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21 June 2015
posted by Canon Dakin on 30-06-2015

              It happens on our lakes in Cumbria that the winds are funnelled through the valleys and sometimes hit the lake with great force. So on the Sea of Galilee and Our Lord speaks as though he is in conversation with the elements: he rebukes the wind and to the sea he says ‘Quiet now, be calm’. There is a ring of friendliness even in his voice, combining care with authority. He is their creator, they are his creatures. That care and authority has been entrusted to us. That we have been failing in our care is the burden of Pope’s Francis encyclical published on Thursday. I haven’t yet been able to read the full text but it seems to be the Pope’s opinion that global warming is damaging the earth and harming the poor. We know, for instance, that rising tides have made a large coastal strip of Bangladesh uninhabitable and thousands of people have had to leave their homes, giving up their livelihood, and settle, without work, on the fringes of towns further inland.                   

The Archbishop of Canterbury, with other religious leaders in Britain, earlier this week issued their own statement on global warming, presumably to influence the government in advance of a United Nations summit in Paris.  On Wednesday, Christians groups, including Cafod, lobbied Parliament, persuading MPs to take climate change seriously. Scientific opinion appears to make our own human activity responsible for global warming but there are sceptics. Let me put it this way. You are standing on top of a mountain. You feel the urge to throw a stone. You realise that your stone might kill someone on his way up.  To take the risk would be immoral.  You may not be convinced that global warming is man-made but are you justified in taking the risk of destroying lives?    

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