As the GOP26 U.N. climate conference is ongoing, the climate change issue has been a hot topic.
Since the beginning of this year, extreme weather around the world has obviously increased. The temperature in many parts of the world has fluctuated along with the chart with “extreme highs and lows” exceeding each other quite often. Record cold-air outbreaks, snowstorms, heavy rains, and warmer weather frequently appear. In 2021, many places in China have suffered from heavy rains and floods plus autumn rains in the north and high temperatures in the south.
The fundamental reason behind these superficial phenomena is global warming and the increasing instability of the climate system. Song Lianchun, director of the National Climate Center, said in early 2021, “The fundamental reason is that global warming has aggravated the instability of the climate system. Global warming will change the global atmospheric circulation and influence the local climate through the interaction between ocean and atmosphere, land and atmosphere.”
A few days ago, in a lecture titled “Business and Nature” held in East China, a Christian brother David, who is engaged in water pollution treatment with years of environmental protection experience, gave specific suggestions from his professional and personal experiences.
David, whose hometown is by the sea, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had had a very serious impact on the whole world, but at the same time, he also found another phenomenon that since the pandemic, the sea near his home had become much cleaner than before, and even small crabs that hadn’t been seen for a long time appeared. That surprised him much. It was precisely because of the COVID-19 pandemic that the travelling flow decreased and the influence of industrial production had reduced many man-made interferences and damages on the sea. Through this phenomenon, he observed, “Human beings need to give nature a rest and chance to recover.”
After that, he showed pictures of marine pollution: the coral reefs which were originally beautiful and colorful and in which fish swam, had turned into white, cold and lifeless coral graves because of the pollution of the marine environment. This is the phenomenon of coral bleaching.
In recent years, more and more extreme weather is occurring around the world, and abnormally high temperatures, drought, severe storms, tornadoes and floods are becoming increasingly frequent. Behind almost all extreme climates, global warming is the “causing trouble”. According to the data of the World Meteorological Organization, since the Industrial Revolution, the global average temperature has risen by 1.1 degrees, approaching the danger line of the Paris Agreement. On November 26th, 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations Environment Programme warned that once the temperature rose above the critical point of 1.5°C, the frequency and intensity of climate disasters would rise sharply.
Apart from the important forces of governments and society, what can ordinary Christians do in the workplace?
David said that many environmental problems were actually closely related to our greed and exploitation of the earth. He showed a video of secretly hunting sharks for shark fins, which proved the saying “the result of buying and selling is killing”. It was precisely because human beings longed to satisfy their own desires that the high price of shark fins led many people to endanger the life of a shark for its fins. And if we reduced the demand for certain meat, it could greatly improve the environment.
Finally, as for individual Christians, David called for actions immediately from all of us, and gave the following specific suggestions:
1. Support the recycling economy. Reduce the consumption of fuel and electricity, reduce the waste of food and water, and recycle plastics, metals, and paper etc.
For instance, children’s favorite toys should be made of various cartons. It cannot only save money but also help children establish the concept of environmental protection and lifestyle from an early age.
2. Adopt a low-carbon lifestyle. Have a low-carbon diet by reducing the appropriate amount of meat. Do more swimming, hiking, and play ball games outdoors.
3. Increase environmentally friendly transportation, such as walking, cycling, public transportation and carpooling.
4. For employees, they were encouraged to cook their own meals and bring lunch to work and reduce ordering take-outs, which would create a lot of garbage, especially plastic garbage.
For instance, when the pandemic began last year, he encouraged the employees of his company to make and take their own lunch to work. It was both hygienic and green. Now, for almost a year, many staff considered this method to be very good for their health and environment.
- Translated by Charlie Li