Category Archives: What’s on

Why the Church should Care for Creation – the Short Answer

Why the Church should Care for Creation and teach its congregations accordingly – so why do so few do so?

For a fuller treatment of this issue, including its relationship with the gospel of personal redemption by faith in Christ, go to: “A Call for Commitment to Creation Care” – video at
wbbc.org.uk/resources/sermons-3; text at ne-calltoaction.org.uk/?p=798 A copy of this article in Word is available HERE.

The Christian Church has a responsibility to “Declare the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20.27). So its leaders, in their teaching, will need to include, at the very least:

1) The ‘creation ordinance’ to “Care for the earth” (Genesis 2.15)

In contrast, “Humanity is waging war on nature and this is suicidal. Nature always strikes back, and is doing so with gathering force and fury.” (Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations);

2) The apostles’ command to “Care for the poor” (Galatians 2.10)

In contrast, “The climate crisis is leaving two million people each week needing emergency aid.” (Report by the International Red Cross to the UN, Sept 2019) “This is intolerable!” (Francesco Rocca, President of the IRC)

3) The prophetic call to “Care for our children and upcoming generations” (Micah 4.6)

“The failure of our generation on climate change mitigation would lead to consequences that would haunt humanity until the end of time.” (Professor Ross Garnault, the Australian government’s former advisor on climate change)

So how can we account for the widespread indifference of church leaders, at the congregational level, in the face of this, the greatest moral and humanitarian challenge of our generation?

But if we do ‘care’, what’s the single, most important thing we can all do to care for creation? It’s to add our voices to the clamour for urgent and effective action by our leaders! “To relax the pressure on governments is absolutely the wrong thing to do… Any amount of action by individuals is not going to solve the problem without government doing the things that only it can do”. (The late Professor Sir John Houghton FRS, a Christian believer and the greatest climate scientist of his generation)

Contact, david.golding@ncl.ac.uk

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Whitley Bay Baptist Church, ‘Climate Sunday’, 11th April 2021

Whitley Bay Baptist Church, ‘Climate Sunday’, 11th April 2021

A Call for Commitment to Creation Care

Order of Service, with times

00: Welcome

05: Song, “O Lord my God” (“How great thou art”), Vs 1 & 2;

08: Bible readings:

a) Praise and celebration: Psalm 104, 1, 10-15, 24;

b) Lament and warning: Isaiah 24, 1, 4-8, 13a;

c) Hope and promise: Luke 4, 16-19; Rev. 22, 1-3.

12: Prayers:

a) Praise and celebration;

b) Lament and confession;

c) Intercession for leaders and politicians;

d) Repentance and Commitment.

17: Song, “Beauty for Brokenness” Vs 1, 4 & 5

20: Address

35: Song, “I will speak out”

38: Lord’s Prayer and Blessing

For details of the service and the address, go to:

“A Call for Commitment to Creation Care”

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“A Call for Commitment to Creation Care”

Whitley Bay Baptist Church, ‘Climate Sunday’, 11th April 2021

A Call for Commitment to Creation Care

Details of Service

To view a video of the service, go to: www.wbbc.org.uk, then scroll down and take it from there.

Welcome to Whitley Bay Baptist Church and the first of our two ‘Climate Sundays’. This has been organised to alert us to the international climate conference, known as COP26, which is due to take place in Glasgow in November, and to equip us to prepare for that momentous event by prayer and action.

This is a very special time indeed, potentially a ‘Kairos Moment’, a time of special opportunity and blessing for efforts to ward off the monstrous threat to all our children and grandchildren of global heating. The whole Christian community is being called, by the Baptist Union, Tearfund and many others, to come together and with one voice to call for decisive action on this, the greatest moral and humanitarian challenge of our generation.

