This season is during November, before Advent. It incorporates All Saints, All Souls and Remembrance and on 30th is the Day of Remembrance for Lost Species1. So, the themes for this season are remembrance of losses, lament, and recognition of mortality. It also recognises the natural theme of growing darkness and lengthening nights (in the northern hemisphere). Officially this season before Advent is Kingdom Season. The title “The Season of Holy Revenance is taken from a book of Poems by Cynthia Hogue2. For some context on how the idea of daily prayer in climate emergency is worked through, read this.
—————– ɷˡˡ̷ —————
All flesh is grass, enduring as a flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades. But the Word of our God stands for ever.3
Pause to appreciate God’s presence.
Your word O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Lights /candles may be lit
Sustain us according to your promise and we shall live.
Comfort our hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word
Reflection individually or together.
Then a Canticle (as follows) may be used or a hymn.
Every good deed Every perfect gift Is from Above, Coming from the Creator of lights Who does not change Like their shifting shadows. God chose to birth us Through the truthful Word So that we would be As firstfruits Of all God created. 4
O Lord, open our lips And our mouth shall proclaim your praise. Blessèd are you, God of all consolation, you love us and in grace you give us eternal comfort and good hope5, you give seedtime and harvest and nourish life in the midst of decay; with you is the well of life, In your light we see light.
Praise and thanksgiving, silent or aloud.
God in heaven; you are as a father and a mother6 to us, Hallowed be your name
The nights lengthen, trees leave themselves bare and plants retreat in on themselves. We remember summer, and warmth. We recall whom we miss and remember what is no more. And we pray for life in death, light in darkness and hope in despair.
We grieve for fraying the web of life we love. We rail at the losses we contemplate. We long for words of comfort, yet find them hard to hear.
…We bring our concerns for creation, or for the needs of the earth, people or events to God, silently or aloud. Consider pausing after each of the following response to consider and pray from whatever the petition brings to heart and mind.
We pray for life in death, light in darkness and hope in despair. In the travails of earth: bring your vision to birth
Creation groans: we feel the marring and lament the harms. In the travails of earth: bring your vision to birth
The cries of the needy and dispossessed call out for justice. In the travails of earth: bring your vision to birth
Strongholds against truth and compassion vaunt themselves. In the travails of earth: bring your vision to birth
We cast our cares upon you, generous and faithful God. In the travails of earth: bring your vision to birth
As we seek to walk in Light, you promise to supply our need
…sharing of needs, silently or aloud …
Seeking first your righteousness, All things needful are shared.
The darkness of night is dissolving as the Dawn’s light draws near. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness.
We pause to recognise what of our life needs to change in the light of God’s Reign
When the shadows we have cast have hidden the light for others, Father forgive. Bring us life again
We reflect on what we may need to forgive
We forgive the shadows others have cast on our lives. Father forgive. Bring us life again
We cry to the Lord in our trouble: deliver us from our distress Bring us out of darkness: from out of the shadow of death7
We reflect on the coming day: …
In all that today may bring; the anticipated and the surprising, the pleasant and the testing; Go before us, alert us to the real issues, strengthen us for Good, awaken us if we sleepwalk into sin, show us the way out of the darkness: fill us with love, hope and peace as we cling fast to you. Amen.
In your tender compassion, O God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
2 This word can be found in Cynthia Hogue’s book of poems. It resembles “revenant”, the French word for ghost (literally, “returning”), and ‘reverie’ -a state of dreaming (in this case for a better future) and it also conjures the word ‘reverence’. See https://poets.org/book/revenance
The Season of Creation starts on 1 September and goes through to 4 October. It is a time to pray for the sustaining of creation, the protection of vulnerable ecosystems and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles. It is a time to appreciate afresh the beauty and wonder of what God has made.
Let us pray that God’s loving presence may flare up in our hearts and transform us by the knowledge of divine glory.
A light may be lit and set in a bowl of soil as the following prayer is said by all:
We take refuge in God’s earthing in flesh; immersion in death; rising to Life. We take root in the Love of God; the Good News of Christ; the prayers of the faithful.
