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Village Green Corner -  Articles for you to use in your church magazine.

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Article as word file

March Village Green Corner

Time to Build the Ark Again

Floods. Hurricanes. Drought. The outlook for the world's weather isn't good. All over the world, we're beginning to see the effects of a dramatic rise in average temperatures - commonly known as global warming. The climate is changing, and the effects could be catastrophic.

Of course, climate change is nothing unusual. It's a natural phenomenon, part of the process by which the earth maintains the equilibrium that allows it to sustain life. What is unusual, however, is the rate at which the climate is changing at present. Natural climate change is normally a slow process, happening over thousands of years. It gives the earth's inhabitants a chance to adapt or migrate. In comparison, this new change - provoked not by natural forces, but by human activity - is happening at breakneck speed; and it is precisely that speed which makes it such a serious threat to the future of life on earth. The journal Nature reports that up to a third of the world's species may be doomed to extinction by 2050.

Humans, the source of global warming, potentially face the same threat as all other species. But not all humans are equally affected. Our ability to escape the effects of climate change is proportional to the technological and financial resources we have at our disposal. So the rich world, which is responsible for the overwhelming majority of the pollution that causes climate change, gets off relatively scot-free (albeit with increased insurance premiums), while the poor pay the price as the increasingly unstable climate makes it ever harder to eke out a living from the land.

This is why climate change is a Gospel issue, and one that all Christians should take seriously. Jesus' "manifesto commitment", in Luke 4.18, is "to bring good news to the poor"; and the Bible is full of evidence of God's passion for justice for the poor. To destabilise the climate as we are doing is an affront to the Creator of this wonderful world; and that the poor should bear the brunt of its effects is an outrage, which Christians cannot ignore.

But what can ordinary folk like you and I do about it? It's easy to feel helpless in the face of the powerful economic and political forces, which are at the root of global warming. But a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step; and Operation Noah offers each of us the chance to take a few simple steps in the right direction.

1. You can tell the government that you think this is important: Sign the Climate Covenant and add your voice to the growing call for political action on climate change. But crucially the Climate Covenant is also an undertaking to take action oneself.
2. You can take action yourself: There are plenty of simple things you can do to cut down on the greenhouse gases you create. The most effective is to switch your electricity supply to one of the renewable energy products available on the market. Changing supplier is quick and easy - it just takes a phone call, and it needn't cost any more than your existing supplier.
3. You can spread the word: Tell your family, friends and work colleagues about Operation Noah, and encourage them to get on board. You can download our free "Ark in a Box" campaign pack from

You can pick up a leaflet from the back of [your local church] that will take you through these steps, or you and your household can just sign the Climate Covenant below.

The Climate Covenant

"World leaders must act to avert dangerous climate change, and give everyone fair access to energy in a sustainable world economy.

We ask the UK government to lead negotiations.

We will take action personally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Signed: Name (s):
............. .............
............ .............
Address: .....................
Town: ......................
Postcode: ......... Date: ..........
e-mail: ......................
( Magazine name and date)

Please cut out this form and send it to: Operation Noah, FREEPOST SE8672, 9, Nuthatch Drive, Earley, Reading, RG6 5ZZ.

Operation Noah is named after the man who, in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, chose to co-operate with God and answer his call. Through Noah's obedience, life on earth was preserved. Humanity today stands before a similar challenge, this time from global warming. Join us in answering the call, and take a stand against climate change.
Operation Noah is a project of Christian Ecology Link, registered charity number 327844, and of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. This article was contributed by Jeremy Hicks.

Replace the two phrases in bold itallic before you reproduce this in your magazine.

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