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February 2020       Small print Doc      Small Pdf      Large print Doc      Large Pdf


Marsden Moor

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” Robert Swan


Saturday February 1st

The developers of what purports to be the UK’s first “smart” commercial campus have signed a 50-year deal with E.ON, that will see the utility giant develop, test and scale-up clean energy solutions in the west country. Under the deal, developer and landowner This is Gravity Ltd will source 100% renewable electricity from E.ON to power all operations across the 635-acre Gravity campus, which is under construction in Bridgwater. Ultimately, the site will act as a real-world test-bed for “smart” and low-carbon energy innovations.

https://www.edie.net/news/8/UK-s-first–smart–commercial-hub-signs-50-year-clean-energy-innovation-deal-with-E-ON—/

Sunday February 2nd

Loving Father, who sent your Son to share the suffering of humanity, come close to all who have lost loved ones in earthquakes, floods, droughts, and other natural disasters, all who have become refugees and all who are suffering from the devastation of war. Uphold those who minister to their needs, and help us all to remember that in serving the least of your children we are serving you. Amen.

Monday February 3rd

The 2nd February each year is World Wetlands Day to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and our planet. This day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/home

Tuesday February 4th

A new report from consultancy Delta-EE has found that the EV (electric vehicle) charging infrastructure in the UK is amongst the most widespread in Europe. Of the 190,000 public charge points so far installed on the continent, the UK accounts for 24,000. This places it fourth in terms of sheer numbers behind France (30,000), Germany (33,000) and the Netherlands (43,000). At 9:1, the ratio of EV to chargers in the UK currently exceeds the European Commission’s recommendation of 10:1 but is still higher than in the Netherlands (4:1), Germany (7:1) and France (7:1).

https://www.delta-ee.com/press-releases/new-research-reveals-uk-is-a-front-runner-on-ev-charging.html

Wednesday February 5th

The Department for Transport (DfT) will double the money available to install EV chargers on residential streets from next year in a bid to encourage more urban drivers to go electric. The £10 million pledged by the Government will provide an additional 3600 charge points across the UK, making it easier for drivers without off-street parking to charge at home overnight. The DfT will also start working on creating a real-time public charger information service that would allow drivers to see the nearest charge points, if they are working and available for use, how much they cost and how quickly they will charge a car.

https://www.whatcar.com/news/government-doubles-funding-for-electric-car-infrastructure/n20871

Thursday February 6th

The state of Florida is purchasing more than 20,000 acres of wetlands in the Everglades in order to protect it from oil drilling. According to the Republican governor, this acquisition will represent the largest wetland acquisition in a decade. “One of my administration’s top environmental priorities has been expediting Everglades restoration,” said Governor DeSantis. With this acquisition, there will be nearly 600,000 acres of wetlands in [the area] that will be permanently protected in public ownership for restoration and recreation.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/florida-purchasing-20000-acres-of-everglade-wetlands/

Friday February 7th

A new independent report published in early January set out how Scotland’s agriculture sector can comfortably reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 38% by 2045 and could go beyond this. ‘Delivering on Net Zero: Scottish Agriculture’ by Organic Policy, Business and Research Consultancy, commissioned by WWF Scotland, highlights the most important mitigation measures which can be made on a farm level with little or no land use change. These include measures to improve nitrogen fertiliser use, improvements to animal health and breeding, rotational grazing, feed additives and using legumes (e.g. clovers) to fix nitrogen.

https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/new-report-scotlands-agriculture-can-cut-emissions-nearly-40-2045-0

Saturday February 8th

Banks and pension funds with CEOs who attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January are collectively financially exposed to fossil fuel companies to the tune of US$1.4 trillion. Also represented at the gathering of the world’s most powerful were five of the worst insurance companies for coal coverage. These are the findings of ‘It’s the finance sector, stupid’, a new Greenpeace International report. They analysed which banks, pension funds and insurers go to Davos but fail to live up to the Forum’s goal, from an environmental and economic perspective, of ‘improving the state of the world’.

https://www.greenpeace.org/international/press-release/28243/greenpeace-report-davos-financial-players-pump-us1-4-trillion-into-fossil-fuels/

Sunday February 9th

Give us, dear Father, the wisdom to use technology to further your deep purposes for humankind and for the creatures entrusted to our care. Deliver us from over-reliance on our own cleverness in science and technology. Banish our fears as we face new challenges, and keep our feet always on the path of justice and peace, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday February 10th

Today is the start of People and Planet’s Go Green Week. Their theme this year is end climate co2onialism. During this week, students across the UK and Ireland will explore how the climate crisis is a result of centuries of colonialism, and will hold their institutions to account to start acting to end climate co2onialism on their campus. Through investments, career fairs, honorary degrees, hostile immigration policies and purchase of goods made in sweatshops, People and Planet say our universities are complicit in the colonial system that is responsible for the climate crisis. They demand that their institutions acknowledge their role in this oppressive system, and start acting on the climate emergency using a decolonial approach.

https://peopleandplanet.org/go-green-week-2020

Tuesday February 11th

British consumers swapping red meat for chicken and other poultry may be contributing unwittingly to the destruction of South American forests because of a total failure by high street brands to monitor where animal feed comes from, a new Greenpeace report warns. ’Winging it: How the UK’s chicken habit is fuelling the climate & nature emergency’, published in January, reveals that far from being an environmentally-friendly option, a lot of the chicken sold in the UK is contributing to the destruction of wildlife-rich forests in South America.

