Today, global heating caused by human activity (past and present) is leading to climate change right across the world.
Last summer there was an exceptional heatwave here in the UK: 42OC (107.6OF) was recorded in Lincolnshire on 19 July. This was the first time since records began that a UK temperature had reached (and passed) 40OC.
Already we are experiencing more extreme weather events – downpours that lead to flash flooding in areas not previously affected, winter storms that are increasingly violent and destructive.
In parts of the world climate change is proving even swifter and more damaging than here in the UK. Droughts that lead to famine and the displacement of people; floods that destroy homes and livelihoods; heatwaves and wildfires; all are becoming more frequent and intense. And low-income countries, which have done least to cause climate change, are often the worst affected.
This concerns us all – we cannot look away. God’s people are called to: Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. [Micah 6:8] We must face up to social and climate injustice. Our choices and actions – what we buy, how we travel, what we throw away – have impacts on other people and on the environment, not just here but right across the planet.
Here are three Christian organisations leading the way to inform and support, and to advocate for change.
The John Ray Initiative (JRI) aims to bring together scientific and Christian understandings of the environment and to promote our stewardship of the Earth.
It is an education charity of special interest for anyone wishing to understand better how science and technology can help solve environmental problems.
Visit the JRI website here to find out more about their work and the resources they provide; these include Bible Studies and access to webinars.
Baptist Union Environment Network (BUEN) was set up to inspire and enable churches to come together to respond in practical ways to the challenge of climate change, and to work for climate justice for those worst affected.
On the BUEN website here, you will find a wealth of information and resources.
There is also an active BUEN FaceBook page here where there are regular updates of events taking place across the UK.
Tearfund workers across the world see the effects of climate change. They urge individuals and churches here in the UK to take action.
Visit Tearfund’s Time to Deliver page here for lots of great ideas and resources.
Tearfund’s current Rubbish campaign focuses on the pollution and flooding that results from huge rubbish dumps and plastic waste, and how these affect people’s lives.