Monday 1st December by QoA2W6h7

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									Prayer guide
for the care
of creation

September 2012
“Happy are those who claim nothing, for the whole world will belong to . them.”
                                             (Matthew 5.5. trans. J.B. Phillips)


“The human heart is an idol-making factory.”                       (John Calvin)


“Meekness is not weakness. The meek are free from demandingness – the
attitude of those who assert that everything should go their way, or that they
ought to be given more consideration, or that people should respect their rights.
Robert Browning wrote: ‘He who keeps one end in view makes all things serve.’
When that one end is confidence in God’s plan for our life, and his power to
make it happen, then indeed all things serve.”                 (Selwyn Hughes)




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Saturday 1st September                              be factored into international meetings such as
                                                    the Rio + 20 conference.”
“Creation Time” runs from today until October       Yet that conference had nothing to say about
4th. This year’s theme is “Sustainable Energy in    the central importance of population growth in
God’s Creation Time.” Resources are available       the debate about sustainability. Para. 145 of the
from Churches Together in Britain & Ireland         Rio Declaration states: “We emphasise the need
www.ctbi.org.uk                                     for the provision of universal access to
Operation Noah can provide sermon notes and         reproductive health, including family planning,
prayers for each Sunday. The notes combine          sexual health and the integration of reproductive
biblical insights regarding climate change taken    health in national strategies and programmes.”
from Operation Noah’s Ash Wednesday
Declaration. See                                    Wednesday 5th September
www.operationnoah.org/creationtime
                                                    According to a UN/Guttmacher Institute 2012
Sunday 2nd September                                report, 35% of the 800 women who die every
                                                    day in childbirth (that’s 104,000 women a year)
Father, we pray, each one of us, for an honest      did not want the pregnancy that killed them.
appraisal of our own lifestyle, so that we may      More than one-third of all conceptions are not
admit, to ourselves and to you, all that we are     planned. That’s an estimated 80 million a year,
contributing, directly and indirectly, to the       leading to the tragedy of 40 million abortions
pollution of your world. Help us to bear witness,   each year. “But” say some, “We must not divert
by our example, to our resolve to amend our         attention away from the much more pressing
lives, so that others may take heart and act        issue of over-consumption in the rich world.” So,
accordingly.                                        must we therefore never address over-
                                                    population until the challenge of over-
Monday 3rd September                                consumption has been resolved? If so, we may
                                                    have to wait a long time.
The first showing of “An Inconvenient Truth 2”
takes place at 6.30 today in the Bacon Theatre,     Thursday 6th September
Cheltenham. It suggests that society already
has answers to climate change, and features         The same report finds that about 222 million
positive solutions already implemented in           women who do not use modern contraceptives
Sweden and elsewhere. Jonathon Porritt will         say they want no more children
lead a Q & A session afterwards.                    (www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2012/06/19/ )
                                                    Nobody today advocates coercion. Instead, in
Tuesday 4th September                               order to meet the need for family planning and
                                                    other reproductive health services, these should
Last April the Royal Society published its          be freely available and fully accessible to
“People and the Planet” report. One of its key      everyone. As to the problem of over-
recommendations was: “Population and the            consumption, there is regrettably little unmet
environment should not be considered as two         demand for reduced consumption. The poor
separate issues. Demographic changes should         reasonably aspire to a better standard of living



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while many rich people just want more of the        crops to be enjoyed by all people on earth, and
same.                                               mostly by those who never dirty their hands.
                                                    Open our hearts to seek justice for them. Save
Friday 7th September                                us from the temptation to enjoy better living
                                                    standards at the cost of increased poverty for
Many European politicians and pundits seem to       others.
fear the prospect of an ageing population if        Help us to remember that Jesus spoke for the
population growth comes to an end. Do they          weak and gave them a message of hope. Help
realise that the only way to avoid the grim         us to accept his call to work for the weak and
prospect of an ageing population is to keep the     oppressed. (A prayer from Pakistan)
population growing for ever? Perhaps that is
what they really want.                              Monday 10th September

