Looking back 20-odd years ago to the late 1990s, there was a different world. Climate Change had been heard of, but was still controversial; recycling may have happened, but I’m not aware that country wide house to house collections were happening in the way they are now. Mobile phones were around, smart phones definitely not. Computers and the internet were, although not, I think, quite as common as now, and certainly very different. Nobody particularly worried about how often they used their petrol/ diesel vehicle, and there were many Swallows to be seen around Ditchingham, with a request to keep the Music Room door closed, as they nested under the doorway.
By the time we left, that notice was unnecessary; Swallows had seen a major decrease in numbers, notable even to non-bird watchers. Most people had a smart phone, and even I had joined WhatsApp, Computers were often mobile, with laptops and iPads becoming more common, and we not only had a Website, but also Social Media accounts. Recycling was just something you did, separating the rubbish a habit.
Moreover, Climate Change has now become an accepted fact, the impact visible even in the UK, to say nothing of more vulnerable areas. Has anyone else noticed that our summers are becoming hotter, or is it just me? We don’t seem to have the gently warm summer days we used to; we are also seeing much heavier rainfall at times, I think. Wildfires and floods are becoming common in other places. These are only the effects I have picked up through the news; I haven’t done any research into what the Science is currently saying, other than what I have picked up though the recent news.
All this is saying is that we need to do something. Yet what? There may be lifestyle changes I could make, indeed I am pondering one or two, but mostly I am doing everything I can do. One hears the message that we need to stop this, yet I feel powerless to do anything about it. I cannot stop Climate Change; I cannot reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. What I can do, what I am doing, does make a difference, I know, especially when taken with other people’s actions. Yet the only action that will eventually make a real difference is worldwide action by governments and multinationals. That is something I feel powerless over. There may be protests to join, or letters written to government; there are some suggestions on the Christian Aid website, including a letter to write to your MP.
This may feel fairly minor, yet all we can do is minor. Minor actions joined together may contribute to wider effects. We cannot force those at COP26 [the international climate change conference in November] to take any practical action. We cannot force our own government to stick to its’ pledges, let alone the governments of other nations. But we can allow our voice to be heard. Our voices need to be heard; the latest IPCC report on Climate Change seems to make it clear that urgent action is needed. But underlying all this is prayer. The November conference could be a fairly crucial one, so to soak it in prayer before and during could be the most vital action of all.