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CEL home > Resources > Prayer Guide index to months > October 2011

CHRISTIAN ECOLOGY LINK:-
A PRAYER GUIDE for
THE CARE OF CREATION
October 2011

          
Download and print the prayer guide as a booklet.
doc (A5 small print booklet) doc (A5 large print booklet) doc (A4) pdf small print booklet pdf - large print booklet

“He has made everything beautiful in his time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end . . . I know that everything God does will endure for ever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it.” (Ecclesiastes 3.11 & 14)

“The Father has put us into the world, not to walk through it with lowered eyes, but to search for him through things, events, people. Everything must reveal God to us.” (Michel Quoist)

“Man talks of a battle with Nature, forgetting that if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side.” (E.F. Schumacher)

Saturday 1st October

Today in Manchester, on the eve of the Conservative Party conference, supporters of Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD are leading a day of worship and campaigning on climate change and global poverty. From midday in the Methodist Central Hall there will be discussions and workshops around these issues. At 5 p.m. in Manchester Cathedral there will be an ecumenical service followed by a procession and candlelit vigil outside the Conservative conference venue.

Sunday 2nd October

 

Protect us, O Lord, from thoughts without action,

Guard us, O Lord, from words without feelings,

Defend us, O Lord, from ideas without results,

And surround us with your Presence.  Amen.  (David Adam)

 

Monday 3rd October

 

The past year has seen a frightening outbreak, at all levels of society, of the attitude summed up by the phrase “If it’s not illegal, do it; if it is illegal, do it but don’t get caught.” Expediency seems to prevail at some of the highest levels in society. Where is the Church in all this? Should we not be proclaiming, through every medium of communication, the necessity for our nation of maintaining truth, honesty and integrity?

 

Tuesday 4th October

 

Today from 9.45 to 4 at Old Alresford Place, Hampshire SO24 9DH, there is an A Rocha/CEL meeting to encourage and enable churches to take seriously the challenge to care for God’s creation and to assist them with new thinking, new approaches, new stories and tools. David Morgan of A Rocha will be leading the day and CEL’s Ruth Jarman will explain how her church has embraced the environmental award scheme.

 

Wednesday 5th October

 

According to William Deller in “Gods in the Making”, people who are increasingly told by authority what they can or cannot do lose the habit of deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, and instead have developed an attitude of “If I can, I will.” This robotic behaviour is reflected among employees at all levels who, subject to a culture of ‘targets’, have developed a pattern of ‘box ticking’ instead of considering what is the right thing to do. This can lead to a quality of life that is superficial, casual, flippant, cynical.

 

Thursday 6th October

 

Leaders in politics, business, media and faith groups have a dual responsibility – to maintain their personal standards and to set standards for society, by their actions and decisions, by their legislation and by their success or failure to condemn unacceptable behaviour. Most of us respond to the promptings of our leaders. We may argue, dispute or simply nitpick, but ordinary people respond. It’s not the well-heeled who suffer when standards collapse – they always have a Plan B. It’s generally the innocent, the naïve, the trusting and the tender-hearted who suffer the most.

 

Friday 7th October

 

Mr Justice Coleridge of the High court recently spoke to a conference of family lawyers: “Almost all of society’s ills can be traced directly to the collapse of family life . . . I’m not saying that every broken family produces dysfunctional children, but I am saying that almost every dysfunctional child is the product of a broken family.” Marriage has for centuries played a central role in providing a stable basis for raising children. The way successive governments have devalued marriage through their tax and benefit systems, and justified this on the grounds of ‘equality’ and ‘non-discrimination’ has been a major factor in the decline of family life.

 

Saturday 8th October

 

Today and tomorrow the Schumacher Centenary Festival celebrates the life and vision of E.F. Schumacher with lectures, workshops and an evening concert at the Colston Hall, Bristol, and (tomorrow) further workshops and films at Harbourside venues. Speakers include Caroline Lucas MP, Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva, Professor Tim Jackson, Rob Hopkins, Satish Kumar and Peter Blom CEO of Triodos Bank. For further details and online booking go to: www.schumacher.org.uk

Tel. 0117 9031081.

