Prayabouts

Collecting and curating things to hold before God in relation to climate change and environmental concerns. Some are alarming, some a little more hopeful, most have links to help dig into the story more fully to inform prayer. Additions and subtractions will take place over time. Please, fellow-prayist, make suggestions or offer updates in the comments. It may be that some comments could become further ‘prayabouts’.

Mostly there are no directions or suggestions about how to pray: these are things to hold before God and over time to get a sense of the right sort of petitions that may be inspired as we pray about them.

Andii

So, holding before God

If you’d like to have a ‘signs of hope’ for thanksgiving, this article has an extensive listing.
Sunday -new life – signs of hope, renewal, repair
Monday -creation Spirit – air and atmosphere
Tuesday -Advent themes – order & law, ngo’s,
Wednesday -incarnation – soil, the marginalised,
Thursday -Epiphany themes- water, -seas, rivers, lakes , information and media,
Friday -Lent, Cross – The powers that be; governance, provisioning,
Saturday -Saints – activists, scientists

Unallocated -usually because it’s hard to categorise into just one, or I’m still thinking about it!

Sunday -new life – signs of hope, renewal, repair

Across at least 12 million acres of Niger, woodlands have been re-established with little outside help, almost no money, and without driving people off their land. The trees here weren’t planted; they were encouraged to come back naturally, nurtured by thousands of farmers. Now, fresh trees are popping up in village after village. As a result, soils are more fertile and moister, and crop yields are up. Neighboring countries already are racing to follow Niger’s example. But experts say other continents, too, should be looking to Niger as a model. “It’s a really inspiring story,” says Sarah Wilson, a postdoctoral forest researcher at Canada’s University of Victoria, who studied Niger’s rebirth. “It’s the kind of restoration we want. It just spread from farmer to farmer.” Article.

“COP27 ended with an agreement that a fund would be set up during 2023 to provide finance to countries facing the worst climate impacts… there is still a long road and many political battles ahead to ensure that the fund is set up and financed on an equitable basis… need to ensure the fund operates and is funded in a just way, and that it’s paid for by taxing the big polluters that have caused the climate crisis in the first place… The most pressing issue is building public support to make a commitment of new and additional finance (not aid money) to the fund, in proportion with historic carbon emissions, and to tax big polluters like BP and Shell to pay for it….” Read in full.

Greener steel production: In the Boston Metal cell, “an inert metallic anode is immersed in an electrolyte containing iron ore and then electrified. The cell heats to 1600C, and electrons split the bonds in the iron ore. The result is a clean, high purity liquid metal that can be sent directly to ladle metallurgy — no reheating required.” The output is really pure iron, which can then can be turned into steel with the addition of precise amounts of carbon or other alloys.

Consultancy Crondall Energy has been awarded a share of a £6.7 million UK Government pot to try to use North Sea infrastructure to solve the puzzle of energy storage. In partnership with Durham University, the pair have been awarded nearly £150,000 to develop a project which may ultimately help deal with the problem of intermittency in renewable energy sources like offshore wind. Over a five month period, the pair will explore the cost of using electricity to compress air and store it offshore in the UK North Sea. When such a system is reversed, the compressed air could be used to power a turbine to produce flexible electrical energy.

In early 2009 Danish oil and gas company DONG Energy began to change. … 2008 …DONG announced it would be pushing forward on a new vision, the 85/15, which stated that the 85% fossil fuel 15% renewable split in its power generation mix would be swapped within a generation and that this would be done through closing coal fired power plants and scaling up offshore wind power… in 2017, DONG, which had oil and gas in its name, sold its final oil and gas production assets and to reflect its fossil fuels-free future, the company rebranded as Ørsted, after the Danish scientist who discovered electromagnetism, Hans Christian Ørsted… “Now that we have transitioned, we want to help governments and businesses do the same and achieve their decarbonisation goals. That’s how we will realise our vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy.” -Article.

