Population growth

Judith Allinson, Green Christian’s Web Editor writes:

 

Population growth has been a taboo subject in many churches.

I invite you to talk about it more, and ask God if there is more that you or your church could or should be doing in regard to this subject.

It has been shown that pound per pound:     donating to family planning charities, where  women would like to control their family size but are too poor to afford contraceptives-  is the most efficient way of using money for reducing climate climate change.

(Even more than by donating to saving rainforest habitat charities- one of my pet interests)

Perhaps we should be raising money for family planning charities and girls education charities –  rather than some of the other charities we support.

Sometimes we are afraid to talk about this for fear of offending a few people in our churches, even within our own groups –

Yet the increasing population is the main driver of all the other environmental problems:

  • Loss of rainforest
  • Increasing carbon dioxide emissions
  • Need for more houses eating up green land and covering soil
  • Reduction in space for wild habitats. (e.g. look at the larger animals of the world: already 97% of the of the worlds animals are made of humankind and our domestic animals: sheep, cats, cows, with only 3% for all the other wild animals)

What can we do?

1. Remove the taboo about discussing this topic in churches

2. Support family planning charities

3. Support girls’ and women’s education.

4. Support charities such as Population Matters which campaign and provide information on these issues.

I urge you to look at the Population Matters website – It goes into the issues in much more depth than there is space for here.

See an earlier article on GC’s website:-

Population growth, climate change and sustainability of the environment. Do/should Christians care? - By John Guillebaud 2008

 

 

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Population growth, climate change and sustainability of the environment. Do/should Christians care?

Population growth, climate change and sustainability of the environment. Do/should Christians care?

By John Guillebaud

This is the full article – a shortened version appears in Green Christian – Spring/Summer 2008
Click for notes added in June 2015

About the author. I am, first, a committed Christian and member of the Christian Medical Fellowship (UK). Professionally, I am Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health at University College, London. Born in Burundi of CMS missionaries and brought up in Rwanda (countries whose poverty and violence in subsequent years have indubitably been exacerbated by the fourfold population increase [1]), a single lecture in 1959 on human numbers and its inevitable impact on the finite planet from my then Tutor at St John’s Cambridge changed the course of my career. I concluded from this a very inconvenient truth, that doctors had been instrumental in generating the over-population problem, by doing a good thing (ie death control , chiefly by the public health revolution of 19 th and 20 th centuries) without simultaneously making a top tier priority of another essential thing: the availability to couples of the choice of voluntary birth control . So I decided, over 40 years ago and probably uniquely among doctors anywhere in the world, to specialise in contraception including surgery (our clinic in Oxford has done >39,000 vasectomies to date!) on environmental grounds.

F amily planning could provide more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single ‘technology’ now available to the human race”. [2]

Human numbers, trashing of the environment and poverty alleviation are linked

 

Unremitting population growth is simply not an option on a finite planet [3,4,5]. At Jesus’ birth, world population was around 200-250 million. It is now over 6700 million and is on track to exceed 9 billion by 2050.  The annual increment of about 79 million humans per year (all births c 139 million minus all deaths c 60 million) equates to a city for one million persons having to be built, somewhere, every 5 days. This is chiefly happening in the developing world, but poverty cannot be alleviated anywhere without using energy. Since energy mainly comes by burning oil, gas, coal or wood, a moment’s thought will reveal that each of these new cities – actually slums – not only eats up increasingly scarce land (often destroying habitats for other species than ours), but also means a million new makers of greenhouse gases GHGs, every 5 days. Nowhere near as much per person as we in the affluent world of course, but when (as in India and China) there are very large numbers seeking to get out of poverty – which is their right – the global impact is large and becoming very scary. In summary, climate change is very much linked to the number of climate chang ers [5] . Moreover shortages of water and now increasingly of food are primarily caused by ‘longages of people’ (too many needing the resource).

