How Could Decreasing Level of National Income in Thailand Affect Blades by pvt17390

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									                              JULY 2004

                    “The heavens declare the glory of God;
                   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
                      Day after day they pour forth speech;
                   night after night they display knowledge.
         There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
                     Their voice goes out into all the earth,
                     their words to the ends of the world.”
                                                              (Psalm 19.1-4)

   “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power
     and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what
       has been made, so that men are without excuse.”          (Rom. 1.20)

Thursday 1st July.
      In April the Prime Minister said that climate change was the most
important environmental issue facing the world today.
      Earlier, Sir David King, the Government’s Chief Scientist, had said that
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could soon be at their highest level since 60
million years ago, when no ice was left on earth, when Antarctica was the best
place for mammals to live and the rest of the world could not have sustained
human life. He warned that, unless the world curbed its burning of fossil fuels,
we would reach that level by 2100.
Yet even in Britain greenhouse gas emissions continue to escalate. Operation
Noah is a nationwide programme which aims to work with churches and
community groups to bring together all sectors of society to act against climate
change. For details write to Operation Noah, FREEPOST SE8672, 9 Nuthatch
Drive, Earley, Reading RG6 5ZZ or ring 01949 861516.

Friday 2nd July.
       Jonathon Porritt, chair of the Government’s Sustainable Development
Commission, has warned that the Government’s target of a 60% cut in CO2
emissions by 2050 will be impossible to meet if it allows forecast airport
expansion to go ahead. Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee warned in
March that plans to cut CO2 emissions would be “meaningless and
unachievable” if airport expansion plans went ahead. Sir David King also said
that the impact of aviation on global climate change was “an issue of enormous
concern.” FoE comments: “The alarm bells are ringing. Ministers must put the
long-term future of the planet ahead of the interests of the highly-polluting
aircraft industry.”
Saturday 3rd July.
       Germany has, since 1990, reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 19%.
Today 120,000 of its people are employed in the renewable energy industries, with
about 6 billion euros invested last year alone. The recent International
Conference of Renewable Energies was attended by 3,000 people from over 150
countries. Chancellor Schroeder said: “There is nothing more absurd than the
claim that there is an irreconcilable conflict between environmental protection
and sensible economics. But it is only when we are able to bring about a
significant reduction in the cost of renewable energies that we will have improved
opportunities to promote their use in poorer countries. Increasing their use will
be a means of providing environmental security and protecting the lives of
millions of people.” For more about the conference visit www.wcre.org

Sunday 4th July.
      Heavenly Father, have mercy on us in our perplexity as we confront the
challenge of climate change. Help us to look at our choices in the light of your
biblical truth, to determine where we stand and then, by word and deed, to take
whatever action seems necessary to protect your precious earth, for which your
Son died on the Cross.

Monday 5th July.
       Under the EU international carbon dioxide trading scheme, all companies
in the EU will have their CO2 emissions capped from next January. Companies
that do not use their full entitlement may trade in their units to companies which
exceed it. Each round of trading will see a lowering of the entitlement. Emissions
will have to be disclosed in company accounts, so there will be no hiding place
for heavy polluters. What remains to be settled is the initial level of permitted
emissions. Power station emissions are not to be increased, but other industrial
sectors are currently being allowed to increase theirs. FoE and other
organizations are campaigning strongly against this.

Tuesday 6th July.
       In Nigeria’s oilfields scores of gas flares burn day and night, polluting the
environment and wasting the gas. In the rest of the world almost all the gas that
is separated from the crude oil is used in production or else sold, but in Nigeria
there is no market for this gas. People living on top of the oilfields still use
candles to light their homes. The World Bank has described the flares as “the
most striking example of environmental neglect” and reckons that, in the late
1990s, Nigeria contributed one-fifth of the world’s total of gas flared or vented,
contributing both CO2 and methane to the emissions responsible for climate
change.
Wednesday 7th July.
       In Scotland over the last five years 90% of applications for wind farms have
been approved, thanks to strong policy guidance and the support of the Scottish
Executive. In England the figure is about 50%, so undermining the
Government’s target of producing 10% of our electricity from renewables by 2010.
Between 1999 and 2003 every application in Devon, Lancashire and
Northumberland was refused. FoE comments: “Climate change is the biggest
environmental threat the planet faces. Clean renewable energy has a crucial role
to play. The Government must do more to encourage its development by
changing the planning rules in favour of renewables such as wind, water, wave
and solar power. National Parks should continue to be protected, but unless we
start to appreciate the crisis we face and develop this technology on the scale
required, the lives and livelihoods of millions for generations to come will be
severely threatened.”