Saturday 8th September                              How should we adapt to the increasing
                                                    mismatch between the natural world and our
Current population growth results in more than      engineered world of industrialism?
200,000 extra mouths to feed each day. This,        Wendell Berry suggests this agenda:
together the increasing consumption of grain-fed      1. We must not think on a heroic scale, but
meat in countries such as China and India,                on a scale proper to our limited abilities.
takes at least 40% of the US corn crop. This              We must not break the things we cannot
year, the US corn harvest has been devastated             fix.
by drought and prices have rocketed by 50% in         2. We must abandon the delusion that
just one month. Producing countries such as               damage done by industrialisation can be
Russia, Argentina and Vietnam are trying to               corrected by yet more industrialisation.
keep prices down by banning exports, while            3. We must quit solving problems by
importing countries such as China, S. Korea and           “moving on”, but must learn where we
Saudi Arabia are buying up land in developing             are, geographically, historically and
nations to feed their own people. The World               ecologically.
Bank estimates last year’s land purchases at          4. We must learn the sources, and costs, of
140 million acres – an area bigger than the US            our economic lives.
corn and wheat cropland combined. Lester              5. We must give up the notion that we are
Brown in his forthcoming book “Full Planet,               too good to clean up our own messes. It’s
Empty Plates” concludes:                                  not acceptable for this work to be done by
“The geopolitics of food is fast overwhelming the         wage slavery or by enslaving Nature.
geopolitics of oil.”                                  6. We must make locally-adapted
                                                          economies based on local Nature, local
Sunday 9th September                                      sunlight, local intelligence and our own
                                                          local work.
Merciful Lord, we pray for farmers who belong to      7. These measures cannot be performed for
the land and the land belongs to them. They               us by any expert, political leader or
plough it. Their hands become coarse. Their               corporation.
sweat runs down into the earth to give fruitful



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8. “This is an agenda that may be                   Development Goals would leave a lasting
   undertaken by ordinary citizens at any           legacy for generations to come, moving
   time on their own initiative”.                   humanity towards a peaceful future.

  Tuesday 11th September                            Thursday 13th September

 A number of medical publications by NASA-          In its report “Antarctic Ocean Legacy: A
 backed scientists have drawn attention to          Vision for Circumpolar Protection” the
 the physiological dangers to humans                Antarctic Ocean Alliance identifies 19 key
 travelling in space, for example, the damage       Antarctic marine habitats that could be
 to human DNA from deep-radiation, the              connected to create the world’s largest
 effect of weightlessness on the virulence          network of marine protected areas. They
 and growth of infectious microbes and the          would be “No-Take Zones” and fully
 optical abnormalities revealed by a survey of      protected from mineral extraction and other
 27 astronauts. John Naish, author of               damaging industries. To read more and
 “Enough: Breaking Free from the World of           sign the petition, go to:
 More”, comments: “The sheer impossibility          www.antarcticocean.org/
 of sending human bodies into the blasting
 expanses beyond our solar system should            Friday 14th September
 make us change our attitude towards our
 home planet. We must stop using the myth           This weekend, beginning today at 1.30 pm,
 of galactic exploration to excuse the way we       the Friends of the Earth annual conference
 treat Earth as a disposable.                       takes place in South Kensington, with
                                                    speakers Vivienne Westwood, Caroline
  Wednesday 12th September                          Lucas MP, Satish Kumar, Polly Higgins, Liz
                                                    Jensen and others from the Philippines and
 President Eisenhower once said: “Every gun         Mozambique. Included are workshops on
 that is made, every warship launched, every        film-making, photography, prop design and
 rocket fired, signifies in a final sense a theft   blogging. For more details, go to:
 from those who hunger and are not fed,             www.friendsoftheearthconference.eventbrit
 those who are cold and are not clothed.”           e.com
   In 2011 the world trade in arms was worth
   $1.74 trillion. The US still tops the list,      Saturday 15 September
   spending $711 billion on its military, but
   China and Russia are catching up fast.,          Today a Festival of Wellbeing takes place
   while poorer countries are wasting ever          from 10 to 6 at the Bishopsgate Institute,
   more of scarce resources on expensive            230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH.
   weapons and the fuel to operate them,            Under the title “The Great Transition from
   rather than on irrigation, pollution control,    economic growth to growth in wellbeing”
   education and other life-improving               Resurgence and the Ecologist are
   essentials that their people lack. Stopping      presenting a programme of talks, music,
   militarism and redeploying resources             poetry and dance, with speakers Richard
   towards completing the UN Millennium             Layard, Jonathon Porritt, Matt Harvey,


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Geoff Mulgan, Caroline Lucas MP, Nic               and comes from a trusted communicator.
Marks, Polly Higgins, Satish Kumar, James          Personal conversation is the best way to
Sainsbury, Patrick Holden and others.              bring climate change back to people’s
Tickets @ £45 include veggie lunch, with           attention, especially if they realise the real
proceeds going to the Resurgence Trust.            benefits arising from a low-carbon world –
To book a place, ring 01237 441293 or              buildings near them being insulated and re-
email info@resurgence.org                          modelled, electric cars in the driveway and
                                                   everywhere the physical adaptations we
Sunday 16th September                              need for a changing climate.

