'Global challenge' - a newsletter article by Andrew Grant (Churchwarden, Flecknoe)
"On a visit to the United States in May, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, used the opportunity to raise the moral issue of global warming. Much effort is spent by the church and Christian charities such as Christian Aid and Tear Fund to try and improve the lot of the millions round the World who lack the basic necessities of life that we take for granted. We dip into our pockets whenever we hear of humanitarian disasters and satisfy ourselves that we are doing our bit to help those less fortunate than ourselves. But is there a greater moral issue that we are not facing up to?
The evidence is now clear that our consumption of the Word’s resources and in particular of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas has taken the level of carbon dioxide in the air to the point where a significant rise in global temperatures is inevitable. What will be the consequences of this? There has been much publicity surrounding the increased hurricane activity in the Caribbean and destruction of New Orleans, but what of the impact on the poor of the World? Many tens of millions already live in marginal areas where rains frequently fail. For them life will become unsustainable. We, the more prosperous nations, are already saying we can not take in more immigrants and are devising ways to make our borders more secure. What is to happen to those who must move to survive? It is probable that this will number more than a billion people within 50 years, given current trends.
What is our Christian responsibility? We can not let them starve, but neither can our damaged planet enable them to live. Is this not the greatest moral dilemma facing our World today? We in the developed world must make sacrifices to our standard of living now to allow the less fortunate a life. Is it surprising that our Archbishop chose to raise this issue in the land that symbolises consumerisation?"