Study 5
Redressing the Balance

Reading for this study:     Chapter 6 and Chapter 8 of CTE
Key point:    The need to change for a more sustainable future

Preparation
Look up some website articles on national responses to environmental problems. You may like to look up government sites such at the UK Parliament site, EU sites of US State or Senate sites.

Opening discussion
Ask members of the group to describe some national changes that they have noticed over the last few years. These might be shifts in political parties to taking environmental issues more seriously; they could be changes in advertising or attitudes on the media; or they could be changes in taxes or pricing of resources. How have these affected changing attitudes of people at more of an individual level? You may find that some are positive and others are negative.

Read John 1:1-14
1.     What are the environmental implications of this text?
2.     How did God respond to the problems of this world and why.

Read Matthew 6:19-27, 33
3.     How have the group found their carbon fast?
4.     What other practical steps can we make to make our lives simpler?
5.     What are the spiritual dimensions of all of this?

Read Romans 12:1-3
6.     Why do we resist change?
7.     How does our commitment to Christ make change easier? Does it demand that we are open to change?

Discussion
Discuss what change there has been at a national level to meet the challenges of climate change and resource depletion. How can we work to shift our culture to be more sustainable and what should we be doing as individuals to influence our government?

Practical action
Write to your MP (or Senator) to find out his or her environmental policies. If you are in the UK, look up the Hansard website and see what is happening on Environmental debates. If you are in the US look up the web pages for your state and for congress. The governments of other countries will also have similar websites. How can we influence our political leaders to lead us in change?

Points to consider
Read the passage on Peak Oil (CTE p.69-70). How does this relate to our present rise in fuel prices and the increase in the cost of food. Can we imagine a post fossil fuel economy and what might it look like? How can we start to make the change? You might like to consider the Transition Network: www.transitionnetwork.org

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