Climate Change and Spirituality
I started thinking seriously about Climate Change 15 years ago. I had young children; my friends and I felt it was imperative to do something. We set up groups exchanging information about how to lower our emissions, we bought solar panels (with generous government grants), vowed we would fly only once a year, and try to avoid long haul altogether. Various books came out around then by local writers - notably, George Monbiot’s ‘Heat', and Chris Goodall’s ‘How to Live a Low Carbon Life’ (which I helped research). Both won prizes, both were slowly shunted out of sight in the book shops. My BBC radio play, The Kingnorth Six, and a Guardian blog about climate conscience also gradually fell out of favour. So now here we are - our teenagers are out on the streets, pleading for us to do something, urgently; I myself have joined amazingly joyful and creative XR demonstrations in London; our Government and scientists have declared an emergency. More and more people now feel the reality of major, devastating destruction of the ecosystem that sustains us. This series of podcasts is an attempt to face that reality - engaging the expertise of people who have being thinking about Climate Change for longer than I have, I want to investigate this ‘emergency’ as a spiritual one. In the deepest part of ourselves, what Christians call our souls, what is it that has brought us here, and how can we go forward?
The first episode was recorded in November 2019 with IPCC author and Professor of Geophysics at Oxford University, Myles Allen. He sets out the IPCC analysis of where we have come to over the past thirty years, and the huge effort necessary if we are to limit warming to a level where life on earth can continue. He refuses to despair and insists there are ambitious solutions ahead, especially in the hands of the younger generation whose task it has become to clean up our mess.
The Global Challenge: in conversation with Professor Myles Allen
Part 1 - Future Predictions
Part 2 (11mins 48) The Global Challenge
Part 3 (23mins 50) Net Zero - How and Why
Part 4 (37 mins) Demanding Climate Action
Part 5 (38mins 50) Historical Emissions
Professor Myles Allen is Professor of Geosystem Science, the Leader of the Climate Research Programme and a Fellow of Linacre College. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts. He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5 degrees, having served on the IPCC’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Assessments, including the Synthesis Report Core Writing Team in 2014. Key research contributions include developing the statistical methods used to quantify the size of human influence on climate; the application of Probabilistic Event Attribution to quantify the contribution of human influence to specific individual weather events; and the observation that cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide largely determine global mean surface warming, which implies that a substantial fraction of current fossil carbon reserves cannot be emitted into the atmosphere if warming greater than 2oC is to be avoided.
Allen leads the www.climateprediction.net project, using distributed computing to run the world’s largest ensemble climate modelling experiments, and in 2010 was awarded the Appleton Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics “for his important contributions to the detection and attribution of human influence on climate and quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions.
Big Emotions around Climate Change: in conversation with Jo Hamilton
Human Stewardship of the Earth: In conversation with Paul Massara
Ex-CEO of energy company N-Power and practising Anglican, Paul Massara, talks about his ambitions for the Church in response to the climate crisis, and his plans for a nationwide programme of awareness and action. He talks about how we can engage with anxieties about climate change, taking opportunities to lead and to challenge on a national and international scale. Finally, he describes his personal understanding of God’s teaching about our stewardship of the Earth, and the power of prayer.
Thinking about the Environment Theologically: In conversation with the Revd Dr David Bookless
As we think about spirituality and climate change, the Revd Dr Dave Bookless, the Director of Theology for A Rocha International, talks to the Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker about his role resourcing A Rocha’s global family and helping Christians in many nations to think about the environment theologically.