Scroll down for October’s prayers.
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Praise be to the Holy Trinity! God is sound and life, Creator of the Universe, Source of all life, whom the angels sing; wondrous Light of all mysteries known or unknown to humankind, and life that lives in all.
(Hildegard of Bingen, 13th Century)
Tuesday 24th September
The Waorani of the Ecuadorian Amazon have been granted permanent protection of their 500,000 acres of ancestral lands by the Ecuadorian Provincial Court after years of legal wrangling over their campaign to protect it from exploitation by oil companies. This victory could set a precedent for other areas in jeopardy from resource extraction, such as the neighbouring 7 million acres of the Amazon basin and the distant Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Wednesday 25th September
The Bialowieza Forest in Poland is the last and biggest old-growth forest in Europe. In 2016 the Polish Government decided to triple logging permits in the Forest, risking irreversible damage. The EU Commission took Poland to court for failing to protect the Forest, a World Heritage site, and now the European Court of Justice has ordered Poland to halt logging in the Forest. Heavy machinery logging stopped and the Polish Environment Minister was fired. But a WWF report is concerned a new plan includes logging again
Thursday 26th September
Spain’s Donana National Park, another World Heritage site, is home to many threatened species and is an essential stopover for millions of migrating birds., but dredging of the Guadalquivir River has caused drying out of the land, putting both nature and local livelihoods at risk. WWF organised a petition to the Spanish government and now the government has announced a ban on dredging the river and cancelled gas storage plans, so removing the most immediate threats to Europe’s most important wetland.
Friday 27th September
A new Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) will be set up post-Brexit to investigate complaints of serious failure by public authorities to comply with environmental laws. However, the OEP would be prohibited from disclosing information obtained from a public authority without its consent. Moreover, the public would have no access to any OEP report following its investigations. Now 36 environmental and other organisations have urged the Government to drop all secrecy provisions from the draft bill, saying that the current proposals “would impose a degree of secrecy which does not apply to any other UK environmental regulator” and that the restrictions are “even more onerous” than those applied by the European Commission in its investigations into breaches of EU environmental laws.
Saturday 28th September
Today from 10am to 4pm Green Christian hosts a conference at the Immaculate Conception Church Hall, Beeches Green, Stroud GL5 4AA to deepen ecological discipleship, mobilise for change and build common cause for creation. The conference is free, but donations are welcome. There will be a bring and share lunch. Booking essential via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/green-christian-on-the-road-together-in-stroud-tickets-62251432711
Sunday 29th September
Sovereign Lord of all nations, we pray for all who are called to leadership in the affairs of your earth. Give them the vision to see far into the crucial issues of our time, courage to uphold what they believe to be right, and integrity in their words and motives. May their service to their peoples promote the welfare and peace of all humankind, through the strength of Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. (Basil Naylor)
Monday 30th September
Small electrical items often end up in landfill or are recycled incorrectly. Now the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) fund has been granted £3.5 million to support local projects focussed on small electric waste kerbside collections. Local authorities have until October 25th to bid for funding. £500,000 of the grant is aimed at supporting any UK reuse organisations to build their capacity through upgrading their reuse, testing and repair operations. Applications for this pot close on October 18th. https://larac.org.uk/news/new-wave-weee-fund-allocation-announced
Tuesday 1st October
Pray and Fast for the Climate is a movement of Christians praying and fasting on the first of each month for climate justice. In 2015 Christiana Figueres, UN Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), asked people of faith to pray for world leaders and their negotiators to reach a meaningful global climate agreement – and with much rejoicing this was agreed in Paris December 2015. For resources see https://prayandfastfortheclimate.org.uk/
Wednesday 2nd October
Planning guidance for England has recently been updated to say the all development should aim for “biodiversity net gain”. While good in principle, local planning officers and councillors are mostly poorly-equipped to cope with this and to decide whether proposals are fit to deliver “net gain”. Please pray for the local planning system, which is under-resourced and frequently criticised, but has great influence on the future of the country.
Thursday 3rd October
Milan is one of the latest cities to embrace going green in a major way – the Italian city revealed plans to plant 3 million trees by the year 2030. If successful, the increase in greenery could have a major impact on the lives of the fashion capital’s 1.4 million citizens; experts say that the new trees could “offer relief from the city’s muggy, sometimes tropical weather.” Milan officials also estimated that the 30 percent increase in trees could not only absorb an additional 5 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, but also reduce PM10 small particulates by 3,000 tons over the course of the decade. However, the biggest impact that the increased number of trees could have would be on the temperature, with estimates projecting that the new trees could lower the city’s temperatures by 2°C.
Friday 4th October
Today it is World Animal Day. A day to campaign for better welfare standards of animals around the world. While this is often focussed on pets and domesticated animals, helping people to value animals can only lead to better wildlife protection too.
Saturday 5th October
Sunday is National Badger Day. The Badger Trust exists to promote and enhance the welfare, conservation and protection of badgers, their setts, and their habitats. They provide expert advice on all badger issues and work closely with the government, police, and other conservation organisations. The biggest threats to modern badgers are road traffic accidents, government sanctioned culling, wildlife crimes, developments, and habitat loss.