 

 

Sunday 9th October

 

Lord Jesus, you have called us to be your witnesses on earth. Help us to proclaim, by word and deed, the message of your love to all humankind, and to declare your lordship over creation and our responsibility as your stewards.

 

Monday 10th October

 

The 2009 CofE report “Church and the Earth” launched a 7-year plan of environmental commitments, including:

  • A carbon cut of 42% by 2020
  • All Church schools to be classed as ‘sustainable’ by 2016
  • The establishment of a Climate Justice Fund to support environmental  projects in East African churches
  • The development of a sustainable procurement system for the Church
  • A Code for Sustainable Churches based on the standards of the National Trust, Building Research Establishment and Green Building Council.

How has the Church risen to this challenge?

“First, we need to put our own house in order, by reducing the energy use of our churches. Then there’s our wider role in addressing the public at large. We mustn’t be afraid to speak up.” (Brian Cuthbertson, head of Environment Challenge, London Diocesan Fund)

 

Tuesday 11th October

 

Jonathon Porritt believes that sustainable development is not just about enlightened self-interest. Primarily it’s a heart and soul story. “Yet many people suspect that the ‘spiritual’ means to ‘drop out’ – to disappear narcissistically inwards, devoting ones life to meditation. There is indeed a time for contemplation, but an exclusive emphasis on the unworldly, on withdrawal from this grubby industrial culture of ours, merely reinforces the parody of spirituality as a morally-superior way of dropping out.

For many today, a more spiritual orientation demands the exact opposite of dropping out. When it comes to defending the Earth and its people, it means militantly putting into practice what we believe.” Or, as the psalmists puts it: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127 AV)

 

Wednesday 12th October

 

The National Snow & Ice Data Center reports that the seasonal minimum of Arctic ice is at its second lowest since records began. A Greenpeace supporter asks: “Does the melting of the Arctic ice matter?” and gives three answers:

1)    It is a measurable sign to politicians and the media that climate change is happening and they need to stop dithering and doubting and get on with the job of cutting emissions.

2)    Ice plays a vital role in reflecting the sun’s energy back into space. Without ice, more of this energy is absorbed by the darker ocean, so raising global temperatures.

3)    Big energy companies are planning to exploit areas previously unaccessible – a perfect example of a human tendency to pour oil on a growing fire, as well as putting profits before people.

 

 

 

Thursday 13th October

 

Last year’s Coalition programme described climate change as one of the gravest threats we face and committed itself to “urgent action both here and abroad.” A report from the Green Alliance entitled “Climate Check” finds that out of 29 specific policies on climate change, 16 have made only moderate progress and 6 none at all, due largely to opposition from the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. For example, the Green Deal is risking failure through lack of urgency and support across government. John Sauven of Greenpeace comments: “Right now our major global competitors are investing in low carbon technology. That investment is delivering jobs, raising valuable tax revenue and helping the fight against climate change, while here in the UK, those responsible for our economy seem blind to the opportunities that clean technology can offer. If the Government won’t wake up and grasp this once-in-a-generation chance, UK plc will lose out on jobs, on growth and much-needed revenues.”

 

 

 

Friday 14th October

 

Emissions from shipping are 3% of global emissions, i.e. more than Germany’s. A single ship can produce more emissions in a year than many small island states. A new report from Oxfam and WWF finds that applying a carbon price of $25 a tonne to shipping fuel would help cut emissions while generating $25 billion a year by 2020 to compensate developing countries for higher import costs and to provide more than $10 billion a year to the Green Climate Fund, which was set up to help developing countries but is currently empty.

EU Environment Ministers meeting this month could, if they wished, break the deadlock in negotiations before the Durban climate talks.

 

Saturday 15th October

 

A new WWF study called “Big Cities, Big Water, Big Challenges” finds that, with 70% of the world population living in cities by 2050, water shortages are increasingly likely in megacities.

In Mexico City exploitation of its aquifers contributes to an annual subsidence rate of 5-40 cm., so increasing the risk of catastrophic flooding.

In Nairobi 60% of people live in informal settlements with insufficient access to clean water, so they have to buy highly-priced water at kiosks.

