Sunday, 22 September 2019

We must do what the scientists say

LAST week Henley Quakers had the pleasure of opening our garden and burial ground to the public. 

We were delighted to welcome so many people into our peaceful plot behind the Meeting House, a haven for humans and nature.

It has always interested me that there are more than 350,000 recorded species of beetles in the world and more than 4,000 species have been identified in the United Kingdom. That’s a lot of beetles! 

When you think of it, each single beetle has a purpose for being, just as every single one of the 1.3 million living species on Earth has a purpose. 

From lichen to elephants, ladybirds to humans, our common purpose is to survive and continue the species.

Last month Young Quakers welcomed Greta Thunberg to Friends House (our Quaker headquarters in London).  She was there along with Anna Taylor, of the UK Student Climate Network, to speak to young activists through a Guardian Live event. 

When Greta is asked about missing her schooling on her school strike days. her answer is: “Why should we study for a future when we have our future taken away from us? 

“Why should we go to school to learn facts when facts don’t matter in this society?”  Listen to the scientists is what Greta tells us to do.

As David Attenborough said recently: “What happens now and in the next few years will profoundly affect the next few thousand years.”

People say you can only do what is politically possible but, as Caroline Lucas, our only Green MP, says: “We have to change what is politically possible to what is scientifically necessary.”

In 1994 Audrey Urry wrote this of Friends: “All species and the Earth itself have interdependent roles within Creation.  Humankind is not the species to whom all others are subservient, but one among many.  All parts, all issues, are inextricably intertwined. 

“Indeed, the web of creation could be described as of three-ply thread: wherever we touch it we affect justice and peace and the health of all everywhere. 

“So all our testimonies, all our Quaker work, all our Quaker lives are part of one process, of striving towards a flourishing, just and peaceful Creation — the Kingdom of God.”

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