 

Since Malthus first highlighted population in 1798, humans have multiplied sevenfold. We have appropriated for our use virtually the entire planet, but it has limits: 3/4 is salt water and half of the rest is deserts and mountains. As all species learn, when you multiply beyond the capacity of your environment you reach the buffers. Unprecedented global disasters loom and we are the problem:

. the rich, because of our reasonable desire to stay out of poverty – though we over-consume per capita and that MUST change – multiplied by the increasing numbers of us and

. those of us who are poor, because of our equally reasonable aspirations to leave poverty – which can only be done by consuming more than now, meaning with existing technology producing yet more GHGs per person- multiplied by even greater numbers of persons.

 

Economists thought we had ‘disproved Malthus’ through Norman Borlaug’s green revolution, which ushered in a spectacular increase in food production. Yet that improved technology was and is wholly dependent upon fossil fuels for fertilizers, tractors, and transport. When our fossil fuels are gone, there will be a vast surplus population whose energy needs Earth will no longer be able to supply. Though it cannot help those already here, family planning can still minimise the number of new arrivals that must produce additional GHGs as they rise from poverty.

 

Borlaug was well aware of all this: in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech he talks of the Population Monster and – speaking in 1970 – he even predicted the 3 decade timescale before despite his best efforts it would be biting back!

 

The Population Monster

The Green Revolution has won a temporary success in man’s war against hunger and deprivation; it has given man a breathing space. If fully implemented, the revolution can provide sufficient food for sustenance during the next three decades. But the frightening power of human reproduction must also be curbed; otherwise the success of The Green Revolution will be ephemeral only. [6]

 

Biodiversity [7]

Today, according to the Global Footprint Network, out of all the vertebrate flesh (biomass) there is – 97% is human bodies plus the biomass of our cows, sheep, pigs, goats: leaving just 3 % for all the big game, indeed all other wild species on land [8]! As soon as 2025 our species is on track to have eliminated an estimated one-fifth of all the world’s life forms – a mass extinction of God’s creation-work. Most of this destruction is not so much wanton as thoughtless. It occurs through competition from sheer numbers of humans, leading to massive destruction of habitats (wetlands, woodlands, coral reefs) for other species.

 

Solutions

There are only three available [9]:

1 Better technology, for energy, among many other related environmental challenges. Yet all the known renewable green energy sources (including wind, waves, tides, solar and biological) have snags:

•  they have their own adverse impacts (eg biofuel production using cropland and raising food prices)

•  they are plagued by intermittency: the sun may not shine, the wind may not blow

•  they are seriously deficient in power density so simply won’t deliver the profligate energy requirements of modern fossil-fuelled suburbia . Most utilise the sun’s energy as it arrives each day, unlike fossil fuels which provide energy that was concentrated over aeons of geological time.

No way can we rely solely on generating ever more energy from green sources, vastly increasing energy efficiency will be crucial (starting by properly insulating all buildings and forsaking cars wholesale for cycles and trains).

 

‘The very greenest energy is the energy you don’t use’

 

2 Reduced consumption . Since technology will not suffice, all Christians should ever more vigorously campaign for this vital solution in the Northern industrialised countries. Their (our) collective track record is dismal, to put it mildly. Some of us consider that since we are not all doing enough, and seem unlikely ever to do enough, voluntarily, rationing of crucial resources – as in time of war – should start now.

 

 

Figure 1

 

Indeed globally per-person consumption is actually certain to go the wrong way – UP: wrongly , through the already affluent not sufficiently reducing their per person consumption, but also rightly – as a human right indeed - as an inevitable consequence of poverty relief for the poorest.

 

3 Fewer humans doing the consuming

If solution 1 cannot suffice and if solution 2 cannot be permitted to be fully effective since that would condemn the poor to unending and utterly unacceptable poverty (2.8 billion already living on less than $2 per day), what else but this solution remains? Since no-one has yet identified any other factors than these three that affect humanity’s environmental IMPACT, it seems odd to say the least that the only one left ‘Population’ is so neglected. Should not Christians like readers of this journal, worried about the disastrous future that looms for God’s green planet, therefore have a far more positive view on family planning?   Voluntary, available and accessible contraception is not a substitute for reduced per-person consumption assisted by technology: it’s just the much neglected other side of the same coin (Figure 1).