This yeast oil … roasts his unsold leftover bread, grinds it up and …ferments the stale bread with a special yeast, and within two days, a yellowish oil is dripping steadily out of the lab’s centrifuge. This oil is then sent back … for baking and frying. “The yeast oil lasts longer than palm oil,” he says. “I can reuse it up to 60 times. I even make my Bavarian cream with it.” More importantly, it is a zero-waste, 100 percent sustainable solution. “We replace the conventional palm oil monocultures with a truly circular bio-economy without waste”.

On Nov. 1st 2021, the @_GlobalAssembly‘s declaration was presented to world leaders at #COP26 stating that #Ecocide should be “enshrined in internat. & national laws, and firmly enforced alongside existing environmental protection laws.”

Doughnut economics diagram


Monday -creation Spirit – air and atmosphere

From this article: …carbon footprint of those things that we can control of 2.5 tonnes of carbon per person per year as the 2030 target.

The IGSD paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed the huge potential for “buying time” to change the world’s energy systems by concentrating on cutting methane, and other SLCPs including soothydrofluorocarbons, ground-level ozone and nitrous oxide. These substances contribute almost as much to global heating as CO2, …Dreyfus said sharp cuts to methane and other SLCPs could result in temperatures lower by 0.26C by 2050, which is almost four times greater than the benefit of pursuing CO2 cuts alone.

Rainwater across the globe has been found to be too polluted for humans to safely drink, a study has claimed. Exposure to high levels of these manmade ‘per-‘ and ‘polyfluoroalkyl substances’ (PFAS) has been linked to health problems including fertility issues, higher cholestoral levels and certain types of cancer… “There is nowhere on Earth where the rain would be safe to drink, according to the measurements that we have taken… We can’t escape it… we’re just going to have to live with it. But it’s not a great situation to be in, where we’ve contaminated the environment to the point where background exposure is not really safe.”

The world’s biggest fossil fuel firms are quietly planning scores of “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts, … these firms are in effect placing multibillion-dollar bets against humanity halting global heating. Their huge investments in new fossil fuel production could pay off only if countries fail to rapidly slash carbon emissions, which scientists say is vital. (Originating article)

This one seems too good to be true but also seems plausible: “As our climate emergency intensifies day by day, MEER aims to directly tackle the most imminent threat, Earth’s rising temperatures, with the help of solar reflectors installed on rooftops, open spaces and farmland, redirecting portions of sunlight back into space before it has a chance to heat our planet. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is absolutely necessary, and enhancing natural carbon sinks is also essential. But we will break through deadly temperature boundaries before these slow-response strategies can start to cool the planet.” See more…


Tuesday -Advent themes – law, ngo’s, the nations…

…A series of complex challenges, including a lack of funding and political will as well as rising insecurity linked to extremist groups al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Burkina Faso, are obstructing progress on Africa’s Great Green Wall, according to experts involved in the initiative. There have been some modest gains for the project, which plans to build an 8000-kilometer (4970-mile) long forest through 11 nations across the width of Africa to hold back the ever-growing Sahara Desert and fend off climate change impacts, but many involved with the plan are calling for renewed momentum to combat both insecurity and environmental decline. Read more...

Corporate courts give fossil fuel companies the power to sue governments for taking action on the climate emergency. They are an obstacle to a clean energy transition and to achieving climate justice …Industry insiders reckon the amounts at stake could be over $9 trillion. The UK needs to drop corporate courts in new trade deals, and exit the Energy Charter Treaty …the UK has dropped corporate courts from the UK-Australia and UK-Canada trade deals. Now we need to keep up the pressure for the UK to exit the Energy Charter Treaty and stop joining Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Wednesday -incarnation – soil, the marginalised, food

We urgently need to diversify global food production, both geographically and in terms of crops and farming techniques. We need to break the grip of massive corporations and financial speculators. We need to create backup systems, producing food by entirely different means. We need to introduce spare capacity into a system threatened by its own efficiencies. –Source article.