And this is urgently needed! On ‘Sunday Worship’ on Radio 4 on Sunday 7th March, 19-year old ‘Ruth’ spoke of how “confused and upset” – her words, how “confused and upset” she was by the failure of the church to respond to climate change and she noted that, according to a recent survey, 90% of Christian young people regard this as a serious issue, but only 10% think the church is paying enough attention to it.

In 2005, the Make Poverty History campaign, centred here in Britain and in which Christians took a major role, transformed the lives of countless millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. May God grant that something comparable will take place this year!

Text details of the service are available HERE.

Address

Believing that mere nominal assent to creation care will count for very little in the long run, I hope to provide you with a solid foundation for this principle so that we can build on it and take it forward. Our aim should be that the life and teaching of our church should faithfully reflect what the Apostle Paul described as “The whole counsel of God”.

So first I will ask, “What is the Mission of the Church?”, in broad terms; Second, I will insist that ‘Matters of first importance’ for the Gospel should remain just that; and Third, I will consider the application of Christian discipleship to creation care.

The complete text of the address may be accessed HERE.

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'Extreme Environmentalists'

Extreme Environmentalists

Is it still possible to be ‘an extreme environmentalist’?

I recently encountered a pejorative reference, by an able Christian leader, to “extreme environmentalists”, and it troubles me. I wonder what it portends as to his understanding of the climate and wildlife crisis. Is it an indication of underlying climate denial? Will it not have the effect, however unintended, of encouraging people to avoid attaching to the climate and wildlife crisis the extreme importance and extreme urgency it deserves? Will it not ‘blunt the edge’ of the truly monstrous threat facing us – “the defining issue of our time”, as Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations put it in 2018.

“Creation care is an urgent issue in today’s world”, says Chris Wright, of the Langham Partnership. “Only a wilful blindness worse than any proverbial ostrich’s head in the sand can ignore the facts of environmental destruction… To be unconcerned about it is to be either desperately ignorant or irresponsibly callous.” Unhappily, my experience is that Christian believers, like others, need no encouragement or excuse to keep ‘their heads in the sand’!

Furthermore, I’m not at all sure that I understand to whom the writer was referring. Greta Thunberg naturally comes to mind – “People are suffering, people are dying, whole ecosystems are collapsing… how dare you?” (UN New York, Sept ‘19), as does Extinction Rebellion’s Roger Hallam – “In full knowledge of the science, the global north is pumping lethal levels of CO2 into the atmosphere, turning whole regions of the world into death zones.”

But are their statements so very different to those of the highest possible international repute, expertise and authority? Can they all be ‘extremists’?!

Statements by senior international agency leaders:

On 2nd December 2020, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, said, “Let’s face facts. Our planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature and this is suicidal [note: “suicidal”]. Nature always strikes back, and is doing so with gathering force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing, deserts are spreading, oceans are choking with plastic waste.” And he warned of “irreversible” impacts that would be “absolutely devastating for the world economy and for human life”.

The International Red Cross reported to the UN (at the same time – Sept ’19 – as ‘Little Greta’ was making her impassioned denunciation of world leaders) that two million people each week need emergency assistance because of the climate crisis. “This is intolerable!”, said Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC. Indeed it is.

“The science is clear. Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed.” (Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organisation, Nov ’18)

Statements by senior governmental advisers:

We are facing “massive rises in sea level, whole areas devastated by hurricanes and others turned into uninhabitable desert, forcing hundreds of millions, possible billions, of [the poorest and most vulnerable] people to leave their homelands.” (Lord Nicholas Stern, the UK’s government’s former chief advisor on climate change)

“There are times in the history of humanity when fateful decisions are made. The failure of our generation on climate change mitigation would lead to consequences that would haunt humanity until the end of time.” (Professor Ross Garnaut, former advisor to the Australian government)

Statements by leading scientists:

“I find it hard to exaggerate the peril. This is the new extinction and we are halfway through it. We are in terrible, terrible trouble and the longer we wait to do something about it the worse it is going to get.” (Sir David Attenborough)

“We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency and that the world’s people face untold suffering due to the climate crisis unless there are major transformations to global society.” (Article in Bioscience endorsed by 11,000 scientists from 153 nations, 5th Nov ‘19.)