Thursday 8th July.
       According to the Institute of Civil Engineers, by 2020 Britain faces an 80%
shortfall in energy supplies, thanks to the simultaneous phasing-out of coal and
nuclear power stations and the near-exhaustion of North Sea gas. Alternative gas
suppliers would be such volatile countries as Algeria, Iran, Turkmenistan, Russia
and Nigeria. Last summer’s power failures were attributed to under-investment
in the electricity distribution system, which Dieter Helm, the Government’s
energy adviser, describes as “clapped out”. Yet, while renewable sources
currently supply about 3% of our electricity, the potential for wind power is
enormous, provided the political will is there.

Friday 9th July.
       A North Wales farmer, Geraint Davies, is bringing new life to the Conwy
Valley, where three wind turbines mark the start of a community-owned wind
farm which will, with the nine further planned turbines, save 26,400 tonnes a year
of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere and supply 10,400 homes with
electricity via the national grid. Similar community projects are being launched in
Lincolnshire, Aberdeenshire, Cumbria and Oxfordshire. Cooperative Energy 4All
enables anyone to become an investor. For details ring 01229 821028 or visit
www.energy4all.co.uk

Saturday 10th July.
       In Finland 10% of electricity is generated from biomass, i.e. wood, plant
material, crop residues or animal manure. In Britain less than 1% is so generated,
yet if all the land currently under set-aside were used for energy crops, they could
produce around 5% of our current electricity needs.
Sunday 11th July.
      God of the heavens and earth, you call us today to play our part in the care
of your creation and to manage carefully the land that you have given us to tend.
We pray for wisdom as we seek alternative uses for land not at present needed for
food production. Guide our policy-makers, planners and farmers, and help us all
to understand that we hold land, not in perpetuity, but in trust for generations to
come.

Monday 12th July.
        Lester Brown in his book “Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a
Civilisation in Trouble” outlines a plan to build a world economy that does not
destroy its natural support systems – a global community where the basic needs
of all the earth’s people are satisfied. The plan includes a massive mobilization,
at wartime speed, to stabilize population and climate and to raise water
productivity. “Economic restructuring depends on tax restructuring, on getting
the market to be ecologically honest. It is easy to spend hundreds of billions in
response to terrorist threats, but the resources needed to disrupt a modern
economy are small, and a Department of Homeland Security, however heavily
funded, provides only minimal protection from suicidal terrorists. The challenge
is to build a global society that is environmentally sustainable, socially equitable
and democratically based – one where there is hope for everyone. Given the
wealth that exists today, we can satisfy the basic needs of people everywhere.
Indeed, we cannot afford not to do so. It isn’t a hand-out, it’s an investment in
our future.”

Tuesday 13th July.
       Hazel Henderson, author of “Planetary Citizenship”, is to launch a
television series called “Ethical Marketplace” to raise global visibility of the
growing sustainability sectors, such as renewable energy, socially-responsible
investment, corporate social responsibility etc. The series will highlight the most
ethical companies, the cleanest green technologies and the people fuelling the
drive towards more ethical markets. All companies featured will be screened for
rigorous social, ethical and environmental audit standards.
Website: www.ethicalmarketplace.com

Wednesday 14th July.
       In Papua there was a tradition hat, when warring tribes of headhunters
made peace, they exchanged a child. The children would grow up with the other
tribe, and if conflict threatened again, those children would be sent to negotiate.
       Peace Child International is a global movement to bring together young
people who have identified a problem in their community and want to do
something about it. Under its “Be The Change” programme (inspired by
Gandhi’s saying “Be the change you want to see”) young people – none of them
experts – have helped rebuild devastated environments, fight HIV/AIDS, provide
safe water for entire villages and implemented unique educational programmes.
Last year, in Morocco, a thousand young people came together for the opening,
by the King of Morocco, of the “Be The Change” programmes. Next year,
Scotland will host a similar event. Peace Child International raises finance for
development initiatives and trains students throughout the UK to become Be The
Change ambassadors. By presenting dramas in schools they introduce the
concept of sustainable development and what young people can do to help
achieve it. Contacts: Peace Child International, The White House, Buntingford,
Herts. SG9 9AH. Tel. 0176 327 4459. Email: rosey@peacechild.org Website:
www.peacechild.org.uk

