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“Well-meaning but somewhat naïve”?

Bishop David in study“Well-meaning but somewhat naïve”? A response to the GWPF briefing paper: The Papal Encyclical – a critical Christian response by Bernard Donoughue and Peter Forster.

Bishop David Atkinson has written a detailed critique of the recent Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) The Papal Encyclical – a critical Christian response (July 2015) by Baron Donoughue and Bishop Peter Forster. The Church Times published an extract of the briefing, and there were many critical responses, but HERE Bishop David tackles the briefing paper itself (if you wish to see the original GWPF paper go here: Briefing paper 20).


Water, Water, Everywhere (Friday 4th September 2015)

Archimedes Screws

Archimedes Screws

Abingdon Hydro

Abingdon Hydro

Water, Water, Everywhere (Friday 4th September 2015)

For many years CRES has been running an annual residential at Ripon College Cuddesdon (nr. Oxford) in September.  This year it is on Friday and Saturday 4th/5th September. We have an excellent programme on the Friday, including an introduction to Abingdon Hydro from Dr. Richard Riggs, followed by a field trip to the innovative community scheme that is looking at putting two turbines into the River Thames at Abingdon. Then in the evening we have Trevor Muten (Director & Principal Consultant, Tapajos Limited – Hydrogeology & Water Resources Management) speaking on “Well, Well, Well.   Responding to Increasing Groundwater Resources Management Challenges”. To end the day Revd. Margot Hodson will lead a short service and reflection on the theme of water. We have decided to open up the Friday to those from beyond the CRES course. For more details of the day and how to book GO HERE.


Dr Richard Riggs and Trevor Muten

Laudato Si- the Pope's encyclical

ButterflyIt cannot have escaped your notice, but on Thursday 18th June 2015, Pope Francis published his long-awaited encyclical “Laudato Si” on the environment. A papal encyclical is an extended letter containing an important message, usually addressed to Catholic Church leaders, but this encyclical is for ‘every person living on this planet’. Much of the focus has been on what it says about climate change, but it also covers biodiversity loss, water shortages and pollution. The Pope sees the over-consumption of the developed West as a major problem. Over the last few days there have been very many assessments of the encyclical, and rather than add to these we have selected some of the best that will hopefully give you a full flavour of the encyclical and its impact.

1) The first point is that the encyclical is a LONG document at 184 pages. So if you wanted a quick summary of the main points Alexei Laushkin of the Evangelical Environmental Network produced Quotable Laudato Si ‘Praised Be’.  Martin Davis of Cheltenham kindly sent us his extracts of the key points, at only nine pages! Alexei went on to give a more considered opinion in First Take on Laudato Si ‘Praised Be’

2) The Catholic Herald gave this report: Encyclical: The planet is at breaking point, says Pope Francis

3) Although the encyclical is primarily a theological and moral document it does contain some science, and scientists have shown their approval: Pope’s Encyclical Makes Grade in Climate Science The scientists asked for their opinion included Michael Mann (of hockey stick graph fame) who said “he gets the science right”. Nancy Vosnidou approached the topic from a science communications angle wondering why the Pope was more successful at communicating climate change than the scientists have been! See: Could the Pope’s Encyclical Push Public Opinion to Tipping Point on Climate?

4) Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, wrote a very positive response: Anglican environmental network chair welcomes Papal climate encyclical

5) The Church Times had details of the launch of the encyclical in the UK: Pope’s encyclical blames ‘extreme consumerism’ for the planet’s ills

6) Of the secular newspapers, The Guardian probably gave the biggest coverage: Pope’s climate change encyclical tells rich nations: pay your debt to the poor (and several other articles on the same day)

7) A number of Christian environmental groups have endorsed the Pope’s encyclical: A Rocha; Lausanne Creation Care Network; and Operation Noah.

8) John Weaver, the Chair of the JRI Board wrote for the JRI Blog: The Pope’s welcome environmental manifesto

9) Of course there has been opposition, particularly from some Republicans in the United States. For example: Jeb Bush joins Republican backlash against pope on climate change

10) And finally a little humour. The Onion gave this satirical assessment: Frustrated Republicans Argue Pope Should Leave Science To Scientists Who Deny Climate Change

In summary the encyclical contains a powerful message urging everyone to respond to the environmental crisis. This is especially timely as the major Paris climate change meeting approaches in December this year.

Dr Martin Hodson (JRI Operations Manager)

Global Warming: The Complete Briefing (5th Edition)

Global Warming. The Complete Briefing. 5th Edition

Global Warming. The Complete Briefing. 5th Edition

We are pleased to announce the publication of  the 5th edition of Sir John Houghton’s “Global Warming: The Complete Briefing.” Sir John, the JRI President, has carried out another major update to produce the most authoritative account of the subject available. It can now be purchased from a variety of sources including the publisher Cambridge University Press, who give more details of the contents. Absolutely essential reading!

Honey and Thistles

Honey-and-Thistles-Cover-ProofHoney and Thistles. Biblical wisdom for the renewal of farming.

NEW BOOK from the Agriculture and Theology Project! Honey and Thistles. Biblical wisdom for the renewal of farming. Christopher Jones & John Martin, Agriculture and Theology Project, 2015. £8.14 including postage. MORE DETAILS AND HOW TO ORDER

Contemplative Activists: living in God’s heart for justice today

Greg and Ruth Valerio

Greg and Ruth Valerio

Contemplative Activists: living in God’s heart for justice today

Saturday 25th April 2015, 10.00am to 4.00pm – CRES (Christian Rural and Environmental Studies) Day at Ripon College Cuddesdon nr. Oxford with Greg and Ruth Valerio. Open to all.

PROGRAMME includes:

Greg Valerio on “Putting Down Roots – earthing ourselves in the spiritual life” and “Making Trouble – fighting for justice in the jewellery industry”

Ruth Valerio on “Food and Faith – eating well in a hungry world”

For more details and booking download the Programme Details.