Ressources - 28 April 2016

en - Eco stream for Mai

My great grandmother Margaret Gatty, was a great beachcomber. So much so that she became an expert on British seaweeds which she collected and identified from all round the coasts of Britain, and beyond.

But the edge of the sea is not what is used to be in the 1850s, the time when the industrial revolution was taking hold. The danger now in 21st century is that any rise in carbon emissions leading to a rise in global temperatures of over 1.5⁰ Centigrade will be a disaster and lead to great rises in sea levels. The COP 21 agreement is not enough, even with that many islands would disappear. Recent research reported in `Nature’ shows that a rapid irreversible collapse in the Antarctic ice sheet, the size of Mexico, could have catastrophic consequences far exceeding previous estimates of ocean rise. Continued high emissions of heat trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the icesheet within decades. New research by NASA shows melting ice sheets are actually changing how the earth spins. All this since COP 21. Pope Francis reminds us (Laudato Si p 23, 24+ 48) that a quarter of the world’s population live on the coast or nearby, most of whom are impoverished and have nowhere else to go ; he reminds us too that climate is a common good. `Fossil fuels are at the heart of the worldwide energy system’he writes(LS23). But this is changing, this needs to change. Use of solar energy and other renewable have increased dramatically, prices are falling. Every solar panel helps . Every small gesture is a help.

As my great grandmother used to say` there is a special providence in small things.`But we need to be attentive to what the natural world is telling us. After all it is God’s creation.

`British Seaweeds’ by Margaret Gatty, published 1863.