Friday, 19 June 2015

No Planet B!

With the recent release of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment it’s good to reflect on last Wednesday’s ‘For the love of…’ lobby of Parliament.
Thousands of people, including groups from Leicester West and Harborough constituencies, and our own Reader, Colin Chettle  gathered in London to lobby Parliament and MPs to act on climate change and to limit its impact on the world’s poorest communities.

The Bishop of Salisbury, The Right Rev. Nicholas Holtam, spoke eloquently and movingly of the effect of mankind’s actions on our planet and reminded us that, ’This is not just our individual concern. It is our Christian concern together as the Church. It is the concern of people of all faiths. It is our human concern in solidarity with all people. The world is our home’.  He went on to call for action by world leaders in Paris and at the UN Climate Change summit at the end of the year for further commitment ‘towards fair, ambitious, accountable and binding climate change agreements, nationally and internationally.’

Incidentally, Bishop Holtam seemed very pleased with the mode of transport used to ferry him between the two ecumenical services running at the start of the lobby - a bicycle rickshaw!
These rickshaws were much in evidence on Lambeth Bridge as MPs were ferried from Westminster to the lobby lines on the bridge and the south embankment. Sadly, not all MPs could attend but, for those who didn’t, there were ‘green cards’ to sign to leave them in no doubt that their constituents are serious about addressing climate change.

The afternoon finished with a rally on Millbank hosted by the alternative comedian and writer, Arthur Smith. The rally included live music, videos, interviews and an inspiring final address urging us to continue pressing for action on climate change.

One placard at the rally summed up the whole point of the lobby in this message, ‘There is no planet B.

The cosmologist, Carl Sagan, described our planet as, ‘The blue dot - a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.’ What action can we take, however small, to save this most beautiful and fragile of planets?