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Monday, 21 December 2009

Hypocrisy – Copenhagen style!

I should immediately make clear that the heading is not a reflection on the Danish capital city, but rather on the ‘Climate Change Summit’ that was held there, and that has just ended. But why the references to hypocrisy? Simply because I saw so much of it surrounding the conference – in itself, it would appear, somewhat hypocritical as the decisions that were made (such as they were) were allegedly the result of some ‘back-room negotiating’ by just five major countries! It reminded me of my days in education when, from Council level, down to school level, staff were often consulted – and then promptly ignored!

But what really got me more than a little bit annoyed was learning of the cost of this massive ‘jamboree’. I am reliably informed that almost 150 private jets were used to ferry delegates to and from the conference – and I suspect that that that does not include the fuel-guzzling Boeing 747 on which Barack Obama and his entourage arrived. Some 1,200 limousines were hired for leaders (but I would be surprised to discover that others travelled by bus!) – some of them having to be driven hundreds of miles from Sweden and Germany. The cost should be measured, not just in cash (in whatever currency), but in the pollution that was caused by all of that unnecessary travel. Unnecessary for two reasons:

1. There are less polluting forms of transport! Even H.M. the Queen (yes, it really is One!) was seen boarding a train to travel from London to Sandringham for the Christmas break. I am no ardent royalist but, if it’s good enough for H.M., it should have been good enough for the rest – including the current heir to the throne!

2. In an age of technological advances such as the one in which we currently live, there could have been a video link-up with every capital city, or seat of government, in the world. Think how much that would have reduced the carbon footprint of the conference!

As a follower of Jesus, I believe that I have a sacred duty to exercise proper stewardship of this planet on which Father God has set me. Indeed, I believe that the church, as a worldwide entity, missed out in taking the lead in such matters long before the Green political parties made it all so fashionable that every politician, and his granny, jumped on to the ‘green bandwagon’.

“The earth is YHWH’s, and everything in it; the world, and all who live in it.” (Ps.24:1). As a race, I believe that we will have to answer for the ways in which we have abused, and exploited, God’s world. It will take a determined effort on the part of individuals to make any real difference – not the political posturing of those who seem to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think (see Rom.12:3); those who may already “… have received their reward in full.” (Matt.6:5).

1 comment:

CanuckCol said...

You have mentioned the jets and limos on here but ONE thing that I have NEVER heard anyone mention when they refer to the greenhouse gasses and fuel emissions from our vehicles is............ the rockets they keep sending to the moon and Mars. Surely the fuel being burned IN space is doing MUCH more damage to the ozone layer than a few cars driving along the roads. Do you think they'll stop the outer space travel? I don't. They'll try to limit our travel on earth before they'll cancel sending space craft into orbit.