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CHRISTIAN ECOLOGY LINK
A prayer guide for
The Care of Creation

J A N U A R Y   2 0 0 2

 

          “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

                                                                                                (Eph.6.18)

 

          “The whole cosmos has already been claimed and redeemed . . . won back from the vandals for God. It is for us to recognize that God has already declared the whole earth to be sacred, to appreciate it as such and to cease shutting up God inside holy buildings, while we get on with abusing the earth as if we can do as we like with it.”

                                                                                                (John Dunlop)

 

Tuesday 1st January.

          Archbishop Tutu, addressing Washington’s Georgetown University, said:

“You and I are made for goodness, for love, for transcendence, for togetherness. God has a dream that we, God’s children, will come to realize that we are indeed sisters and brothers, members of one family, God’s family, the human family – that all belong, all white, black and yellow, rich and poor, beautiful and not so beautiful, young and old, male and female, there are no outsiders, all are insiders – gay and straight, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Arabs, Americans, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Afghans, all belong. And God says: I have no one to help me realize my dream except you – will you help me?”

 

Wednesday 2nd January.

          Earlier he said: “Of course you are now the only superpower; your economic and military power are undisputed. But that should not be the measure of your greatness. It should be about sharing your enormous affluence and your political and social values of justice, freedom and equity, that there is a place in the sun for all. How gratifying that so many voices in this land are being raised at this time to say, ‘America, let us engage in serious introspection. This is an opportunity for a hard look at ourselves.’ That way lies true greatness.”

 

Thursday 3rd January.

          The British contractor Balfour Beatty has pulled out of Turkey’s giant Ilisu Dam Project, making it doubtful whether it will now go ahead. Charles Secrett of FoE comments: “Backing, such as export credits, should never even be considered in cases which involve such obvious environmental destruction and abuse of human rights.” For details visit www.ilisu.org.uk

 

 

 

Friday 4th January.

          The BP-promoted 1,730 km. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and gas pipeline will connect the Caspian Sea directly with the Mediterranean, crossing war-torn regions of the Southern Caucasus and Turkish Kurdistan. Part-funded by the International Finance corporation (part of the World Bank), the European Investment Bank, the Turkish Government and the US Administration, it is due to be completed in 2004. Pray for peace in the region and for local people to be adequately protected from leakages and other environmental effects.

 

Saturday 5th January.

          The Caspian area, consisting of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, contains up to 270 billion barrels of oil reserve and 20 trillion cubic metres of natural gas. Last March a 1,500 km. oil pipeline was opened, carrying oil from the Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan to Novorossiysk on the Russian Black Sea coast. From there it is carried by ship through the Bosphorus, but there is growing opposition from Turkey on environmental and geopolitical grounds. Pray for a turning-away from massive oil and gas developments, such as have led to repeated conflicts, towards local solutions such as wind and solar power.

 

Sunday 6th January.

          Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would make it:

                   A world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;

                   A world where the benefits of civilized life are shared and everyone can enjoy them;

                   A world where different races and cultures live in tolerance and mutual respect;

                   A world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love;

                   And give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Monday 7th January.

          Lester Brown, in a new book “Eco-Economy” (Earthscan), details the emerging industries needed to inaugurate the “Environmental Revolution”. The motor industry, for example, in order to produce the hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine of the future, will require a retooling of engine plants and retraining of automotive engineers. As wind power emerges as a mainstream energy source, there will be unused capacity at night, when electricity use drops. Owners of wind turbines will then turn on hydrogen generators to convert wind-power into hydrogen for fuel-cell engines. Hydrogen generators will start to replace oil refineries. Wind turbines will replace both the coal mine and the oil well. Both wind turbines and hydrogen generators will be suited to a wide range of developing countries to take advantage of local wind resources.

 

Tuesday 8th January.

          The new Eco-Economy will require a range of professions. Already in the USA nearly 60% of steel is produced from scrap. Recycling engineers are needed to develop technologies for recycling both metals and plastics. Sanitary engineers are needed to design sewage systems not based on water – a scarce commodity in many countries – and recycling systems for waste water. Family planning counselors who advise on reproductive health and contraceptive use could play a central role in controlling the spread of HIV. “Restructuring the global economy so that economic progress can be sustained represents the greatest investment opportunity in history” according to Lester Brown. Pray that, in the process, moral and spiritual values regain their dominance in the search for a sustainable economy.

 

Wednesday 9th January.

