River Kelvin, Glasgow, where Rev. Norman Hutcheson grew up
Rev. Norman Hutcheson served 2 terms as locum during a recent vacancy in my home congregation in Rotterdam. During his second stint in September 2015, with the Paris Climate talks due to take place in December 2015, he chose as overarching theme for the month “Climate Time”.
The Paris Climate talks proved ground-breaking. “Representatives from 196 nations made a historic pact … to adopt green energy sources, cut down on climate change emissions and limit the rise of global temperatures — while also cooperating to cope with the impact of unavoidable climate change.” (http://www.npr.org)
On a local level, Norman inspired us as a congregation to consider our environmental footprint, and we’ve made good headway in that regard, with 48 solar panels on order (as we speak), and other measures in place to reduce energy costs.
Recently the Paris Climate Agreement was once again in the news when President Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement. How this will all pan out in the long run, we will have to wait and see.
What can we do to play our part for the good of the planet water-wise?
Haves and have nots
For years I took water for granted – always pure, straight from the tap. I now know that safe water to drink and adequate supplies for sewage and irrigation remain a far off dream for half of the world’s population. Often it’s the result of the rich and powerful taking more than their fair share of the water resources.
Will we play our part to work for equity and justice where water resources are concerned?
Two years ago I represented the Church of Scotland at a meeting on Environmental matters organised by the Church of South India. I was astonished to learn that it takes 600 gallons (2500 L) of water to produce a 6-ounce (150g) hamburger. A hidden cost we should be aware of.
Will we play our part to use the earth’s resources in a responsible way?
Signs of hope
Where I come from we have little experience of water scarcity. I do know about the effects of water pollution, though. Until the mid-19th Century the River Kelvin in Glasgow where I grew up had salmon swimming up the river. Then industrialisation ruined their habitat and the fish disappeared for 150 years. In recent years there have been initiatives to restore the habitat and to bring the salmon back, with success.
Will we play our part to promote good water management where we live, for the benefit of all God’s creatures?
The inside story of the Paris Climate Agreement (TED talk)
To make a burger, first you need 660 gallons of water …
The Hidden Water We Use
Lord of all, we forget sometimes that your love involves responsibility as well as privilege; a duty not just to you but to the whole of your creation, to nurture and protect rather than simply to exploit it.
Forgive us our part in a society that has too often lives for today with no thought of tomorrow. Forgive us our unquestioning acceptance of an economic system that plunders this worlds’ resources with little regard as to the consequences.
Help us to live less wastefully and with more thought for those who will come after us.
Challenge the hearts and minds of people everywhere, that both they and we may understand more fully the wonder and the fragility of this planet you have give us, and so honour our calling to be faithful stewards of it all.
In Christ’s name, Amen.
by Nick Fawcett, from 2000 Prayers for Public Worship (2008), Prayer #916
See also Water world news