 

Yet in my experience both outside and especially within the Christian Church, highlighting population is largely taboo, it is the “elephant in the room that no-one talks about”; leave alone any talk about the vital importance of promoting contraception – always (in Jonathan Porritt’s words [10]) wisely, democratically and compassionately.

 

 

Sustainable Development – vicious circle or virtuous spiral?

Birth rates and average family sizes are declining in most countries, fortunately – small thanks to many vocal but sadly misguided opponents of voluntary family planning. Yet population growth continues. Why? Because of ‘demographic momentum’ [5], due to the large ‘bulge’ of around 2.5 billion who are teenagers (approaching 50% in many African countries. Hence nearly all of tomorrow’s parents are already born, so numerous that if their average family sizes were improbably to average two, population growth (despite the ravages of AIDS) would not cease until a total of about 9 billion was reached. This increase of 2.5 billion is more than the total population of the world as recently as 1950 [5]

 

By 2050, on current per-person consumption trends – according to the latest Living Planet Report [7] – circa 9 billion people will require over 200 percent of the biological capacity of the planet (meaning its forests, fisheries, croplands etc). This equates to humankind needing another planet! Or will half the population (4500 MILLION people) have to die? Because on a finite planet, t he choice about achieving stability is not whether? but when and how?

 

Is it to be through the benign route of voluntary contraception? or the only other option, a gigantic cull of half of humanity by the “Natural” causes: violence as humans fight over the last gallons of water or of oil; viruses such as HIV/AIDS and new strains of influenza; or sheer lack of victuals – all exacerbated by floods and droughts through climate change?

 

Mahatma Gandhi made two linked statements:

“The world has enough for everyone’s need

But not enough for everyone’s greed”

 

Gandhi’s second statement remains totally valid! Another version of it is: “let us learn to live simply, so that others may simply live”; and to be fair, Christians are prominent in that campaign. But if Gandhi were alive today and spoke with environmental scientists, I guarantee he would agree that the first statement is fast becoming UNTRUE. Why? Because there will soon be altogether too many everyone’s, for all to live a halfway decent life: as we face the greatest environmental crises yet !

 

So: we will never meet human needs without stabilisation of human numbers .

 

 

 

“Vicious Circle”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two assertions are correct:

 

•  Population increase maintains poverty, [arrow (a) in Figure2], because the finite “cake” of any resource-poor country has to be divided among ever more individuals. Without stabilising the number of persons to share it, an increase in a country’s GDP can mean a fall in per-person GDP or per-person share of the land, where this is the chief resource: as in my home country of Rwanda in the years leading up to the genocide in 1994. Imagine trying to help your country out of poverty if it is India, where there are a million extra Indians ever 20 days. There and elsewhere, population increase keeps wiping out successes in poverty alleviation, whether in agriculture, housing, education and literacy, or healthcare.

•  Poverty maintained increases population, [arrow (b)], because in (rural) poverty, reduction of family size appears disadvantageous: “every mouth has two hands”. The labour of each new child in the family is welcomed, especially in the absence of social security for sickness and old age. High child mortality also tends, unsurprisingly, to reduce interest in birth planning until a relatively high average family size is achieved.

Both these are true [5]!

So what is the way forward? See Figure 3

 

 

 

Figure 3

“Virtuous spiral”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we fight for

  • social justice (everything required to relieve present poverty including also women’s education and empowerment 11,12) AND

•  birth planning (voluntary, compassionate, available and accessible)

with equal vigour, the vicious circle of Figure 1 can become the “virtuous”, upward spiral of Figure 2. through reducing unplanned pregnancies, there is an incremental reduction in average family sizes, fewer to share the ‘cake’ of each family’s resources, hence less poverty, more children surviving so more acceptance of smaller family size through family planning, and ultimately less population growth. . Therefore

take care of the people and the population will take care of itself”

is a good slogan provided that this “care” is combined with the choice of affordable and AVAILABLE family planning services and supplies.

