Later this month the UN climate conference known as COP26 will be held in Glasgow. Its main aim is to bring the leaders of the nations around the same table not simply to discuss climate change and global warming, but to be the forum where governments can set ambitious targets and make binding decisions that will mitigate the effects of global warming and climate change around the world; such as ending the use of coal, preventing deforestation, switching to electric vehicles and investing in renewable energy. It would be nice to think that everyone would be ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ but no doubt there will be a lot of ‘last minute’ debate and argument (and bartering for compensation) going on between the more developed richer nations and those poorer, less well developed nations ‘playing catch up’. Let’s hope that the conference delegates, politicians and diplomats will be able to set just the right political climate for genuine positive good.
Closer to home, we are concerned not just about the effects of the weather, (hotter days and more floods) but the lack of both economic and agricultural workers to help sustain and feed the nation coming out of the coronavirus pandemic. Most notably, the shortage of lorry-drivers who haven’t been able to keep up with demand resulting in shortage of food and other commodities on our supermarket shelves. Already some politicians and newspapers are voicing their fears for Christmas. This is why harvest is such an important time of the year! It allows us to focus our minds on the good things that we have and enjoy, rather than the things we do not! Compared to so many people in less fortunate parts of the world we are well and truly blessed. When natural disasters caused by climate change, and manmade disasters caused by war and conflict have caused so much devastation in so many other parts of the world, it doesn’t seem right that we should be so stressed about whether we have a turkey for Christmas or not!
However, climate change is important and that is why we should all look at the way we live and consider how we can live more sustainably making the most of scarce resources. That is why at this year’s harvest service at All Saints Necton we are supporting the Send a Cow ‘healthy harvest’ appeal which teaches people in Africa, not only how to grow food in order to support and feed their families, but how they can do so while combating the effects of climate change such as soil erosion and drought.
This harvest let us be grateful for what we have and focus on the needs of others as we do all that we can to encourage one another to live more creatively and yet sustainably.
Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. Psalm 76.6