Perils of the changing climate

Now is the time for collective action

By The Revd Canon Andrew Wright

The weather seems to be changing in so many places. As I write, the last few weeks alone have seen record-breaking and dangerous heat- waves in North America, together with devastating rain and flooding in Europe and China. Some of the pictures have been haunting and frightening.

Changing climate, storms, melting ice and so much more are becoming ever more frequent in our news. Even working in my garden in the UK, we have noticed changing patterns over the last few years.

Seafarers and fishers have also spoken to me of things they are seeing and noticing about the climate and the oceans. Some places, often ones from which seafarers originate, are already threatened by rising water and more frequent storms. Something dramatic is happening.

All the evidence suggests that human influence in this is very strong. We have a short time to act. The shipping industry is already rightly focused on urgently meeting the challenging deadlines set for emission reductions set by the IMO. But we all know that environmental care is not just about fuel and energy. It is also about the way in which we discard rubbish, about cutting down on our use of plastics, about thinking about what we eat. It is something we at The Mission to Seafarers are looking at very carefully. We wish to make ourselves as green as possible.

Embedded in the very first chapter of the Bible is the importance of our responsibility, as men and women, for God’s magnificent creation. Never has that task been more necessary or more difficult. Without shared action by all of us – as nations, as individuals and as an industry – our perfect God-given planet will not be preserved for generations to come.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright is secretary general of The Mission to Seafarers.