To : The Diocese of Chelmsford, Environment Group
Date : 30 May 2010
Subject : Motion for the Church of England Synod
Dear Environment Group,
I am aware that you are soon to decide on bringing a motion to Synod, in support of the Church of England’s Seven Year “Church and Earth” Climate Change Action Plan.
I am also aware of recent news that may affect your deliberations :-
“Rebel scientists force Royal Society to accept climate change scepticism”
The Times of London, 29 May 2010
“Royal Society to publish guide on climate change to counter claims of ‘exaggeration'”
Daily Telegraph, 29 May 2010
“Harrabin’s Notes: Getting the message : In his regular column, BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin looks at the fall-out from complaints that some of the Royal Society had oversimplified its messages in public statements on climate change.”
BBC, 29 May 2010
May I commend to you the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America, and in Great Britain the work of the Meteorological Office and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, in reaching resolution to your deliberations.
The robust findings of the IPCC in 2007 on the scientific basis for the risks posed by Climate Change have not been overruled by later evidence. In fact, they have been strengthened, as I am sure that the Royal Society will confirm and underline in their report in summer.
The recent reports by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America gives the nation’s administration and local government some tools to understand the likely impacts of Climate Change and how to communicate it and adapt to it.
The UK’s Met Office continues to work with a range of academic bodies, such as the international space agencies, to gather and process data on a wide variety of aspects of Global Warming and Climate Change, evidence that should not be disregarded, even when certain aspects of Climate Change future modelling have been shown to need refinement.
The Tyndall Centre is part of a network of academic institutions that affirm by their research that significant changes are afoot in the Earth system, already deleterious and likely to become critical. Climate Change is one of the stressors on the general environment, and is documented to be contributing to the loss of biodiversity, significant for the support of the food chain.
These and other research institutions are continuously engaged with the data and monitoring of changes in the global environment. They are part of a large, interconnected scientific community, whose conclusions are trustworthy.
By contrast, the journalists in the mainstream Media are almost entirely uninformed, and their opinions should be treated as mere commentary.
A BBC journalist, who shall remain unnamed, admitted recently that he has not even read the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, and yet he is regularly writing about Climate Change as part of his work.
Those members of the Royal Society who are not climatologists should make sure that they appraise themselves of the current facts before making pronouncements on the severity or verity of Climate Change.
Studies of changes in Earth history suggest that “climate sensitivity” is high, which means that rapid mitigation and reduction of Carbon Dioxide and Methane emissions are essential to maintain an equitable habitat for Life on Earth.
This is an ethical question, and so calls for spiritual reflection. I pray for wisdom and discernment in your discussions.
Ms J. Abbess