COP26 has us all looking at Glasgow and thinking about saving the environment. Such gatherings of world leaders can give a real opportunity for pressure groups to march and make demands of our leaders.
The beginning of COP26 has been encouraging in the speeches made and also the commitment to stop deforestation and cut methane emissions levels. Maybe they are listening.
The truth is that, even at my most cynical, I think that most leaders would like to make big decisions. I think that most would love to be on the right side of this historical crisis.
I wonder though what the pressures are on them are. Oh without doubt there will be pressures from big business, oil companies etc. The economy is the heartbeat of the modern world. Money literally makes the world go around. It creates jobs, pays for infrastructure and prevents poverty.
So, to put ourselves in the chairs of the Presidents and Prime Ministers they must be wondering at how their populations will respond to the decisions they finally do make.
It is one thing for me to march in Belfast on Saturday, or go to a Worship and Prayer Event before it, and to be prepared for the cost that it will be to my luxury and comfort to put the breaks on the environmental catastrophe that is reigning down upon us.
To make sure that we recycle is the easy thing though I still get angry at children of the Creator who play loose with seemingly not one bit bothered about caring for his art!
Taking the bus will be easy.
Trying to reduce our plastic will be easy.
What about the use of our cars? I remember when my mother got a work car and we were the freak family with two cars. With a parent, a cousin and a daughter regularly living with us there can now be 4 cars outside our house!
What about flying? Some of us have family in Australia or British Columbia. Are we prepared to limit our visits and seeing grandparents and grandchildren?
Some of us have missional connections across the world. Might we have to limit short term mission trips?
When we travel to visit family across the UK are we prepared to take the least environmental damaging way?
Are we prepared to eat less red meat to save forests and are we willing to buy local produce at a higher cost or do without specialised fruit that comes from thousands of miles away. We love our avocados!
We need to understand that the decisions that we are demanding from our leaders actually happen that it is going to curtail our lifestyles. We cannot ask for them to act and then vote against them at elections because the decisions that we demanded make our lives seem less.
The world leaders at COP26 have no magic wand on saving our planet, God’s precious art as some of us describe it. The catastrophe we are in will need massive once in a generation decisions from our world leaders BUT also a total commitment to small everyday decisions from us and a declaration of our willingness to take the hit on our way of life to leave a world for our grandchildren.
Marching is easy… before we march… what are we prayed to sacrifice to save the planet.