Martin Geiger of WWF Germany said: “It’s vital for cities to protect and restore ecosystems that provide clean water. As well as reducing unnecessary consumption, successful water and wastewater management is essential to support agriculture. Cities must conduct vulnerability tests and ensure government and stakeholder involvement to assess risk and prepare for the increasing populations we expect.”

 

Sunday 16th October

 

God our Creator, you have made us to be stewards of your earth, to tend it and to bring forth fruit. Help us to respect and cherish all that has life from you, so that we may share in the eager longing of all your creation as we await the final revelation of your heavenly glory.

 

Monday 17th October

 

We have seen recently how the media and politics can be corrupted. The media are so powerful at moulding public opinion and influencing politics that wealthy business people are keen to own ever more outlets. But equally the media can be a wonderful instrument for deepening our relationships with the community and each other. According to Simon Marlow (www.worldgoodwill.org ) the gloom many feel about the future for humanity and the planet need not be a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Humanity is better than we are led to believe. Goodwill can and does transform communities. The good news is the best news there is.”

 

Tuesday 18th October

 

In response to the news that 1 million 16-24-year olds are out of work, the Co-Operative Group is creating 2,000 apprenticeships over the next three years. Varying from one to three years each, they cover a range of businesses from retail to funeral management, and there will be a job at the end of each apprenticeship. CEO Peter Marks said: “We believe businesses have a real responsibility to help motivate and inspire young people by giving them new opportunities to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to be pioneers for their generation.”

 

Wednesday 19th October

 

Food from the Sky is a London community which has 450 sq. metres of the rooftop to Thornton’s Budgen, an independent supermarket in Crouch End. They planted it with vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs and mushrooms. The produce is sold in the supermarket below, and its 200 staff are among those to benefit from an education project on the roof above, where they learn practical skills and re-connect with nature in the heart of the city. The team has prepared a 12-step organisational template which can be used by other community groups, supermarkets and organisations to get more growing spaces started. www.foodfromthesky.org.uk

 

Thursday 20th October

 

The Good Banking Forum representing more than 60 UK organisations ranging from the Manchester Business School to Oxfam and Unite, has launched an initiative to design a banking system which is safe and fit for purpose, claiming that the Vickers commission had too narrow a scope.

The group proposes:

1)    Breaking and downsizing existing banks to create more competition and customer choice

2)    Reviving local branches with a focus on local businesses

3)    Creating green investment banks dedicated to funding innovation, small businesses and social enterprises

4)    Transforming RBS into a Royal Bank of Sustainability to fund the infrastructure necessary for a low-carbon future

5)    Introducing a Robin Hood or Tobin tax on financial transactions to discourage short-term speculation.

www.goodbanking.org.uk and www.neweconomics.org

 

Friday 21st October

 

A mock trial has taken place at the Supreme Court to test in court the proposal for a new crime of ecocide. Michael Mansfield QC led for the prosecution and Nigel Lickley QC for the defence in the prosecution of the CEO of a fictional corporation engaged in activities such as deforestation in the Amazon, fracking for shale gas in Nigeria or extracting oil from Canadian tar sands. The aim is to have “ecocide” enshrined in a Universal Declaration of Earth Rights now under consideration at the UN. A spokesman explained: “It is essential that we do a forensic examination of the implications of this proposed law to see how it would work in practice.”

 

Saturday 22nd October

 

Welcome Break has announced the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging points at 12 of its service stations, so allowing EV drivers to drive from London to Edinburgh for free. It then plans to provide them at all 27 of its service stations by 2013. Of the 400 existing charging points, only 150 are outside London. Dale Vince of Ecotricity said: “It’s not towns and cities where electric cars need to recharge, but on longer journeys between cities, and that means motorways.”

 

Sunday 23rd October

 

Father, we praise you when we see the hearts of the powerful melting before the demands of your justice. We pray for those who are standing up for the poor and the exploited. Give them wisdom and insight, grace and patience, and the courage and endurance that come from you, so that your justice and peace may reign throughout your world.