Climate change has been holding back food production for decades, with a new study showing that about 21% of growth for agricultural output was lost since the 1960s. That’s equal to losing the last seven years of productivity growth, according to research led by Cornell University and published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study was funded by a unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Michael Fakhiri’s report highlights structural constraints and outlines how a just transition to agroecology could provide a way forward… hunger has been on the rise since 2015. In 2021, between 702 million and 828m people were affected, 103m more than during the 2019-20 period and 46m more than in 2020. The gender gap … In 2021, 31.9 per cent of women were moderately or severely food insecure, compared to 27.6 per cent of men… the world is in a food crisis. because of a failure to co-operate and co-ordinate efforts to alleviate it, thus enabling the growing influence of agribusiness and commodity speculation… to improve what is a dire situation …the international legal framework for the right to food should be updated to include trade policies informed by food sovereignty and labour rights instead of being simply about buying and selling edible commodities… [currently, the] priority is shareholder profits not public good. Moreover, states are constrained in their actions as regards food policy because of World Trade Organisation edicts limiting domestic support and public stockholding, together with intellectual property rights favouring transnational corporations. Newspaper report here.

…soil can break down so quickly when it’s farmed. Under certain conditions, when farmers apply nitrogen fertiliser, the microbes respond by burning through the carbon: in other words, the cement that holds their catacombs together. The pores cave in. The passages collapse. The soil becomes sodden, airless and compacted. More here. …Almost single-handedly, through trial and error, Tolly has developed a new and revolutionary model of horticulture. At first it looks like magic. In reality, it’s the result of many years of meticulous experiments….

Last year, the folks at Our World in Data published an article and some graphics about how human diets affect land use. The conclusion, …is that if everyone in the world ate a vegan diet – one without any animal products at all – global agricultural land use would decrease by 75%. Rapid advances… in precision fermentation (PF), a process that allows us to program micro-organisms to produce almost any complex organic molecule (especially proteins), and cellular agriculture (CA), a process that involves growing animal tissue cells outside the animal. In Rethinking Food and Agriculture, we found that PF will make protein production 5 times cheaper by 2030 and 10 times cheaper by 2035 than existing animal proteins, before ultimately approaching the cost of sugar. They will be up to 100 times more land efficient, 10–25 times more feedstock efficient, 20 times more time efficient, and 10 times more water efficient than animal products and they will also produce an order of magnitude less waste. This means that, by 2030, modern food products will be higher quality and cost less than half as much to produce as the animal-derived products they replace. \-But note this from George Monbiot: “threatened by intellectual property rights: it could easily be captured by the same corporations that now monopolise the global grain and meat trade. We should fiercely resist this: patents should be weak and anti-trust laws strong. Ideally, this farm-free food should be open source.”

Women make up 80 percent of those forced to leave their home during climate catastrophes according to UN studies. They are also 14 times more likely than men to die during climate change related disasters.

…many cities have done a good job at reducing local emissions. But, … urban dwellers consume a great deal of stuff from beyond their boundaries. When a product or service is bought by an urban consumer in a C40 city, resource extraction, manufacturing and transportation have already generated emissions along every link of a global supply chain. Together these consumption-based emissions add up to a total climate impact that is approximately 60% higher than production-based emissions.The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5°C World, by Arup, C40 Cites and the University of Leeds.

A growing gap in green space provision divides the UK according to recent research, with people in northern cities having access to fewer parks than their southern counterparts. Nationwide, ethnically diverse communities and people living on low incomes are more likely to live in areas without accessible or high-quality wild places or parks, according to data from Natural England and the Office for National Statistics. These communities are more likely to suffer poorer health outcomes, with higher incidences of heart and lung disease, depression, diabetes and obesity. To address this inequity, a coalition of environmental charities has called for equal access to nature to be enshrined in law. This echoes proposals for a legal right to nature, which have been discussed by the United Nations. https://theconversation.com/green-space-access-is-not-equal-in-the-uk-and-the-government-isnt-doing-enough-to-change-that-177598


Thursday -Epiphany themes- water, -seas, rivers, lakes , information and media,

The Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass three times faster now than in the 1990s and contributing to global sea level rise.