Sunday 6th October
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made
them all; the Earth is full of your creatures.
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal; the wild beasts quench their thirst. By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches.
Monday 7th October
As part of an October Extinction Rebellion, from today, Christian Climate Action are going to blockage a bridge in Westminster, and hold it for up to 2 weeks, as a Faith Bridge. It will be dedicated to the bringing together of prayer and action. Imagine a sacred space above the water, where cars can no longer go but where there is the still mutterings of 24/7 prayer. It will be a place of prophecy and worship – a space where people can cry together and grow hope together.
Tuesday 8th October
The controversial badger cull in England has been expanded to an “unimaginable scale”, according to a leading expert who warned the government is paying far too little attention to the transmission of tuberculosis between cattle when they are traded. Ministers approved culling in 11 new areas in September, taking the total to 43. Up to 64,000 animals are likely to be killed this autumn, up from a maximum of 42,000 last year.
Wednesday 9th October
Helen Burnett, Vicar St Peter and St Paul’s Chaldon, Southwark, has written a prayer for the Extinction Rebellion action in London:
“Truth telling God, weave a thread of love and courage among those who stand for creation this week.
May they know the sound of your voice in all they do.
May your love echo across the streets of London so that the sap of change can rise in the mess of the city, and seep into the corridors of power to bring the dawning of a new day where the web of life is sanctified, renewed and replenished.
Amen, Lord have Mercy.”
Thursday 10th October
Investment into readily available technologies could reduce emissions from cities by 90% by 2050, while creating a global economic benefit worth almost $24trn (£19trn), a new report has claimed. The report from the Coalition for Urban Transitions, supported by 50 leading institutions, found that transforming urban areas into near-zero-emission cities would be worth almost $24trn by 2050. Alongside the economic benefit, the transformation would also reduce urban emissions by 90%, support 87 million jobs annually by 2030, improve air quality, cut traffic levels and improve worker productivity.
Friday 11th October
Global decarbonisation efforts will need to be seven times greater than current efforts, if the world is to stand a fair chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. PwC UK’s latest Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI), found that reaching the Paris Agreement’s 2°C limit for global warming would require the global economy to reduce its carbon intensity by 7.5% every year up to 2100. The report notes that this is five times faster than the current decarbonisation rate of 1.6% – less than half the decarbonisation rate witnessed in 2015 (of 3.3%), when the Paris Agreement was introduced.
Saturday 12th October
Global carbon emissions increased by 2% in 2018, due to a 2.9% increase in energy demand. PwC’s latest Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI) warns that extreme heat and cold weather patterns contributed to this growth in demand, and will likely exacerbate decarbonisation efforts in the future. In total, 69% of the increase in energy demand was met by fossil fuel production. PwC UK’s director of climate change and co-author of the LCEI Jonathan Grant said: “It’s worrying that progress on climate seems to have stalled. There’s a huge gap between the rhetoric of the ‘climate emergency’ and the reality of policy responses around the world which have been inadequate. This is increasingly challenging for companies to manage, as they deal with both extreme weather impacts and growing climate policy risk. They are having to balance continued demand for business as usual as well as urgent calls for disruptive change.”
Sunday 13th October
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made
them all; the Earth is full of your creatures.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the Earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the Earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.
Monday 14th October
G20 nations have almost tripled the subsidies they give to coal-fired power plants in recent years, despite the urgent need to cut the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis, according to figures, published in a report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). China and India give the biggest subsidies to coal, with Japan third, followed by South Africa, South Korea, Indonesia and the US. While the UK frequently runs its own electricity grid without any coal power at all, a parliamentary report in June criticised the billions of pounds used to help to build fossil fuel power plants overseas. https://www.odi.org/publications/11355-g20-coal-subsidies-tracking-government-support-fading-industry
Tuesday 15th October
A team of innovators has come up with an ingenious new bioreactor that uses algae to capture and process carbon from the atmosphere. The Eos Bioreactor, which was developed by Austin-based tech company Hypergiant Industries, uses AI to optimize algae growth, carbon capture, and algae output. Since algae is 400 times better at sequestering carbon than trees, the reactor can process about two tons of oxygen in a year, which is about the same as an acre of trees.
Wednesday 16th October
Today it is World Food Day, a UN initiative This year’s theme is Achieving Zero Hunger. It is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start thinking about what we eat.
Thursday 17th October
Burger King has confirmed that it will no longer offer plastic toys with its King Junior Meals, in the same week that McDonald’s has begun offering children the chance to swap their Happy Meal toys for a bag of fruit. The moves, which will apply to both of the fast-food chains’ UK outlets only, come off the back of a petition by two young sisters from Southampton. Responding to the petition, McDonald’s confirmed this week that customers will be able to choose a bag of either melon chunks or apple slices with grapes instead of a toy when buying a Happy Meal. Burger King, meanwhile, has gone one step further, confirming that it will not distribute plastic gifts with its King Junior Meals with immediate effect. This will reduce its annual plastic output by 320 tonnes.