Father God, we thank you for this beautiful        Tuesday 18 September
world, for the food you provide and the
abundance of its store. Help us to look           The Government’s draft Energy bill was
after nature, to watch it and to learn from it.   released in May, when the Chancellor said:
Weed out from our leaves all that hinders         “Gas is cheap, has much less carbon
peace, so that your kingdom may be                emissions than coal and will be the largest
spread through us to all who we meet, and         source of electricity for years.” Yet Britain’s
that we may become channels of your               target is a completely de-carbonised
peace.                                            electricity supply by 2030. This cannot be
                                                  met if we build new gas plants and fail to
Monday 17th September                             develop the new green infrastructure
                                                  needed for renewables. Imported gas
George Marshall, founder of the Climate           comes from unpredictable and volatile
Outreach & Information Network                    countries, adding to the risk of unforeseen
(www.coinet.org.uk), writes that “most            price hikes. A government declaration of
people tacitly agree that it is socially          support for renewables would give the
inappropriate to talk about climate change.”      industry the signals it needs to ensure a
Why?                                              constant supply of locally-sourced energy
Stanley Cohen in “States of Denial” finds         for years to come.
that people deliberately maintain a level of
ignorance so that they can claim they know         Wednesday 19th September
less than they do. They exaggerate their
own powerlessness and wait indefinitely for       Britain’s first community-owned solar park
someone else to act first. If they have to        has been opened at a 30-acre site near
give their opinion, “It’s a global problem,       Faringdon. £3.5 million has been raised
not a local one” or “It’s a problem for future    from over 900 investors in the Westmill
generations” or “I’m not the problem: it’s        Solar Co-Operative. The 5 MW. solar park
the Chinese/Americans/rich people” or (in         will produce enough electricity to power
the case of politicians) “Environment is          1400 homes and will save around 2,000
important, but my priorities are jobs and the     tonnes of CO2 a year. It is thought to be the
economy”. Marshall believes that people           world’s biggest community-owned solar
only accept a challenging message if it           farm.
speaks to their own language and values


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 Thursday 20th September                           Sunday 23 September

Subsidies for offshore wind farms have             Lord, you asked for my hands, that you
recently been reduced by 10%, while                might use them for your purposes. I gave
support for tidal stream and wave power has        them for a moment, then withdrew them,
been more than doubled. However,                   for the work was hard.
development of shallow-water gas fields is         Help us, Lord Jesus the carpenter, to be
to be supported by £500 million in tax             ready to get our hands dirty in your service.
breaks, so impacting on any possibility that       Amen.
the UK will meet its targets for reductions in
carbon emissions.                                  Monday 24th September

 Friday 21st September                            The sell-off of England’s public forests was
                                                  suspended last spring and the Independent
Super-insulated homes known has                   Panel on Forestry (IPF) was set up under
Passivhauses were the subject of awards           the chairmanship of the Bishop of Liverpool
held in July by the Passivhaus Trust. A           to make recommendations. Its final report
primary school, an agricultural college and a     recommends keeping England’s forest stock
social housing scheme were among the              in public hands and calls for “a revival of a
winners. Wimbush Passivhaus, a social             woodland culture that appreciates how
housing development of 14 homes in Essex,         important trees are for people, nature and
won the residential category, while the non-      the economy.” It says that woodlands are
domestic prize went to Oak Meadow primary         “multifunctional spaces” that can satisfy a
school, the first Passivhaus school in Britain.   number of outcomes, but it is vague on how
                                                  this is translated into action on the ground.
 Saturday 22nd September                          Clearly, continual vigilance is required if the
                                                  public is to continue to enjoy this national
Since its launch in 2009, the National            heritage. As the Bishop said, “The public
Community Wood Recycling Partnership              forest estate needs to be free from the
(NCWRP) has reclaimed over 7,000 tonnes           electoral cycle, for trees have long
of waste wood from construction sites, much       lifecycles.” This sounds like a call for an all-
of it saved from landfill. The wood is            party approach to the issue, perhaps
collected, sorted and sold to the local           resulting in the creation of a truly
community, reducing the need for virgin           independent body.
timber and preventing wood from rotting and
releasing CO2. NCWRP has created 50                Tuesday 25th September
permanent jobs and recorded 13,500
volunteer days per year. Sales have               The Government’s draft Water Bill outlines
generated over £1 million for further             proposals for better regulation and wider
expansion.                                        competition in the industry, but the
                                                  Parliamentary Committee on Environment,
                                                  Food & Rural Affairs has warned that, as
                                                  climate change begins to bite, Government