“Never have we faced such a global threat.” (Lord Robert May, President of the Royal Society, the UK’s National Academy of Sciences))

Statements by Christian leaders, of various traditions:

“I urge you to work together to find sustainable solutions to avert a catastrophe that will exacerbate human suffering to a magnitude that perhaps the world has not yet seen.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Failure to act decisively on global heating would be “a brutal act of injustice toward the poor and future generations” and I urge world leaders to “hear the increasingly desperate cries of the earth and its poor”. [Amen to that, brother!] (Pope Francis)

“Creation care is an urgent issue in today’s world. Only a wilful blindness worse than any proverbial ostrich’s head in the sand can ignore the facts of environmental destruction… To be unconcerned about it is to be either desperately ignorant or irresponsibly callous.” (Chris Wright, the Langham Partnership)

In conclusion, I urge every ‘person of conscience’ to watch the major film on climate change by Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS FLS FZS FSA FRSGS – no ‘extremism’ there, just ‘The Facts’!

Climate Change: The facts: FULL EPISODE-BBC

David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL

Associate, Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering, and Honorary Chaplain, Newcastle University;

Development Coordinator, North East CALL TO ACTION; Founding Trustee, Jubilee Debt Campaign; Trustee, Blue Sky Trust (ACET North East); Spokesperson for Tearfund in NE England; (Self-appointed) Representative for The Climate Coalition in NE England.

david.golding@ncl.ac.uk

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Cut in aid provokes accusation of 'economic and environmental terror'.”

To access a PDF of this statement, click here.

In this post:

a) Letter as submitted on 26th November;

b) Brief defence of the ‘violent’ language employed;

c) Cuts breach of one of the UK’s major treaty commitments under the Paris Agreement;

d) Letter as published on 28th November;

e) Comment on published letter.

a) Letter as submitted on 26th November:

“Cuts in aid, whilst continuing to cause environmental suffering to the poorest, provoke accusation of ‘economic and environmental terror’.”

I’m just amazed that in all the discussion about international aid (UK aid cuts ‘unprincipled, unjustified and harmful’, say experts and MPs, The Guardian November 26), the words “climate crisis” are rarely if ever mentioned, despite the fact that rich countries are largely responsible for this! “People are suffering, people are dying… how dare you?”, asked Greta Thunberg, at the UN in Sept 2019. And she’s right – according to the International Red Cross, two million people each week in low income countries need emergency assistance because of the climate crisis. “This is intolerable”, said Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC. Similarly, Christiana Figueres, commenting on the massive, inter-agency report in The Lancet in October 2017, concluded that, “Hundreds of millions of people are already suffering health impacts as a result of climate change”.

Furthermore, this is the time when the UK is supposed to be taking a lead on tackling the climate emergency, and support for ‘adaptation’ by developing countries to changing conditions has always been accepted as being a major component of the response incumbent on developed economies, together with ‘mitigation’ by reduction in their emissions.

But that isn’t even half of it! Unfair trade rules, tax fiddles by big corporations, and repayments of historic debts, cost poor countries far more than they get in aid, and those things don’t take into account our habit of ‘poaching’ many of their brightest and best trained people. The effects of our policies amount to nothing less than both economic and environmental terror on a global scale (see note below) – as Aminata Traori, the former Malian government minister, put it: “Hypocrisy. They are killing us while they say they are developing us, but they are lying. We are not developed, we are subjugated more and more”.

David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL

Associate, Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering, and Honorary Chaplain, Newcastle University;

Development Coordinator, North East CALL TO ACTION on global poverty and climate change; Founding Trustee, Jubilee Debt Campaign; Trustee, Blue Sky Trust (ACET North East); Spokesperson for Tearfund in NE England; (Self-appointed) Champion of the Climate Coalition in the NE.

b) Defence of the statement, “The effects of our policies amount to nothing less than both economic and environmental terror on a global scale”.

