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CEL home > Resources > Prayer Guide index to months > > July 2009

CHRISTIAN ECOLOGY LINK:-
A PRAYER GUIDE for
THE CARE OF CREATION
July 2009

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Wednesday 1st July
“The best friend of earth and of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on earth.” (Frank Lloyd Wright).  Yet 20% of global CO2 emissions come from tropical deforestation, while the total tropical forest area continues to shrink by 5% per decade. The Amazon forests alone store 80-120 billion tonnes of carbon. If released, they would emit 50 times the annual emissions of the USA.

Thursday 2nd July
The cattle sector is the key driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. According to government figures, cattle are responsible for about 80% of all deforestation. In recent years one hectare of Amazon rainforest has been lost to cattle ranchers every 18 seconds. Yet the Brazilian government has $2.65 billion in shares in global beef and leather processors who profit from the cheap supply of cattle reared on areas of illegally-destroyed forest.

Friday 3rd July
A new Greenpeace report called “Slaughtering the Amazon” finds that the UK imports 40% of its processed beef (prepared, cooked or tinned) from Brazil, mainly via three companies, Bertin, JBS and Marfrig. Sales of ready meals represent 7% of all main meals in the UK. It is imperative that we stop trading with or funding companies implicated in forest destruction. The report names names. www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/slaughtering-the-amazon

Saturday 4th July
2 million tonnes a year of soy beans are imported into the UK, mainly for feeding to pigs and poultry. In Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, tropical forests are being cut down on a massive scale to make way for soy plantations. The meat and dairy industry produces more climate-changing emissions than every plane, car and lorry on the planet – 18% of the total. FoE’s Food Chain Campaign aims to promote alternatives to soy-based animal feed such as field beans and other legumes. For more details, go to: www.fixthefoodchain.com

Sunday 5th July
Heavenly Father, have mercy on us in our perplexity as we confront the challenges of climate change. Help us to look at our consumer choices in the light of your biblical truth, to determine where we stand, and then to take whatever action seems necessary to protect your precious earth, for which your Son gave his life.

Monday 6th July
Paul Macartney has launched a Meat Free Mondays initiative to highlight the impact of meat production on climate change. £700 million of taxpayers’ money is spent yearly propping up intensive meat and dairy production in England, the killer link in a hidden chain that connects the food on our plates with climate change and rainforest destruction. FoE comments: “Cutting down on meat delivers a double win for the health of people and the planet. The Government must urgently support planet-friendly farming by shifting subsidies to help farmers produce home-grown animal feeds and alternative breeds.”

Tuesday 7th July
Soybean production in Brazil has displaced 11 agricultural workers for every one who finds employment in the industry. In Argentina the area of soybean plantations increased by 126% in a decade at the expense of dairy, wheat, maize and fruit production, while 60,000 farmers went out of business. So the country now has to import more food leading to increased food prices and more hunger.


Wednesday 8th July
Tewolde Egziabher, Director of Ethiopia’s Environmental Protection Authority and co-founder of the Institute for Sustainable development, believes that subsidised food dumped on African markets by Europe and America is the reason why Africa’s agriculture has remained at subsistence level and never developed intensive agricultural production. “The dependence it (dumping) creates by destabilising indigenous agriculture is the main reason why the proportion of hungry people in Africa is now so high. But it will only take a few growing seasons for the rurally-intact subsistence food production systems in Africa to fill the gap created by the cessation of food dumping.”

Thursday 9th July
The shortage of allotments in Britain has encouraged many initiatives to link gardeners with garden-owners. The Adopt-a-Garden project on the Isle of Wight links owners who are old or sick with gardeners willing to cultivate their gardens, keeping an eye on the health of the owners and reporting any problems. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Landshare scheme aims to put people all over the UK in touch with gardeners looking for space. So far over 20,000 people have registered an interest through the internet. The scheme does not however reach people without internet access. For more details go to: www.footprint-trust.co.uk/adoptgarden.html
or www.landshare.net

Friday 10th July
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is hosting a series of seminars aimed at creating a blueprint for a sustainable future. One on September 9th on “Land Use and Agriculture” explores land-use scenarios necessary to decarbonise Britain including reducing non-CO2 emissions, the UK’s potential for biomass and exciting possibilities for carbon sequestration. Another on September 30th on “Policy, Actions and Economics” explores how Britain can invest in the necessary transition, on a similar scale to bank bail-outs, so stimulating the economy through increased jobs and creating a tangible dividend of energy saved and generated. To reserve a place, contact Deborah Sale on zch2events@cat.org.uk

Saturday 11th July
Today a mass rally by a wide coalition of schools, churches, community and environmental groups will march through Doncaster to St. George’s Minster for a short service followed by a Q & A session with Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change. Mark Dowd from Operation Noah said: “The Copenhagen summit is arguably the most critical gathering that has ever taken place. The evidence that climate change is accelerating is there for all to see. This crisis needs to unite many groups in society and make our leaders aware that we demand action, not just words.” For more information about becoming involved, contact: m.dowd@operationnoah.org or ring   0207 324 4769  or   07968 131639.