 

As Tear Fund said in 1994, ” stop counting people and ensure that people count !” But women are people. So this means removing the many barriers (often introduced by men!) to those women who wish to space or stop their childbearing. The removal of such barriers is the only consistent factor in common between the “success stories” where average family sizes came down rapidly (just as quickly as they did in China, by the way) towards the replacement level of around 2: countries which are as different as Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cuba and Iran. [5]

 

 

Coercion? No. Exclusive of other ways to help the poor? No

Many, Christians and others, continue to portray “any quantitative concern for population as necessarily and intrinsically coercive ” of poor people[2]. Not so. Compulsion in reproductive health, whether overt or covert, is wrong-headed and usually counter-productive anyway. Forget coercion, while we are not adequately doing the voluntary things. We know from large scale social surveys of 240,000 women in 38 countries [13] that it is now a myth that most women in the developing ‘South’ would not accept birth planning. I know a bit about this at first hand, being Africa-born and bred, and can confirm it from talking to women on the ground in Rwanda. We are failing to push at an open door marked “women’s choice in controlling their fertility”. Let’s just ensure that every woman on the planet who at time present wants a modern contraceptive method to be used by self or partner has easy access to it. Doing so could greatly reduce maternal mortality (still one a minute in the world today, you can’t die of a pregnancy you don’t have! and WHO says at least 1/3 of pregnancies were unwanted at conception.) not to mention the disaster of 50 million induced abortions. And to continue not doing so, ie inadequately resourcing that voluntary approach, choice-based with adequate services and maintained supply chain for all is, arguably, the best way to ensure that more future Governments will legislate for coercive birth control..the Chinese way we all rightly reject.

 

Others distrust this contraception concern as sure to be exclusive - of many other key interventions such as social justice, fairer trade, poverty relief, better education or improved child survival. Not so. Why should not a thinking Christian have deep concern for all these AS WELL?

 

The stakes are high

Ultimately, there could be unimaginable catastrophes for our descendants. Hence my 2044 Time Capsule [10] project in Kew Gardens, Sydney and other sites around the world, which included an apology to them.

We have not inherited the world from our grandparents, we have borrowed it from our grandchildren[Kashmiri proverb] .

 

My prayer is that our grandchildren should have no need to accuse us of damaging their ‘loan’ beyond repair.

 

How specifically should Christians respond?[14]

Christians should be enthusiastic supporters of voluntary birth planning, worldwide: hardly the case at present! They should be at the forefront of stressing that contraception is not just ‘permissible’, it can play a truly positive role within marriage . This does not stop Christians also pointing that it can be negative and even destructive to individuals and society when used outside such relationships, for “recreational” sex.

 

I further believe that contraception is not only OK by him, it must be squarely within his plans for these times. Contraception, from a truly Christian perspective, should be seen not just as “permissible” for believers but as something to praise God for: a technology that scientists (‘thinking God’s thoughts after him’) have devised in the nick of time, for the better welfare of each child, in African or Asian families where resources are scarce, as well as for the future sustainability of Creation on this finite planet.

 

Rich Christians in an overcrowded world should also think twice about having large families themselves, given that this will mean their large family will have a larger environmental “footprint” than a small one. It might be salutary for a couple to pray over the possibility of having one child less than their original plans! But this does not force everyone into the same family mould. A gentle decline in total population fertility can be achieved by, as exists in the UK at present, a total fertility rate (equates to average family size) of 1.8 children, which is an average of 18 children in every 20 families. This allows some to have more than 2 children if counterbalanced by others voluntarily choosing to have one or none – as is happening in the UK at time present.

