“Then they (the disciples) returned to Jerusalem . . . . all were constantly devoting themselves to prayer together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.” (Acts. 1.12 and 14)
“God pours his redemptive power into the world through the funnel of his people's prayers. The more that is made, the more power gets through. In some situations God does not move except in response to the prayers of his people.” (W.E. Sangster)
“Without prayer there is no power.” (Selwyn Hughes)
Tuesday 1 st June
“Idolatry is about getting our values and priorities in their right order. If we put God first, then everything else falls into proper proportion. Idols today tend to be concepts, and one of the most damaging and life-denying concepts is that of economic growth.” (Sam Norton speaking at the Scarborough CEL conference)
“What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us.” (Alistair MacIntyre in “After Virtue”)
Wednesday 2 nd June
David Cameron, the new Prime Minister, has committed all government departments to a 10% reduction in carbon emissions within 12 months. Chris Huhne, the Climate Change Secretary, said: “The benefits of the low-carbon economy are agreed between both parties in government. This is a priority agenda common to both manifestos.” We pray for a common determination throughout government to make early and drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions throughout British society.
Thursday 3 rd June
St. Silas church, Pentonville, London , has become the first solar-tiled church in Britain . The £380,000 project was funded by grants, charitable trusts and the sheer graft of parishioners who sponsored the roof tile by tile. Father Shaun Richards said: “I'm certain the idea will catch on, because we all have south-facing roofs, huge energy bills and a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.” The tiles are expected to meet 47% of the church's energy requirements. The Diocese of London has a target of reducing carbon emissions by 20.12% by 2012.
Friday 4 th June
Recycling of food waste to generate energy has been the practice of Harrow School for over a year. Staff load all food waste into a shredder which feeds the waste into bins provided by waste recycling firm PDM. The bins are collected each week. So far the recycled food has generated 1,250 kw. of power.
Saturday 5 th June
“Conspiracy of Freedom” is the title of six regional events organised by Breathe in partnership with Tearfund, A Rocha and Stewardship, in order to kickstart a conversation up and down the country about simpler, more sustainable, more generous lifestyles. Elaine Storkey of Tearfund and Mark Powley of Breathe will open the discussions, which will close with a challenge to become a local changemaker. Events to come are:
Today at St. George's Centre, Leeds from 10 to 1.
June 7 th at Holland Road Baptist Church , Brighton , at 7.30 pm .
June 10 th at St. Aldate's, Oxford at 7.30 pm .
June 24 th at the Barnabas Centre, Shrewsbury , at 7.30 pm .
July 12 th at Oomoro Café, Smithdown Road , Liverpool 7.30.
For information & booking, go to:
Sunday 6 th June
Father, help us to grasp the truth that without prayer there is no power. Help us to avoid the barrenness of busyness, and to find the fruitfulness that comes alone through prayer.
Monday 7 th June.
According to former NASA scientist James Hansen “Coal emissions must be phased out as rapidly as possible, or global climate disasters will be a dead certainty” and “Energy efficiency is certainly an essential part of the solution to global warming, but it must be part of a strategic approach that leaves most fossil fuels in the ground.”
Tuesday 8 th June
Hansen catalogues actions by governments that belie their public commitment to reductions in the use of fossil fuels:
They allow construction of new coal-fired plants
They allow construction of new plants that will produce oil from coal
They allow exploitation of tar sand deposits
They lease out remote areas for oil and gas exploration to search for the last drop of hydrocarbons
They allow highly destructive mountaintop removal in order to get as much coal as possible.
Wednesday 9 th June
Given the imperative of phasing out coal emissions by 2030 and placing a prohibition on the exploitation of tar sands, current reserves of oil and gas are by themselves enough to take emissions up to the maximum already agreed by governments. The problem according to Hansen is that governments, under the heavy hand of special interests, are not phasing out the coal-fired plants, which provide half America 's electricity and even more in India and China . Furthermore, if carbon capture and storage is the solution, who is going to pay for the increased operating costs and consequent rise in electricity bills?
Thursday 10 th June
Hansen believes that energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy should be the top priority everywhere. But these two “solutions” will not be enough to solve the climate problem. He suggests that we take another look at fast nuclear reactors, which produce far less waste than current reactors, nor can their waste be used to make explosive weapons. Development of fast reactors in the USA was halted in 1994. Hansen believes it should be re-started.
Friday 11 th June
Hansen's main proposal for reducing carbon emissions he calls “fee-and-dividend”.
An annually rising fee is collected at the coal mine, oil well or port of entry for every ton of coal, oil and gas produced.
All the fees collected are distributed equally to every adult, with half shares to children.
People with a low carbon footprint will be the winners, while all others will have a big incentive to reduce theirs.
This system, unlike cap-and-trade, does not require a large bureaucracy, nor is there any leakage to market traders.
Does it work? In 2008 the government of British Columbia adopted a carbon tax with a payroll tax reduction. In the following election, the opposition campaigned against it and lost. Now both parties support it. It works.
Saturday 12 th June
Israel 's President Shimon Peres has opened the world's biggest reverse-osmosis desalination plant, which will supply 20% of Israel 's domestic water consumption. The $463 million Hadera plant will remove salt from the water by applying pressure on one side of a selective membrane. It will supply water at a cost of $0.57 per cubic metre and will use 450 GW. of electricity a year.
Sunday 13 th June
Father, we sometimes feel overwhelmed by the scale and complication of the environmental problems we face. Help us to see how we may respond in our daily lives, and help us to understand that where we lead, others will surely follow.
Monday 14 th June
UK schools account for 9.25 million tonnes of CO 2 emissions a year, but the Government has set a target for all new schools to be zero carbon by 2018. Ashley Primary School in Surrey won an Ashden Award in 2009 for cutting its electricity by more than half. The children are responsible for monitoring energy use, and the solutions include a biomass boiler, solar thermal heating, PV lighting and low-watt laptops.
The consultancy C-Change pairs up businesses with local secondary schools on initiatives such energy workshops, a