          On the final day of the 3-week conference on the Biotechnological and Toxic Weapons Convention in Geneva, the US delegation, going back on an earlier commitment to support the Ad Hoc Group set up to inspect suspected biological weapons research and production facilities, withdrew its support, so ending any prospect of new legally-binding measures to prevent the development of biological weapons. The next meeting is due on November 11th 2002.

 

Thursday 10th January.

          Since September 11th the US media has been awash with claims that biotech firms are “only weeks away from a cure for anthrax” or, for example, that Texas A & M University is on the verge of discovering “a single enzyme that will destroy all toxic agents.” But biological warfare is the deliberate use of disease to achieve military ends: it includes human, plant and animal diseases far beyond anthrax. The only victory would be to vanquish diseases themselves.

 

Friday 11th January.

          Since September 11th Congress has authorized $800,000 for Commonwealth Biotechnologies to sequence biological weapon genomes. Meanwhile the UK’s Sanger Institute announced that it had sequenced the genome of Yersina pestis, the bacteria that cause bubonic plague, claiming that this might lead to new treatments and defences against its use as a biological weapon. If the biotech industry patents these genes, how long will it be before bioterrorists obtain the patents? The US Patent Office has already released patent no.6227118 which explains in detail how to build an aerosolisation device for lethal nerve gas bombs. As long as profit remains the driving force of the biotech industry, the threat of proliferation of these dreadful weapons remains. Pray for an urgent international effort to ban them totally and to set up a foolproof inspection system. For more information visit www.sunshine-project.org

 

Saturday 12th January.

          The Court of Appeal has allowed operation to begin of the Sellafield Mixed Oxide (MOX) plant. This makes nuclear fuel out of plutonium and uranium for export around the world, so increasing the risk of terrorist seizure  and of Sellafield itself becoming a terrorist target. Also the UN International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea has rejected Ireland’s application to halt the MOX plant pending a full hearing later this year, but has noted that Britain has an obligation to prevent marine pollution resulting from the plant’s operation.

 

Sunday 13th January.

          Lord God, the world is full of your glory. Now your glory is being veiled by our negligence. Forgive us for our lack of concern. Unstop our ears so that we hear the groans of your creation so afflicted by human sin and thoughtlessness. Stir us up to act now to protect your suffering world. For the sake of your dear Son, who died to redeem us all.

 

Monday 14th January.

          Dr.Ke Chung Kim, a Korean entomologist, has proposed a peace park and wildlife reserve for the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, so allowing the two countries to work together in creation rather than destruction. The idea has won him the International Social Invention Award 2001, one of the awards published in The Cornucopia of Ideas by the Institute of Social Inventions (ISI), 6 Blackstock Mews, Blackstock Road, LONDON N4 2BT, tel 020 7359 8391 or visit www.globalideasbank.org

 

Tuesday 15th January.

          Edgar Cahn, founder of the US Time Dollar Institute, said at the UK Time Money Conference in Birmingham: “If productive work is defined by money, then building prisons and putting people in them is productive work, but keeping people out of prison is not. Chopping down forests is productive work; creating toxic waste and clearing it up is work. But protecting the environment is not.” “Ultimately it’s only the consumers who have those values that will reject clothing made in sweatshops, products made from the hides and tusks of endangered species and appliances that endanger the ozone layer. There is no product produced by a responsible environmentally-conscious business that cannot be undercut by a multinational corporation using cheap labour to produce a cheaper substitute. If we don’t work hard at creating a citizenry that knows what it really values, then we will continue to get the best-packaged elected officials that money can buy.” “We can best bring Justice to the world by bringing Love. We can’t do it alone. We are stretched thin. We may never be able to do the whole job. But now, after September 11th, we are not free to delay, to hold back, to abstain from beginning.”

 

Wednesday 16th January.

          5% of Danes now live in co-housing communities. Britain’s first co-housing development is now being built at Stroud, Gloucestershire. There will be 36 homes, a mixture of flats, studios and houses, each with its own front door, and a large communal house for eating, meeting and parties. All cars are parked on the periphery. Meals are available every evening in the communal dining-room if and when residents want, though there is a cooking rota. The housing is self-build, super-insulated with decking and balconies, solar thermal hot-water systems and photo-voltaic tiles providing electricity, the surplus of which is sold to the National Grid. For details contact tel. 01453 766466 or visit: www.cohouses.net

 

Thursday 17th January.

          According to the Meteorological Office, 2001 was the world’s second warmest year since records began in the 1850s. The global temperature was 0.42oC. above average temperatures for 1961-90; this year’s is expected to be around 0.47oC.above average. The Marrakech Summit in November brought ratification of the Kyoto Protocol a step nearer, but Russia was able to increase its allowance of “carbon sinks” (i.e.forests) from 17 megatonnes to 34. Australia and the USA remain outside the agreement.

