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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Christian Ecology Link prayer topic for today

Packaging of consumer products always involves carbon emissions in its manufacture and processing. How can we, the consumers, express our disdain for excessive packaging? Apart from complaining to the manager of the store, we can respond by changing our buying habits or by simply leaving excess packaging at the checkout.
Tap water is clean, fresh and free. Bottled water has a high carbon cost in its manufacture, filling and transportation, leading to unnecessary carbon emissions and more packaging going to landfill.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Christian Ecology Link prayer topic for today

Energy use is closely related to economic development – which is why China’s energy use is rising by 19% per person per year and India’s by 11% a year, while in Europe it is rising by 3% a year. Energy comes largely from coal, gas and oil, the use of which threatens to de-stabilise the world’s climate during this century. The uncomfortable truth is that our current economic system positively encourages us to use more energy. Two changes are necessary:
1. Taxation should cease to be largely based on income, but should increasingly be levied on consumption;
2. Carbon reductions must be equitable shared. Carbon personal allowances are one way of achieving this. Another is the method known as “cap and share” whereby production of coal, gas and oil is capped at source and, with adjustments for vulnerable users, the burden of resulting price rises is shared equally.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christian Ecology Link prayer topic for today

Father, we pray, each one of us, for an honest appraisal of our own lifestyle, that we may admit to ourselves and to you all that we are contributing, directly and indirectly, to the pollution of your world. Help us to bear witness, by our example, to our resolve to amend our lives, so that others may take heart and act accordingly.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hope for Animals and Their World

I just bought a great new book by Jane Goodall with Thane Maynard and Gail Hudson called Hope for Animals and Their World. It's a great text full of stories of hope about creatures brought back from the brink. If you are experiencing environmental fatigue or depressionb this might be just the book you need. Jane is an enjoyable writer, you feel like she is talking you through these interesting stories of dedicated conservationists and the species they have saved. You can find more details on Amazon at the address below. I'll provide a full review when I finish reading it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for Today

70% of the world consumption of fresh water is used in agriculture – the majority of it in livestock farming. While it takes 625 litres of water to produce 1 kg. of potatoes and 1,300 litres to produce 1 kg. of wheat, it takes no less than 15,500 litres to produce 1 kg. of beef. Source:
Each of us in the UK uses 135-165 litres per day, whereas much of the world has about 10 litres per day – the same amount that we use daily to flush the toilet. Waterwise UK is offering a total of £20,000 in prize money at the launch of its annual Future Friendly Awards. One category is for family actions taken to save energy and water and to reduce waste. The winner receives a bespoke eco-home makeover worth £10,000. The other category is a community award for local champions of their community who have inspired people to reduce their environmental impact. The prize is a £10,000 bursary to further their good work. Anyone over 16 can enter for the awards.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Help save sharks from shark finning!

WildAid and Shark Savers have launched a new anti-finning advertising campaign in China, and they need your help! They are hoping to have 1,000 billboards in Beijing and Shanghai for an entire year. Each costs $100, but they are happy with donations of any size- every little bit helps!

WildAid also recently introduced a fantastic new anti-finning public service announcement, which will be airing on Chinese state television. See the video and join the discussion about it's effectiveness here:

Christian Ecology Link Prayer

Many products can be re-used in some other form. Yoghurt pots with holes drilled in the bottom are ideal for germinating seeds. Cast-off clothes are welcomed at charity shops unless they are completely worn-out, in which case they make useful cleaning cloths. Cartridge World shops accept printer cartridges, including Epson, which they will either re-fill or exchange for a new one. Gardening and other tools can be re-furbished by a charity called Tools for Development and shipped to developing countries.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer

EcoCELL, CEL’s sustainability course, outlines a simple way of measuring the waste we create. First, weigh yourself. Second, weigh yourself with the weekly bags that you put in the waste and recycling bins. The difference is the weight of your rubbish. Third, do the same thing every week and notice any increase or decrease. Cutting down on waste is a real challenge when almost everything we buy provides us with waste.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

Gandhi famously said: “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed . . . One who would serve God will not encumber himself with everything that comes his way. He will take only what he strictly needs and leave the rest.” What then should we do? God told the first humans to look after his creation. So should we. Yet many companies, responding (they say) to public demand, are causing immense stress to God’s creation. Are we justified in supporting them? Perhaps we should be more selective in choosing where to buy and what to buy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