 

Monday 24th October

 

Trials in the Technology Strategy Board’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme have shown that 77% of EV journeys last less than 20 minutes, and only 22% of journeys use more than half the battery charge, so enabling, in most cases, a return journey to be made without the need to recharge. The average charge time is 2-3 hours and most EV users recharge during off peak electricity periods – some using timers to take advantage of this. Public charging points proved popular but less necessary than originally thought as users gain confidence in the range capability of EVs. Neil Butcher, the project leader, said: “It’s already clear that EVs offer a practical urban transport solution. We must now consider how our homes, offices and public spaces will need to evolve so as to cater for users’ needs and the rapidly developing technologies powering these vehicles.”

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 25th October

 

A new analysis published by the Carbon Trust finds that electricity from the first wave and tidal energy farms will cost 30-40p.per kWh, which is high relative to wind-generated electricity, though with targeted innovation generation costs could reduce to 15p. per kWh by 2025. In addition, the UK could capture 25% of the global marine energy market – equivalent to up to £76 billion by 2050. This could generate over 68,000 UK jobs.

Wave energy could generate 50 terawatts of electricity a year (13% of UK needs) and tidal energy another 20.6 terawatts (5% of UK power needs). Between them, they could generate more electricity than twelve large coal-fired power stations.

 

Wednesday 26th October

 

2/3rds of the 3 million cu.metres of peat used each year in the UK are used by amateur gardeners, mostly in the form of multi-purpose compost. Peat is used because it is cheap, light, retains moisture and stores nutrients. Yet, in extracting it from its natural home, we are destroying its carbon-storing properties – which are four times more effective than natural forests – and destroying rare wildlife habitat.

There are two problems:

Few compost bags carry the information that they contain peat.

The label “peat-free” fails to inform the customer what the compost contains and what its properties are.

More information is needed.

 

Thursday 27th October

 

Bolivia has for years struggled to cope with rising temperatures, melting glaciers, floods, droughts and mudslides. If the trend continues, glaciers below 5000 ft. will disappear within 20 years, leaving Bolivia with water scarcity and an agricultural crisis of vast proportions. It now risks scepticism and ridicule for passing the world’s first laws granting to nature equal rights with humans. Bolivia earns £305 million a year from mining companies, which provide nearly 1/3rd of its foreign earnings. That its political leaders are ready to put the environment above economic and financial considerations is clear proof that politicians can be weaned off old-fashioned economic models and are capable of environmental leadership.

 

 

Friday 28th October

 

A 2009 report from the Committee on Climate Change recommended that emissions from aviation – the fastest-growing source of emissions – should return to 2005 levels by 2050 and that growth in aviation should be tailored to meet this target. The Government’s long-delayed response fails to set any targets for emission reductions and gives no commitment to include aviation emissions in the Climate Change Act. Much reliance is placed on aviation biofuels, ignoring the limited amount available. WWF believes that future policy should rely more on demand reduction than technology fixes to bring down aviation emissions. Making the most of available capacity, introducing carbon caps, shifting from plane to train for domestic and short-haul flights, and using more video-conferencing should be our top priorities. Sustainable biofuels can only help in reducing residual emissions once these measures have been taken.

 

Saturday 29th October

 

Today in London a conference of about 350 people meets to hear guest speakers explain why the financial system needs to change and what can be done about it.

At present new money is created by the banks in the form of loans. So the only way to inject more money into the economy is to borrow it from the banks and create more debt.

To end the debt crisis we only need to return the power to create money to the Bank of England, where it should belong. Then instead of new money being lent to the economy, so increasing our total debt, it could be used to increase public spending, reduce taxes, reduce the national debt or even make direct payments to citizens. These ideas can be explored at: www.positivemoney.org.uk

 

Sunday 30th October

 

Give us, dear Lord, a deeper understanding of your purposes, that we may be steadfast amid the turmoil of our times. May our faith never fail, nor our love grow cold, nor our hope become faint. So may we look up and lift up our heads as we look to the coming of your Kingdom, through your dear Son, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

 

 

 

Monday 31st October

 

Durham University Solar Car students will this month, as part of the World Solar Challenge, drive the 1,864 miles from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia, using a solar car built by the students using an in-wheel drive motor and flexible solar panels developed as student research projects. Dr. Sims-Williams of Durham University said:  “The World Solar Challenge pushes teams to develop high-efficiency vehicles, which is the real key to reducing the emissions of everyday vehicles. These cars have to be able to drive at highway speed all day with less power than an electric kettle. It will be a tremendous experience for the students to put what they have learned at Durham into practice against some of the best solar cars in development.”

