We have the Power!

There seems to have been a deluge of bad news recently when it comes to reports on the environment. So it was with a sigh of relief that I read this uplifting BBC headline: ‘The man who took on the coal industry to save a forest – and won’.

Alok Shukla, has just won the Goldman Environmental Prize (the ‘green Nobel’), having spent 12 years protecting 657 square miles of Indian forest which is home to thousands of tribespeople, 25 endangered animals and 167 rare and medicinal plant species. It sits on massive coal deposits so had been a prime target for exploitation – 21 mines were planned – but he has determinedly and successfully opposed them, dedicating his life to protecting the water and forests of central India, as well as supporting local tribes who are the traditional stewards of the land.

We desperately need to hear and tell such Good News stories, so that people do not begin to suffer ‘climate compassion fatigue’ or to despair that anything can be done about preserving the life, health and precious diversity of our planet and its occupants. Our great contemporary prophet, who repeatedly speaks words of both warning and encouragement, is David Attenborough. He said: “We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that.”

World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5th June and encourages just such awareness and action for the protection of the environment. This is why we will be holding our first Environment Day service on Sunday 9th June at 11.00am, a single special service for all our 6 churches, which will be dedicated to the riches and losses, threats and opportunities, facing the beautiful world God has given us. Please come!

Revd Kate McFarlane