Violent language, but is the reality any less so?

Economic terror:

“Tax dodgers… take advantage of the lack of transparency in tax havens. Developing countries are estimated to lose to tax havens almost three times what they get from developed countries in aid. If taxes on assets hidden by tax dodgers were collected in their owners’ jurisdictions, billions of dollars could become available for financing development.” (Angel Gurrier, Secretary General of the OECD)

“In Mali, I saw babies lying in a ditch and children who couldn’t go to school because of subsidised dumping of US cotton”. (Mary Robinson, the highly respected former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and now Chair of The Elders). Western trade policies are a “scandal… shocking” (Michael Howard, speaking as Leader of the Conservative Party); they are “appalling… hypocritical and immoral” (Editorial in The Economist).

Environmental terror:

“Zewdie Abayie’s eyes were swollen shut through malnutrition and her delicate skin was no longer able to mask the skeleton beneath. Brushing away flies from her face with a small twig, the little girl stood quietly as, in 2000, her father explained how three years of crop failure in Ethiopia had left his family facing starvation. Pitiably, she attempted a smile for the cameraman.” (Keith Ewing, Tearfund) Global warming is “probably responsible for the drop in rainfall in Ethiopia and surrounding countries since 1996” (Lord Robert May, President of the Royal Society).

‘Jessy’ has endured so much loss. Her husband died ten years ago, then one of her sons and his wife. Jessy was left to raise their two children, along with her own. Her daughter Elinati, now 27, tragically lost her baby to hunger at just a month old. “I’ve seen people dying of hunger,” she says, “we’ve gone to bury them. A man died with his children, and another woman and her child. What I fear most is hunger.” Changing weather patterns in Malawi have caused relentless floods and droughts, devastating crops and causing widespread hunger. And Coronavirus has only made their situation harder. (Adapted from Tearfund, December 2020)

c) Cuts breach of one of the UK’s major treaty commitments under the Paris Agreement:

“Rich countries must honour their obligation under the Paris agreement to provide $100bn a year to help developing countries limit their own climate pollution and adapt to the heatwaves, storms and sea level rise already under way.” (Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, 2nd Dec ’20)

“A country that really understood the seriousness and the honour and the responsibility of hosting Cop26 next year would not be cutting its international aid right now.” (Amber Rudd, former Conservative Home Secretary and Climate Change Minister, 02.12.20)

d) Letter as published by The Guardian, 28th November, 2020:

I’m just amazed that in all the debate about international aid, the words “climate crisis” are rarely mentioned, despite the fact that rich countries are largely responsible for this.

This is the time when the UK is supposed to be taking a lead on tackling the climate emergency, and support for ‘adaptation’ by developing countries has always been accepted as being a major component of the response incumbent on developed economies, together with ‘mitigation’ by reducing their emissions.

But that isn’t even half of it! Unfair trade rules, tax fiddles by big corporations, and repayments of historic debts all cost poor countries far more than they receive in aid.

David W. Golding

Honorary Chaplain, Newcastle University

e) Comment by David Golding:

I naturally wish they’d published more of my letter, but acknowledge that the editor made a good job of abridging it, including all the main points. Perhaps my main regret is that they included my statement that rich countries are largely responsible for the climate crisis, but left out the evidence for the suffering being experienced by the world’s poor as a result, such as that provided only a year ago by the Red Cross. However, I’m most grateful to them just the same!

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'Brilliant Meeting' with Sir Alan Campbell MP for the national ‘Virtual Lobby of Parliament’.

Supporters of NE-CAP took a leading role in staging what Fiona Dear, Head of Campaigns at The Climate Coalition, called a “Brilliant Meeting” with Sir Alan Campbell, MP for the Tynemouth constituency, on 2nd July, as part of the national ‘Virtual Lobby of Parliament’.