 

 

Sources:

            “Gods

Today in Manchester, on the eve of the Conservative Party conference, supporters of Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD are leading a day of worship and campaigning on climate change and global poverty. From midday in the Methodist Central Hall there will be discussions and workshops around these issues. At 5 p.m. in Manchester Cathedral there will be an ecumenical service followed by a procession and candlelit vigil outside the Conservative conference venue.

Sunday 2nd October

 

Protect us, O Lord, from thoughts without action,

Guard us, O Lord, from words without feelings,

Defend us, O Lord, from ideas without results,

And surround us with your Presence.  Amen.  (David Adam)

 

Monday 3rd October

 

The past year has seen a frightening outbreak, at all levels of society, of the attitude summed up by the phrase “If it’s not illegal, do it; if it is illegal, do it but don’t get caught.” Expediency seems to prevail at some of the highest levels in society. Where is the Church in all this? Should we not be proclaiming, through every medium of communication, the necessity for our nation of maintaining truth, honesty and integrity?

 

Tuesday 4th October

 

Today from 9.45 to 4 at Old Alresford Place, Hampshire SO24 9DH, there is an A Rocha/CEL meeting to encourage and enable churches to take seriously the challenge to care for God’s creation and to assist them with new thinking, new approaches, new stories and tools. David Morgan of A Rocha will be leading the day and CEL’s Ruth Jarman will explain how her church has embraced the environmental award scheme.

 

Wednesday 5th October

 

According to William Deller in “Gods in the Making”, people who are increasingly told by authority what they can or cannot do lose the habit of deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, and instead have developed an attitude of “If I can, I will.” This robotic behaviour is reflected among employees at all levels who, subject to a culture of ‘targets’, have developed a pattern of ‘box ticking’ instead of considering what is the right thing to do. This can lead to a quality of life that is superficial, casual, flippant, cynical.

 

Thursday 6th October

 

Leaders in politics, business, media and faith groups have a dual responsibility – to maintain their personal standards and to set standards for society, by their actions and decisions, by their legislation and by their success or failure to condemn unacceptable behaviour. Most of us respond to the promptings of our leaders. We may argue, dispute or simply nitpick, but ordinary people respond. It’s not the well-heeled who suffer when standards collapse – they always have a Plan B. It’s generally the innocent, the naïve, the trusting and the tender-hearted who suffer the most.

 

Friday 7th October

 

Mr Justice Coleridge of the High court recently spoke to a conference of family lawyers: “Almost all of society’s ills can be traced directly to the collapse of family life . . . I’m not saying that every broken family produces dysfunctional children, but I am saying that almost every dysfunctional child is the product of a broken family.” Marriage has for centuries played a central role in providing a stable basis for raising children. The way successive governments have devalued marriage through their tax and benefit systems, and justified this on the grounds of ‘equality’ and ‘non-discrimination’ has been a major factor in the decline of family life.

 

Saturday 8th October

 

Today and tomorrow the Schumacher Centenary Festival celebrates the life and vision of E.F. Schumacher with lectures, workshops and an evening concert at the Colston Hall, Bristol, and (tomorrow) further workshops and films at Harbourside venues. Speakers include Caroline Lucas MP, Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva, Professor Tim Jackson, Rob Hopkins, Satish Kumar and Peter Blom CEO of Triodos Bank. For further details and online booking go to: www.schumacher.org.uk

Tel. 0117 9031081.

 

 

Sunday 9th October

 

Lord Jesus, you have called us to be your witnesses on earth. Help us to proclaim, by word and deed, the message of your love to all humankind, and to declare your lordship over creation and our responsibility as your stewards.

 

Monday 10th October

 

The 2009 CofE report “Church and the Earth” launched a 7-year plan of environmental commitments, including:

  • A carbon cut of 42% by 2020
  • All Church schools to be classed as ‘sustainable’ by 2016
  • The establishment of a Climate Justice Fund to support environmental  projects in East African churches
  • The development of a sustainable procurement system for the Church
  • A Code for Sustainable Churches based on the standards of the National Trust, Building Research Establishment and Green Building Council.

