Christian Climate Action and Insulate Britain
Eleven members of Christian Climate Action have joined the Insulate Britain Campaign and have taken part in one or, mostly, several actions, blocking motorways since 13th September. As Christians we are doing this because we believe that we are being called to respond in this particular way to the climate emergency - this unique crisis that is facing humanity now.
The Insulate Britain Campaign has a very simply demand - that the government pays for all social housing to be insulated by 2025 and makes mandatory the insulation of all other housing by 2030. This would save 15% of all our carbon emissions; take most people out of fuel poverty and save the lives of around 8,000 elderly people who currently die of cold each winter - a shocking statistic indeed. So insulation is a matter of social justice for the poor of our country just as cutting carbon emissions in general is a matter of climate justice for the poor of the world.
Without the insulation of Britain’s 29 million homes, any other plan to introduce greener heating appliances, such as the heat source pumps proposed by the government, will be a complete waste of precious resources. We call upon the government to act now to undertake the most efficient means of cutting our carbon emissions, pound for pound, that is available. We need the government to act now in order to achieve real cuts in carbon emissions - the one essential action that all governments have to undertake immediately.
At every moment in history, human beings have seen the need to respond to the challenge of their time. This is our moment, a unique moment, unlike any other that has preceded it and it happens that we in our generation are being given this unique task to do – that is to take every step available to us to at least slow down the arrival of the full effects of the climate catastrophe.
Christians, amongst everyone else, have their own calling from God at this time. Those of us who have joined the Insulate Britain Campaign believe we are being given the extraordinary privilege of being able to live out the full meaning of our vocation as Christians in this one particular way. We are being asked to follow Jesus on the way of the cross, which involves taking up our own cross, laying down our lives and giving all that we have to the task of saving God’s beautiful creation from extinction.
We have no choice if we are to be faithful and obedient to our Christian calling. The needs of our time require us to step up to the challenge that is laid before us, whatever the cost. We have to do what we are doing, because we know that there is no future for nearly all of God’s species unless we can persuade the governments of the world to act urgently, radically and immediately and to use the COP26 conference to arrive at a timetable of action that will realistically address both the climate and biodiversity emergencies that are upon us now.
Jesus demands the whole of us and gives us the great opportunity and privilege of making the gift of the whole of ourselves to Him for this task. He does not give us time to attend to other matters, however pressing and however worthy. We do not have time to go and bury our dead – He needs us to give ourselves to this work of bringing in the Kingdom now. He calls us out of our comfort zones onto the hard wet tarmac to face the abuse and violence of the crowds and maybe the misunderstanding and condemnation of family, friends and even our fellow Christians. He calls us into a new beloved community which supports and enables us to leave aside our fears and gives us the courage to stand firm.
We do not want to spend hours in police cells or have injunctions served upon us or face the prospect of unlimited fines or have our assets seized or face six months or more in prison. But if this is what is asked of us, we are willing. In fact we are full of joy, because we are receiving so much more through doing our best to be faithful to what God is asking of us. By comparison, everything that is happening to us is of no importance at all. Given the urgency of the situation and the obvious sense of our request, the only remaining question is why are there so few Christians involved in the campaign? Imagine if the Church, led by the Bishops, came out in force to sit on the motorways for just one hour - I think we can be fairly sure that a programme for insulating Britain would be rolled out immediately! Perhaps its worth giving it a thought!
Revd. Sue Parfitt
Posted: November 2021