Frustrated at the lack of focus on the core ‘asks’ at last year’s Lobby, in Westminster, David Golding adopted a ‘managerial (high-handed?) approach’ to this year’s on-line event. Opening statements were most ably made by Anna Wardle and Jack Newton,both of whom will be entering the 6th Form at Whitley Bay High School in September.

Anna Wardle


Jack Newton

Then Crispian Oates and Susanne Wardle summarised two of the Coalition’s ‘Priority Asks’, on ‘Investment in climate- and nature-friendly infrastructure’, and the ‘Recovery of nature at home and abroad’, respectively.

Crispian Oates

Susanne Wardle

Sir Alan responded most sympathetically to all he had heard and promised to bring our proposals to the attention of the Prime Minister.

Sir Alan Campbell MP


David rounded off the formal part of the meeting by thanking Sir Alan and all those involved, and emphasised the “desperate urgency” of the issues involved, following which the meeting was opened up for comments from others attending.

David Golding


David says, “I appreciated everything which was said, but what sticks in my memory most of all is Anna’s closing plea to Sir Alan, “I ask you, not to let my generation down!” I’m sure she would say the same thing to each one of us older folks – may God grant that we’ll all take it to heart.

Notes:

The text of the main presentations made at the lobby may be viewed here.

Four of those making major contributions to the lobby are members of Whitley Bay Baptist Church, whose Church Leadership Team had unanimously commended the event to its members and friends.

The Climate Coalition is made up of over 130 organisations, with a combined membership of 20 million. On Tuesday 2nd, over 220 on-line meetings with MPs took place, and there are still more to come in the days and weeks ahead. Almost 14,000 people from all walks of life participated.

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Be Part of History – Join the first-ever Virtual Lobby

Dear Friend of NE-CAP and The Climate Coalition,

You can find the Climate Coalition’s ‘Priority Asks’ here.

LAST YEAR WE MADE HISTORY TOGETHER with ‘The Time Is Now’: the biggest ever mass lobby for climate, nature and people. 12,000 people from all walks of life travelled to Westminster to talk to their MPs about how the UK needs to tackle climate change and nature’s decline.

They included a good contingent from NE-CAP. 🙂

NOW WE’RE ASKING IF YOU’LL BE PART OF HISTORY AGAIN.

[Veronica and I have already ‘thrown our hats into the ring’!]

We can’t all travel to Westminster, but we can make our voices heard online. On Tuesday 30th June we are coming together for a virtual lobby, inviting you, and thousands of others to ask MPs to put people, climate and nature at the heart of our nation’s recovery.

BE PART OF HISTORY! Sign up now, at:

https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/virtual-lobby/

We’re holding this virtual lobby now because the UK is at a turning point. As we build back from the current health crisis, OUR BEST CHANCE OF BUILDING A STRONGER ECONOMY GOES HAND IN HAND WITH TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE.

We can rebuild a resilient economy that benefits everyone in society and tackle climate change & nature’s decline; creating jobs and protecting the most vulnerable in the UK and around the world. Or we can let the moment for change pass us by, go back to old ways and wait for new crises to hit.

Using our voices to call for action is more important than ever. Have a virtual cup of tea with your MP on Tuesday 30 June and tell them that #TheTimeIsNow to put a healthy, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild from the Coronavirus crisis.

Be part of history. Sign up to be part of the first ever virtual lobby for climate, nature and people.

SIGN UP NOW! Go to: https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/virtual-lobby/

You can find the Climate Coalition’s ‘Priority Asks’ here.

