Written by Barbara Echlin
“These tiny ants have proceeded from His thought just as much as I. It caused Him just as much trouble to create the angels as these animals and the flowers on the trees.”
Catherine of Siena, 14-century saint and author.
This spring the ‘Show the Love Network’ https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/ is asking us to take a moment to notice the signs of climate change around us – from the lawns needing a mid-winter trim to birds migrating at the wrong time. The Woodland Trust is noting these changes to help scientists monitor the changes that are happening around the country. Here are just a couple of the examples they give and the reason why this change matters:
Why snowdrop ﬂowers?
- Snowdrops traditionally mark the ﬁrst sign of spring, ﬂowering well before daﬀodils and bluebells. But over the last ﬁve years, they have been popping their heads up on average 9 days earlier than in 2000. Why does this matter? Snowdrops ﬂower early and are one of the ﬁrst signs of spring. If they appear particularly early, this could indicate an early spring.
- Hazel catkins were spotted a staggering 29 days early in 2017. Insects, especially bees, rely on hazel catkins and flowers. If the catkins emerge early, the insects can miss out on the early food they need to survive.
‘Show the Love’ is a group of over 130 organisations — including the National Trust, Women’s Institute, Oxfam, and RSPB — reaching across the UK to show our love for all the things we want to protect from climate change, and to ask politicians to put aside their differences and commit to doing whatever is necessary to protect them. They explain that “climate change is already impacting on the things we love and cherish both here in our own backyards and around the world — whether it is the pitches where we play cricket and football, the puffins who make their home along our coastlines, the woodlands where we walk, or communities affected by extreme weather events in other countries. It can be seen in increased flooding and droughts, summer heatwaves, and more unpredictable weather. It is changing the seasons, upsetting crops and flowers, and disturbing the journeys of migrating birds. These people, places and lives may be changing, but our love for them is stronger than ever and we can make sure this love is felt by those who can make a world of difference.”
Why does all this matter to us?
To quote Catherine of Siena again: “The reason why God’s servants love His creatures so deeply is that they realise how deeply Christ loves them. And this is the very character of love: to love what is loved by those we love.”