 

Many non-Christians think that Judaeo-Christianity endorses pronatalism ad infinitum: “multiply .fill the earth” Genesis 1:26,28. Yet Genesis describes God commanding the plants and animals to be fruitful and multiply beforegiving that instruction to us humans. The Creator surely did not and does not intend us to multiply so much that we prejudice the fruitfulness of all his other creatures! This would be contrary to his immanent nature.

 

Added to God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, I believe there is implicit in the Bible another attribute of our God, namely: omni-common sense! So when he said “Fill the earth” he must have meant just that. Which includes, surely, ” when you’ve filled it, don’t overfill it! cease increasing and live sustainably “.

 

If obeying the “multiply” instruction would, when combined with vastly improved survival through modern medicine, but without adequate birth planning, lead to human numbers which exceed the carrying capacity of the land available – and so wipe out millions of his creatures including humans – godly common sense says this is hardly obeying his other instruction to us and the rest of creation, to “be fruitful”!

 

Conclusion

We must, surely, ask ourselves some new questions relating to the two great commandments of Jesus [Matthew 22:37-40]:

First, Love the Lord, your God: are we really doing that, if we do not cherish and care for His creation – just as we would for something made by a human loved one ? Our love for God should surely ensure, inter alia, that there are not more of one species (humans) than can possibly live full lives while permitting the survival of his other creatures.

 

Secondly: Love your neighbour as yourself: should we not more sacrificially a) love our overseas neighbour but also b) love our future neighbour? Can we do that without doing our bit to ensure there are not altogether so many future neighbours that God’s world becomes uninhabitable? [14]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

1 Gasana J. 2003. http://www.peopleandplanet.net/doc.php?id=1780

2 Grant J. In: The State of the World’s Children 1992; Oxford University Press for UNICEF: Oxford 1993: 58-60

3 British Medical Journal. Over-population, Over-consumption: Special issue to mark the arrival of the 6000 millionth human in 1999 (9 October). BMJ 1999; 319:931-34; 977-997

4 McMichael T, Guillebaud J, King M. Population – the two ‘wisdoms’. BMJ 1999;319:931-2

5 Guillebaud J. Youthquake. http://www.optimumpopulation.org/Youthquake.pdf

6 Borlaug N. Nobel Acceptance Speech 1970. http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97jan/borlaug/speech.htm

7 www.panda.org/news_facts/publications/key_publications/living_planet_report

8 Wackernagel M. In: The Ecological Footprint 2005. Northcutt Productions for Global Footprint Network, Oakland, Ca 94610, USA. See also www.footprintnetwork.org

9 Ehrlich P & Ehrlich A. In: The Population Explosion. Arrow Books: London, 1991: pp 58-9

10 Porritt J. Letter in support of Time Capsule project. www.ecotimecapsule.com (in description of 10 th Anniversary)

11 Guillebaud J. After Cairo. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1995; 102:436-438

12 Guillebaud J. After Cairo (Corresp). Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1996; 103:92-93

13 Alan Guttmacher Institute. Hopes and Realities : closing the gap between women’s aspirations and their reproductive experiences. Alan Guttmacher Institute: New York 1995: 1-49

14 Guillebaud J. Triple Helix. Christian Medical Fellowship: London, Winter 1999-2000: pp 4-5  

 

 Notes for 2015

See Post written in Green Christian in June 2015

See Population Matters for more on these issues

See John Guillebands Environment Time Capsule page

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30 Days Wild – Enjoy

30 Days Wild is a month-long nature challenge taking place this June.Frog-hopper nest

It is being organised by the Wildlife Trusts in Britain

They are asking people to  do something wild every day for a month – and make nature part of their everyday life. You can join in. You can sign up and get information and encouragement.

Several members and friends of Green Christian are taking part. e.g.