From the creation of the world, God’s eternal power and nature, though invisible, have been perceived and grasped through the things God has made. [a]
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you made all things, by your will everything persists and was created[e]
The heavens tell out God’s glory; and the skies proclaim God’s handiwork. Day streams data to day, and night declares knowledge to night. This is not speech; there are no words; their voices are not heard; and yet their forthtelling propagates through the whole earth, and their words to the world’s end.[i]
We recognise and celebrate God’s loving greatness… So with angels and atoms, stars and saints, earth and sky and sea. We hallow your name, joining with the eternal song of heaven Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory, hosanna in the highest.
Creator God, breathe your Spirit through never spent nature[o] and make flourish the the deep down viridity[u] of the world. Send forth your Spirit: And renew the face of the earth.
Sustainer of all, in the searing of uncaring trade and the smearing of human toil[o] let there grow renewal, justice and peace. Send forth your Spirit: And renew the face of the earth.
Loving and out-reaching God, as you touch and woo every heart, let there grow a reverence for all you have made and freedom to respond to your grace. Send forth your Spirit: And renew the face of the earth.
…prayers or biddings may be added here, further suggestions here. You might, on occasion, wish to plant a seed in the soil for each petition or add a few drops of water to seeds already planted. When you’re ready, the leader ends with: Send forth your Spirit: And renew the face of the earth. May we know your comfort and provision as we seek your will for life and cosmos …requests for God’s provision may be added here the leader ending with Send forth your Spirit: And renew the face of the earth.
We are debtors to the ecosystem you have grown for our nurture. We have trespassed on the resources you provide for others.
Like carbon to the atmosphere: We have added to the world’s woes Like nutrients from the soil; We have taken without restoring. Like heat to the oceans We have sown destruction
If there is a bowl of soil, perhaps at this point you might trace with a muddied finger a cross on the palm of a hand and pause to reflect
We open our hands to forgive: we are debtors to mercy and heirs of grace. Thank you for bearing our dys-grace. We are forgiven in your determination to bless.
Lead us into gracious and merciful living; generous and respectful in all you have made. As we contemplate your creation, O God, we see wildness and order, chance and necessity, Freedom and limits. Grant us to use lovingly our freedoms to be wise in living the order of things And wary of our vulnerability to misleadings. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory. Now and forever, amen
[a]Romans 1:20 [e]Revelation 4:11 [i] Responses based on Psalm 19:1-4 [o] Phrase from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem God’s Grandeur. [u] Viridity is a term from Hildegaard of Bingen, a medieval mystic, writer and artist who led a convent. It comes from the Latin for ‘greenness’ and so captures nature’s sign of health and growth.
This form of prayer is for use on days when Mary the mother of Jesus is remembered. Principally 15 August but also 25 March, 8 September are other days she is traditionally remembered. This form uses the Magnificat from Luke 1:46ff as its main inspiration.
A woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But Jesus said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’ [i]
As we hear God’s word, Holy Spirit, come upon us: Power of the Most High, overshadow us.
We will treasure these words and ponder them in our hearts
Reflection (together with others where possible), silently and/or aloud
Here we are, servants of the Lord; let it be with us according to your word.
After the readings and reflection, a canticle may be said or sung. The most suitable is the following.
A song from scripture based on the …
Magnificat (The Song of Mary) My soul proclaims your greatness O Lord; my spirit rejoices in you O God our Saviour, You have looked with favour on your lowly servant. From this day all generations will call us blessed: Almighty, you have done great things for us, and holy is your name. You have mercy on those who fear you from generation to generation. You have shown strength with your arm and scattered the proud in their conceit, casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly. You have filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. You have come to the help of your servant Israel, remembering your promise of mercy, the promise made to our forebears, to Abraham and his children forever. [ii]
From our hearts we magnify You, O Lord, We rejoice in the spirit O God our Saviour, You have shown favour to your lowly servants. You have remembered your promises of mercy
… Songs and/or words of praise and thanksgiving could be shared here… Almighty, you have done great things for us and holy is your name.
Show strength with your arm, O God scatter the proud in the imaginations of their hearts. Cast down the mighty from their thrones Send away oppressors Restore the earth and renew her lifeways Free her from her exploiters.