With every good wish, and thanking you for your support,

David and the Committee of North East CALL TO ACTION,

Together with The Climate Coalition team

 

 

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Hope in an Age of Despair

“Hope in an Age of Despair”

A reflection for the 50th ‘Earth Day’, 22nd April 2020,

for St Luke’s Church, Claremont St, Newcastle upon Tyne

Dr David Golding CBE

In talking about “an age of despair”, I’m not thinking only of the alarming impacts of the Coruna virus pandemic, although the infection and the illness it causes are certainly the source of immense distress, and the economic and financial effects which lie ahead may well be even more so.

Our age drives people to despair for many and various reasons, many of which are truly alarming, so much so that Sir Martin Rees, the former President of the Royal Society and one of the UK’s leading and most sober-minded scientists, has stated that, “there is only a 50% chance that civilisation as we know it will make it through the present century”.

As some of you know, the climate and wider environmental crisis is one which has occupied much of my attention for nearly 15 years – and with good reason: “We are in terrible, terrible trouble and the longer we wait to do something about it, the worse it is going to get,” says Sir David Attenborough.

The science is as clear on this, as it is on the reason for the current health crisis: the world is hitting record-breaking temperatures, and the poorest communities are being impacted first and hardest. The devastating decline in wildlife is set to wipe out a million species. Our oceans are choking in plastic, our children are breathing toxic air, and we are feeling the impacts. This is not a future problem: the time is now.

And then, along comes the Corona virus and its threat to the global economic system – we don’t have to look far for reasons which drive many to despair.

My title is, in fact, taken from a book published by IVP entitled, “Hope in an Age of Despair – the gospel and the future of life on earth”, by Jonathan Moo and Robert White. The authors are an American theology professor and a professor of Geophysics at Cambridge University, respectively – both of them evangelical and reformed – and they are eminently well qualified to deal with the book’s subject. I’ve produced a ‘Digest, Commentary & Critique’ of it. [Me being me, ‘critique’ was bound to feature somewhere!]

The authors acknowledge that the Bible’s teaching on care for creation and care for the poor have clear lessons for our response to the environmental crisis, but they’ve opened up a highly original vein of biblical teaching, pointing out that Christ at his coming will make ‘all things new’, and discussing what that means for our lives now, for which they cast a compelling vision. It is this hope – what is called the ‘ultimate’ or assured hope – which should indwell and empower us, and not some misguided, pseudo-pious, and unfounded optimism about the future during this present age.

What they are saying, in essence, is this: there’s a glorious kingdom coming, in a new creation, and it will be characterised by complete shalom – peace, health and justice – in the relationships between God and humanity, between human beings, and between humanity and the rest of creation. But the kingdom is here right now, albeit in its infancy, since it was inaugurated by the coming of Jesus, and believers are members of it right now! Similarly, the new creation is here right now, albeit also in its infancy, since we are “new creatures in Christ”.

Consequently, imbued with an assured hope of our participation in the coming kingdom, in the new creation, we should personify the values of that coming kingdom, and exemplify the characteristics of that new creation, in all we do right now!

These considerations inevitably provide a devastating indictment of the attitudes and behaviour which we have shown to date: our casual selfishness in how we use the world’s resources, and in how we treat our global neighbours. Our grotesque abuse of God’s creation, and our gross oppression of the world’s poor in consequence, are, according to Moo and White, “revealed for what they are: an affront to God, an abrogation of the responsibility given to us and a rejection of our identity as his children in Christ”.

The world looks very broken indeed sometimes, but Jesus reminds us that the smallest seeds can grow into trees that bring shelter to many. Every small part of our daily lives can restore relationships, bringing justice and abundant life to all – and doubtless those of you listening will encounter many opportunities for just such acts of ‘kingdom living’ in the months to come.

Philippa Strickett, a Tearfund supporter, has described how, “Being a Christian changed our eating habits! [Exclamation mark] We have eaten a lot less meat, etc.”, and concluded by saying, “We certainly fail sometimes [join the club, Philippa!], but step by step, with a spirit of generosity and grace, we’re trying to follow Jesus with our whole lives.”

