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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 March 2019: Rev'd Chris Williams, St Mary, Liss

Sea levels are rising – why aren’t we?

‘There is no planet B’, ‘Schools have to be parliament when parliament is a schoolyard’, ‘Can’t go to school if it’s under water’: just some of the witty placards carried by children in the recent demonstrations around the UK.

It’s a scary world where the biggest crisis facing humanity is forced to our attention by children. Climate change is, by far, the most important issue we can address and those of us who criticise our children for missing school are, surely, missing the enormity of the situation. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish student whose actions began this process puts it succinctly: “Why should any young person be made to study for a future when no one is doing enough to save that future?”

If their voices force us to engage a little more with this vital issue, then their action is worth it, and we should be proud of them. The real question is ‘why are we not all marching?’ The reality is that governments, businesses and individuals – none of us are yet doing enough.

In my opinion, one reason we do so little is down to the age-old problems of selfishness and greed. We are asked to make changes in our level of consumption but are too addicted to our affluent lifestyles to make more than token gestures. In effect, we are saying “As long as I can maintain my lifestyle, the next generation can go to hell” – and, without significant, sustained and organised change, they will.

Climate change is here, now, and affecting millions daily. Unfortunately, this reality rarely makes it to our TV screens or newsfeeds. It seems we are not prepared to act until our own lives are directly affected - by which time, the hell I mentioned above will have arrived.

So, a question: What are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about it? We owe it to our children and their children to ask, and answer, that question.


A couple of things that might gets missed: read Belinda's Dream and make a note of the Spirit of Music Festival events

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