Saturday, February 10, 2007

climate of change and happenings

Global warming, climate change, carbon neutralising, the negative impact of long haul flights on our environment....

Sometimes issues come to the fore and won't go away and leave me in peace. The last couple of weeks I've been simultaneously been involved with thinking about how to reduce the impact of my life and that of others on the environment and actively encouraging a good number of long haul flights... ouch.

As was pointed out to me recently it's all very well planting trees to offset airmiles but whilst they may help redress the overall balance they don't actually help where the aeroplanes do the damage, some 30,000 feet or so up above the treetops.

Yet as Jonathan manged to say far better than I could find the words to say in MM last week so often the simplest forms of things are the most effective. Technology is all very well with recordings of sessions (like those available from WGYF) , written reports and people talking about their experiences but you still can't beat face to face interaction for building community, for strengthening links between countries, between theologies and cultures. You can't replicate the intensity of that kind of learning and personal growth via the internet.

So once again I'm involved in planning to fly people varying distances around the globe; whether from here to Britain or from across the Asia West Pacific Section to India I have no doubts as to the value to the individuals concerned and to their Quaker communities. I just hope that we can find a way to ensure that the positive benefits outweigh the negative impact, and if nothing else we still plant those trees.

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