 

Friday 18th January.

          The November meeting of the WTO in Qatar affirmed the right of nations to put public health before the patent rights of drug companies, but kept the issue of export dumping by the USA and EU off its agenda. The WTO still maintains that trade rules should prevail over environmental rules including the Kyoto Protocol and the Biosafety Agreement. This key issue will emerge later this year and will certainly provoke a wide debate.

 

Saturday 19th January.

          Following China’s acceptance into membership of the WTO, its duties on imported agricultural products will be reduced by 17% to 22%, hugely increasing the competition faced by Chinese farmers. According to the International Herald Tribune, Chinese farm incomes are already falling and production costs on China’s small farms are higher than on the large mechanized farms of the USA. This will lead to ever greater migration to the cities, raising unemployment figures, until finally China will cease to be self-supporting in its agriculture and become dependent on global agri-business. Pray that the eyes of world leaders may be opened to the consequences of growing dependence on the global corporations that drive WTO policies.

 

Sunday 20th January.

          Lord God, creator of all, we have turned from your love and followed the ways of greed and injustice, fear and violence. In our selfishness we have denied the needs of others and built a society which takes but seldom gives, which demands but rarely counts the cost, which values success above love, which seeks growth in output rather than in maturity. Forgive us, Lord, and grant us the strength to turn from our evil ways.

 

Monday 21st January.

          What are the lessons of the Foot and Mouth disaster (FMD)? None of the 3 enquiries announced in September are to be open public enquiries. The most far-reaching, the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food, closed on December 31st. A second enquiry, into the administrative handling of the crisis, is chaired by Dr.Iain Anderson, who was special adviser to Mr.Blair on the “millennium bug”. The third, chaired by Sir Brian Follett, is looking into animal diseases in general. A Private Eye investigation by Christopher Booker and Richard North suggests that a vaccination policy was ruled out by the European Commission because it might endanger the international trading status of the entire EU. However Holland successfully applied a limited vaccination-with-slaughter policy and regained full meat-exporting powers in August, whereas Britain has yet to regain hers. There was also evidence that FMD was widespread in Britain some months before it was made public. Finally, the “contiguous cull” policy under which millions of healthy animals were slaughtered was unjustified and wasteful. Dr.Kitching of the Animal Health Laboratory, Pirbright, Britain’s senior scientific expert on FMD, has claimed that this policy was not based on any proper grasp of veterinary science. Although the policy might produce an apparent reduction in the number of outbreaks, in the end it might only help to spread the disease. Pray for public disclosure of all the factors that led to the worst disaster to hit British agriculture in living memory.

 

Tuesday 22nd January.

          The terms of reference of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming explicitly states that any advice given must be “consistent with the Government’s aims for CAP reform, enlargement of the EU and increased trade liberalization.” In other words, British interests must take second place to the interests of European farmers as a whole (or those who purport to represent them in Brussels) and to the global corporations that increasingly control world markets. No account seems to be taken of the fact that Britain has suffered more than any other country from the successive impacts of BSE and FMD.

Wednesday 23rd January.

          The Land Heritage Trust submitted a detailed paper to the Policy Commission suggesting five major objectives:

·        The criteria to protect the family farm;

·        The survival of traditional crafts and skills;

·        Issues of food security;

·        The future role of ‘retired’ farmers and their wives;

·        The essential role of ethics and Christian values. Under this last objectives it lists the following:

·        Enhancing good relationships and integration into the local community;

·        Responding to the wishes of consumers & meeting local needs;

·        Widening the role of the Church;

·        Optimum rather than maximum production related to the inherent productive capacity of the land;

·        Responding to the needs of rural youth to build up net worth;

·        Re-affirming the need for natural justice and equity;

·        Speaking out for God’s values to be embraced at this time.

 

Thursday 24th January.

          Rob Brighton, Director of Land Heritage, writes: “The primary goals of profit, power and productivity have no inbuilt limits. Science and technology do not have the right to tyrannise and distort reality, where the environment suffers in the relentless pursuit of an obsessive drive to make food a cheap commodity . . . In this argument, the consumer is said to be king. Whatever they ultimately choose affects the world and the environment in which we live. If industrialized farming is supported, it will proliferate, as will the consequences to our health and the rural tapestry of life.

Are you willing to pay more for your food and eat less to give British farming a new belief in itself? (Hosea 4.1-6)”

 

Friday 25th January.

