The scientific basis of climate change is inarguable. So much so that many in power, nationally, internationally and locally, including Durham County Council, have officially declared climate change to be a Climate Emergency.
Whilst corporations, the main drivers of climate change, should be leading in the reduction of global emissions, every one of us has the ability to make an impact. Bishop Auckland Methodist Church minister, Rev. John Purdy, who is a leading figure in the Bishop Auckland Climate Action Group, also believes we can all help reduce our carbon footprint.
Over the next few weeks, John will be explaining what we can do locally to lower the effects of climate change.
He begins by explaining his own rationale for getting involved in the battle to save the planet:
The Bible begins with God creating the world and seeing that it was very good, and increasingly I have discovered God’s desire as recorded in the Bible for us to keep it in its beautiful, life-enhancing, state.
From lockdown reading and online academic study, I have increasingly heard the scientific evidence of change and the consensus to act now to ‘decarbonise’ i.e., ‘stop burning stuff’.
Finally, late in the day, I have spent more time in the garden, in nature, observing and learning how to care, and this has been rewarding.
So where to start?
The first task is to discover and feed your own motivation and driver to engage with this topic. That might be science, family, nature, faith, community, or even financial prudence. It doesn’t particularly matter which, but something needs to move and inspire us for the changes in lifestyle we will face.
This is easier with likeminded people. Locally, Bishop Auckland Climate Action is a friendly place to start.
The main goal is to reduce our carbon footprint, and get to ‘net zero’ where we emit no more carbon dioxide than we can remove from the atmosphere.
We are already doing this, without really realising it, in the move from coal to natural gas, (natural gas when burned emits about half the amount of CO2 as burning coal) in more efficient washing machines and fridges, and in a change to LED bulbs.
But this is not fast enough or far enough to stop biodiversity loss, global warming, sea-level rise etc. So, what more can we do?
Next time, we will begin to examine options that will allow us to make an immediate impact on sustainable living.
Meanwhile, if you would like to connect with others already actively engaged in caring for the climate, why not join the Bishop Auckland Climate Action group on Facebook.
The article above appeared in the edition of Bishop Press distributed on 21st May 2022