Archive: June 2020 - Operation Noah

June 2020 Newsletter

Posted in: Newsletters

Read our June Newsletter

There’s still time to sign up for our online Supporters’ Event and AGM, we’ve news of the launch of Climate Sunday and a recording of our Bright Now webinar is now online.

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Book Review: Climate Crisis: The challenge to the church

Posted in: Blog

Kevin Shang reviews Climate Crisis: The challenge to the church for Operation Noah.

Climate Crisis: the challenge to the church, a new book by David Rhodes, the Anglican priest and former journalist, provides a clear and powerful argument that the Church has buried the real Jesus under centuries of hierarchical structures and protective dogmas. The Church could make a crucial difference in fighting against climate change, but the first step is to rediscover the real Jesus of the Gospels and rethink the Church’s attitude towards the world. 

David argues that centuries of dogma and tradition in the Church has separated most of us from the true meaning of Jesus’life and teachings. This hinders us in knowing the real Jesus. An emphasis on sin and personal salvation in the institutional Church has stolen our attention from ‘love your neighbour’, the great commandment of Jesus. Our world contains myriad examples of groups who only love those within their ‘tribe’, including the Church. By contrast, when we love across all lines of race, class, wealth, social class, gender and nationality through our actions, we reflect something from beyond this world – God’s unconditional love. Responding to climate change is a great way for us to learn to love our neighbours and the planet.  

This book is easy to read, but not comfortable to read. It encourages us to get out of our spiritual comfort zone and re-examine our understanding of Jesus. In 1 John 3:18 we read, ‘Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth’ (NIV). Personal salvation and dealing with sin are important, but an emphasis on these issues can leave us satisfied with staying in a self-protective bubble while remaining apathetic to the suffering of the world. 

Written with a journalist’s courage and integrity, Climate Crisis: the challenge to the church challenges us to rethink how to follow Jesus with passion in our time. It is a great book and definitely worth the time of every Christian who is concerned about climate change. 

Buy Climate Crisis: the challenge to the church

What Will It Take to Cool the Planet?

Posted in: Blog

Bill McKibben. This article originally appeared in The New Yorker on 21 May 2020. It is reproduced here with permission.

This week’s newsletter is a little different, in that I mainly want to encourage you to watch a video and then play with a Web site. Both come from the remarkable people at Climate Interactive, a project that grew out of M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management. I’ve admired the group’s co-directors, Elizabeth Sawin and Andrew Jones, for many years, and watched their En-roads simulator grow from fairly crude beginnings into a truly sophisticated and useful model. It allows you to change different variables to see what it would take to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions enough to get us off our current impossible track (screeching toward a world something like four degrees Celsius hotter) and onto the merely miserable heading of 1.5 to two degrees Celsius envisioned in the Paris climate accords.

I pointed out last week that the covid-19 pandemic has taught us something interesting: even locking down most of the planet didn’t cut emissions as much as we might have thought. (By early April, daily CO2 emissions decreased by seventeen per cent.) This suggests that a great percentage of the trouble is hardwired into our systems, and not solely a function of our habits and choices. Indeed, the simulator shows that, if you reduce the growth of both populations and economies to the lowest level the programmers considered possible, the planet still warms almost 3.5 degrees Celsius.

But now reset the variables and go into the submenus for coal, gas, and oil, and perform a little experiment: stop building any new infrastructure for these fossil fuels beginning in 2025 and, all of a sudden, you’re at a world that warms only 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2100. That’s why it is such good news, for instance, that New York State last week quashed plans for the Williams natural-gas pipeline across the New York City harbor: if you keep building stuff like this now, it locks in emissions for decades to come, busting our carbon budget. It’s why the climate movement has fought so hard against pipelines and fracking wells and L.N.G. terminals: with ever-cheaper renewable power, when you manage to stop such projects, sun and wind have a chance at filling the vacuum.

And, once you’ve made this basic course change, you can go back to work on other steps that the simulator can model. Stipulate an all-out effort at making buildings and transport more efficient, and cut way back on deforestation—and now you’re at about 2.5 degrees. Figure out some ways to “highly reduce” methane emissions from oil and gas wells, cows, and other sources, and suddenly you’re nearing the two-degree mark.

None of these things are easy, of course. In fact, all of them are very hard. But stopping new infrastructure is possible—it’s basically a battle with the fossil-fuel industry, which, as I’ve been pointing out, is losing financial muscle with each passing week. Last week, according to the Financial Times, in a fascinating interview with Bernard Looney, the C.E.O. of BP, “Looney noted that as crude prices have plunged, renewable energy projects had been able to attract funding, suggesting the pandemic has weakened the investment case for oil. ‘It’s the model that is increasingly respected and admired by investors as being resilient and having a different risk profile,’ he said.”

Online Operation Noah Supporters’ Event and AGM

Posted in: Featured

Wednesday 15 July, 10:30am-12:30pm
Register for your free place

Our Supporters’ Day and AGM is going online! Join us via Zoom.


David Pickering, Moderator of the United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland, and Chair of Operation Noah from 2005 to 2010. David played a key role in leading the United Reformed Church to divest from fossil fuel producing companies in 2019.

Bokani Tshidzu, Bright Now Campaign Officer at Operation Noah. Bright Now is our campaign asking churches to divest from fossil fuels.

James Anthony, Climate Sunday Project Coordinator. Climate Sunday is supporting churches of all denominations to hold a special service on climate change in the run-up to COP26.

Workshop topics:

• A Green Recovery
• COP26
• Bright Now Campaign Update
• Climate Sunday Update

Register for your free place

Registered charity number 1138101