          The new Animal Health Bill, rushed through Parliament in the autumn, allows government officials to apply to the courts to enter land, buildings and houses in order to slaughter animals. There is no right of appeal and it is an offence, punishable by a 6-month prison sentence, to refuse to assist an inspector in killing an animal, or to demonstrate against his actions. The President of the Royal Society of Veterinary Surgeons warns that the bill could become unworkable for vets. and so create epidemics much more widespread and damaging than FMD. Mark Richer, a vet. and adviser to the RSPCA, said the bill would allow the slaughter of animals not capable of being affected by FMD or any other disease the minister cares to specify. It would allow them to be slaughtered if the minister considered they were in any way capable of spreading disease – such as a dog wandering across a field.

 

Saturday 26th January.

          Evidence that the blanket treatment of healthy farm animals with antibiotics is creating super-bacteria that are a serious threat to human health is contained in the New England Journal of Medicine, where Professor Sherwood Gorbach calls on regulators to ensure that animals can only be treated with antibiotics on a vet’s prescription and that no antibiotics that are used to treat humans should also be used to treat animals. However, the US pharmaceutical industry enjoys an annual $4.2 billion animal drug market dominated by multinationals such as Bayer and Pfizer. The deputy director of the US Food & Drug Administration’s Centre for Veterinary Medicine has called Professor Gorbach’s recommendation “a laudable idea, but impractical.”

 

Sunday 27th January.

          Save us, Father, from over-reliance on human ingenuity and short-term solutions as we strive to repair the damage that we have wrought to your world. Acknowledging our reason as your most precious gift, inspire us to put our trust in you alone, who gave us your Son for our salvation.

 

Monday 28th January.

          Since the mid-1960s Rolls-Royce Marine Power Operations (RRMPO) has been burying enriched uranium, cobalt-60 and carbon-14 in Hilts Quarry near the village of Crick, Derbyshire, just 50 metres from a primary school. The waste, a by-product of the reactor cores from our nuclear submarines, has been tipped into unlined holes dug 2 metres deep in foundry sand. Now RRMPO tests show that cobalt-60 is leaking into local streams. Other tests have shown increasing levels of enriched uranium and thorium in the river silt. The Crick Action Group has blockaded the entrance to the quarry since July 10th. Despite arrests, they held a protest march and are lobbying local, national and European politicians and the Environment Agency. Yet the radioactive waste is predicted to increase by 500%. Letters may be sent to Michael Meacher, the minister, and to DEFRA at Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU. For more information visit www.hiltsquarry.co.uk

 

Tuesday 29th January.

          The first cloned human embryo has been produced in the USA and Congress has passed a bill to ban cloning for any purpose. The UK has still not signed the Council of Europe banning cloning. A bill has been rushed through Parliament banning reproductive cloning, but this would still allow the creation of cloned human embryos provided they were not used to create a child. These embryos could then be exported for implantation into women abroad. Pray for early legislation to close this loophole. For more information visit www.hgalert.org

 

Wednesday 30th January.

          Documents leaked from a Department of Health Advisory Panel on genetics have revealed plans to privatize genetic testing services. They envisage the sale – with or without hospital patients’ consent – of NHS patient data and tissue samples to the drugs industry, which may then patent the genes based on their research. The possibility of genetic discrimination on the basis of genetic information so obtained is not even discussed. Pray for an open public debate on the issues raised by the dissemination of genetic information about NHS patients.

 

Thursday 31st January.

          Under new Government proposals on planning procedures, Parliament alone will decide whether major projects are to go ahead. Any local enquiry “will take as read the principle of, the need for and the location of” such projects. The list of projects to be approved by Parliament and not open to question at a public enquiry includes chemical plants, quarries, opencast coal mines and dual carriageways over 30 km.long, as well as nuclear facilities, runways and ports.  FoE comments: “These plans are a nightmare for local democracy and the environment. Parliament will decide whether a community gets an airport, port or road in their neighbourhood. Local people will only have a say on smaller issues – such as what colour to paint the gates at their new nuclear power station.”

 

Additional prayers:

 

 

 


 

Sources:
Corporate Watch.
Human Genetics Alert.
The Ecologist.
Land Heritage newsletter.
Greenpeace Business.
Private Eye report on FMD.

 

For further information and prayer request please write to:

Philip Clarkson Webb

15 Valley View

Southborough

Tunbridge  Wells

Kent TN4 0SY


Copyright © 2001-2004-2007 Philip Clarkshon Webb and Christian Ecology Link     http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk     email: CEL web editor

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