How has the Church risen to this challenge?

“First, we need to put our own house in order, by reducing the energy use of our churches. Then there’s our wider role in addressing the public at large. We mustn’t be afraid to speak up.” (Brian Cuthbertson, head of Environment Challenge, London Diocesan Fund)

 

Tuesday 11th October

 

Jonathon Porritt believes that sustainable development is not just about enlightened self-interest. Primarily it’s a heart and soul story. “Yet many people suspect that the ‘spiritual’ means to ‘drop out’ – to disappear narcissistically inwards, devoting ones life to meditation. There is indeed a time for contemplation, but an exclusive emphasis on the unworldly, on withdrawal from this grubby industrial culture of ours, merely reinforces the parody of spirituality as a morally-superior way of dropping out.

For many today, a more spiritual orientation demands the exact opposite of dropping out. When it comes to defending the Earth and its people, it means militantly putting into practice what we believe.” Or, as the psalmists puts it: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127 AV)

 

Wednesday 12th October

 

The National Snow & Ice Data Center reports that the seasonal minimum of Arctic ice is at its second lowest since records began. A Greenpeace supporter asks: “Does the melting of the Arctic ice matter?” and gives three answers:

1)    It is a measurable sign to politicians and the media that climate change is happening and they need to stop dithering and doubting and get on with the job of cutting emissions.

2)    Ice plays a vital role in reflecting the sun’s energy back into space. Without ice, more of this energy is absorbed by the darker ocean, so raising global temperatures.

3)    Big energy companies are planning to exploit areas previously unaccessible – a perfect example of a human tendency to pour oil on a growing fire, as well as putting profits before people.

 

 

 

Thursday 13th October

 

Last year’s Coalition programme described climate change as one of the gravest threats we face and committed itself to “urgent action both here and abroad.” A report from the Green Alliance entitled “Climate Check” finds that out of 29 specific policies on climate change, 16 have made only moderate progress and 6 none at all, due largely to opposition from the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. For example, the Green Deal is risking failure through lack of urgency and support across government. John Sauven of Greenpeace comments: “Right now our major global competitors are investing in low carbon technology. That investment is delivering jobs, raising valuable tax revenue and helping the fight against climate change, while here in the UK, those responsible for our economy seem blind to the opportunities that clean technology can offer. If the Government won’t wake up and grasp this once-in-a-generation chance, UK plc will lose out on jobs, on growth and much-needed revenues.”

 

 

 

Friday 14th October

 

Emissions from shipping are 3% of global emissions, i.e. more than Germany’s. A single ship can produce more emissions in a year than many small island states. A new report from Oxfam and WWF finds that applying a carbon price of $25 a tonne to shipping fuel would help cut emissions while generating $25 billion a year by 2020 to compensate developing countries for higher import costs and to provide more than $10 billion a year to the Green Climate Fund, which was set up to help developing countries but is currently empty.

EU Environment Ministers meeting this month could, if they wished, break the deadlock in negotiations before the Durban climate talks.

 

Saturday 15th October

 

A new WWF study called “Big Cities, Big Water, Big Challenges” finds that, with 70% of the world population living in cities by 2050, water shortages are increasingly likely in megacities.

In Mexico City exploitation of its aquifers contributes to an annual subsidence rate of 5-40 cm., so increasing the risk of catastrophic flooding.

In Nairobi 60% of people live in informal settlements with insufficient access to clean water, so they have to buy highly-priced water at kiosks.

Martin Geiger of WWF Germany said: “It’s vital for cities to protect and restore ecosystems that provide clean water. As well as reducing unnecessary consumption, successful water and wastewater management is essential to support agriculture. Cities must conduct vulnerability tests and ensure government and stakeholder involvement to assess risk and prepare for the increasing populations we expect.”

 

Sunday 16th October

 

God our Creator, you have made us to be stewards of your earth, to tend it and to bring forth fruit. Help us to respect and cherish all that has life from you, so that we may share in the eager longing of all your creation as we await the final revelation of your heavenly glory.

