Making Links With Financial Bailouts And Climate Change
Q: I'm hoping to go to this - anyone want to join me to pray for the redemption of RBS?! George coudl you forward to the moving mountians e-mail in case London Ed wants to come too, or anyone else, I can't seem to be able to do it. Praying and protesting for RBS's repentance could move a particularly large mountain! in light of recent events we have decided to call a rush on RBS next thursday the 5th of March. We feel it's time a wider audience drew the links between the financial mess the banks are in and climate change. Please can everyone network this like crazy? it's designed to be a lunchtime event so that everyone who works nearby can come along and make a stand. It will also be a great place to network the G20 event - and any banners drawing parallels between the two would be BRILLIANT, we think that our lovely No New Coal ones have vanished into the bowels of the Landmark if you need a flyer or poster please mail me off list and I'll send one to print thanks!
A: Unfortunately, the demands of work are hectic at present, otherwise I would love to attend this protest. On the slightly lighter side an idea for a poster for this occasion: I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees the irony of the award of 'RBS man of the match' in the rugby at the moment. (Should it not go to one of the (many) England players who end in the sin bin!?) How about a poster with Goodwin being greeted by Lucifer at the fiery gates and a caption like ' RBS man of the ....?' Just fill in the blank As I have not heard from this group for a while, I'm wondering how it is progressing: for instance does anybody know how many of us have signed up? We set the group up at the (very fulfilling, I felt) CEL Retreat in February, to share stories about the successes we have had on various projects to reduce carbon emissions. We felt the need to encourage each other in this daunting project. 90% reduction is a big ask. I will have a few experiences to relate, which I hope to get around to writing up over the next few weeks. But first a suggestion on the name. I know 'moving mountains' has important biblical references. But is it the right metaphor for what we are working to achieve - and metaphors and images can be very important? Having come back recently from Connemara (west of Ireland) and seeing the beautiful Twelve Bens daily, and passing the Snowdonian and the Wicklow mountains on the train + boat journey there, I cannot conceive of any reason to move such beautiful manifestations of His bounty. (Yes some West Connemara hoteliers wanted to flatten the nearby bog to create an airport - maybe the next step would be to blast a Ben or two out of the way to facilitate the airborn Celtic Tigers. But I think even they have come down to earth recently.). Nobody has the right, let alone the responsibility, to move such mountains. But slag heaps are manmade, the product of industrial society. They are rather ugly. And dangerous: in the Welsh village of Abefan in the 1960's a whole generation of school children were wiped out when the primary school was buried in a landslide from the heap. Now we have an enormous manmade carbon slag-heap in the sky. But there is one crucial difference: the responsibility for creating the coal slag heap lay very largely with the coal mine owners. Yes government and wider industrial-consumer society played its part, but the NCB and the earlier private mine owners were the ones that directly put the heaps there. But you and me erect this new slag heap in the sky, made of carbon. Some of us arrive at the heap with just small 'wheelbarrows' of carbon 'slag'. Others of us bring truck loads. Increasingly some of us fly our 'slag' right up onto the top of the heap, very much increasing the danger of the landslide. And the next landslide will engulf the children in more than one village. Yes industry sells us the stuff from which the slag is created, yes it spend billions persuading us to buy it, yes government's the world over facilitate the whole process. But as Cecil Parkinson (Conservative transport minister) once said 'it is not the government that drives the cars (- well maybe John Prescott, but even he only owned two out of many million jags.). I'm hoping this metaphor brings out what is for me a very essential point: as campaigners we need to make it very clear as to what behaviour is causing the damage. To own our responsibility for our share of the damage. To have very clear plans ourselves as to what we are going to change - stopping adding to the heap as well taking what is there away. To do all we can to influence others in our various spheres of influence to do likewise. (Is that not what Christian discipleship means?) Then, the more we walk the talk, the more credibility we will have in campaigning work with government and industry. But our lobbying is not taken too seriously if our MP points out that she saw us dumping a load of slag up on the top of the heap last week.
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