Friday, 6 March 2020

Being a selfish hypocrite

The Lent course for Ridgeway Churches has been brilliant because imaginative, participatory, realistic, diverse, and honest. One session comes to mind. We were considering becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and realised that we could be hypocritically smug. Why? It all began at Ironbridge.

Great Britain exported the industrial revolution across the world, and stoked a seemingly insatiable appetite for the earth's resources. Last year was the highest demand since records began. We have to be honest with ourselves because we should take into account our historical debt. We need to absorb carbon dioxide to play a fair role in respecting nature.

The situation is serious, as shown by the increasing abnormal weather events. Temporary flood barriers gave way at Ironbridge, and we should spare a thought for thousands whose homes have been devastated, and for many farmers unable to work the land.

The Lent group has recommended that our Churches appoint Parish Eco-Warriors [PEWs] to keep us up to scratch. Rightly, we take welcome and care of each other seriously [safeguarding], so why not do the same for our planet?

Jesus talked about those looking at a speck in someone else's eye without realising they had a plank in their own. His exaggeration makes the point powerfully. We can too easily pontificate without accepting responsibility for our own actions. I found the Lent group really challenged my outlook.