Methodists commit to carbon reduction pledge #methconf

by Richard on July 5, 2011

From the Methodist Church

The Methodist Conference agreed that failure to acknowledge the urgent need for radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions was “morally irresponsible” in a statement adopted by the Church today.

The statement has been two years in the making. In 2009 a report entitled “Hope in God’s Future” addressed the need to look at climate change within a theological context. Over the past year, British Methodists have been asked about their views on climate change in a Church-wide consultation. Now that the statement has been adopted, it will stand as the official view of the Church and be referred to by key committees, such as the Faith and Order Committee, when deciding on related areas of doctrine.

Dr Richard Vautrey, former Vice President of the Methodist Church, said: “The scientific analyses of climate change and the role of human greenhouse gas emissions are well-grounded. It is now morally irresponsible to fail to acknowledge and address the urgent need for radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent intolerable damage to human populations and mass extinctions of many plant and animal species.”

This week the Church launched a webpage on how to reduce the carbon footprint of small, medium and large churches. The guidance will help to cut the Methodist Church’s carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 in line with Government targets. A report to the Methodist Conference last year revealed that the Methodist Church in Britain has a carbon footprint of around 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum for approximately 8,000 of its buildings.

The Joint Public Issues Team for the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union is lobbying the government on its climate change policy and has called for emissions from international aviation and shipping to be taken into account in international targets. Churches are also encouraged to start up eco-congregations: an environmental programme for local churches in Britain and Ireland. Last week, Nailsea Methodist Church was officially named as an Eco-Congregation after four years of working towards a greener church.

I know, this is old news from the Conference. But this was my first chance to blog it.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }


Elizabeth 07.06.11 at 11:00 am

Yay! Yay! Yay!

It may be old news, but I hadn’t heard.

I am so pleased to hear this. I have lamented to various friends recently about how woeful the response of my own church has been to climate change and how little guidance I have been able to find on this as an issue of morality, good to see the Methodists are getting stuck in, I only wish I believed my lot would follow such a promising lead….


Kim 07.06.11 at 11:08 am

Yes — and it raises the bar, saying that climate change denial is not only scientifically implausible but also, in outcome, morally irresponsible.


Jen 07.06.11 at 5:17 pm

Adam says “I always suspected it was the Methodists behind it all…” he only reads headlines


Richard 07.06.11 at 9:02 pm



Kim 07.08.11 at 10:45 pm

Just picked this up from Byron Smith’s fine blog, “Nothing New under the Sun”:

“It is well past time for those of us still at the carnival of climate denial to exit the gates and allow the love of God to help us see and face the truth about climate change or global warming and the need to act. Once we do, we will discover that overcoming global warming presents us with tremendous opportunities to love God back and create a better world. Let me clarify things right up front: climate inaction is no longer an option for those who have the love of God in their hearts.”

– Rev Jim Ball, “Leaving the Carnival of Climate Change Denial
to Join the Next Great Cause of Freedom”


Richard 07.09.11 at 12:07 am

A great quote.


Earl 07.09.11 at 6:23 pm

Re: climate change. Calls to mind Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”


Richard 07.09.11 at 7:14 pm

Earl, I never expect to agree with you and that’s ok. But an inane comment like that is beneath you.


Bob Gilston 07.09.11 at 7:33 pm

Earl - It always amazes me (though it shouldn’t) how people belittle the efforts of others who seek to do what they believe to be right. Whether one believes the arguments for or against climate change, it must be right surely to do what we can to preserve our resources?


Earl 07.10.11 at 3:52 am

“But an inane comment like that is beneath you.” Agree. I should not have referenced Shakespeare with such a farce as climate change.

“It always amazes…” etc. Climate change is the mantra of those who would have the world fall down and worship at the high altar of mother earth led by the self-anointed priest of Chicken Little who together chant “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Some are well intentioned. They want to save the world… a little like those who once wanted to save the whales… or the snail darters… or the red cockaded wood peckers… or the whatevers. Some are simply fudging the facts to make all the money they can on the newest snail-darter boondoggle. Regardless the taxpayer is expected to foot their bills. Let them pay for their good intentions. And let property owners determine how best to preserve their own bought and paid for property. If the climate change folks don’t like that tune, let them go and put their capital on the line… let them invest their own personal funds in the process and let them surrender control of their own personal property. Because there is no such thing as “our” resources. Property is owned by individuals. And those individuals have the right to use their property without being restricted by the theoretical rantings of anyone else. Again, if these climate change devotees want to restrict other persons from the unencumbered use of their personal private property, then let them compensate the owners of that property in actually market based value payments. Otherwise, its no different than a bunch of socialist wanting to take money from other people and spend it and call the result government in the best interest of “the people.”