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must make water meters mandatory and             are those whose jobs expose them to high
tackle the environmental effects of over-        levels of diesel exhaust, such as truck
abstraction before it is too late. While the     drivers, mechanics and miners, but “for the
Committee wants to make water more               man in the street, nothing has changed. It’s
expensive to deter profligate use, the draft     a known risk, but a low one for the average
Bill aims to make water as cheap as              person, so people should go about their
possible and to increase shareholder             business as normal.” Nevertheless, for
benefit. Only the Government can resolve         manufacturers of diesel vehicles, this must
this dilemma.                                    be a powerful wake-up call.

 Wednesday 26th September                         Friday 28th September

As Britain becomes ever more dependent            According to an NHS report, residential
on imported gas, Professor Mike Bradshaw          care homes account for at least 3.4 million
of Leicester University, addressing the           tonnes of CO2 each year and almost £1.1
Royal Geographical Society’s annual               billion in natural resource costs. In 2008/9
conference, said: “There is a high degree of      their carbon footprint was the same as
risk and uncertainty associated with every        Eretria’s. The annual pharmacy waste from
element of the UK’s energy strategy –             UK care homes amounted to around £49
whether that’s energy efficiency, renewable       million with a CO2 output of 28,764 tonnes.
energy or carbon capture and storage.             Potential energy use savings could cut
Coming together, these could result in ever       consumption and bills by 11% on average.
greater reliance on gas, at a time when its       “If equivalent savings were realised
price is likely to increase because of rapidly    nationally, this could save £52.8 million in
growing demand from countries including           energy costs and 220,000 tonnes of CO2
China and India.” As to shale gas, he adds        emissions each year – i.e. the same as the
that significant levels of exploitation are       entire carbon footprint of the Seychelles in
unlikely for many years, due to substantial       2003."
logistical and environmental challenges.
“Shale gas is unlikely to be a game-changer       Saturday 29th September
in the UK.”
                                                 A report from the Waste & Resources Action
 Thursday 27th September                         Programme (WRAP) finds that more than
                                                 half the bulky waste taken to household
The World Health Organisation’s cancer           waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) could
agency has declared that diesel fumes are        be re-used. Of the bulky items taken to
carcinogenic – replacing its 1989 advice that    HWRCs 32% were re-usable in their current
diesel exhaust was “probably carcinogenic”.      condition and another 10% required only
It added that diesel exhaust was as              slight repair. The most common bulky items
important a public health threat as passive      taken to HWRCs are televisions, wardrobes
smoking. Ken Donaldson, Professor of             and carpets, while the most common for
Respiratory Toxicology at Edinburgh              kerbside collection are sofas, mattresses
University said that the people most at risk     and beds. WRAP commented:


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      “There is clearly significant re-use          If you would like to receive the prayer diary each
      potential in such bulky items. It will help   month by email (free), please email prayer-
      local authorities and HWRC operators to       guide@christian-ecology.org.uk
      remove these items from the waste
      stream. either for re-sale or for passing     For further information and requests for prayer,
      on to the third sector.”                      please write or email:
                                                    Philip Clarkson Webb,
  Sunday 30th September                             15 Valley View,
                                                    Southborough,
  Father, you have given us matchless gifts in      Tunbridge Wells TN4 0SY
  the realm of science and technology. Help us      Email:
  to understand that you alone are the source       pcw@christian-ecology.org.uk
  of all truth and understanding. Let us never be   Website:
  blinded by the lure of the market-place or        http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/
  tempted to put at risk the lives and health of
  our fellow-humans. Watch over our motives,        Picture on front cover: Giant Fennel by Poppy
  loving Father, that we may always give prime      Pickard
  place to the furtherance of your Kingdom.
                                                    Christian Ecology Link Ltd is a company
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  www.edie.net                                       info@christian-ecology.org.uk


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