Thursday 15th July.
       Kiyoshi Amemiya, president of the Japanese firm Yamamashi Hitachi
Construction Machinery, was so moved by the effects of landmines in Cambodia
that he set out to develop, at a cost of $943,000, a mine-clearing machine with a
drum bristling with blades that set off anti-personnel mines and can withstand up
to 10,000 explosions. In 10 years Kiyoshi has donated 36 machines to Afghanistan,
Cambodia, Nicaragua, Thailand and Vietnam through the UN and local NGOs.
“Mined areas are often covered in vegetation, but our blades can cut them before
disposing of the landmines” says Kiyoshi. “For Afghanistan we made the blades
strong enough to resist sand and rocks, while in Nicaragua we modified the
blades so they could work in mud. The driver is protected by specially tempered
glass, but the machine can be operated by remote control. The metal fragments
are collected with a magnet.” Kiyoshi’s next goal is to create a machine to clear
unexploded bombs. “Clearing unexploded ordnance is difficult and dangerous
for local mine clearers, but I’m already working on it and I am tenacious. I will
not give up on clearing landmines from the world.” Contact: www.web-japan.org

Friday 16th July.
      Each year we in Britain replace 15 million mobile phones, of which around
10% are recycled or refurbished. Most end up in landfill, where their toxic
contents create long-term problems. Copper accounts for 15% of a mobile phone.
We need copper in tiny amounts, but too much can cause vomiting and diarrhoea
and has been associated with liver damage and kidney disease. Tantalum, a rare
metal, is extracted from coltan mined in West Africa where an army of hungry
prospectors hunt elephants and even gorillas for food. Mercury and lead are
present in the LCD screens’ light sources. Small amounts of antimony,
aluminium, nickel and cadmium are present in each handset as products of
mining and industrial processes: these are classified as Persistent Accumulative
Toxins and their presence has been linked to cancer and neurological diseases.
Fortunately, most recycling depots now take mobile phones. For details visit:
www.foneback.com or call 01708 684000.
Saturday 17th July.
       Since the 1994 signing of the North Atlantic Free Trade Association
(NAFTA) a flood of cheap subsidized American corn has poured into Mexico.
The Carnegie Foundation last year reported that, as a result, 1.3 million Mexican
farmers, unable to compete with cheap imports, have left the land and joined the
swelling pool of Mexico’s urban unemployed or else migrated to the USA to
become day labourers on American farms. Small farmers are forced to sell out to
larger farmers who use chemical- and water-intensive methods to compete in the
international marketplace. Fertiliser runoff into the Sea of Cortez starves it of the
oxygen needed by marine life, while Mexico’s industrial farmers grow produce
for US markets, exporting food from a country where many go hungry to a
country where food is so abundant that many of its people are obese.

Sunday 18th July.
                    God the Holy Spirit,
                          Come to us and among us;
                          Come as the wind and cleanse us;
                          Come as the fire and burn;
                          Come as the dew and refresh;
                    Convict, convert and consecrate many hearts and lives
                    To our great good and your greater glory.
                    This we ask for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

Monday 19th July.
      Cheap American corn in Mexico threatens the future of all corn, for while
American farmers rely on a handful of genetically nearly identical hybrids,
Mexico’s small farmers grow hundreds of different open-pollinated varieties or
landraces, the product of centuries of trial and error. In 1970 a fungus decimated
the American corn crop, but genes for resistance were found in a landrace in
southern Mexico. These landraces will only survive as long as the farmers who
cultivate them. The cheap corn that is throwing these farmers off their land
threatens to dry up the pool of genetic diversity on which the future of the species
depends. Free trade in a staple crop looks rational from an economic point of
view. From a biological point of view it seems woefully short-sighted, if not mad.

Tuesday 20th July.
        Researchers from the National Environmental Research Council have
published a study in “Science” revealing a sharp decline in Britain’s birds,
butterflies and plants, supporting the claim that we are already experiencing the
sixth mass extinction in the world’s history. The study cites the degradation and
fragmentation of habitats as the main problem. However, another report in
“Science” blames some of the decline on nitrogen pollution from agricultural
fertilizers and fossil fuel combustion.
Wednesday 21st July.
      The BBC has reported that French beekeepers say about 90 billion of their
bees have been killed over the last 10 years by an insecticide, imidacloprid, which
is used on maize and sunflowers. It damages the bees’ sense of direction so that
they become lost. Imidacloprid is marketed under several names including
Gaucho and is used on a number of crops in the UK. The value of bees to the
agricultural economy is enormous, and UK beekeepers fear that they are
becoming scarcer. For the full story visit:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3523453.stm

Thursday 22nd July.
       Following the decision of Bayer CropScience to halt its programme of
planting GM maize in Britain, Monsanto has announced its abandonment of
plans to introduce GM wheat to the world market. However, according to FoE,
the campaign to stop GM ingredients creeping into our food is not yet over. GM
imports into the EU could be forced through by the European Commission later
this year, while GM oilseed rape and beet could still be licensed for growing
under EU regulations. The law still allows supermarkets to sell unlabelled food
containing less than 0.9% GM ingredients.