Friday 18th October
Published just before the Rugby World Cup kicked off in Japan, a report from Christian Aid highlights what they term the “climate injustice” endured by Pacific island participants. Fiji, Samoa and Tonga face an uncertain future in a warmer world, with rising seas and increased storms. But rich rugby nations like Japan and Australia are blocking aggressive climate action, the study says. The charity says that the Pacific nations are among the countries that have done the least to cause the climate crisis. Carbon emissions per person in Samoa are just 0.7 tonnes every year but the average Australian produces 24 times more, at 16.5 tonnes.
Saturday 19th October
One month on from the Climate strike, pray for those who took part, for those organising future strikes, and that governments and businesses will take notice and act. Pray for protection on those who are trying to make a difference, and pray for a change of heart in those who deny climate change is even happening.
Sunday 20th October
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the Earth is full of your creatures.
The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that God planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
Monday 21st October
Apple Day, 21st October, was launched in 1990 by Common Ground. The aspiration was to create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday. From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too. It has also played a part in raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food.
Tuesday 22nd October
Hubbub have announced the twelve winners who have secured investment to boost coffee cup recycling facilities across the UK. The funding was provided from the 5p charge on disposable coffee cups that has been voluntarily introduced by Starbucks and is donated to Hubbub to reduce plastic pollution. The investment in coffee cup recycling facilities will make it possible to recycle an extra 35 million cups per annum. The winning projects cover the heart of London, major cities, shopping centres, universities and motorway service stations.
Wednesday 23rd October
Three of the country’s largest conservation charities have called on the UK government to put its money where its mouth is – after new figures reveal that at least £3 billion is needed to support our farmers and land managers to help restore nature and tackle climate change on their land.
The UK currently spends around £3.2 billion a year on both farm income support and environmental payments under the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). New data published in September reveals that we need to re-invest this money to support nature-friendly farming.
The RSPB, National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts say a long-term financial commitment to pay farmers and land managers is needed if they are to help the UK Government and devolved administrations meet their respective commitments to recover the natural environment and address the climate crisis.
Thursday 24th October
More than two-thirds of the general public would support measures to limit flights and air travel in order to combat climate change, while more than half believe that reducing meat in diets should also be prioritised.
A new YouGov poll of more than 2,000 people found that 67% agreed that limiting air travel was key to addressing climate change. In contrast, 22% opposed this idea. A total of 53% agreed that reducing the amount of meat consumed as part of everyday diets should be targeted, but 37% do not feel the need to do so.
The research was carried out on behalf of Cardiff University’s Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), the new UK research centre set up to examine behaviour change and attitudes towards climate mitigation.
Friday 25th October
Britain’s loudest bird has battled extinction not once but twice. Bitterns completely disappeared from Britain in the 1870s. Although the shy bird with a booming voice made a comeback in the 20th century, bitterns were back at the brink of extinction by 1997 when numbers dropped to just 11 males. Two EU-funded projects helped revive bittern (a type of heron) numbers once again. This year the RSPB is celebrating the bitterns’ best year since records began, with over 100 male booming bitterns recorded on the charity’s reserves for the first time and almost 200 across the UK.
Saturday 26th October
Friends of the Earth is calling for all airlines to make a flight’s carbon pollution public before a customer books so that an informed choice about how to travel can be made. People overwhelmingly agree with this, as new polling shows. Almost two thirds of people want to know about a flight’s carbon pollution when they search online, according to new polling released in September, but most airlines contacted by Friends of the Earth don’t provide this information
Sunday 27th October
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the Earth is full of your creatures.
You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. These all look to you to give them their food in due season.
Monday 28th October
Uncontrolled fires linked to agricultural expansions are being used as a political tool during this election year in Bolivia and are causing catastrophic consequences. The fires in the lowlands of Bolivia have burnt more than 1 million hectares, affecting forest reserves, protected areas and national parks. These fires represent the environmental tensions generated by the agricultural extractivism that the drives the Bolivian government, which in recent years has favoured the agribusiness and livestock sectors, through laws and political agreements and, generating an agro-state alliance based around land occupation as a source of wealth.
Tuesday 29th October
The UK has been a key player in securing stronger EU climate regulations so brexit could give climate deniers more influence. Brexit could lead both the UK and the European Union to weaken their ambitions to tackle the climate crisis, according to new research from the University of Sheffield. Professor Charlotte Burns, an expert on brexit and the environment, has demonstrated that the UK has been an important counterweight in the EU to climate science denier governments in central and eastern Europe, helping to push the block to adopt stronger environmental regulations.
Wednesday 30th October
A global campaign backed by 450 activist groups and celebrities, including actors Emma Thompson and Mark Ruffalo, is calling on the UN to endorse a global end to fracking before the industry torpedoes efforts to tackle the climate crisis. The open letter to the UN secretary general, António Guterres, includes signatures from individuals representing global environmental movements, universities and faith groups.
The campaign also has backing from writer and activist Naomi Klein and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.
Text and links compiled by Emma King. Links accessed Sept 19. Sunday prayers from Season of Creation 2019
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