The implementation of three of the clauses requires actions by the congregations of individual churches in the Diocese. The material in below was prepared by the Green Group to assist and support the congregations in responding to the three clauses.
Baptismal Promise and the Fifth Mark of Mission: Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. – What does this mean?
Creation reflects God's glory: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
Integrity of Creation refers to the completeness of God’s creation as a harmonic and synergistic whole (Psalm 104, Psalm 148, Acts 17:24).
Sustain and Renew We are mandated by God to be caregivers of the earth, and we honor God by taking care of what he has created.
Technology and science have given those people who have the knowledge, and especially the economic resources to use them, an impressive dominance over the whole of humanity and the entire world. Never has humanity had such power over itself, yet nothing ensures that it will be used wisely, particularly when we consider how it is currently being used (Laudato Si). However, our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience. It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit. The economy accepts every advance in technology with a view to profit, without concern for its potentially negative impact on human beings`or the environment.
We must change our view on the environment and our role in it, on our relationship with all living creatures, and on the role and use of technology in our lives.
The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it (TED talk by a Christian and climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BvcToPZCLI.
10 Simple ways to be a “steward of the Earth”: https://aleteia.org/2020/01/06/10-simple-ways-to-be-a-steward-of-the-earth-in-2020/.
A Biblical Case For Climate Care (a Green Group webinar by Rev. Dr. William Morrow): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdElmz-FxHs.
Living in reconciliation with Creation (inspiring sermon by Dr. Sylvia Keesmaat):
Christians and Climate Change (a talk by a Christian and climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe)
Laudato Si: an encyclical letter by Pope Francis:
Stewardship of Creation (Bible-based analysis of human responsibility to care for the Earth):
The Green Bible:
"Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate (high confidence).
Climate-related risks for natural and human systems are higher for global warming of 1.5°C than at present, but lower than at 2°C (high confidence)…
Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C…
Populations at disproportionately higher risk of adverse consequences with global warming of 1.5°C and beyond include disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, some indigenous peoples, and local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods (high confidence)…
Any increase in global warming is projected to affect human health, with primarily negative consequences (high confidence)…”
(Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2019)
The Earth is kept warm because of the presence of atmosphere. It contains some gases that trap the infrared radiation (arrow 3 in the Diagram A below) that is released by the surface (arrow 2). They are called GreenHouse Gases (GHGs) because they act just like a greenhouse, trapping the released heat. Over time, the increased energy in the atmosphere heats up both land (relatively fast) and oceans (more slowly) until an energy equilibrium is reached in each. It also causes more extreme behaviour of the atmosphere including high winds, unusually high rainfalls, very cold air masses etc.
The main GHG of concern is carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossils fuels (oil, coal, propane). Increases in methane production (by cattle, pipelines and leaks from oil wells, melting permafrost, etc.) are also a significant contributor. Diagram B illustrates other existing sources. High and continuing emissions increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere where they stay for a very long time (300-1000 years in case of carbon dioxide).
The main activities producing carbon emissions in our lives are heating and transportation. At the present, Canadians are among the highest per-capita polluters in the world and so the challenge is significant. Technology and personal resolve to make a difference, along with changes in lifestyle habits, are the main avenues for action. Technologically, using electricity where possible is the most effective pursuit. This is especially desirable in Ontario where electrical energy is ‘clean’ (not producing greenhouse gases) thanks to actions of previous provincial governments.
In case of transportation, the most effective means is public transportation. Regretfully, introduction of cars for personal transport a century ago has led to gradual deterioration of public transportation, and rebuilding the system will entail much effort. Although reintroduction of public transportation is still the ultimate solution, this will take time and government support, the latter depending on people voting for proactive governments that take on this challenge. In the meantime and in situations where public transportation is not a practical solution, the use of fully electric (preferably) or hybrid (electric/gas) cars is presently the best available technology. CARPOOLING, REDUCE SPEED LIMIT, ELECTRIC BICYCLES,..
Regarding the heating of buildings in winter, electricity is again the most effective way to eliminate greenhouse gases. It can be converted into heat directly (through electrical heaters, infrared heaters, electrical furnaces), or to operate heat pumps that extract energy from the air outside and transport it indoors. The effectiveness of heat pumps in cold climates has been an issue for many years because the key factor is the ability to extract heat from cold air. However, the performance has been improving in recent years, and current models can extract heat from air as cold as -35C (minus 31F). – Next to changing the heating method, minimizing loss of heat through improved insulation and controlled ventilation are the most effective ways of indoor energy management.
As illustrated in this video by 'Just Have a Think', When it comes to climate change, the majority of us think we're personally doing our bit, but that we're being let down by everyone else, including our own neighbours. That's just one of the findings of a new survey conducted across nine western nations in November. So, what else does the survey tell us, and what conclusions can we draw?
How an Alberta church became a net zero solar powered church and more:
A guide for reducing energy consumption:
How to reduce my carbon footprint:
10 ways to reduce your carbon footprint:
The 35 easiest ways to reduce your Carbon Footprint:
What we can do:
15 essential reads for the climate crisis and solutions:
Dispelling myths about electric cars:
Alarmed by the increasingly frequent environmental disasters (floods, forest fires, landslides,..) and by the growing evidence of climate heating, many organizations (religious and civic; international, national, local), numerous countries and individuals have declared ‘climate emergency’.
Declaration of climate emergency serves to accelerate action on reducing carbon emissions. It helps to publicize, inform and persuade governments, decision makers and individuals about the dangers that lack of action has led to worsening climate conditions; and that continuing inaction will have devastating effects on our lives and the lives of our children.
The first climate emergency declaration was made in December 2016. By the end of 2021, at least 23 national governments, 28 countries of the European Union, and 1,900 local governments have made climate emergency declarations. Populations covered by jurisdictions that have declared a climate emergency cover over 1 billion citizens (Wikipedia).
Declaration of climate emergency is only one, and largely symbolic, step in actions that will result in low greenhouse gas emissions and in reduce dangers of climate change. Its impact will have an effect only after programs and actions implemented by governments, companies and individuals reduce their
carbon emissions. Nevertheless, it is a powerful tool in that respect and a positive step in developing comprehensive response to this threat.
Federal and Provincial leaders
Prime Minister of Canada:
Justin Trudeau email@example.com.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change:
Steven Guilbeault Steven.Guilbeault@parl.gc.ca
Premier of Ontario:
Doug Ford doug firstname.lastname@example.org
Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks:
David Piccini email@example.com
Members of the Parliament of Canada representing Diocese of Ontario ridings
Hastings – Lennox and Addington:
Shelby Kramp-Neuman firstname.lastname@example.org
Leeds-Grenville -Thousand Islands:
Michael Barrett Michael.Barrett@parl.gc.ca
Francis Drouin email@example.com
Kingston and the Islands:
Mark Gerretsen firstname.lastname@example.org
Bay of Quinte:
Ryan Williams email@example.com
Scott Reid firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the Provincial Parliament representing the Diocese of Ontario ridings
Kingston and the Islands:
Ian Arthur IArthur-QP@ndp.on.ca
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes:
Steve Clark email@example.com
Randy Hillier RHillier-CO@ola.org
Hastings-Lennox and Addington:
Daryl Cramp firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Simard email@example.com
Bay of Quinte:
Todd Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Facts about the climate emergency: United Nations Environment Program
We are living in a climate emergency…
Canada declares climate emergency
Kingston: So, your municipal council has declared a climate emergency. Now what?
World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency:
This Synod of the Diocese of Ontario: