Thursday, 20 August 2009

The World's Climate Tipping Point!

For those not in the UK, the Conservative party is one of our three main political groups and may well form the next government. I was reading a booklet from them about local government and the environment when the following sentence stopped me in my tracks.

“It is too late to avoid climate change but taking action now could avoid it’s more extreme and dangerous impacts”.

In plain language we have passed the point of no return, the tipping point so long warned about and yet so long ignored by the vast majority. We know the result of tipping points in nature, once a species numbers fall below a certain level it becomes unsustainable and numbers will dwindle to zero, the same happens in the worlds fishing grounds, numbers fall and the fishing grounds are fished out. Earlier civilisations have gone through tipping points. The irrigation-related salt build up in the Sumerian soil overwhelmed the capacity to deal with it and for the Mayans a time came when the effects of deforestation and then the follow on loss of topsoil were unmanageable. For more info see HERE

Social tipping points are not easy to define, but obviously the more developed parts of the world can, and does, have the resources to deal a new threat or threats far more effectively than the undeveloped countries. AIDS is the most obvious example of the ability as infection rates in the developed world are less than 1% in some undeveloped countries it is around 20%. Nearly 80 million people are added to the world’s population each year, yet the majority of them are born within in countries among the least able to support them. These ever increasing pressures on a struggling economy and infrastructure are leading to social breakdown.

Although for the developed areas water shortages are lawn threatening rather than life threatening in many countries this is not the case, in India and other parts of Asia The need to cut carbon emissions has been blindingly obvious for many years now, but so far there is not a single carbon neutral country. Technically possible, yes, but is it politically possible???

Oil abstraction has peaked, and although the ‘popular news media’ talks this threat down, I was amazed to find confirmation of this fact in the investment focused MoneyWeek where there was also the warning "The planet's metal supply is fast depleting, and the quality of what's left is lower, where 30 tons of copper ore once produced a ton of copper, it now takes 500 tons, even water's running out”. The number one issue is, of course food and water, the Sumerian and Mayan civilisations are the long-gone evidence of this.

The effects of the Climate Chaos we have no option but to deal with are now causing heat waves in various countries, but these will not only affect them, but also us as the Tropical Zone is now expanding, also see HERE and HERE.

The World’s tipping point is past, the next problem is in our countries political systems, can they pass the tipping point of understanding regarding Climate Change while we are still able to take , as the booklet I quoted from said “action now could avoid it’s more extreme and dangerous impacts”. We have the technologies available to enable us to stabilise the Earth’s climate, just as we have to feed the hungry and heal the sick, the question is though, is the political will of the voters there also?

In Revelation 21:1 we are promised a “new heaven and a new Earth.” I have often wondered if this is because the old earth has been damaged beyond repair. At the time of Revelation, when God looks at the damage that has been done to His creation and asks who is responsible I want to be able to say ‘not guilty’, are you going to join me?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Roof Top Gardens, when the only way is up!

At-risk teens who live at Covenant House, a Christian run open to all homeless shelter in New York, have decided that they want to make a change in the city they call home and have set about to create a citywide “skyscraper garden” across Manhattan.

The roof of a nine-story building in Manhattan is their first project that they have completed and was done in collaboration with ‘Seeding the City’.
Through the program they will be water and tending the seedlings that will be planted on other roofs around the city. The hope is that by the time they are done they will have help to create a rooftop garden that is spread across the whole city.

Covenant House began over 30 years ago when six young runaways were given shelter from a snowstorm, in Manhattan. Covenant House now has programs in 21 U.S. cities and in Latin America. More than 77,000 young people at risk are aided annually by Covenant House in its national and international programs and the New York centre deals with nearly 7,000 young people a year, providing safety, shelter, food, and a listening ear.

The goal of the project is to get the young people to think outside of themselves and about their community and their affect on the environment. In addition, with the national emphasis on green jobs, Covenent House staff wanted to raise the awareness of potential green job opportunities.

When on The Cross Jesus promised one of those with Him "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." The meaning of the word 'paradise' in the the language Jesus used is a garden enclosed by a wall, created in order to encourage new life and enjoy its contemplation.

So this roof top garden certainly qualifies then, and in more ways than one.