Write to a newspaper and make a difference for climate change.

David Murray is a CAFOD volunteer and a climate activist from Wallington. David’s activism ranges from lobbying his local council to sharing CAFOD with young people in secondary schools. One of his skills and way to tackle climate change is writing letters to Newspapers. Today he is sharing with us some tips and examples.

David Murray uses word to fight Climate change

Besides working for CAFOD, what do all these people have in common? Christine Allen, CAFOD director, her predecessor, Chris Bain, Anne Lindsay, Graham Gordon head of public policy and Hombeline Dulière, Syria crisis emergency programme manager? They’ve all written, and had published, letters to the papers concerning CAFOD’s work.

You don’t need a Lord title to get published!

To get published it helps to have a title such as company or NGO director, Doctor, PhD or medical, Lord or MP. But getting CAFOD mentioned is hard. So retired CAFOD volunteer, Mike McLoughlin, and I, both left-wing and untitled, write letters on politics and issues, such as economics, trade, poverty and climate change, relevant to CAFOD’s work and it gets published, see example below. When I quote I provide a reference.  

Making progress in fight against climate emergency
Campaigners are right to demand “Sutton Council declare a “climate emergency””. But from, in 2014, having no specific climate change adaptation programme or action plan in place relating directly to the key deliverables identified in the Borough’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, due to a lack of available resources, Sutton Council, on paper at least, has made considerable strides.
The Borough’s strategy is consistent with the Mayor of London’s environment strategy which aims for a zero carbon city by 2050. However, although London’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling, the London Environment Strategy admits “the city remains over-reliant on the fossil fuels that are a major contributor to global warming. London is not yet on track to reduce its emissions quickly enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, or to meet national and international climate aims.” Clearly the campaigners need to keep up the pressure.
David Murray – SUTTON GUARDIAN – 11 April 2019
Read CAFOD news to find topics to raise in Newspapers

Keep it short and simple

Short letters do best – ideally 100 words or less. The Sun taught me a lesson. I sent a 332 word monster to get the subject off my chest, thinking they’ll never publish. They published after cutting it to 45 words! The Guardian rarely publishes a letter over 250 words and, for a chance of appearing the following day, should arrive no later than 2pm. I used to wonder why The Guardian asked for my phone number until they phoned  to say they were considering my letter for publication the following day. Sadly since Covid-19 that’s very rare. Example below :

Why do journalists confuse “paid” and “earned”? The Pakistani workers who were paid 29p an hour for making Boohoo clothes earned a lot more but others including the customers took their earnings. By contrast bankers are paid millions that they do not earn. If these words were used properly in the media it would be a small step towards an understanding of equality and fairness.
Michael McLoughlin
The Guardian 23 December 2020
Read about our latest Campaign and contact your local newspaper to raise the issue

Email get a greater chance to be published

Email is favoured. Just Google, e.g. ‘Contact us The Guardian’ for the email address for Letters.  The same Goggle works for most newspapers and journals. Both Mike and I send to The Guardian and the London Evening Standard. I also send to the New Statesman; Mike to Catholic papers.

You write that “Poorer countries, which broadly speaking are the least to blame for the climate crisis – emitting less carbon dioxide per capita – will suffer most” (Editorial, 1 August). As overseas development charities like Cafod witness every day, there is no “will” about it. Poor people in poorer countries have been suffering the effects of climate change for many years. A 2013 DfID-funded paper found: “This analysis provides evidence that a drought in East Africa such as seen in 2011 has become more probable as a result of anthropogenic climate change.” The drought affected 10 million people in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Many of whom would have migrated, some possibly to Europe.
David Murray
Wallington, Surrey – 6 August 2019
Write to your Local newspaper about the upcoming refugee day

Together we can bring about change and save the world

CAFOD Southwark volunteer, Angela, shares inspiring insights on how we can all make changes to our lifestyle in order to protect the world and resist ubiquitous consumerism.

“It’s up to us to make a stand against consumerism”

Back in late 2018 as a new enthusiastic CAFOD volunteer, I attended an excellent “Countering Consumerism“ event run by CAFOD colleagues. Superb timing as it was just before Black Friday shopping events!  Among the things we did was a personal Ecological Audit of electronics, diet, transport, and clothes (see enclosure). I found doing this really helpful and resolved to think “need” rather than “want” when going shopping in the future. How did I do? Not bad but during the COVID Pandemic my purchases online did creep up…..

Fast forward to 2021. This is our year of hope that the G7 meeting in Cornwall in June and the COP 26 event in Glasgow in November can secure sufficient Governmental pledges from all Nations to save our precious home and God’s wonderful creation from climate warming and irreversible ecological change. 

As individuals, we really can influence decisions made in the world today. It’s up to us to start and make a stand.  I have re-done my Ecological Audit and am sharing my big decisions here:

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Making COP26 Count

Julie Valentine, CAFOD Parish volunteer in Our Lady Queen of Peace, East Sheen, shares her reflections on attending a recent inspiring ecumenical meeting and invites us all to take action to ensure the opportunities of the G7 meeting and COP26 climate talks this year are not wasted but seized, so that we can Reclaim Our Common Home.

In the lead-up to CAFOD’s campaign Reclaim our Common Home, I attended the online Churches Together South London: Big Gathering on the theme of “Churches Together for the Climate”.   The meeting was brilliantly chaired by Bishop Karowei Dorgu; it included presentations from the YCCN (The Young Christian Climate Network), and from Faith for the Climate, a multifaith organisation that seeks to inspire and equip faith communities in their work on climate change.  It focused on how to ensure that the two forthcoming international summits, the G7 in Cornwall in June and COP26 in Glasgow in November, will make world leaders focus creatively and positively on the climate crisis.

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