“As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them”. (Ecclesiastes 5.11)
Our actual needs in this world are relatively small. Yet the whole advertising industry is geared to making us unhappy with what we have and encouraging us to desire what others have. The bible’s word for this is “covetousness” and we are commanded as strongly to avoid this as to avoid committing theft and murder.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

When discarding items, we use the term “throwing it away”, But in a finite planet there is no “away”. Everything that we discard – whether we put it in the dustbin or the recycling bin or just throw it on the ground – we are actually passing to someone else to deal with. If it is landfilled, it is passed to future generations. If it is incinerated, the emissions given off by the incinerator adds to the gases that are warming our world. Door-to-door collections deal with recyclables such as paper, glass, tins and kitchen waste. But the lightest and most durable form of packaging is plastics and these, with the exception of plastic bottles, are less easy to recycle. Perhaps we should avoid plastics wherever possible.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

Our society has never been more wasteful than it is today. In order to keep the economy running, we are urged to keep on buying. Manufacturers have to continually find ways of creating desire for their products, making us dissatisfied with what we already have. So products are designed with a deliberately short lifespan and generally unrepairable, in order to make sure we keep on buying. In 2006/7 we produced 29.1 million tonnes of waste, of which 89% was household waste – nearly 10 kg. per week for every man, woman and child.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

Father God, you have shown us clearly where our present lifestyle is leading us. Open the eyes of all – especially the rich and powerful – and draw us together in a common determination to change our ways, to reduce our consumption of natural resources and to share what we have with others who have so little to sustain them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

Agriculture in the semi-arid tropics is likely to be most affected by climate change. A key to improving crop yields in these areas is the better capture and storage of rainwater. 95% of water in developing countries is used to irrigate farmlands, so the spread of drip irrigation systems is vital. Techniques for minimising soil disturbance, such as reduced tillage and crop rotations also have a major role to play. The International Crops Research Institute has developed pearl millet hybrids that endure temperatures of 400 C. and deliver normal yields with limited water. New varieties of chickpeas and pigeon peas mature in 65-75 days and so reduce the need for water. More research is needed to develop drought-proof crops.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

CEL, and the EcoCELL project in particular, has promoted the LOAF principles as a guide to buying food that is

Locally grown, supporting local producers,
Organically produced, resulting in healthier food,
Animal-friendly, avoiding intensive livestock rearing,
Fairly-traded, ensuring a fair deal for producers.
Some suggested questions for consumers:
Do I really need this item?
Am I tempted by advertising?
Do I need to buy two just because the store claims it would save me money?
Did the producer get a fair price?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

Many cheap products are only cheap because they are produced in developing countries and sold on world markets at the lowest possible price. Small producers of tea, coffee and sugar, for example, seldom get a fair price for their labour. Fairtrade labelling helps to guarantee a fair price to producers and also pays them a premium to improve facilities for the whole community. The Fairtrade symbol enables consumers to see at a glance which products are marketed under this scheme.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

Conventional farming is dominated by the international chemical industry which has bought up nearly all the seed companies. As a result, we have lost 97% of our food varieties since 1900 and it is now an offence to sell any seed that is not on the severely-restricted EU-approved list. The increasing demand for organic food reflects the public’s unease with the intensive use of pesticides in conventional farming. But conversion to organic farming involves lengthy and expensive procedures. Perhaps we need a new and simpler standard of sustainable farming.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 10.25 encourages his readers to eat whatever is sold in the meat market and whatever is set before them at a meal. “For the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s”. Yet much of the meat, fish and dairy products available in supermarkets is the result of intensive farming which is steadily destroying the planet. Animals reared intensively are filled with a variety of chemicals to make them grow faster, heavier and leaner, and to combat the diseases which are inseparable from intensive livestock farming. Human health too is affected by the intake of these chemicals. In the relentless pursuit of profit we are damaging both ourselves and the planet which is our life support.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christian Ecology Link Prayer for today

We are often told that the public demands cheap food, which is why supermarkets force down the prices they pay to producers. But this is a myth created by supermarkets to justify extra profits while remaining competitive, They persuade us with loyalty cards and special offers to buy as much as possible, whether we need it or not. As a result, 23% of all food purchased is thrown away and even more is discarded before it can be purchased if it fails to meet supermarket standards for size, shape and appearance. Yet the ordinary consumer, by adjusting his/her buying habits, has the power to change all this. All we need is (a) the information and (b) the resolution to act.

Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+