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/winging-it-uks-chicken-boom-is-fuelling-deforestation-in-south-america/

Wednesday February 12th

Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said he wants to “unpick” the arguments of those in favour of trophy hunting during the consultation into outlawing imports. Speaking at an event in Westminster … Lord Goldsmith said the killing of wild animals for pleasure “repulsed” him. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) consultation on whether to ban the import of so-called “trophies” into Britain closed in January, a move that follows the Conservative Party election manifesto pledge to ban the practice. In a show of cross-party support, shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard added: “I think banning trophy hunting would send a very strong signal to the world that this is not an acceptable practise in the 21st century.”

https://theecologist.org/2020/jan/22/ban-trophy-hunting

Thursday February 13th

Microsoft may have just taken on the most ambitious environmental goals of any corporation to date. In January, the tech company announced they are now working to be carbon-negative by 2030. Furthermore, they plan to remove all the carbon they have ever emitted into the environment—either directly or by electrical consumption since their founding in 1975—before 2050. The technology required to achieve such a feat is either wildly expensive or not widely available; and that’s why the company is also launching a $1 billion fund to develop climate technologies for the rest of the world.

https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/01/16/microsoft-will-be-carbon-negative-by-2030/

Friday February 14th

Today is the start of national nest box week. British birds are short of nesting holes, and there are plenty of reasons why. Our gardens, parks and woodland are neater and tidier than they used to be, depriving birds of natural holes to find a home. And to make matters worse there are fewer handy nooks and crannies in modern buildings. The populations of many bird species are down as a result of this housing shortage.

https://www.nestboxweek.com/

Saturday February 15th

In response to Microsoft’s announcement in January about its commitment to be “Carbon Negative by 2030”, Greenpeace Senior Climate Campaigner Elizabeth Jardim said: “Microsoft’s announcement shows the company is trying to address the climate crisis in a more serious and holistic way than it has in the past…While there is a lot to celebrate in Microsoft’s announcement, a gaping hole remains unaddressed: Microsoft’s expanding efforts to help fossil fuel companies drill more oil and gas with machine-learning and other AI technologies. Teaming up with Exxon, BP, Chevron and others to extract more oil and gas is a major disconnect and makes the climate crisis worse. To truly become carbon negative, Microsoft must end its AI contracts with Big Oil.”

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2020/01/16/microsoft-announces-new-commitment-renewable-energy-greenpeace-response

Sunday February 16th

Father, we pray for all who teach children about you, whether in church or in school. Give them honesty, sincerity and a love for you and for their pupils which will convey the good news of Jesus as strongly as the lessons they teach. We pray too for young people growing up in an unstable and confusing world. Give them strength to hold their faith in you and to keep alive their joy in your creation. This we ask in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday February 17th

UK businesses are wasting energy to the tune of £60M in unnecessary energy bills, according to a new Green Alliance report that is calling for better commercial energy management to help reach the UK’s climate targets. The new report from the think tank Green Alliance revealed that wasted energy from the City of London’s offices alone is equivalent to the amount used to power more than 65,000 homes and is costing businesses in the city £35M a year.

https://www.edie.net/news/6/UK-commercial-properties-wasting–60m-in-avoidable-energy-bill-and-fuelling-climate-change/

Tuesday February 18th

A portfolio of 11 office properties across Liverpool and Greater Manchester have been verified as net-zero carbon against the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) standard, in what the developer has described as a national first. Peel L&P has achieved net-zero standard by building to BREEAM standards in the first instance, investing heavily in energy efficiency and offsetting remaining emissions through a scheme planting trees in North West England. 

https://www.edie.net/news/6/UK-s-first-net-zero-offices-certified-in-Manchester-and-Liverpool/

Wednesday February 19th

Britain last year became the first G7 nation to set a net-zero emissions target, and is developing its own farm policy for the first time in decades ahead of its exit from the European Union. Britons should plant many more trees, eat less meat, cut food waste and restore peatlands if the country is to meet its climate target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, the government’s climate advisers said.

http://news.trust.org/item/20200122232720-bs8it/

Thursday February 20th

Danish scientists recently announced they have used a seaweed fuel to power an automobile, achieving speeds of 50 mph (80 kph), using a biofuel created by a Dutch company. “We’ve looked to see if seaweed fuel works in the same way as ordinary fuel and what its effect is on the motor,” Jaap van Hal, who led the research team, told Noordhollands Dagblad. Van Hal is the scientific coordinator for EU-funded MacroFuels, aiming to create an entire industry around seaweed biofuels that includes cultivation and production and testing—specifically for heavy machinery like trucks and ships with diesel engines.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/denmark-researchers-use-seaweed-to-power-car/

