Thursday, May 19, 2016

Climate Change: It is getter hotter every day now!

#gsthw16 had quite a bit to say about Climate Change.Three articles were posted during the Synod, here, here, and here. There is no doubt that our church faces a special challenge because we include the Diocese of Polynesia, parts of which are being swamped by the rising moana.

But what are we to do?

In a recent conversation about what we might do as a Diocese, it has not been a challenge to think about things we might do - form action groups, form study groups, propose motions at synod - but it has been a challenge to think about things we might do which might effect more than a mindshift.

What might we do, for instance, which impacts on the politics of this country? In that conversation a helpful analogy was made to me re smoking. It is good that people do not smoke, that individuals make decisions not to buy cigarettes. But that has little effect re the smoke people are forced to inhale from smokers while a government refrains from passing social changing legislation like banning smoking on transport, in restaurants and bars, in school playgrounds and so forth. Yes, I am old enough to remember how ghastly bus and plane travel was in the days when smoking was allowed and even those in the (so-called) Non Smoking sections suffered from it!

Climate change action is helped when I or you bike to work or read more documents on a screen than on printed paper. Even better would be giving up on computers altogether!

But it is small beer, I am informed. Political action which led to (say) restrictions on vehicle travel, including plane travel would achieve much more.

Does anyone else reading here sense that sometime fairly soon the state of the planet will make our current efforts seem pathetic? And make concerted, joint political action as obvious as supporting Helen Clark's bid to be Sec-Gen of the UN?

It has been the warmest, latest, sunniest autumn we Kiwis have ever known ...


Andrei said...

What can politicians do about "climate change"?

"Put not your trust in princes"

This is another absurdity for the rump of Anglican Church to waffle on about as former congregations desert in droves there spiritual needs unmet

"Climate Change" is something that has been ongoing since the dawn of time - long before there were people

This is just another excuse our Godless elites to exercise control over their serfs (us) and to fool us into compliance

But if there is one thing I have learned over the past few years it is how easily most people are led

hogsters said...

Hi Peter,

As I catch up on your posts and specifically your post on the climate issue I'm eating a beef curry, is that an oxymoron?. I'm mindful of a documentary I recently viewed on netflix. it is called "cowspiracy".

It asks the question why is it that, it would allege, the greatest contributors to global warming remain largely unchallenged? Ponder this, and I am going by memory so any incremental inaccuracy I hope will be forgiven as I point to the percentage quotient. I think that it was something like global transportation contributes to the extent of 13% of the problem and cows contribute something in the range of 51%.

We can ride bicycles to work or cut back on hamburgers. It seems the later may in fact be better for the environment (and the waistline).


Craig Liken said...

Hogsters, 51% seems an extraordinary claim and doesn't quite ring true - not saying you got it wrong, but maybe the documentary did or it is 51% of methane emissions (not CO2 or whatever).

I did a quick internet search and the few sources I found were not entirely consistent but I seemed to be getting perhaps 15% to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions were due to agricultural production (of which cattle contribute the the largest chunk apparently).

Anyway something worth thinking about anyhow - in regard to your last comment I guess we could ride bicycles to work and cut back on hamburgers (I'm not doing particularly well at either!)

Jean said...

Ouch I sense a little apathy.

Hopefully most in and outside the church have grown beyond the idea of global warming as a conspiracy theory. Especially I guess our Pacific Islanders making plans to abandon their countries with the rising sea levels. Also as Peter points out the increasing frequency of El Nino weather patterns causing extremes throughout the world, and currently in NZ a very drawn out Autumn.

It is easy to take the option of what possible benefit will my efforts acheive. I learnt a wise lesson from my Grandfather who picked up litter each time he went for a walk (which was often). And I used to think that's nice but why bother cleaning up someone elses irresponsibility. Then the greater good so to speak hit me - his actions didn't depended upon his own convictions they weren't determined by others. How much worse would it be if those who did pick up litter stopped.

And so with climate change. As Christian's creation and stewarship of it were granted to human beings by God. Are we just to ignore this? Climate change in a way is a pinacle or a flow on affect of a number of factors of human's actions; as too are other negative effects on the environment. So in a way we have a biblical mandate to care, to act as we can - knowing as God works there will be some who are more called to this aspect of God's work than others we are all called to take a degree of responsibility.

Andrei the need to be witnesses to Christ and caring for his creation are not in opposition, they flow from the same throne so to speak.


P.S. Did you realise that in order to preserve grain for a greater length of time on supermarket shelves more gluten was added to wheat. This is the primary cause of the rise of Chron's disease and gluten allergies - hence as Pope Francis points out care for creation and people is interconnected and stewardship means balancing the human and ecological cost of commercial decisions not just the economic benefits.