Isn’t that wonderful?! I was particularly struck by that bit where she says, “Step by step, with a spirit of generosity and grace, we’re trying to follow Jesus with our whole lives.” “With a spirit of generosity and grace” – please help us to exemplify such a spirit, Lord, even in current, trying circumstances!

But suppose we start to personify the values of the coming kingdom, and exemplify the characteristics of the new creation. What if not enough people do that and, anyway, the governments of the world continue in their current wicked folly, what then?

I’m convinced that anything we do right now to reflect the values of the coming kingdom, and to exemplify the characteristics of the new creation, is of lasting significance! Such lives are “not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15.58). In ways we can barely imagine, lives lived now which reflect the character of the coming kingdom, in the renewed creation, have enduring value and their echoes will sound on into eternity.

Prayer:

“Help us, dear Lord, to live such lives and to do so, like Philippa Strickett and her lovely family, “With a spirit of generosity and grace”. Amen!

David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL

Associate, Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering, and Honorary Chaplain, Newcastle University;

Development Coordinator, North East CALL TO ACTION on global poverty and climate change; Founding Trustee, Jubilee Debt Campaign; Trustee, Blue Sky Trust (ACET North East); Spokesperson for Tearfund in NE England.

d.w.golding@talk21.com

david.golding@ncl.ac.uk

 

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Banks Mining Company still peddling the same, discredited arguments for its shameful proposals

NEWS RELEASE:

Banks Mining Company still peddling the same, discredited arguments for its shameful proposals

… ‘either profoundly ignorant’, or ‘blinded by money’

“Shameful”? “It would be shameful were the UK to open this new coal mine” (Sir David Attenborough, 2nd February, 2019)

“’Either profoundly ignorant’, or ‘blinded by money’”? “The individuals pushing ahead with the proposals are either profoundly ignorant of the risks of climate change, or so blinded by money as to be a menace to our children and grandchildren.” (Professor Sir John H. Lawton CBE FRS, Former Chair of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution)

NEWS RELEASE:

Banks Mining Company has ‘changed its tune’ in its justification for a new opencast coalmine at Highthorn, near the beauty spot Duridge Bay, but is still hopelessly ‘off-key’. Initially, it based its proposal on the need for coal for electricity generation, but since this argument was refuted (indeed, denounced) by a body of distinguished scientists at Newcastle University, and elsewhere (including Sir David Attenborough), it has claimed the coal is required for the manufacture of steel and cement.

However, the Company’s argument has not really changed at all, being based on the assertion that it is better to produce the coal in the UK, rather than importing it. Superficially plausible, this argument is seriously flawed, since every new mine will, almost inevitably, increase the total amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere when the coal is burnt.

Consequently, it is NOT preferable to source the coal in the UK if this means creating new mines, since this will, almost inevitably, increase the total amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere when the coal is burnt!

Banks attempts to burnish its green credentials by drawing attention to the CO2 emissions involved in the transport of imported coal, but this argument is also flawed: first, the carbon cost of bulk transport is minor (about 1% of the footprint of the coal) and, second, the carbon costs involved in creating a new coal mine are substantial.

Professor Sir John H. Lawton CBE FRS, Former Chair of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, states that  “The threat of climate change is now so obvious and so deeply worrying that we need to be closing coal mines as quickly as possible, not opening new ones.”

We do indeed, since the vast majority of coal reserves SIMPLY MUST be left in the ground if we are to avoid the worst excesses of climate change. So how are we to proceed, given industry’s continuing need for coal in the short term? We need to run down the extraction of coal, both at home and abroad, as a matter of urgency, whilst, in parallel, reducing the need for it in the ways proposed by Professor Rebecca Willis et al. (“The case against new coal mines in the UK’, Green Alliance, January 2020)

David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL

Associate, Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering, and Honorary Chaplain, Newcastle University;

Development Coordinator, North East CALL TO ACTION on global poverty and climate change; Founding Trustee, Jubilee Debt Campaign; Trustee, Blue Sky Trust (ACET North East); Spokesperson for Tearfund in NE England.