 

 

David Beattie on 6 June wrote:”  June 6 – My first sighting of frog-hopper “nest” today”

bludebells-twitter

 

 

 

On 12 June  Judith Allinson birch-eleanor wrote: Spring marches north at 1.9mph to Yorks Dales at 260m. Bluebells still out (just) on 12 June

 

 

 

 

On 13 June Eleanor Harris wrote: Perthshire Grand Tour day two. Great views of curlew and red squirrel. Now home and worn out!

 

Visit the 30 Days Wild website

 

 

 

 

 

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A Green Christian Way of Life – GC Weekend May 29-31 2015: George Dow’s Report

Deborah Tomkins ‘being earthed at Ringsfield’ - Click for more pictures

See more pictures here

 

George Dow writes: 

Forty Green Christian members attended our Way of Life Gathering from 29 to 31 May at Ringsfield Hall in Suffolk.

 

We discussed the concept of introducing a Way (or rule) of Life which would offer a set of 4 ‘disciplines’:

 

  • Daily prayer and devotions
  • Living gently on the earth
  • Public action
  • Accountability / support / encouragement

 

to help us to more deeply explore what it means to be a green Christian, where care for the earth is a fundamental outworking of our faith.

 

Topics included

  • a reflection on the Biblical roots of community,
  • the practical challenges of being accountable (and offering support) to each other in a geographically dispersed group,
  • workshops on saving energy and letter-writing (for public action)
  • and a practical demonstration of raised bed, no-dig food growing – the last being conducted in glorious sunshine in the beautiful grounds.

 

A highlight of all Green Christian weekend gatherings – an impromptu ‘concert’ somehow emerged on the Saturday evening – with song, poetry, storytelling and bagpipe-playing – a veritable burst of creativity and fun!

 

Next step is to reflect on the many valuable comments made throughout the weekend and afterwards and, in consultation with attenders at the Gathering and the wider Green Christian community, look to how the Green Christian Way of Life may be applied in practice.

 

Any comments can be addressed to georgedow@greenchristian.org.uk

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TTIP – NOW is the time to contact your MEP

Barbara Echlin raised awareness of the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)  in Green Christian circles last summer – see link here http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/archives/7456

Last week (6 June) Bob Tatam below urged us contact our MEPs by 10 June when there should have been a vote about this. However the vote was postponed –

So it is even more important for us to keep the pressure on our MEPs and make them aware how awful it will be if TTIP is passed.

Can you add your voice to the European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP now?

Robert Tatam last week wrote:

Since then UK campaigners, along with those from Europe and in the USA, have been involved in lobbying (early February in Brussels – the largest lobby of UK MEPs ever) and protesting (especially last October and April 2015).  Various European Parliament Committees debated TTIP and five of these rejected ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement, i.e. private courts in which investing multi-national companies can sue states if they feel a state action decreases their profits – which could cost the public purse ‘billions of pounds’).  However, the influential Trade Committee at the end of May agreed a (‘weak and unhelpful’) Resolution backing TTIP (including ISDS).  This vote flies in the face of European public opinion, with almost 2 million people signing the European Citizens’ Initiative opposing the secretive EU-US trade deal. This Resolution on TTIP (as a draft) is to be debated in the full Parliament on 10th June.  It is vital that as many people as possible contact their MEPs before this debate to convey the strength of opposition.  Please urge your MEP to argue for and vote for a Resolution on TTIP which includes (at the least):

  1.  All Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms to be taken out of TTIP.
  2. EU standards (including social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws) need to be respected and not lowered.
  3. Public services and public procurement (across all areas including education and health) should be excluded from TTIP.

Your MEP should be asked to vote against TTIP if the above cannot be categorically guaranteed.

For further information,

http://www.no2isds.eu/en/information

http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/trade-justice/ttip

http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/campaigns/trade

http://http://www.noTTIP.org.uk

Robert Tatam

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Press Release: The Pope’s Environmental Encyclical

Mon 8 June 2015

Environmental Encyclical: Green Christian hopes for a ‘Game Changer’ from Pope Francis.