Concerns for the planet, climate, society, the church and individuals are shared …
Lift up the lowly. Fill the hungry with good things
We consider what we need to continue serving God …
Lest we be scattered from God’s purposes, brought down, or sent away empty, let us repent; asking and offering forgiveness.
Pause to reflect on forgiving and being forgiven. Have mercy upon us According to your promises. Have mercy upon us And show us favour Have mercy upon us As we in turn have mercy.
God says to all who repent; Do not be afraid, for you have found favour with God.’
Though the Lord be high, he watches over the lowly. Let’s pause to give our coming hours over to God’s guiding and guarding … Though we walk in the midst of trouble, O God; you will preserve us. You will stretch forth your hand against the fury of our enemies; your right hand will save us. Make good your purpose for us; your loving-kindness, O Lord, endures for ever forsake not the work of your hands. Make good your purpose for us. [iii]
From this day forward may we be blessed For the Almighty does great things for us.
The feast of Transfiguration is on 6 August. Consider using this form for a few days following too. Many ideas and phrases in the prayers below come from the accounts in Matthew 16:28-17:8 and its parallels in Mark and Luke.
Lord, it is good for us to be here [i] For your Spirit is with us
We pause to recognise God’s presence.
Our hearts respond to your call ‘Seek my face.’ Your face, Lord, will we seek. One thing we ask of you Lord and this is what we seek: to dwell at your meeting place all our lives’ days To behold your loveliness, and think on your ways.[ii]
As we hear the scriptures may we listen to your Beloved. Overshadow us and speak to us for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit
Scriptures and a time of quiet and/or shared reflection.
By the Spirit, we hear God’s voice from heaven, In Christ we have the message more fully confirmed. Let us be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place.[iii]
Canticle of Solomon Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.[iv]
Your steadfast love, O Lord, is in the heavens, your faithfulness reaches the skies.[v] Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth.[vi]
We honour you and thank you: in Christ we are your beloved children, with whom you are well pleased. In Christ you are transforming us from one degree of glory to another by the working of the Holy Spirit.
And so, we laud your name: Holy, holy, holy God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory Hosanna in the highest.
In the transfiguration, we glimpse a world reflecting God’s glory, we long for transfigurations of here-and-now realities into anticipations of the new heaven and new earth.
Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us wisdom to share sensitively with all people the good news so that all may behold your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as in heaven.
By the hopes of the prophets, we are emboldened to cry out for justice, mercy and peace.
Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Sensing the groaning of creation[vii] in us and around us, we cry out for humanity to step up to serve and guard the earth[viii].
Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as in heaven.
As we accompany Christ to the wheres and whens that touch glory, be our provider
Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Forgive us that in various ways, big and small, we have grieved the Spirit as we have resisted being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus.
Gracious God, glorify your name, We glory in your forgiveness.
Enfold our forgiving of others into your transfiguration of creation that we may continually participate in the transformation of the world.
Give us grace to forgive: Work your glory into our forgiveness. Lead us so we do not sleepwalk into sin awaken us to the signs of glory around us. Preserve us from attempts to make permanent the provisional; And from the paralysing fear of the new and challenging. In the midst of the strange and misunderstandable; Give us ears to hear you and heart to follow Jesus. Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever. Amen.
We go being transformed into Christ’s image, from one degree of glory to another ; This comes from the Lord, the Spirit. Amen.
[i] Matthew 17:4 -allusions to the same passage can be found throughout this form for prayer.
Eastertide lasts until the celebration of Christ’s Ascension, ten days before Pentecost.The prayers below reflect Christ’s rising from death and its implicationsand incorporate references to creation and alludes to the environmental crises.This form is a beta testing version.
Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Our hopes are raised Life emerges from death Right is wrested from wrong The uprising of Love has begun!
Draw alongside us, Lord Jesus, Open up the scriptures to us by your Spirit, so our hearts might be lit with fresh understanding and fired up by your presence. Psalm[s] and reading[s]. The reader or service leader, after the readings may say: Here ends the reading. Here begins its outworking. There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used.
