There is a crisis. A report this month, which featured in the national press, revealed the shocking statistic that German nature reserves have seen a 75 per cent reduction in the biomass of flying insects in the last three decades.
It may be hard to imagine if you’ve found yourself in the middle of a cloud of midges in Scotland. But, anecdotally, we understand that similar things are happening here in the UK.
This is a catastrophe.
Even those of us who love nature aren’t always excited by creepy-crawlies. Mosquitos and funnel-web spiders don’t usually make it on to our ‘favourite creatures’ lists. But without the myriad species that make up the insect world, many of our ecosystems would collapse.
Insects often inhabit the bottom end of the food chain, meaning much larger creatures ultimately rely on them for survival. The wildlife that we cherish – from the chirruping house martin to the soaring red kite (re-introduced so successfully in recent years), from the rich colours of wildflowers to the juicy delight of freshly picked apples – all of God’s nature is threatened by the inexorable effects of human activity.
But there is hope.
The Church has a vital role to play in defending nature. We can take action as individuals, providing habitat and food sources for insect populations in our homes and gardens. We can make use of our church land and buildings to do the same.
When the Church raises her voice on an issue, it rises up the political agenda — just think back to the ‘drop the debt’ campaign. And we can pray to our redemptive, healing God that he would intervene in our world and heal it of the damage that we have caused. Will you add your prayers and actions to ours? (Photo of a midge by S Rae from Scotland)