Friday 23rd July.
       According to Greenpeace, Unilever, Coca-Cola and McDonalds – three
world leaders in food and soft drinks – have agreed to phase out the use of ozone-
damaging HFCs in refrigeration equipment. HFCs are far more potent as
greenhouse gases than CO2 and were introduced when CFCs began to be
regulated under the Montreal Protocol. Coca-Cola will convert millions of drink-
vending machines to non-HFC refrigerants, while McDonalds, in its 30,000
restaurants, will convert its eleven types of refrigeration unit to alternative
refrigerants. Alternatives such as Greenfreeze technology have been on the
market for several years, yet at current rates of HFC usage, by 2050 HFCs will
contribute as much to global warming as all today’s private cars put together.
Greenpeace demands that:
    Governments phase out HFCs immediately, or at least within 5 years;
    Governments meanwhile tax the use of HFCs until phase-out;
    The parties to the Montreal Convention stop funding HFC projects,
       accelerate the phase-out of HFCs and establish a compensation fund into
       which HFC-producers pay for the environmental and human health costs
       arising from the extensive use of HFCs.


Saturday 24th July.
      The road haulage industry is again up in arms about increases in fuel taxes.
Before the Government again caves in to their demands, the following
considerations may be relevant:
     According to the WHO, 160,00 people die each year as a result of floods,
       droughts, storms and diseases caused by climate change. If our
       dependence on oil is not reduced, these figures will escalate and the
       financial cost will far exceed the amount spent on a small rise in fuel costs;
     Cheaper fuel means we will use more of it. Only when people understand
       the real cost of fossil fuels will they cut down on their car use. Only then
       will manufacturers produce environmentally-friendly cars, oil companies
       sell us green fuels and policy-makers sort out public transport;
     Fuel tax is fair because the polluter pays. It taxes everyone who uses it by
       the amount they use it. The 25% of British families who have no car still
       need efficient public transport;
     There are already substantial incentives to convert lorries to run on
       alternative fuels. Plant-based diesels and road fuel gas need to be made
       more available. Any diesel engine can run on biodiesel without
       modification and most vehicles can be converted to run on road fuel gases.
If the road haulage industry leads the way, within ten years our road haulage fleet
can and will be running on hydrogen.

Sunday 25th July.
       Lord God, maker of heaven and earth, you made us in your own image and
set us in a world teeming with life and beauty. You gave us authority, yet we have
lost our way. Teach us, heavenly Father, how to live according to your will, so
that we and all your creation may worship you in peace and thanksgiving.

Monday 26th July.
       The World Commission on Large Dams classifies 22,000 of China’s 86,000
dams as large. A further 300 are planned for rivers in China’s south-western
region, where ten of the great rivers of Asia start their journey into major
countries including India, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and
Thailand. Dams built to fuel China’s industrial revolution have compounded
deforestation, soil erosion, landslides and pollution affecting downstream
communities. In those communities floods are increasing, fish and animal stocks
are decreasing, water levels are fluctuating, all due to decisions reached in China.
China’s plans to build eight large dams on the upper reaches of the Mekong
(known in China as the Lancang) will drastically change the river’s natural
flood/drought cycle and block the transport of sediment which is so essential to
downstream communities. These environmental changes will affect millions of
people in Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Despite these serious impacts,
construction of the dams is proceeding without consultation with China’s
downstream neighbours and without any real assessment of the likely impacts on
the river and its people.
Tuesday 27th July.
       In 1950 the world contained just over 5,000 large dams: today the figure is
more than 45,000. Three-quarters of major rivers in the Northern Hemisphere
have been tamed or harnessed. The World Commission on Large Dams details
some consequences flowing from many of these developments:
    Increase in water-borne diseases including malaria, bilharzias and
       schistomiasis;
    Loss of the annual flow of nutrient-rich silt needed to fertilise farmland
       downstream;
    Significant destruction of riverine ecosystems and wildlife, including
       forests, in the valleys behind dams;
    Reduction in fish populations as the lack of free-flowing water prevents
       replenishment of oxygen levels, so impeding nutrients from reaching
       fisheries downstream. This is particularly serious for many thousands of
       people dependent on fish to feed themselves;
    Methane emissions from rotting vegetation in the reservoirs, contributing,
       in some cases, more to global warming than the emissions from coal-fired
       power stations producing a similar amount of electricity;
    Increased risk of armed conflict when the damming of major rivers reduces
       downstream flow to other countries;
    Displacement and impoverishment of up to 80 million indigenous people
       since large dams were first built, through destruction of their homes, their
       lands, communities and culture.
In 1975, according to the Chinese Government, dam collapses killed 250,000
people and caused famine and disease among 11 million more. In the USA in
1976, the collapse of the Teton dam destroyed three towns and hundreds of
thousands of acres of farmland. With global warming and the increased risk of
flooding, such disasters seem likely to recur.