P.P.S. Yes sadly Peter updating your technology less often may do more for your carbon footprint than cutting out the use of paper : )

Andrei said...

Jean "climate change" as presented by politicians and the media is a pagan heresy. not pagan actually but atheistic and founded on deception and lies

Those of us who are not scientific dunces are well aware that the sea level has been slowly rising for the past 12,000 years and that measuring the current rate of rise given the magnitude is very very small is so difficult as to make the number given effectively indeterminate given the uncertainties involved

The reality is the amount of sea level rise over the period between your Grandfathers birth and now is real but trivial

The boxing day tsunami was not trivial, the Christchurch Earthquakes are not trivial but politicians (who's stock in trade is deception) know that if they claim to be able to develop policies to prevent these events will be caught out

On the other hand the deception over sea level rise and flooded Islands will not be exposed as the crock it is until our great grandchildren are long dead and buried

Some lands are sinking and others such as our own are rising this is geological and nothing to do with "climate change" but plate tectonics. The coast lines are changing due to erosion, wind and rain - this is not new but has been happening for ever

Do humans have an effect on the climate - yes we do but in the short term this effect is purely local - in the longer term it will be global but what that effect will be is unpredictable and just as likely to be positive as negative for the bulk of humanity who will adapt as human beings always have and will have plenty of time to adapt

There are real human problems to solve - fighting poverty, disease and civil disorders in the here and now should be our priority not some hypothetical sea level rise which will manifest itself only very slowly if it doesn't reverse itself, over the course of multiple human generations. And slow changes are easily managed

The real problems we face are fairly intractable e.g. the murder of Moko and that is the type of problem that the Church can and has had a role to play in ameliorating by changing peoples hearts by preaching the Gospel

We live in a fallen world and we face problems in this life - it will always be so but God has provided us with the tools to confront them - When Christchurch gets knocked over by an earthquake - we roll up our sleeves, and carry on learning from the experience so next time we build better - retreating from the technologies that have enriched and extended our lives because some people preach doom and gloom is not even sane

I look at the lives of my ancestors - they died worn out before they were fifty, had multiple children half of whom were dead before their fifth birthday, that was their world

Do you want to go back to that?

Andrei said...

Jean you might want to contemplate this photograph taken 100 years ago in Canada - that is how they had to do things then

School "holidays" came into being not to provide an opportunity for kids to spend time in Disney land but to be freed up to do the agricultural work that needed doing at that time of the year, plowing the fields or bringing in the harvest. Every able body hand was needed in order the community didn't face starvation

Tractors and combine harvesters have freed us from that

And you can buy Turkish figs in your local supermarket. those women pulling the plow probably never ate a fig in their lives, they ate what was at hand and if it gave them indigestion they suffered in silence

You are not going to bed hungry tonight - hunger was a feature of those women's lives from time to time. And giving birth for them was a risky undertaking....

You forget what you never knew

Father Ron Smith said...

" as Pope Francis points out care for creation and people is interconnected and stewardship means balancing the human and ecological cost of commercial decisions not just the economic benefits." - Jean -

One aspect of Global warming that seems to be missed here, is the undoubted fact that; the greater the human population, the greater resources needed to feed and accommodate their basic needs.

With a burgeoning population boom, Mother Earth might just not be able to cope with the demands upon her capability of production of all that is required. The Roman Catholic Church could prove to be a great help in this direction, by accepting the need for planned parenthood - something that may not be possible with the continuation of a no-contraception regime.

Oh, and another thing Gay people do not reproduce - one factor in the ewuation. (I don't think that horse-frightening is a factor)

Andrei said...

Oh dear Fr Ron

Human beings are created in God's Image and are not a pest on the planet

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

We are here because God wants us here

I am fairly certain he does not intend for us to commit suicide as a species to make more room for flat worms and other assorted fauna that seem to become extremely important to some when economic development that will provide sustenance to many is proposed

Jean said...

Hi Andrei

I am a little confused it is managing or preventing the major impacts of climate change that I thought was the issue not a war against development per se. Some technological/industrial development has been good, others not so much. Where I live kids still take time off school to help with agriculture.

In the next 50 years the effects of sea level rising (not land sinking) will impact Tokelau. Of course sea level rising is not the only effect of climate change there are many, my father a geography has been dismayed over his teaching career to witness the melting of glaciers in NZ. So the impact will be seen more, if I had any, within my Children's generation. I don't see working to reduce the impact of climate change, even over a long period or as a long term goal as a negative aim. And the future provisions will be different for every country depending on their ability to put adaptation plans in place etc. A lot seems like common sense (e.g. cut down too many trees which absorb carbon dioxide such as in the amazon (not the online one) or even on farms and you increase the level of toxicity and ecological balance because trees absorb carbon dioxide, prevent erosion, keep more moisture in the soil, provide essential bird and insect life etc etc.

