Push-Pull & Climate Change Dependent Economy

Push-Pull & Climate Change Dependent Economy

If there is one thing we have all been reminded of recently it is that the world we live in is balanced very carefully on the principle of cause and effect. I well remember a very patient teacher in primary school explaining this to me with examples of ‘push’ and ‘pull’. A group of young boys ‘pushing’ and ‘pulling’ had great fun demonstrating cause and effect. The action of one force impacts upon another, sometimes with predicted consequence, sometimes with consequences that take us by surprise.

Over time I learnt that human beings are born with a capacity to make choices and that making choices brings a certain responsibility. Individuals are responsible for their own actions, at least under the law. It took me a bit longer, certainly into adolescence, before fully appreciating the intricacies of what we mean by ‘corporate responsibility’, that a whole community, organisation, nation, can be held accountable for an action that has been made in their name.

This summer I became familiar with a relatively new turn of phrase. ‘Climate change dependent economy’. Climate change dependent economy translates into cause and effect. Climate change has meant a very hot summer across Europe. This has had an effect, consequences for farmers. Fortunately, locally, barley and oilseed rape seem to have held up but wheat less so. More seriously the scorched earth has meant stock farmers having to use winter feed in summer months. A difficult winter lies ahead for some and it is likely that the price of bread and other staples will rise. Consequences for farmers means consequences for consumers. Ultimately, ‘push-pull’ affects everyone. There is no such thing as an economy in isolation.

The realisation that a changing climate brings about a changing economy leads to uncertainty. And as we all know, markets do not like uncertainty. For many it brings into focus an air of gloom and even doom. But maybe we can be hopeful. How might the experience of a hot summer help us to reflect on how we might better care for our shared planet? How many plastic bottles of water did you buy? Did you think twice? Did the rising temperatures help you to think again about the amount of carbon dioxide your own car puts into the atmosphere? Here is an opportunity to change the pattern of our own behaviours.

Climate change dependent economy is something we are all invested in. It’s all about the ‘push-pull’ – recognising that what I do has an impact and that God has given me and us a capacity to make some choices.

God Bless                                                        

Revd. Mark Bailey                          

0ctober 2018