Jesus said: ‘Do not doubt but trust.’ With Thomas we respond, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Let us hear for ourselves what Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to trust.’ … We have these words so that we may come to believe and trust: Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, we have life in his name.based on John 20:19ff
We set God always before us: who is at our right hand; we shall not fall. Our hearts are glad and our spirits rejoice; Our flesh shall also rest secure You will show us the path of life; in your presence is the fullness of joy and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore From Psalm 16 … Further appreciation of God may be voiced… O God, you roll away the stone from our hearts, and brighten our imaginations with the dayspring of new life. In Christ you spoke Life into death’s unmaking, and infuse us with your Springtime. God of new creation: Hallowed be your name
In this world marred by sin and death, and yet marked by blessings and common grace… Living God: glorify your name. In our world’s fractured global community, in our world’s distressed ecologies Living God: glorify your name. In your church called to proclaim your new life in thought and word and deed Living God: glorify your name. Among those whose lives our lives touch; friends, colleagues and families Living God: glorify your name.
We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world, saying, Living God: glorify your name Particular concerns for the world and its people are brought before God, you could use the one-line petitions above*, using each one-liner to prompt further prayers.There are suggestions for climate and environment related prayers here and here.
In our needs and weakness in our provision and supply…
We consider what we need to continue living in Christ The risen Jesus makes common table with us. As we make common cause with Christ: Give us each day our daily bread. Living God: glorify your name.
Full-lively God, we come to you in sorrow for our sins, and confess to you our weaknesses and unbelief. Recollection of what we need to confess. We have fallen back into the systems of sin and death, failing to live the metabolism of the risen Christ. Merciful God, forgive us. And restore us to life. We have entombed others in unforgiveness, enshrouding them in contempt, withholding words of life. Forgive us, Merciful God And restore us to life-giving. Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of God. A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness. Who will rescue us from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
As we seek to forge a new future living the life of Christ let us pause before the likely events and involvements and the unpredictable happenings that face us. … A collect prayer may be said. In our laughter, and tears, in our fear and our hope; Living God: Glorify your name.
Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ He breathes upon disciples and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit…. Pause to reflect on Christ’s risen presence and call before we return to the rest of our lives. Let us bless the Lord: Thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
A place for collecting and curating things I find myself holding 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. Additions and subtractions will take place over time. I’m very happy for you, dear reader and fellow-prayist, to make suggestions or offer updates in the comments. It may be that some comments could become further ‘prayabouts’.
A brief note on format. 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.
So, holding before God …
The topics have been organised matching daily-prayer themes to climate intercession. As an overview this list, following, sets out the days plus their liturgical themes followed by the environmental themes corresponding.
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!
So what follows is a selection of concerns matched with each day as a heading according to theme.
Sunday -new life – signs of hope, renewal, repair
“A funding deal for loss and damage, widely expected to be the last-hour issue in Sharm el-Sheikh, had landed the previous afternoon, to much joy. It raises hopes of support for climate victims, after decades of stonewalling – but leaves a battle over who pays to Cop28.” More and also here.
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.
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”.
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.
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.”
Monday -creation Spirit – air and atmosphere
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…
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 soot, hydrofluorocarbons, 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. The chemicals, which have been used in packaging and cosmetics, get their nickname from the fact they break down incredibly slowly in the environment…. study published in: “There is nowhere on Earth where the rain would be safe to drink, according to the measurements that we have taken. We have made the planet inhospitable to human life by irreversibly contaminating it now so that nothing is clean anymore. And to the point that’s it’s not clean enough to be safe… not super concerned about the everyday exposure in mountain or stream water or in the food. 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, a Guardian investigation shows. The exclusive data shows 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)
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.
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...
Four main pathways form the nature-security nexus. These pathways spell out the different ways in which environmental degradation and biodiversity loss interact with conflict, insecurity and peace: 1. Ecosystem and biodiversity loss, livelihood insecurity and political instability 2. The environment, conflict financing and organised crime 3. Competition and conflicts around natural resources 4. The impacts of war and conflict on the environment The scale of the environmental crisis and its critical importance in driving insecurity make it imperative that the UN system recognises and acts more comprehensively on this overarching challenge. The report lays out recommendations that outline critical starting points and possible next steps for UN organs, programmes, funds, specialised agencies and bodies to work towards a comprehensive environmental security agenda. Article here.
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.
