The hell on earth we are preparing for our children
Dear Reverend Every Vicar,
Perhaps you have remarked the striking parallels between the dire warnings that the climate scientists are giving us and the descriptions of the last times that we read in the synoptic gospels. I am writing to you in near despair with regard to the future of our children and to express my dismay that the clergy – and forgive me if you are one of the exceptions – have failed so abysmally to give a moral lead on the greatest moral issue of our time, and indeed any time. The evidence that climate change is man-made and an extreme peril to human and most other forms of life is now overwhelming. There is no significant sense in which the scientists are now divided. Recently the IPCC issued its most urgent warnings yet. They say we could have only twelve years to arrest the escalating levels of average global temperatures but, predictably, their report was rubbished in The Sunday Telegraph by Christopher Booker. So, we have to choose between the scientists and journalists like Booker. Are you really going to follow Booker? Some clergy feel that this is a political rather than a religious issue and not their concern. Are you really going to stand by as we prepare a hell on earth for our children?
Suppose Booker is wrong and we don’t stretch every nerve and muscle to get rid of fossil fuels, as we are not doing, during these few years we have left? What could happen? Temperatures inside wild fires in California this last summer reached 800C. As the earth warms they could reach 1200C. If the rain forests catch fire as they are already beginning to do, ever escalating global warming will inevitably and irrevocably take the world to the level of 4 to 6 degrees of increased temperature that will make the world uninhabitable (read Mark Lynas’s Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet). Already within the lifetimes of today’s children it will have become a very difficult place in which to live.
Currently the most severe hurricanes are rated by meteorologists at Category 5 but such events have been very rare. Recent storm Michael, the most severe hurricane to strike Florida in decades, was a Category 4. But the meteorologists are already considering the possibility of hurricanes at Category 6. Such tempests would destroy whole cities.
The scientists predict whole countries will go under water and fear there will be millions, even hundreds of millions, fleeing rising sea levels and drought, especially in South-east Asia and Africa. Where are all these desperate people without even food and water going to go?
The F.A.O. say that soil loss, caused by climate change, deforestation and chemical agriculture, is now so bad, they predict only sixty years of farming left. Even The Farmer’s Weekly carried an article in 2014 headed ‘Only a hundred harvests left in the U.K ’.
Can we really believe that in a world of shrinking resources there won’t be ferocious survival wars that will inevitably turn nuclear?
Yet it’s not all bad news. We have the most wonderful technology and still better in the pipeline. This is not a technological but a moral problem. If we act decisively now we can not only arrest climate change but create a much better, greener and more peaceful world for our children. What could be more inspiring and fulfilling than saving the earth for our children? What a time to be alive! Let us inspire you. Will you support us? Will you please e mail us back and give us a land address so we can send a paper version of our What A Time To Be Alive handbill. I’ll send an e version on a separate mail. Please display.
Encourage your congregation to join Climate 100. (Google www.climate100.co.uk) and our facebook group The Next Twenty Years.
Would you like me to send you a free pdf copy of my book Our Terrible/Wonderful Future (20,000 words).
We can do this. The U.K. could set an example to the world. But we will have to be completely single-minded to do it. What we need is determination, enthusiasm and optimism. Will you help us?
Thanks for reading this. Thomas Jackson