Arctic ice is fast retreating: summertime ice coverage is now down to 20% of its 1970s levels. This climate breakdown is creating three potential areas for interstate competition, threatening the uneasy cooperation that has governed relations in the Arctic Circle…First, melting ice sheets are uncovering new sources for raw materials. Arctic oil and gas exploration and mining projects have grown rapidly… Second, as Arctic ice disappears, sea routes that were once impassable for much of the year are being opened up… The third and final potential conflict area also arises from the Arctic’s prime geographical location. Positioned at the shortest possible distance between the globe’s two major landmasses, the Arctic has long been ripe for militarisation

Reduce and remove plastic packaging: “Nearly three-quarters of British people have experienced “anxiety, frustration or hopelessness” at the amount of plastic that comes with their shopping and 59% think supermarkets and brands are not doing enough to offer refillable, reusable or packaging-free products,”

“US right-wing groups with links to big oil are desperate to stop action against the climate crisis. Now they are trying to extend their reach into UK political debate.” A registered UK charity, the GWPF is one of the most vocal groups in British politics opposing the government’s ‘net zero’ plans and has been at the forefront of recent calls to restart fracking. The Tufton Street-based group’s trustees include former chancellor Nigel Lawson and Steve Baker, who leads the ‘Net Zero Scrutiny’ group of backbench Tory MPs and was recently criticised for sharing a paper by the group that denied the climate crisis…Of the £1.45m that the GWPF has received in charitable donations since 2017, at least 45% has come from the US….Craig Mackinlay and Steve Baker, the MPs leading the group, are regularly quoted on press releases from Net Zero Watch and have repeated some of its lines on the economic cost of net zero word-for-word. Read More


Friday -Lent, Cross – The powers that be; governance, provisioning, forests, harms …

Vanuatu called on other nations to join them in establishing a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a proposed international mechanism that aims to explicitly address the source of 86% of CO2 emissions that cause climate change: fossil fuels. The President of Vanuatu His Excellency Nikenike Vurobaravu made the historic call on the floor of the UN General Assembly, making Vanuatu the first nation-state to call for an international mechanism to stop the expansion of all new fossil fuel projects, and manage a global just transition away from coal, oil and gas.

An action plan for Cop28 that requires donors to contribute to climate finance based on their capacity to pay – and, in the case of loss and damage, based on historic liability for greenhouse gas emissions – should be the starting point for the next round of climate finance… What we now need is the political will. -Full article. Also this comment: “Yet to be determined is how the fund will be administered, who will pay into it, and which countries will receive money.”-See more.

Environmentally, tackling deforestation is about more than just carbon. REDD+ (“reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,”) programs deliver numerous other environmental benefits. For example, tackling deforestation reduces soil erosion, repairs water systems, enhances water quality, and increases resilience to drought and floods… Where local community has been engaged in efforts to halt deforestation, and where residents can clearly see the indirect and direct benefits of projects, these have been far more successful. Evidence suggests that deforestation is lower in areas where Indigenous peoples’ collective land rights are recognized

The Amazon rainforest is becoming less resilient, raising the risk of widespread dieback. Resilience – the ability to recover from events such as droughts or fires – has declined consistently in more than three quarters of the rainforest since the early 2000s. The Amazon could soon reach a tipping point, triggering dieback which would likely turn much of the forest to savannah, with major impacts on biodiversity, global carbon storage and climate change. The collapse of the Amazon rainforest was inevitable if Jair Bolsonaro remained president of Brazil, … was more interested in placating the powerful agribusiness lobby and tapping global markets that reward destructive behaviour. Those forces are still at work in Brazil, funding, agitating and lobbying for business without heed to the ecological effects of extraction. President Lula has already been strengthening enforcement against illegal clearing and logging.

