Future Climate Action activities at BUC
Following a flurry of activity in the lead-up to COP 27 in September and October last year, the BUC Climate Action Group has taken a bit of a breather.
2023 promises to be an exciting year. In the near future the Synod will be releasing a discussion paper regarding “Zero emissions for the Synod by 2040”. We hope this will generate interest and commitment across the Synod, and help all parts of the church to focus on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. More information soon

Climate Action Catch-up – date to be confirmed (possibly Sunday 26 February after worship)
This is a time to get together and share our hopes and dreams for climate action in 2023.
Please contact Richard to express your interest richarn50@gmail.com

A number of people have also expressed a desire to have a Climate Action conversation group to share ideas and just give mutual support. One idea is to screen the film “The Letter” which is about Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on Ecology and Climate called “Laudato Si”.

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC): Relational conversations: the art of connecting with purpose
One-to-one meetings. They may not sound like much. But the best organisers we know are convinced that they are the real engine room that powers the climate movement. With the right skills, the one-on-one conversation can start or deepen a relationship with a clear purpose: taking action together and building a movement.

And we people of faith are usually in a very strong position to do this too. Most of us know at least one other person in the same faith community, or in a related one, who is also concerned about the climate crisis, even if they’re not all that active yet. In fact we are part of existing faith networks.

Yet talking about the climate, especially in a way that fosters a shared purpose takes a particular set of skills. We strongly encourage as many people as possible to come to one of two meetings to learn how the humble conversation can move mountains.

Option OneThursday 2nd February, Melbourne: 7.15 to 8.30 pm, RSVP here for Zoom details

Option Two: Monday 6th February, Melbourne: 12.30 to 1.45pm, RSVP here for Zoom details

Some Food for Thought
In a recent book by George Monbiot titled “Regenesis. Feeding the world without devouring the planet”, he argues that moving to a plant-based diet helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, he states that raising a kilogram of beef protein releases 113 times more greenhouse gases than growing a kilogram of pea protein, and 190 times more than a kilogram of nut protein….

Switching from a diet that’s high in meat to one entirely based on plants would cut the greenhouse gases from your food by 60 per cent.

Just over one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the food system. Of these, roughly 70 per cent are released by farming, and the rest by processing, transport, selling and cooking.

Breaking down this share, production of animal-based foods – meat, poultry and dairy products, including growing crops to feed livestock and pastures for grazing – contributes 57% of emissions linked to the food system. Raising plant-based foods for human consumption contributes 29%. The other 14% of agricultural emissions come from products not used as food or feed, such as cotton and rubber.

To produce meat, poultry and dairy products can also result in greater amounts of land clearing and deforestation (although palm oil production has resulted in high rates of de-forestation)

Apart from producing greenhouse gases, a high fat, high sugar, high meat and dairy diet, as practiced in many Western countries, is making us less healthy, increasing rates of heart disease, cancer and dementia and shortening our life spans.

It is interesting that, in 2016, China announced that it intends to halve meat consumption.  This is not just to reduce emissions but to help reduce rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes which are currently growing exponentially as more and more Chinese move towards western style diets.  In US, there have been efforts to do the same apparently but these, unsurprisingly, have been vigorously opposed by the meat industry (China Aims to Cut Meat Consumption in HalfReducing meat consumption in the USA: a nationally representative survey of attitudes and behaviours)!

So, in terms of helping people to live long and healthy lives and helping save the planet from further ecological destruction, going plant based or at least encouraging people to up their intake of fruit vegies, nuts and especially legumes seems like a good idea.