 

Monday 17th October

 

We have seen recently how the media and politics can be corrupted. The media are so powerful at moulding public opinion and influencing politics that wealthy business people are keen to own ever more outlets. But equally the media can be a wonderful instrument for deepening our relationships with the community and each other. According to Simon Marlow (www.worldgoodwill.org ) the gloom many feel about the future for humanity and the planet need not be a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Humanity is better than we are led to believe. Goodwill can and does transform communities. The good news is the best news there is.”

 

Tuesday 18th October

 

In response to the news that 1 million 16-24-year olds are out of work, the Co-Operative Group is creating 2,000 apprenticeships over the next three years. Varying from one to three years each, they cover a range of businesses from retail to funeral management, and there will be a job at the end of each apprenticeship. CEO Peter Marks said: “We believe businesses have a real responsibility to help motivate and inspire young people by giving them new opportunities to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to be pioneers for their generation.”

 

Wednesday 19th October

 

Food from the Sky is a London community which has 450 sq. metres of the rooftop to Thornton’s Budgen, an independent supermarket in Crouch End. They planted it with vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs and mushrooms. The produce is sold in the supermarket below, and its 200 staff are among those to benefit from an education project on the roof above, where they learn practical skills and re-connect with nature in the heart of the city. The team has prepared a 12-step organisational template which can be used by other community groups, supermarkets and organisations to get more growing spaces started. www.foodfromthesky.org.uk

 

Thursday 20th October

 

The Good Banking Forum representing more than 60 UK organisations ranging from the Manchester Business School to Oxfam and Unite, has launched an initiative to design a banking system which is safe and fit for purpose, claiming that the Vickers commission had too narrow a scope.

The group proposes:

1)    Breaking and downsizing existing banks to create more competition and customer choice

2)    Reviving local branches with a focus on local businesses

3)    Creating green investment banks dedicated to funding innovation, small businesses and social enterprises

4)    Transforming RBS into a Royal Bank of Sustainability to fund the infrastructure necessary for a low-carbon future

5)    Introducing a Robin Hood or Tobin tax on financial transactions to discourage short-term speculation.

www.goodbanking.org.uk and www.neweconomics.org

 

Friday 21st October

 

A mock trial has taken place at the Supreme Court to test in court the proposal for a new crime of ecocide. Michael Mansfield QC led for the prosecution and Nigel Lickley QC for the defence in the prosecution of the CEO of a fictional corporation engaged in activities such as deforestation in the Amazon, fracking for shale gas in Nigeria or extracting oil from Canadian tar sands. The aim is to have “ecocide” enshrined in a Universal Declaration of Earth Rights now under consideration at the UN. A spokesman explained: “It is essential that we do a forensic examination of the implications of this proposed law to see how it would work in practice.”

 

Saturday 22nd October

 

Welcome Break has announced the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging points at 12 of its service stations, so allowing EV drivers to drive from London to Edinburgh for free. It then plans to provide them at all 27 of its service stations by 2013. Of the 400 existing charging points, only 150 are outside London. Dale Vince of Ecotricity said: “It’s not towns and cities where electric cars need to recharge, but on longer journeys between cities, and that means motorways.”

 

Sunday 23rd October

 

Father, we praise you when we see the hearts of the powerful melting before the demands of your justice. We pray for those who are standing up for the poor and the exploited. Give them wisdom and insight, grace and patience, and the courage and endurance that come from you, so that your justice and peace may reign throughout your world.

 

Monday 24th October

 

Trials in the Technology Strategy Board’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme have shown that 77% of EV journeys last less than 20 minutes, and only 22% of journeys use more than half the battery charge, so enabling, in most cases, a return journey to be made without the need to recharge. The average charge time is 2-3 hours and most EV users recharge during off peak electricity periods – some using timers to take advantage of this. Public charging points proved popular but less necessary than originally thought as users gain confidence in the range capability of EVs. Neil Butcher, the project leader, said: “It’s already clear that EVs offer a practical urban transport solution. We must now consider how our homes, offices and public spaces will need to evolve so as to cater for users’ needs and the rapidly developing technologies powering these vehicles.”

