Speech given by Ruth Jarman (right below)
at the Climate Change Rally at the American Embassy
on 3 December 2005
(See also : Report of Climate Service )
I am a trustee of Christian Ecology Link and I am a mother.
My son and I have a message for Tony Blair. Tony, you're into targets! Targets for the health service, targets for crime, targets for schools. Tony, the only target that I care about, the only target that my children will ultimately care about, the only target that your children will ultimately care about is a target on CO2 emissions that will ensure the viability of life on this planet for them and their children.
We've all heard what you've said about climate change - that it is a major threat. But then you also say that we have to face political realities. Well, let the laws of the universe bow to your political realities! Let physics and chemistry just modify their laws in obedience to your god of economic growth. Let polar bears learn to love living in zoos while we sacrifice their habitat on the altar of unfettered consumption.
Stop and think about it, Tony, believe it or not, economic growth is not god. We have bowed to this idol for long enough. Now is the time to look at how our beautiful world works and have the humility to fit into it, rather than pushing it beyond its limits in an attempt to satisfy our toddler attitude that we want it all now. We need you, Tony, to help the human race grow up!
And it is possible. Studies have shown that we can cut our UK emissions by 60%. We can do it without waiting around for new technology. And we can do it without nuclear power. All we need from you is serious, and I mean serious, investment in renewables and energy efficiency and the vision, leadership and courage to break our culture's addiction to energy.
At Montreal , Tony, we need you to negotiate a binding treaty that contracts our global emissions to a safe level and converges all countries to equal per-capita emissions. Go for that safe binding target, go for it as if your children's lives depend on it.
And I've also got a message for President Bush. I too call myself a Christian. But the God I worship is more important to me than the economy. The Jesus I follow came down to this earth to redeem the whole of creation, to demonstrate its preciousness. How can you think it's OK to destroy the earth? And the Jesus I follow calls me to love my neighbour as myself, where that neighbour is of another race, from another country, fallen on harder times than myself. President Bush, your neighbour is a child in Bangladesh , losing his land and home to sea-level rise. And you, as an average American will have contributed 100 times as much CO2 than he to the cause of that sea-level rise. This is injustice on a huge scale. And the Bible I've got talks a lot about justice.
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres says:
"The effects of climate change are already being felt by the poor and vulnerable throughout the world. Anyone who believes that a bias to the poor is close to the heart of the Christian gospel , must be involved in the effort to slow the pace of climate change."
President Bush, we are asking you to protect life on this wonderful Earth by agreeing a binding international target for the emission of carbon dioxide based on the practical and ethical principles of contraction and convergence.
"Let polar bears learn to love living in zoos while we sacrifice their habitat on the altar of unfettered consumption.
Churches' Climate Change Campaign
Service sheet used at Prayers for Planet Service at Hinde Street following the march
Report of climate Service
Poster explaining service and march
More Pictures of the March
CEL press release: nuclear energy 28 Nov 2005