Doing nothing is not an option


by Reggie Norton, Operation Noah Board member

To grasp the situation of the earth in relation to climate change, and to be able to have an idea of what is likely to happen in the next 50 to 100 years, one has to have a broad vision. One must find out what has happened not only in the UK but in the rest of the world – and it soon becomes clear that climate change has done an enormous amount of damage in the last 30 years, affecting many millions of people and causing thousands upon thousands of deaths.

We rightly start to worry not only about floods and droughts but also about the effect of climate change on biodiversity, the growing problem of shortage of water for agriculture, food shortages because of crop failures, damage to fisheries from the acidification of the oceans, the continuing loss of ice coverage in the Arctic, the release of methane in some countries – and a host of other important things.

One then has to ask oneself what is causing all this and what can we do about it.

The answer, of course, is that fossil fuel emissions have significantly contributed to climate change. And, globally, emissions are continuing to increase.


Photo credit:  The New York Public Library on Unsplash

The scientists have been telling us – and telling the politicians as well – that doing nothing about this will result in catastrophic climate impacts that will be irreversible. So they have been urging the governments of the world to put into action a global plan that would begin to reduce global emissions by 2017, at the very latest.

This must, therefore, be the aim of all governments and to achieve this we have been told that at least half, if not 4/5ths of the known fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground. So the sooner the Churches disinvest from fossil fuel companies the better.

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Reggie Norton

Reggie is an Operation Noah board member and a Roman Catholic. He spent many years working for Oxfam in Latin America and also spent time as the chair of Anti-Slavery International.