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 25th October

 

A new analysis published by the Carbon Trust finds that electricity from the first wave and tidal energy farms will cost 30-40p.per kWh, which is high relative to wind-generated electricity, though with targeted innovation generation costs could reduce to 15p. per kWh by 2025. In addition, the UK could capture 25% of the global marine energy market – equivalent to up to £76 billion by 2050. This could generate over 68,000 UK jobs.

Wave energy could generate 50 terawatts of electricity a year (13% of UK needs) and tidal energy another 20.6 terawatts (5% of UK power needs). Between them, they could generate more electricity than twelve large coal-fired power stations.

 

Wednesday 26th October

 

2/3rds of the 3 million cu.metres of peat used each year in the UK are used by amateur gardeners, mostly in the form of multi-purpose compost. Peat is used because it is cheap, light, retains moisture and stores nutrients. Yet, in extracting it from its natural home, we are destroying its carbon-storing properties – which are four times more effective than natural forests – and destroying rare wildlife habitat.

There are two problems:

Few compost bags carry the information that they contain peat.

The label “peat-free” fails to inform the customer what the compost contains and what its properties are.

More information is needed.

 

Thursday 27th October

 

Bolivia has for years struggled to cope with rising temperatures, melting glaciers, floods, droughts and mudslides. If the trend continues, glaciers below 5000 ft. will disappear within 20 years, leaving Bolivia with water scarcity and an agricultural crisis of vast proportions. It now risks scepticism and ridicule for passing the world’s first laws granting to nature equal rights with humans. Bolivia earns £305 million a year from mining companies, which provide nearly 1/3rd of its foreign earnings. That its political leaders are ready to put the environment above economic and financial considerations is clear proof that politicians can be weaned off old-fashioned economic models and are capable of environmental leadership.

 

 

Friday 28th October

 

A 2009 report from the Committee on Climate Change recommended that emissions from aviation – the fastest-growing source of emissions – should return to 2005 levels by 2050 and that growth in aviation should be tailored to meet this target. The Government’s long-delayed response fails to set any targets for emission reductions and gives no commitment to include aviation emissions in the Climate Change Act. Much reliance is placed on aviation biofuels, ignoring the limited amount available. WWF believes that future policy should rely more on demand reduction than technology fixes to bring down aviation emissions. Making the most of available capacity, introducing carbon caps, shifting from plane to train for domestic and short-haul flights, and using more video-conferencing should be our top priorities. Sustainable biofuels can only help in reducing residual emissions once these measures have been taken.

 

Saturday 29th October

 

Today in London a conference of about 350 people meets to hear guest speakers explain why the financial system needs to change and what can be done about it.

At present new money is created by the banks in the form of loans. So the only way to inject more money into the economy is to borrow it from the banks and create more debt.

To end the debt crisis we only need to return the power to create money to the Bank of England, where it should belong. Then instead of new money being lent to the economy, so increasing our total debt, it could be used to increase public spending, reduce taxes, reduce the national debt or even make direct payments to citizens. These ideas can be explored at: www.positivemoney.org.uk

 

Sunday 30th October

 

Give us, dear Lord, a deeper understanding of your purposes, that we may be steadfast amid the turmoil of our times. May our faith never fail, nor our love grow cold, nor our hope become faint. So may we look up and lift up our heads as we look to the coming of your Kingdom, through your dear Son, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

 

 

 

Monday 31st October

 

Durham University Solar Car students will this month, as part of the World Solar Challenge, drive the 1,864 miles from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia, using a solar car built by the students using an in-wheel drive motor and flexible solar panels developed as student research projects. Dr. Sims-Williams of Durham University said:  “The World Solar Challenge pushes teams to develop high-efficiency vehicles, which is the real key to reducing the emissions of everyday vehicles. These cars have to be able to drive at highway speed all day with less power than an electric kettle. It will be a tremendous experience for the students to put what they have learned at Durham into practice against some of the best solar cars in development.”

 

 

Sources:

            “Gods in the Making”

                        by William Deller

            Positive News

            CIWEM Business News

www.edie.net

in the Making”

                        by William Deller

            Positive News

            CIWEM Business News

www.edie.net

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