When Silence Is Not an Option

23 April 2019
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23 April 2019, Comments Comments Off on When Silence Is Not an Option

A Rocha UK CEO Andy Atkins looks behind the new wave of climate protests.

In recent weeks climate protests have mushroomed.  A lone demonstration by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has inspired an international movement of school students walking out of classes to demand politicians take action to safeguard their future from climate breakdown. In the UK, Extinction Rebellion has blocked major roads and bridges in our big cities to demand action on climate change and species extinction. Over one thousand people have been arrested. The group is backed by notable scientists and academics, including former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev Dr Rowan Williams. What is going on? 

Basically, science and our own senses are combining to wave a big red flag for humanity to stop our climate-destabilising ways, now.  In autumn 2018 a UN report by some of the world’s top climate scientists gave us twelve years to peak and sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions or face catastrophe. In the UK, February was as hot as May used to be, breaking temperature records for the ‘winter’ month.  Yet the UK is falling behind in meeting our carbon reduction targets. Many people are losing patience with the complacency of government in the face of an accelerating climate emergency.

A Rocha supporters may vary in whether we think the form of some recent protests is justified. But silence no longer seems an option.  Many of us will have a strong desire to convert our own biblically-based concern into the most effective action.   

Wednesday June 26th provides a golden opportunity.  The Climate Coalition of charities is convening a peaceful mass lobby of the UK Parliament called The Time Is Now to demand faster UK climate action. Christians and Churches, witnesses to a loving creator God, should be at the centre of it. A Rocha UK is joining with others as part of an interfaith initiative to organise activities for supporters – from workshops to a Walk of Witness – before the afternoon lobby where all will be helped to speak to their own MP.  Join us in speaking up together.

Register for the rally here:  https://www.thetimeisnowmap.co.uk/

Sign up for workshops and Speaker event here:  www.thetimeisnowfaithevents.eventbrite.com