"It is now intellectually and morally irresponsible to fail to acknowledge and address the urgent need for radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent intolerable damage to human populations and mass extinctions of many plant and animal species."
The Methodist Conference in Wolverhampton has an historic opportunity to use 'Hope in God's Future' as a springboard to initiate radical action right across our church. Climate change and the urgent need to reduce global emissions is one of the truly great mission challenges of our era. Lack of political will, economic incentives and meaningful global agreements to curb greenhouse gas emissions mean that we are already heading downslope to eco-disaster. So the question is not how can we avoid it, as the time for that is past; instead we now have to ask how can we minimise its effects.
And it is the poor in the developing nations of the world who will be hit earliest and hardest by the climate-driven consequences of the rich world's laissez faire attitudes and practices.
The time for rhetoric is over, because the time for dying has already arrived for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers worldwide. Jesus stands tearfully in their midst and looks at us in utter bewilderment, just as he wept over Jerusalem and the failings of its policy-makers and decision-takers at the end of his own life.
As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.