Friday February 21st

Greta Thunberg, has become the world-famous face of the climate strike movement. But she’s far from alone: Thunberg has helped rally and inspire others — especially girls. In Castlemaine, Australia, Milou Albrecht, 15, co-founded School Strike for Climate Australia, which organizes student walkouts. In New York City, Xiye Bastida, 17, led her school in the city’s first big student climate strike last March, and along with traveling and public speaking, she and some of her classmates have continued to strike on Fridays ever since. And in Louisiana, 16-year-old Jayden Foytlin was one of 21 young people who sued the federal government for violating their rights to a liveable planet. 

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/19/797298179/you-need-to-act-now-meet-4-girls-working-to-save-the-warming-world?t=1579799159266

Saturday February 22nd

It’s no coincidence that teenage girls are especially visible right now as climate leaders. “The youth movement is such a great example of the way in which girls and young women are stepping into the heart of this space, and showing us what it looks like to lead with courage and imagination and incredible moral clarity.” Said Katherine Wilkinson, who works with a solutions-focused climate organization called Project Drawdown.

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/19/797298179/you-need-to-act-now-meet-4-girls-working-to-save-the-warming-world?t=1579799159266

Sunday February 23rd

Spirit of God, set at rest the crowded, hurrying thoughts within our minds and hearts. Let the peace and quiet of your presence take hold of us. Help us to relax, to rest, to become open and receptive to you. You know our inmost thoughts, the hidden unconscious life within us, the forgotten memories of hurts and fears, the frustrated desires, the unresolved tensions and dilemmas. Cleanse and sweeten the springs of our being, that freedom, life and love may flow into both our conscious and our hidden life. Lord, we lie open before you, waiting for your healing, your peace and your word.       (George Appleton)

Monday February 24th

Fairtrade Fortnight starts today. £1.86 is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty. For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men. 

http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/current-campaigns/Fairtrade-Fortnight

Tuesday February 25th

As new generations reach for words to describe the world around them, they often delve into the vocabulary of nature. Words such as stream, tweet and cloud have been adopted and given new meaning, in these cases to describe elements of the technological world in which we now live. But is this at the expense of the natural world?

A 2019 survey of 1,000 children would suggest so. It showed that 83% of those questioned could not identify a bumblebee and nearly half could not identify brambles, blackberries and bluebells. Surveys like this support the idea that British people are losing touch with nature.

https://theconversation.com/tweet-stream-cloud-its-time-to-bring-nature-words-back-to-the-countryside-129724

Wednesday February 26th

A GCSE in natural history is being planned to help teenagers reconnect with wildlife by learning the names and characteristics of British plants and animals… A major UK exam board is actively working up proposals for the new qualification, which is the brainchild of broadcaster and nature writer Mary Colwell and backed by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas. Ms Colwell said Natural History GCSE would concentrate on “what the living world is”, teaching teenagers about specific organisms, field observation skills, conservation and how nature has influenced art and culture. https://inews.co.uk/news/education/gcse-natural-history-teenagers-british-wildlife-1355206

Thursday February 27th

BBC Earth has launched five 10-hour “visual soundscape” videos after research finds that nature footage boosts bliss. There has been so much research linking nature and happiness; it’s becoming more and more evident that a dearth of trees and fresh air does not do a mind and body good. But could even just watching nature on a screen have similar positive outcomes? According to a new study from BBC Earth and the University of California, Berkeley the answer is yes.

https://www.treehugger.com/health/50-hours-nature-sounds-increase-your-joy-and-awe.html

Friday February 28th

The UK is making significant steps in reducing its food waste, with total food waste levels falling by 480,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2018 – a 7% reduction per person and equivalent of filling London’s Royal Albert Hall ten times. The new data comes from sustainability not-for-profit WRAP’s latest Courtauld Commitment 2025 Milestone Progress Report, which sets our progress in food waste reduction since 2007. It reveals that households and businesses are now tackling the problem at an accelerated rate, with a greater rate of progress from 2015 to 2018 than over the preceding five years.

https://wrap.org.uk/content/food-waste-falls-7-person-three-years

Saturday February 29th

UK retailers have been accused of failing to meet their own commitments to palm oil over the last ten years, leading to the destruction of rainforests and species such as orangutans and elephants, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF claimed longstanding pledges by companies to eliminate the devastation brought about by palm oil supplies have failed, and said not a single company attaining a top score in its Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard, while most still having “a long way to go”.

https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/food/sustainable_production/palm_oil/responsible_purchasing/palm_oil_buyers_scorecards/

Sources:

Text and links compiled by Emma King. Links accessed January 24th 2020. 

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