At war with nature?

Guest post by Green Christian member, Edward Gildea

That cold snap we had just before Christmas was exceptional, with some ice encrusted cars registering -12°C for those setting off to work early, but it was nothing compared to the horrendously cold ‘Bomb cyclone’ in America in which 60 lives have been lost, 15,000 flights were cancelled, 1.7 million suffered power cuts and temperatures plummeted to minus 31°c in Montana.

The New York governor, Kathy Hochul, said, “This is a war with Mother Nature.” But she is wrong. Mother Nature is not at war with us; she is just behaving the way we have invited her to behave. Extreme weather events are the consequence of the thousands of giga tonnes of Greenhouse gases we have pumped into the atmosphere which have destabilised the delicate balance of our climate.  We have emitted more CO2 since 1991 than in the whole of the rest of human history. Where natural climate changes happen over hundreds of thousands of years, we have done this in a few decades.

There were many times when I was at the helm during my circumnavigation that I felt I was battling against the wind and the waves, but I would tell myself off for thinking that way. The wind was powering us even when it was against us, and the waves were often a wonderful source of surfs. As a crew we were working with Nature, sensitive to every gust and wave. That is what we need to relearn.

Let’s learn how to work in harmony with Nature, not try to control, subdue or obliterate her.  If we go into a head-on battle, I know who will win. Maybe 2023 will be the year in which we learn a little humility.

Edward Gildea

Edward Gildea writes magazine articles for his local church, St Mary’s, Saffron Walden in north west Essex, each month. He has kindly given permission to anyone to re-edit for your own parish newsletters. Please credit him and his church website.



Author: Ruth Jarman | Date: 5 January, 2023 | Category: Church Magazine Climate Emergency | Comments: 1

Comments on "At war with nature?"

John Barnett:

January 17, 2023

I've heard the climate crisis described as "nature fighting back", but Edward's take on it is better. We need to keep emphasising that ultimately, the various extreme weather conditions the world is now facing are not nature's fault but our own.

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