1.5C, and ask the government to ‘identify national pathways to achieve net-zero emissions in 2025’.

Ends

Notes:

  1. Green Christian called for churches to declare a climate emergency on 29 April 2019.  Further advice for members of denominations and representatives on governing bodies is available atwww.greenchristian.org.uk/emergency.
  2. The phrase “a declaration of ‘environment and climate emergency’ in Parliament” has now been substituted for the phrase used on 9 June in the first edition of this press release, “a declaration of ‘climate and ecological emergency’ in Parliament”.
  3. Green Christian was formed in 1981 to share green insights with Christians, and Christian insights with the green movement. The charity produces resources, campaigns and events to help people relate environmental issues with their faith, and integrate environmental action into their mission.www.greenchristian.org.uk

Act on divestment

The West Yorkshire Local Government Pension Fund  (WYPF) is fuelling the climate crisis by investing over £900 million in fossil fuel companies.

All Hallows’ Church has committed to ending its own investment in fossil fuel companies and is calling on the WYPF to do the same.

You can add your voice to the Fossil Free West Yorkshire campaign by asking your councillors to support it. Find your councillors’ contact details using https://www.writetothem.com/ – then simply use the sample text below to send them an email.  Personalise your message by starting with a few lines about why climate action is important to you.

Want to take more action? Visit the Fossil Free West Yorkshire Campaign website. Or read more about the global fossil fuel divestment movement here.

Template email to councillors about fossil fuel divestment

Dear Cllr ………………

As a constituent, I want to express my concern about our council’s investments. Leeds councils, through the  West Yorkshire Pension Fund, is investing over £900 million in fossil fuel and fracking companies. These investments are driving climate change and air pollution and putting our future in danger.

My church has committed to ending all investment in fossil fuels and are congregation are very anxious for the West Yorkshire Pension Fund to do likewise. We made a short 4 minute film about why ending fossil fuel investment is important to us; you can watch it at https://bit.ly/divestAH.

As my councillor, I’m asking you to support efforts to stop the West Yorkshire Pension Fund investing in fossil fuel companies. You can do this by signing the Fossil Free West Yorkshire Pledge at https://fossilfreewypf.wordpress.com/take-action/fossil-free-pledge-forpolitician-and-political-candidates/.

To prevent catastrophic climate change, fossil fuel companies would have to keep over 80% of proven gas, oil and coal reserves in the ground. Despite this, they continue to explore for even more fossil fuel reserves. Climate change aside, ending fossil fuel investment  is important to protect our pensions from financial losses. Fossil fuel investments will soon drop in value as the low carbon transition gathers pace. They are already dragging down investment returns so it makes no sense to remain invested in this risky industry. There are better alternatives available. This briefing document for councillors discusses the case for fossil fuel divestment in more detail.

I really hope you can support much needed climate action by signing the pledge linked above. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Breaking News – All Hallows’ divests from fossil fuels

Today we announced that All Hallows is ending all it’s investment in fossil fuels.

Here is a video explaining how it happened:

And here is our press release:

Leeds Youth Strike 4 Climate Protest

Yesterday pupils and students from All Hallows joined the Leeds Youth Strike 4 Climate protest in the centre of Leeds. Catherine, Charlie and I went along to support them. I estimated at least 2000 young people from babies through to university students plus some slightly older folk like me! The protest was very well organised and peaceful, the young people had been very creative with their banners – there were some very amusing but pointed messages – and they were in fine voice. I thought their message was very clear – we, the older generation who run this world have really screwed the climate up, threatening their future and something needs to be done about it NOW! It’s a shame that the news media weren’t listening properly, so much of their reporting seemed to be about pupils missing lessons, whether it was safe for them to be out protesting or that they were protesting about air pollution in Leeds.

Just to clarify, the students are demanding the following:

  1. The Government declare a climate emergency and prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice.
  2. The national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority.
  3. The Government communicate the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now to the general public.
  4. The Government recognise that young people have the biggest stake in our future, by incorporating youth views into policy making and bringing the voting age down to 16.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A confession for Lent (and the rest of the year!)

The Joy in Enough Confession

Our climate is changing, and we are changing it. We confess our carbon footprints, our failure to consider the consequences of our actions, our slowness to react. We are sorry for all the times we knew the right thing to do, but chose convenience.

Your earth is exploited, and we are complicit in its exploitation. Species are lost, soil erodes, fish stocks decline, resources dwindle. We confess that many of us have taken too much, and not considered the needs of future generations.

We have become consumers. We have turned a blind eye to greed. We confess our hunger for more, and our failure to appreciate what we already have. We live in a time of unparalleled luxury, and we are sorry that we have not been more grateful.