“Although it barely seemed possible last week, COP27 ended in the early hours of Sunday morning with an agreement that a fund would be set up in the next 12 months [ie 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 for us, however, is building public support for the UK to make a commitment of new and additional finance (not aid money) to the fund, in proportion with our historic carbon emissions, and to tax big polluters like BP and Shell to pay for it….” Read in full.
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 interim report to the general assembly includes an examination of the issues emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on food security and nutrition… there is a food crisis… The 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… 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. See the Fakhiri report.
…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,
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
NewClimate Institute, one of Net Zero Tracker’s partner groups, released an initial “corporate climate responsibility” report. It found net-zero pledges by 25 top global companies added up to, at best, an average 40% cut in emissions, not the 100% promised… fast and reliable systems to document, track and compare action on net-zero commitments will be crucial to efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, from rising hunger and migration to more extreme weather… Net Zero Tracker’s work uses an algorithm to scrape the web for key terms such as “net zero” or “climate neutral” while filtering out irrelevant information, to more easily track and document publicly available pledges… The algorithmic approach can be at least 5-6 times faster than a manual search by people… More on this here.
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.
A world addressing an existential challenge should not have to rely on charity. 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. Adequately funding our global goals for the first time would be something to really cheer about. We have the means and the knowhow. 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 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.
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 …
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]
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.
This prayer for Lent in climate emergency is evolving -if you visit more than once during Lent 2022, you may see changes. You’re welcome to suggest further changes or ideas in the comments section at the bottom. I encourage you to pray it before commenting, though. The form for Friday daily prayer in climate emergency could also be used during Lent.
During Lent you might like to keep a small dish of dust or ash near where you normally pray as a reminder of the season and a visual reminder in some of the prayers. Perhaps you might mark a cross with it on your hand or hold it in your hand as you start to pray the first words of this office.
just a suggestion !
— ɷˡˡ̷ —
We remember we are dust And to dust we shall return.
Of stardust we are formed Of God we are breathed to Life.
Pause to take a deep breath or two …
In the wastes we’ve been making We discover false stories In the climate we’re creating We recognise our complicity We seek your wisdom, O God In scripture and reflection. Teach us your ways Form us in truth.
Our God in heaven, father and mother to us; Hallowed be your name. We will give you thanks: You are our help and our God. You seek us out in the darkness of our sin, and exchange beauty of reconciliation for the ashes of our rebellion.
…other appreciations of God may be added.
You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger; Abounding in steadfast faithful love.
In a world of precarity and danger, we cry out for marginalised people and vulnerable biomes – that they may find respite, security and dignity …. God fulfil your purpose for us: Send from heaven and save us.
In a world replete with prideful and greedy powers, determining the lives of people and planet -bring them to judgement, call them to the common good and draw them into creation care. God fulfil your purpose for us: Send from heaven and save us.
In our deserts of dried-up dreams and decaying stories, nurture and equip those who hunger and thirst for right to prevail. … God fulfil your purpose for us: Send from heaven and save us.
In a fragile and pressured world we lay out before you, God, the needs and concerns known to us.
God fulfil your purpose for us: Send from heaven and save us.
In a world where there is bread enough for all, we recall those who do not have, and pray for the will and means of supply, globally and locally. God fulfil your purpose for us: Send from heaven and save us.
Seeking first your kingdom & righteousness may all things needful be added to us.
We hold before God our own needs ….
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
Give us this day the courage and insight to forgive others as you forgive us our trespasses …
Like carbon to the atmosphere: We have added to the world’s woes Like nutrients from the soil; We have taken without restoring. Like heat to the oceans We have sown destruction
Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us. A moment of silence for reception of God’s mercy and grace … in our forgiving and being forgiven, God, fulfil your purpose for us: Send from heaven and save us.
As we live the coming hours, what in the world do we seek? We seek God’s way among the ashes. Let’s seek with all our deciding Amen. God be our wisdom. Let’s seek with all our affections Amen. God be our centre Let’s seek with all our attitudes Amen. God be our vision. Let’s seek with all our resources Amen. God be our mainstay. Tested and tempted in the desert, scripture revealed, as the Spirit steered, Jesus’ resistance and direction; Let us go in the mind of Christ Led in the way everlasting.
Other climate emergency attentive prayers can be found here, an explainer for them is also there -a few paragraphs down.