Sunday 12th July
Father God, you are calling us today to play our full part in the care of your creation and to manage carefully the land that you have given us to tend. We pray for wisdom as we choose between alternative uses for the land. Guide our policy-makers, planners and farmers, and help us all to understand that we hold land, not in perpetuity, but in trust for generations to come.

Monday 13th July
The Isle of Wight is set to become the world’s first eco-island by 2020. The Island Strategic Partnership (ISP), following surveys of the whole community, consulted with architect Sir Terry Farrell and Southampton University. A new gasification plant converts municipal waste into electricity to power 2,000 homes. Three new renewable energy systems have been installed in community buildings. A fund has been set up to help homeowners insulate their houses. A One Million Bloom scheme is improving public spaces with drought-tolerant and exotic plants. The Council has approved the building of 800 homes at Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, complete with solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems – one of the biggest eco-developments in Britain. Dame Ellen MacArthur, the record-holding solo circumnavigator of the globe, said: “The Isle of Wight is a fantastic location for harvesting energy but, more importantly, it’s about the people of the Island being proud to live on the Island and wanting to make a difference.”  Website: www.eco-island.org.uk

Tuesday 14th July
The people of Brickendon in Hertfordshire have won £6,924 from the East of England Development Agency’s Cut the Carbon scheme for recording the largest reduction in their electricity consumption after 50 ‘eco-eye’ electricity monitors were issued to its ‘Watt Watchers’ club. The monitors are expected to result in a 15% reduction in electricity consumption, so cutting CO2 emissions and saving money in energy bills.
Website: www.cutyourcarbon.org.uk

Wednesday 15th July
UK architects RMJM have unveiled the ‘MiLoft’ – a housing model that requires no heating. Using Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery with a high level of air tightness, as well as warmth generated by body heat and electrical appliances, a constant indoor temperature can be maintained. Rainwater collected on the roof is redistributed for flushing. The open plan design encourages social interaction, with communal staircases designed like garden terraces and rooftop ‘aloftments’. The plots reduce surface water run-off, lessen carbon emissions and encourage residents to grow their own food. Website: www.rmjm.com

Thursday 16th July
The new medical centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital will generate 100% of its own green energy and supply 20% to other parts of the site. The building will include a sedum roof to trap rainwater, a super glass frontage to maximise natural daylight and LED detectors to help cut energy consumption. Designed by Llewelyn Davies Yeang, the building will save more than 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year. Website: www.ich.ucl.ac.uk

Friday 17th July
More than 25% of UK carbon emissions come from the existing housing stock. Household Energy Services, based in Shropshire, the finalists in the ‘Big Green Challenge’ competition, send trained volunteers round to conduct a free survey of your house and make recommendations. Ecos Renew, based in Somerset, also offer a report on potential improvements, provide a design service and manage any installation work that needs to be done.
Websites: www.ecotrust.org.uk   and   www.h-e-s.org

Saturday 18th July
Ashley Primary School is a joint 1st prizewinner of the Ashden Awards for schools. Since its headteacher returned from an Antarctic trip, the school has installed a biomass boiler, solar heating, a PV array and energy-efficient lighting as well as setting targets for energy consumption in the school and home and integrating energy learning into every subject including art and maths.
Website: www.ashdenawards.org/UK_schools

Sunday 19th July
Still the busy-ness of our minds and hands, dear Lord, that in the silence of prayer we may receive your word and, in the day’s busy round, dispense your light and your love to all whom we may encounter.

Monday 20th July
New figures from the Met office project an increase of 3.90 C. in the South West by 2080 – well over the so-called ‘safe’ level of a 20 increase. Rainfall in the summer will drop by 13% by 2040 and increase in the winter by 24% by 2080, dramatically increasing the risk of drought and flooding. Sea levels at Lands End are expected to rise by up to 40 cm. by 2080. Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, said : “These projections will allow us to ensure a resilient infrastructure to cope – whether it’s design of school buildings or protection of new power plants, maintaining the supply of drinking water, adjusting ways of farming for drier summers or understanding how our homes and businesses must adapt.”

Tuesday 21st July
Roz Savage, who in 2005 rowed solo across the Atlantic, has become a Climate Change Ambassador and plans to walk from London to Copenhagen in the 6 weeks following a global day of action on October 24th outside Big Ben. Challenging her supporters around the world to “Pull Together” with 10,000 steps to match the 1,000 oar strokes a day she will make on her forthcoming Trans-Pacific voyage, she will arrive in Copenhagen in time to deliver to the conference delegates a petition to symbolise a joint commitment from all walkers to take immediate, aggressive action to reduce global CO2 levels.
For more info. go to www.environmentalideas.blogspot.com

Wednesday 22nd July
The UK Government is actively promoting the increased use of carbon offsetting at the climate talks in Copenhagen, including a plan to buy up forests – a plan which, according to FoE, will not stop deforestation and will cause social harm to people that rely on them “Carbon offsetting is doing nothing to combat climate change, is putting the livelihoods of millions of people at risk and is entrenching inequality between rich and developing countries’ levels of emissions. It is cheating Britons out of the new jobs and industries which investing in green technologies would bring. Gordon Brown must push for rich countries to deliver on their responsibility to cut their own emissions first and fast and to pay their fair share of global costs to fight climate change.”