Assuredly there are many other immediate focuses and disasters to work towards in the present time and as the media has an inclination to do they probably dramatise the issue.

Your comment also perplexes me regarding climate change as being a way to control people. Why would governments want people to reduce use of fossil fuels or petrol or oil or plant trees for the sake of it? In our part of the world the goverment has made a bit of money out of forestry and selling oil reserves?

And ron re population, this is another long term debated issue. Can the earth support feeding all the people in the world. From what I have gathered through experience in a development context the answer is actually yes. It is largely not large populations that have increasingly caused the lack of food but civil wars, bad management and unfair trading laws - human constructs.


Andrei said...

In the next 50 years the effects of sea level rising (not land sinking) will impact Tokelau.

You know this for sure? How?

The world is changing, it always has and it always will

Once upon a time hippopotami swam in the river Thames where the British House of Parliament now stand.

From the 15th century to the early 19th the River Thames where the hippopotami no longer wallowed and had not for over 150,000 years, used to freeze over on a regular basis but a frozen Thames has not been seen since 1812 the year of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow

The world changes and there is not a thing politicians can do to stop it and for anybody to claim that they can control the future course of these changes by transferring wealth and power from the productive elements of society to the parasite classes (of whom the political elites are the prime example) is nothing short of outrageous.

The energy that powers our civilization is real wealth and getting a cut of that action is the name of the game - the climate change rort and the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 along with the bombing of Libya, the richest country on the African continent, into anarchy are all part of the same game - gaining control over our energy supplies

Real people are dying today over this matter, in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria and Ukraine - all either Nations with large energy deposits or lying on key routes for their transport - and yet we fret over hypothetical sea level rises that even in the extremely unlikely event they occur as claimed wont have any impact on anyone alive today or their great grandchildren

Father Ron Smith said...

"Once upon a time hippopotami swam in the river Thames where the British House of Parliament now stand(s). - Andrei -

Ah, now, Andrei. I understand the motivation for the epic Flanders and Swan-Song: "Mud, Mud Glorious Mud, there's nothing quite like it for cooling the

Incidentally, Blood" - going on to celebrate the life of hippo-potami in the River Thames.

Incidentally, Andrei, one might ask the question, does God really want people to continue to have large families that they cannot support, who often end up uncarde for and/or abused. After all, we are meant to be responsible for Creation, not to exploit the same.

As one a family of ten children, I have experienced some of the down-side of large families. I do know what I'm talking about.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Andrei

Your cool reason on human induced climate change is sufficient to pull back the risk of man made climate disaster for a 1,000 years, yet don’t expect your rationale to be appreciated on this blog.

I have found the advocates of this novelty to be more religious in their zeal than those who believe that human gender is a social construct. The fact that so many embrace the same ideology is no accident.

But to Fr Ron who is one of ten children, I’m pleased to report that my father is number 10 of fourteen children to Irish immigrants to New Zealand. Do I despise large families, well hardly!

The issue for the western world is not overpopulation as FR Ron implies, with (for example) Europe producing less children than they need to reproduce themselves, let alone fund the unsustainable welfare state they have awarded themselves.

Neither is the issue the specious narrative around human induced climate change. No, it is simply this. Does the western world, formally animated by a robust Christianity have the ability to survive the existential threat of Islam, and our own apostasy?

We are more likely to be debating the right of gender fluid Anglican priests to officiate at transgender weddings than to be overwhelmed by rising sea levels.

hogsters said...

Hi Craig,

See below greenhouse gas emissions still more than transportation, but particularly the livestock and their byproducts bit.

Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. [i] Spotlight: Livestock impacts on the environment.

Transportation exhaust is responsible for 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions. [.i]
Greenhouse gas emissions from this sector primarily involve fossil fuels burned for road, rail, air, and marine transportation. Spotlight: Livestock impacts on the environment.

Environmental Protection Agency. “Global Emissions.”

Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
Goodland, R Anhang, J. “Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change were pigs, chickens and cows?”

WorldWatch, November/December 2009. Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC, USA. Pp. 10–19.

Animal Feed Science and Technology “comment to editor” Goodland, Anhang.

The Independent, article Nov. 2009.

Unknown said...

Climate change is happening now, and unfortunately, poses a truly basic threat to everything we love. There are a lot of journals, articles, blog posts dedicated to this issue. Find to see how dangerous it can be!