Moravian Messenger May 2021
P. 1

MAY 2021
moravian messenger
Our climate crisis
We live in a dynamic world where change is part of the natural order. Over time we have experienced significant evolution in social, political, economic and technological aspects of our lives. Similarly, in the natural world scientists tell us that over very long periods, the natural landscape, plant and animal ecosystems and the atmosphere undergo very gradual transformations. What is causing us increasing concern and even alarm is the accelerating rate at which the climate is now changing, how this has been brought about by human activity and the threats posed to our way of life.
The key factor seems to be the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide concentrations which have increased by 50% in the last 250 years. It is widely acknowledged that the burning of fossil fuels has been the major contributor to this as the world has generated increasing quantities of electricity from coal, oil and
gas. Our insatiable demand for transport and massive growth in the production of cars and other vehicles has created unprecedented demand for oil. In addition, the rapidly growing demand for farmland to feed our ever increasing population, especially in parts of South America, Africa and South East Asia has led to extensive deforestation. The subsequent burning of the timber releasing the carbon, trapped in the wood, back into the atmosphere.
Another more potent greenhouse gas is methane, released by grazing animals as they 'break wind' and as more countries strive to increase their output of meat from pastures created by deforestation, levels of this gas will rise. As greenhouse gases lead to warmer temperatures, huge 'reservoirs' of methane currently trapped in the permanently frozen ground in Siberia and northern Canada would be released into the atmosphere as this permafrost melts, so accelerating the process of atmospheric warming. Rising
temperatures are contributing to the unprecedented melting of polar ice which on returning to the oceans is leading to a gradual, but accelerating rise in sea level. Even a rise of just a few centimetres would threaten some of the world's most densely populated coastal lowlands from the Gulf Coast of the USA to the Ganges Delta in southern Asia.
The predicted effects of climate change are well documented and over the last decade we have seen increasing evidence of this taking place. As global average temperatures rise, the atmosphere can hold more moisture which in parts of the world is producing storms of increasing ferocity leading to extensive flooding, destruction of property and crops and in some areas, devastating landslides. Changing weather patterns are leading to some parts of the world seeing a great reduction in rainfall and as the land dries out wildfires have become more common, as has happened in Australia and California in the last two years.
continued overleaf on page 50
80 years on from an Inferno
(page 52-53)
Lancashire District Zoom Retreat
- Lectio Divia
(page 53)
Part 4: Partition becomes inevitable
(page 54-55)
BMB (British Mission Board) News in Brief
(page 57)

   1   2   3   4   5