Thursday 23rd July
From today until the 26th the Resurgence Summer Camp 4 miles from Worcester is being hosted by Green and Away, the European eco-friendly tented conference centre. The site will be a showcase for low-impact technologies, including electricity from the wind and sun, solar and wood-burning showers, meeting spaces made of coppiced hazel and recycled canvas, art and craft activities and composting toilets. The fee of £65 a night or £165 for the whole period is payable by cheque to The Resurgence Trust at Ford House, Hartland, Bideford, Devon EX39 6EE. For more information ring 0870 460 1198 or email Green & Away. Website: www.greenandaway.org

Friday 24th July
The Mayor of London has launched the London Waste to Fuel Alliance in a move to convert the 3 million tonnes of food waste that London produces annually into useful energy. “If we collected all this food waste and either composted it or used it for the generation of clean power, we would save 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. That is the domestic output of 100,000 homes.” He hopes to deliver five exemplary new bio-fuel power plants in the capital by 2012.

Saturday 25th July
“Jatropha – the wonder crop?” is the name of a new FoE report from Swaziland which investigates claims that jatropha can provide biofuels which do not compete with food crops and can grow almost anywhere. According to the report, some farmers growing jatropha for D1 Oils find that the crop needs regular watering. Other farmers have turned land recently used for growing food into jatropha production. FoE says: It is shameful that this so-called wonder crop is replacing food production in a country where two-thirds of the population depend on food aid. The EU must assess the damage being done by jatropha as part of its biofuels review next year – and D1 Oils should stop producing it until they have assessed its social and environmental impact.”

Sunday 26th July
Help us, dear Lord, so to deal with the things that we possess that they may never possess us. May we use all that you have given us in your service and to the glory of your kingdom. Amen.

Monday 27th July
The film “The End of the Line” has highlighted the threat to fisheries posed by the discard of unwanted fish. The South-West beam trawl fishery discarded 68 million fish between 2002 and 2005. North Sea roundfish trawlers discarded up to 10.5 million in just two years. The WWF Smart Gear guide supported by M & S shows that using selective gear has led to a 60% reduction in by-catch in some trawling fisheries in the south west. North Sea roundfish trawlers have seen a 90% reduction in accidental cod catches using the ‘Eliminator trawl’, designed from observing that cod swim down and escape through larger holes in the nets. WWF has launched a Smart Gear competition to find innovative fishing gear to reduce the number of marine animals and seabirds caught as by-catch.
Website: www.panda.org/smartgear

Tuesday 28th July
According to a report from New Philanthropy Capital entitled “Green philanthropy”, global fish consumption has doubled since 1973, and one quarter of marine fish stocks are over-harvested, with 70% of marine fish species in danger of collapse by 2048. The report highlights the work of the Marine Stewardship Council, an international charity which promotes a voluntary standard for certifying fisheries. Over 450 seafood products are now available with the MSC eco-label across 26 countries. 63 of these are available in the UK.

Wednesday 29th July
Carbon-saving is an important and enjoyable part of life for pupils at Ashden Award-winning Currie Community High School near Edinburgh. Pupils track energy use at school and, over ten years, have helped the school to save around 70 tonnes of CO2 a year. Last year an 11kW wind turbine was installed to supply electricity plus a 30 kW solar thermal array to heat the swimming pool. www.Ashdenawards.org/UK_schools

Thursday 30th July
A report from Oxfam entitled The Right to Survive says that by 2015 the number of people affected by climatic crises is likely to rise by 54%, not including people hit by other disasters such as wars, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and this rise threatens to overwhelm the humanitarian aid system unless there is fundamental reform. Aid should be given swiftly and impartially after a disaster, according to the level of need. In 2004 an average of £820 was spent for each victim of the Asian tsunami, while only about £15 per victim was spent on the humanitarian disaster in Chad. National governments, with the international community, need to invest more in reducing the risk of disasters. “While there has been a steady increase in climate-related events, it is poverty and political indifference that make a storm out of a disaster.”

Friday 31st July
A key feature of the Transition movement is its emphasis on resilient communities. Basic to this is the development of local food production, local energy sources, transport and sustainable housing. The current economic instability is driven by the idea of continuous growth, which uses up the Earth’s finite resources and is caused by the monetary policy of lending with interest, which makes growth necessary to recover debt. Community banks could provide loans to savers without interest, as practised in a number of successful banking schemes in Sweden, Switzerland and other countries. Several Transition communities now issue local currencies, though there is no blueprint for success. As the Transition website puts it: “Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale. What we are convinced of is this: if we wait for governments, it’ll be too little, too late. If we act as individuals, it will be too little. If we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.”
www.transitiontowns.org  and www.transitionculture.org

Sources:

CIWEM Business Briefing
Clean Slate (CAT)
Positive News
Resurgence
www.edie.net

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