The need to tackle what the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) has identified as the five key drivers of biodiversity loss: changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of natural resources; climate change; pollution; and invasion of alien species.

… a peer-reviewed study in the journal Nature in April… noted the existence of roughly 10,000 viruses with the potential to infect humans—the vast majority of which, researchers said, are already “circulating silently in wild mammals.” Global climate change and evolving land-use patterns will increase the potential for cross-species viral transmission as animals that were once geographically isolated begin to have increased contact with people https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07062022/monkeypox-zoonotic-diseases-spread-climate-change/

Climate vulnerable nations in Africa are showing growing interest in debt-for-climate swaps to address ballooning debt and spur climate investments. Increasingly, they have the ear of financial institutions… 58% of the world’s poorest countries are in debt distress or at high risk of it. In sub-Saharan Africa, Covid-19 has squeezed budgets and pushed average debt levels above 60% of GDP… the IMF, the Green Climate Fund and the African Development Bank increasingly support debt-for-climate swaps as a solution… Debt swaps mean that instead of making payments to creditors on outstanding loans, debtor countries can use that money in local currency to invest in climate projects under terms agreed with creditors… The Egyptian Cop27 presidency is considering launching a debt swap framework at the climate summit in November… Fuller article here.

So it’s not enough to just cut direct emissions, we also have to cut the footprint of all the stuff that we consume… biggest source of emissions is a usual suspect – buildings and infrastructure. Here, the first thing to do is use less steel and concrete, substituting lower carbon materials and just building less …food, at 13 percent of emissions, actually has a bigger carbon impact in cities than cars. So we have to cut waste, eat less meat and dairy (preferably none), and even limit calories. I suspect that this will be a hard sell. … upfront emissions of building cars matters, totally a third of their total emissions. So we need to cut the numbers significantly (ambitiously, to zero), make them last longer, and reduce their weight by half, which could be done easily by banning SUVs and light trucks for non-commercial uses. …clothing and textiles have 4 percent of total emissions. It’s twice as high as aviation. So no more big shopping sprees for fast fashion; ambitiously, no more than three new items per year. Full article here. Also:  The single biggest factor in the carbon footprint in our cities isn’t the amount of insulation in our walls, it’s the zoning.


Saturday -Saints – activists, scientists

The work of Client Earth, using not just legal angles but diplomatic ones to push for the end of coal, will continue to be really significant next year. Comfortingly, that extends far beyond Europe to very-hard-to-read China, where Client Earth claims to have trained 1,000 judges and prosecutors on regional pollution laws.

Science shows that to avoid ecological meltdown we need a two-third reduction in the impact of consumption in just 10 years, starting with rich countries. And yet, even our best examples of sustainable society still show huge and growing consumption emissions. This is because on their own, better technology and policy can’t green fast enough to keep up, when our mindsets, our cultures and our economic, political, technical and education systems are focused on more stuff.” -a movement where you take the jump—a movement fittingly named The JUMP. https://www.treehugger.com/take-the-jump-less-stuff-more-joy-5215018

The youth movement has moved on from school strikes …. We cannot have another Cop that holds them at arms length. Cop27 in Egypt must have proper representation built into the structure (in 2018 UN protocols were changed to allow youth leaders to participate in more of the process, but they still don’t have a seat in negotiations).

Unallocated, so far …

Footprints of 10 Countries
Hot or Cool Institute

But as the table shows, some people are not even close to this. The Canadians, with a lifestyle pretty close to that of Americans, lead at 14.2 tonnes per year, followed by Finland. [I think that this may illustrate the impact of dairy produce]

diet
Hot or Cool Institute

Some of the differences between countries are surprising: Canada consumes more of everything, even more meat than Brazil.

Something to pray to see more of expressed in the life of the world.

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