The poor are left behind, even in this age of plenty. Human rights are pushed aside for profit. Wealth accumulates for the rich while the poorest still do not have what they need. We confess our apathy to injustice, and our haste in judging others.

This is not who you made us to be. We have not been good caretakers of your garden Earth. We have not loved our neighbours. Forgive us, creator God.

Forgive us. Renew us. Inspire us.

And in your strength, God, we declare:

  • Enough climate change: help us to take responsibility. Give us the wisdom to live appropriately, the urgency to act, and the courage to make changes. Give us the voice to call for change from our leaders, and the perseverance to keep asking.
  • Enough consumerism: give us what we need, God our provider. Then help us to find satisfaction and contentment. Help us to be grateful and generous.
  • Enough inequality: nobody should be left behind. You care for the poor, and we want to follow your example. Make your church a living example of equity and inclusion, and a powerful advocate for justice and sharing.

We thank you for your kindness and your mercy. We look to your promise of restoration, and we move forward. Give us the strength to speak and to act – not out of guilt or duty, for we are forgiven and we are loved. Instead, we speak and act out of joy:

  • joy in the living hope of knowing you
  • joy in serving each other
  • joy in the beauty and diversity of creation, your gift to us
  • joy in your provision and your care – joy in enough

A prophet of our time?

Can we tackle Climate Change?

Today, the world’s leading panel of climate change experts released its latest report  and it doesn’t make for cheerful reading.

The report lays bare how crucial it is that we keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. If we don’t stop burning coal, oil and gas, the damage to wildlife, ecosystems, and vulnerable communities around the globe will be almost unimaginable.

We have just come to the end of Creationtide in the church calendar, a time when we focus on God’s Creation – something that we are part of – and how we are called to care for it.

So, in the light of this report, what are we going to do?

In the next few months we will be looking at ways in which we as individuals, as a church and as a nation can act in order to change our destructive ways. It won’t be easy but we have to find a way!

Do join with us in our discussions and in supporting each other in our journey towards being a regenerative rather than destructive people.

Creator God,
You have called us to be keepers of your Earth;
Through greed, we have established an economy that destroys the web of life. We have changed our climate and drown in despair.
Let oceans of justice flow,
May we learn to sustain and renew the life of our Mother, Earth
We pray for our leaders, custodians of Mother Earth;
May they negotiate with wisdom and fairness,
May they act with compassion and courage,
and lead us in the path of justice for the sake of our children and our children’s children.
Amen

Everything is connected

We are delighted to welcome Peterson Toscano and Ruth Wilde to All Hallows’ on Friday 28th September at 8:30pm and for a follow up “Dig Deeper” workshop on Saturday 29th September at 10:30am to 12:30

Everything is Connected: A lively discussion about identity, justice, and peace

Pull just one strand in our world and see how deeply it is connected to many others. In this entertaining and insightful presentation, Ruth Wilde and Peterson Toscano join forces to reveal strange and often unseen connections in the world. Drawing on ancient stories, comedy, and insights from their travels, they weave together a tapestry that covers identity, LGBTQ issues, climate change, justice, peace, and much much more.

After spending 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to de-gay himself through gay conversion therapy, Peterson Toscano came to his senses and came out as an American quirky queer Quaker concerned with human rights and comedy. He asks himself and his audiences unusual and stimulating questions: Who are the gender outlaws in the Bible? What is a queer response to climate change? and How can comedy help us better understand our most tragic losses? A Bible scholar, a comic, and public speaker, Peterson is on a mission to connect with his audiences in deeply personal ways stirring up hope and purpose in a rapidly changing world.

Ruth is the UK Outreach Worker for Christian Peacemaker Teams. She also works as National Coordinator for Inclusive Church, so she understands how oppressions can intersect, and how climate change is ‘sexist, racist and classist’. Ruth has known about the oppression of / racism against indigenous peoples since she went on a CPT delegation to Grassy Narrows First Nation, Ontario, Canada in 2011. Now she sees clearly that climate change is also ‘racist’ against indigenous peoples and she thinks this is painfully ironic because they are often the humans who live the most sustainably and most in harmony with the earth. This makes her more determined than ever to educate and speak out about what is happening to indigenous peoples around the world!

In addition, Peterson and Ruth will also be leading a Dig Deeper workshop on Saturday 29th April at All Hallows. Ruth Wilde and Peterson Toscano stir up lots of discussion in their lively presentations. In order to deepen the experience and help communities figure out their next steps, they offer a facilitated discussion that includes small and large group activities designed to dig deeper into the issues raised during their presentation. Come to share your insights and to engage in others in conversation about making the world a better place for all.

Climate Change Picnic

Click here for more information about the Climate Change Picnic