Green Christian is optimistic that Pope Francis will release a ‘game-changing’ encyclical on 18 June, and is offering reactions and analysis. The charity believes that the teaching document, reported to be entitled Laudato sii, the opening words of St Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures, could revitalise ‘green’ theology and practice across the denominations, and prompt a fundamental rethink of catholic social teaching.

The Vatican has announced that the Pope’s new encyclical will be published on Thursday 18 June. It has long been known that the landmark teaching document will focus on the environment. According to the Chair of Green Christian, Paul Bodenham, “There are three crucial tests to establish how effectively it will address the environmental crisis”. He says:

“First, will it tackle the economic forces which are driving it, particularly our society’s obsession with ‘growth’? The signs are good: the Pope’s letter in 2013, Evangelii gaudium, showed that he is quite happy to take on the current system.

“Second, will it demand practical policies from world leaders? The best eco-theology changes the way we want to live, and encourages political leadership. The publication is shrewdly timed for that, just as delegates are preparing for the Paris climate summit. We shall see in the coming weeks if our national Bishops’ Conferences take the cue he is giving them.

“Thirdly, will the encyclical make Catholic Social Teaching fit for the 21st century? That has developed in an ecological vacuum – it’s good on its own terms, but it just doesn’t recognise that without a flourishing planet there’s no flourishing for society. St Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures is all about those creatures being our brothers and sisters, as well as human beings, so in the Pope’s chosen title we have a tantalising glimpse of a breakthrough in Catholic Social Teaching. If he succeeds in initiating an ecological reform of Catholic Social Teaching, we are in for an exciting ride.”

ENDS ———————–

NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Green Christian is a registered trading name of Christian Ecology Link (CEL): http://www.greenchristian.org.uk

2. Paul Bodenham is Chair of Green Christian and a Franciscan tertiary. He can be contacted on 01949 861516 for reaction, comment and analysis, and is willing to consider requests for articles. He will be speaking at the National Justice and Peace Network on 19 September on Francisconomics: The Saint, the Pope, and the economy of enough and on 7 November will introduce a major conference The economics of hope with Molly Scott-Cato MEP and Dr Jonathan Rowson RSA.

3. Date of publication of the encyclical: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-new-encyclical-to-be-published-on-18

4. Expected title of the encyclical: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/popes-environmental-encyclical-to-be-titled-laudato-sii-praised-be-72899/

5. Green Christian works with churches and individuals in search of sustainable living, by running conferences, workshops and retreats. It sponsors the LOAF campaign (eco-friendly food production), ecocell groups (carbon footprint reduction) and the Joy in Enough initiative, and publishes magazines, pamphlets and leaflets giving information about best environmental practice.

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Lobby of Parliament re: Climate Change, 17 June – Join us

Lobby of Parliament, 17th June.

Join us at the mass lobby of Parliament on 17 June! We need to tell the new government to take strong action on climate change.

There are services at both St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, SW1P 3DW  and the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, SW1P 3JX
Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, will speak at both services.

Green Christian and Operation Noah supporters will be meeting at 11.45am outside the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, before the service there begins at noon, so please join us there. Look for the Green Christian banner.

From 1pm to 4pm the lobby line will form to meet with your MP in the streets around Parliament. The lobby line will stretch down Millbank and across Lambeth Bridge. Each constituency will line up in alphabetical order within geographical regions and stewards will be available to help you find your place.

At 4.30pm a final rally takes place at Millbank, outside Parliament.

More information on the Operation Noah website, and please sign up on the form at the bottom of that page.

See also the Climate Action Page on this Green Christian  website

 

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‘Joy in Enough’ conference – Saturday 7th November 2015, Bristol

Hashtag for the Joy In Enough conference: #jie_ The economics of hope Saturday 7 November 2015 11.00am to 5.00pm St Michael’s Centre, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS34 8PD. Green Christian invites you to a day with two world-class speakers which will take … Continue reading

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