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Newcastle University's Great North Run Team – 18th & Final Year!

GREAT NORTH RUN, AN ICON OF THE NORTH EAST – 13th SEPTEMBER, 2020!

Ballot for places now open! Get Guidelines for entering from…
david.golding@ncl.ac.uk

Newcastle University has been nationally acclaimed for taking…

‘Action on Global Poverty and Climate Change’!

On 1st February, at 3.45pm, Sir David Attenborough ‘phoned me to express his appreciation and support for the University’s work in addressing the climate crisis.

“The University has undertaken amazing campaigning and fundraising efforts and helping us to win some really important campaigning victories… ” (Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK)

“A huge thank you for your wonderful support… We’re so grateful… Fantastic! … Good luck to everyone taking part!” (Lucy Moulsdale, Save the Children)

Our Great North Run initiative is unique, yes really!

It has contributed to some amazing global achievements!

It supports action on these daunting global challenges!

“It’s a credit to our institution. I commend it”
(Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor)

———————

The Great North Run, Sunday 13th September 2020

Ballot for places now open!

GET GUIDELINES FOR ENTERING FROM:

david.golding@ncl.ac.uk

———————

AMAZING ACHIEVEMENTS:

* “It’s important not to be complacent, but the halving of absolute poverty in a single decade is a stupendous achievement.” (Mona Chalabi, Royal Statistical Society, 2019)

* Number of children under five dying needlessly in 2018 was a shocking 5.3 million – but it was 12.7 million in 1990 (data by UNICEF, WHO, etc., 2019)!

DAUNTING CHALLENGES:

“It is especially unacceptable that these children died largely of preventable or treatable causes.” (World Bank)

“We are facing the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world”, because of climate change. (David Attenborough)

GREAT PERSONAL EXPERIENCES:

“One of the most amazing experiences of my life and it was an honour to take part… Your work is invaluable – please keep up your efforts.” (David Chambers, BSc Engineering)

GENEROUS CONCESSIONS are available to students!

‘The leanest team in the Run!’ It’s organised by volunteers, so no staff costs and no deductions for ‘expenses’ – unique!

Entering the ballot and joining the Team:

• Save yourself a lot of grief by letting the ‘Team Manager’ know you’re interested and getting his guidelines for entering the ballot – email david.golding@ncl.ac.uk;

• Enter the ballot (£58), following the guidelines provided by the Manager – and let him know you’ve done so;

• If you’re unlucky in the ballot, let the Manager know immediately. You’ll have a high priority for one of the team’s 25 ‘charity places’, at the same price.

The Great North Run is the greatest mass-participation sporting event in the world and over a million people have taken part in it. Each year, it’s covered extensively on BBC 2. It’s a ‘Run’, not a ‘Race’, and anyone in reasonable health who’s prepared to take the training seriously can complete it and enjoy doing so. For 2020, it’s scheduled for Sunday 13th September, two weeks before the start of term at Newcastle University.

Our nationally acclaimed ‘University Team’ raises awareness and funds for what are surely the two greatest challenges facing the human race – namely, global poverty and climate change – and to support action on the horrendous humanitarian crises currently in the news. Each team member has a wide choice as to which agency should receive a substantial proportion of the funds they raise.

A training seminar and a social, at which technical know-how and experience is shared, instil a sense of community and purpose; help with fundraising is varied and imaginative; and team photo’s before the Run and individual ones at the Finish provide great mementos of a wonderful experience.

“Hand on heart, I have to say that the support given
by Dr Golding is an inspiration to everyone.”
(Professor David Leat, Team Captain)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CLICK HERE!

David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL
Team Manager

david.golding@ncl.ac.uk
Office (0191) 20 84866
Home (0191) 252 6165

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