I write on a strange day. The sun is shining, it’s warm, yet muggy – an autumn day that suggests summer is still in the air. Yet earlier, the clouds were grey blue, the sun peering through – red and eery, warm wind gusting. In the west, Storm Ophelia is hitting Ireland in a great Atlantic storm; here, sand and warm air from the Sahara leaves all still and calm. By the time you read this you will know the impact, but at the moment we seem a million miles from whatever storm is coming.
Ophelia is the 16th Tropical storm of an hyperactive year in which there have been the greatest number of consecutive hurricanes in the satellite era. Ophelia is the easternmost major hurricane on record. Tropical cyclones form over large bodies of warm water, deriving energy from evaporation and forming into cyclones by the earths rotation. Whilst they are often devastating for human populations they also bring benefits by carrying heat energy away from the tropics and bringing it into our temperate latitudes.
Whilst some argue that there is little evidence that human activity has created the conditions that fuel such storms, as stewards of God’s creation, I believe that we need to act on the assumption that our lifestyle causes global warming and encourage ways in which alternative sources of energy are used. That will not always be easy or straight-forward. Sometimes it may seem to be more expensive in the short term but on the way we will create a cleaner, more sustainable space for future generations to thrive in. If the global-warming deniers are wrong and we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate then a catastrophe awaits.
So could we explore becoming an Eco-church? It would encourage us to examine our individual and collective lifestyle and discover ways in which together we can make a difference. And if we were to be an Eco-Church would someone be keen enough to take a lead on this for us and help all of us to have a concern for the integrity of creation?