Wednesday 28th July.
       The Chinese Government predicted that, during 2003, electricity
consumption would increase by 5%. Instead it grew by a massive 15%, leading to
fears that the north-eastern provinces would exhaust their electricity generating
capacity by 2010. Yet China’s power generation is among the most inefficient in
the world: official figures show that the energy consumed to produce a product
worth $1 is 4 times higher than in the USA, 7.7 times higher than in Germany and
11.5 times higher than in Japan. Pan Yue, deputy head of China’s Environmental
Protection Administration has said: “China is a massive economy growing at an
amazing rate. If the present high-consumption and high-pollution mode is not
changed, China will lack sufficient resources and environmental capacity to
sustain its future development.”
Thursday 29th July.
       Micro-hydro involves the use of small mills and dams to provide clean
energy and an alternative source of income for rural communities. In 1995 Miles
and Gail Fursdon of Old Town Farm, Poundsgate, bought a water turbine from
the Czech Republic, dug a 460-metre channel from a stream to the turbine and
transformed the 1936 watermill on their family farm with a micro-hydro power
plant. The turbine provides enough electricity to meet the needs of three
neighbouring villages (about 80 households) and to sell some 400 MW hours a
year to the National Grid for £20,000. Having recouped all costs within 5 years,
the turbine is now their primary source of income. Up to 15% of Britain’s 8,000
mill sites are thought to be suitable for similar schemes, potentially generating
2% of the UK’s electricity needs.

Friday 30th July.
      Britain’s 50,00 domestic solar water systems heat water directly. The panels
absorb the sun’s energy and transfer it via coils connected to the hot water
system. Retired civil engineer Richard Hegarty installed solar water panels in his
Essex home in 1993. Since then they have provided over 10,700 hours of free,
unpolluting hot water for nothing other than the original cost of £4,935. “From
the end of May through to October we have silent, clean heat” says Hegarty. A
domestic solar water heater saves each year 0.4-0.6 tonnes of CO2 from being
emitted into the atmosphere. If every British home were so equipped, it would
save around 10.5 million tonnes a year of CO2 emissions.

Saturday 31st July.
       Recycling levels in Britain hover around 14.5% - far short of the
Government’s target of 25% by 2005. FoE is urging the Government to provide
more funding for local authorities from landfill tax revenues and to reform the
landfill tax credit scheme. The best practice doorstep recycling and compost
collection schemes cost, on average, £17 per household per year to run, but some
councils spend just £1.15 per household. In 2002 Lichfield District Council was
granted £410,000 to provide a dry recyclables collection from difficult types of
housing that are currently excluded. As a result, they increased their recycling
rate from 33% to 43%. Also in 2002, Bath and North-East Somerset Council
received a £755,000 grant for their green waste and cardboard collection. For flats
where a green box collection is difficult to operate, they developed innovative
recycling options. As a result, the recycling rate has increased from 17% to 25%.
FoE comments:
“People are willing to recycle, provided they have adequate facilities. The best
way to reach the recycling levels obtained by many of our European neighbours
is to introduce doorstep recycling. To provide the best schemes, local authorities
need adequate funding from the Government. The Chancellor must commit
money from the landfill tax to support the best in local recycling.”
Additional prayers:




Some sources:     Earth Matters.  The Ecologist.     Positive News.
                  The Organic Way.

For further information and prayer requests please write or e-mail:
                                                       Philip Clarkson Webb
                                                       15 Valley View
                                                       Southborough
                                                       Tunbridge Wells
                                                       Kent TN4 OSY.
                                                e-mail: pcwebb@rdplus.net
This prayer guide is available on the web at:
www.christian-ecology.org.uk

								
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