Andy Wansbury is a parishioner from St John Vianney in Bexleyheath and an active campaigner with CAFOD. He has agreed, with a bunch of other campaigners in the diocese of Southwark, to write some blogs this year to accompany us all on our journey to the COPE 26 next November. Here is the first campaign article of a Series you will find every month on our blog.
The new year began with high positive hopes with the role out of Coronavirus vaccines, only for us to feel deflated by the new lockdown. Coronavirus has dominated our lives for the last nine months to the exclusion of almost everything else. As serious and as important as Coronavirus is, some of the issues that have been lost from the news are just as important and just as urgent. Climate Change is one of those issues. Climate Change hasn’t gone away it still is a major threat to our world. We must not forget about it.
Scientists are still stressing the need for action and emphasizing that it is the most vulnerable people who will suffer the most from the effects of, whilst being the least responsible, for Climate Change.
This Christmas’ Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures* on the BBC (which are aimed at young people), chose to look at Climate Change. In the third lecture, Dr. Tara Shine spoke with Hindu Amaro Ebrahim from Chad (one of the least developed countries in the world). Hindu explained how Climate Change was affecting Chad. It is causing temperatures to rise (and rise faster than the global average) and along with a decrease in rainfall, it has caused Lake Chad to shrink by 90% of its 1960 size. The result is that local people are leaving the area becoming refugees, impacting on food security, job security, and causing conflict in the country.
Dr. Shine then went onto compare how much Chad was adding to Climate Change as opposed to other countries who are less affected by Climate Change. She compared annual production per person of carbon dioxide (CO2). The chief cause of climate change.
- Chad 0.06 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum
- India 1.9 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum
- UK 5.5 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum
- USA 15.5 tons of CO2 is produced per person per annum
The message was clear that those least responsible for Climate Change are those suffering the most from the consequences of Climate Change. Not only are they suffering the most from Climate change but they are already some of the poorest people in the world.
CAFOD and its partners have been championing this cause for long time, that Climate Change is a crisis that is affecting the poorest people in the world, who are least responsible for climate change, the most.
What can we do what should we do to respond to this?
We can assess our own actions that produce CO2: can I cut things I do that produce CO2? Do I always need to take the car? Do I need to store all those old emails? Are just a couple of examples of questions we should asking ourselves. We can help educate people even just by word of mouth, encouraging the better use of resources. We can petition our politicians and demand that they support and promote policies at local, national and international levels, that will minimize or reduce Climate Change. We must make politicians realize that taking action against Climate Change is a vote winner, especially as we head towards COP26. Read more about COP 26 and the UK
If we want there to be a world for future generations (no matter where they live in the world), we must act now. It doesn’t matter we can only take a small action, every little bit we do builds with the actions of others into a large action and change for the good can be achieved. Sign our new petition to reclaim our common home
*Royal Institution Christmas Lecture by Dr Tara Shine broadcast 30/12/2020