“Why?” Is the answer in the jar?

Why are we going on from Paris to Bonn?
Why am I going on from Paris to Bonn?
I don’t really know – or maybe I haven’t worked out how to express it clearly

Perhaps the answer is in this jar.

We went to Paris to deliver the Climate Vision report to ministers, delegates and others at the COP21 conference.

Its message, that in response to climate and ecological threats, individuals will make significant changes in their personal lives and that governments should be bold in proposing changes to our collective lives, was well received.

We all returned changed by the experience and what we found there.
For me, and many other observers, the outcome, despite the huge achievement of getting  200 odd countries to agree on something, was inadequate.

It illustrated the way the political process is locked into short term thinking.
It is locked into producing fine words and kicking immediate problems down the road for someone else to deal with.
It is locked in to pursuing the illusion that something – the economy, prosperity – can continue to grow forever.
It is locked in to serving the short term interests of business and not the long term interests of people.

My first two grandchildren were born this year. I hope one day in the 2040’s to meet my great grandchildren.
What sort of world will they inherit when they are my age in 2100?

From the Paris Accord they will inherit a world with at least 3 degrees of warming.

A world with no ice at the North Pole, with the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets rapidly  decaying and the seas flooding coastal cities that cannot afford defences.
A world where superstorms regularly bring down destruction on communities.
A world where the fresh water and fossil fuel resources are seriously depleted and the four horsemen of the apocalypse rampage across the land.

I do not want this for my descendants.

I go to Bonn to look for ways to fix this broken process that fails to prepare for what it, and we, know is coming.
I want to return from Bonn able to tell people how we can make a more effective response to our unfolding slow-motion crises.
We know they are happening and we must move from talk to action.

This jar contains crab-apple jelly that I made yesterday.
Making preserves is a form of taking a longer term view.
Storing up the surplus today for the hard times tomorrow.

That is the sort of thinking we need to see throughout our communities.

I am going to give this jar to Luci, who started this whole thing going, for her to enjoy with her family, and ride off to Bonn hoping to find more ways we can get the future we dream of and hope

Roger as spoken in the Cathedral 28th October 2017

For Euan’s thoughts see here