Richard 07.10.11 at 8:37 am

Earl, for all your bluster you appear not to be able to marshal a single scientific argument. I’ll leave it there.


Kim 07.10.11 at 9:14 am

Speaking of “mantras” …

“the taxpayer”
“porperty owners”, “personal property”, “personal private property”
“market based value paymets”

And speaking of a “high altar” — yes, the unrestricted market of global capitalism. Who do you think you’re fooling, Earl? None of us here are worshipping “mother earth”, just trying to care of her, with all the backing of science. But there is certainly a frequent flyer here spraying his own brands of ideological idolatry: Mammon, and crackpot science — that is, when he offers any science at all.


Bob Gilston 07.10.11 at 10:04 am

Once again Earl you hijack a post to air your own agenda.

The post was specifically about a decision made by the Methodist Church to reduce carbon emissions. No expense to the tax payer. Paid for by Methodists in their own churches supported no doubt by the Connexion.

Once again I say that you chose to belittle the decision even though it makes sense to do what we can to preserve resources regardless of whether one agrees with scientific evidence or not.


Earl 07.10.11 at 1:59 pm

Re: Speaking of Mantras. The disciples of climate change are of course free to squander their own money/property, etc., on their love of their earth mother. They do not have carta blanche to confiscate and spend the money of or control the property of those who consider their mother earth a unknown god. If scientist want to set policy either social, economic, political, whatever, let them step into the political arena and face the voting public. Let them convince the taxpayer that their program is legitimate and worthy of the cost. If voters and more importantly if taxpayers agree, then all is fine. But ultimately is is a decision to be made by voters in general and by taxpayers in particular. And regardless of their fevered rhetoric, they will have to persuade the voting and taxpaying pubic of the merits of their position. As to “market based value payments,” like it or not you have to pay for what you want or you have to get someone else to pay for it for you. In this case, liberals have so long grown accustomed to taxpayers paying for their failed socialist experiments that they are now shocked when they are told that the public tap has gone dry and that taxpayers refuse to pay for their long expected other people to pay the bill for a social liberal environmentalist Shangri-La.


Richard 07.10.11 at 10:14 pm

Once again, you completely ignore the science. You keep saying the same thing over and over again. There’s no need. We’ve heard you.


Earl 07.11.11 at 5:25 am

“Once again…” etc. Scientist can publish all the facts they want to publish. They can talk all they want to talk. Most folks will politely listen and say “Fine. Fine.” But when the talk turns to actual spending, that’s where the rub comes. Few if any taxpayers are willing to pay any more taxes for federal and state boondoggles.They’ve had enough. At all levels govt. budgets are stagnate or shrinking. There is no ready reserve of public money to fund environmentalist experiments in manipulating climate, etc. But, they can always turn to the private capital market. Let them attract support from those who are willing to risk venture capital on their proposals. That is about the best way for them to advance their efforts with the funding coming from those who they can convince to support them rather than sticking their hand in the taxpayers pocket.


Richard 07.11.11 at 7:16 am

You’re turning into a self-parody now.


Earl 07.11.11 at 3:57 pm

“You’re turning…” etc. It appears that you have nothing to say to the issue of cost. Unlike a early post-WWII generation, this generation will not have the luxury of financing pie in the sky social programs by mortgaging the futures of their children and grandchildren. A generation has arose that never knew Roosevelt and LBJ. They look at the new deal and great society and understand they now have the raw deal of having to pay for the failed society that was produced. If climate change is such an urgent issue that the greatest generation 2.0 must now engage it, address the cost. Explain just exactly why a taxpayer in the United States should pay anything for it? If some other nation(s) want to spend their money on such things… that is a matter for their taxpayers to decide. But there is no reason for the U.S. taxpayer to be expected to foot the bill so that other people can tilt at windmills.


Richard 07.11.11 at 4:07 pm

Yes, there are costs attached to addressing climate change. There are (arguably) bigger costs attached to not addressing climate change. Simple as that, really.

And why should the US taxpayer pay anything for it? Because, frankly, it is US taxpayers who have contributed most to the problem.

This is not a matter of tilting at windmills. The science is strong, and getting stronger. Those resisting it are sounding more and more like the tobacco-industry denialists of yesteryear.


Kim 07.11.11 at 4:46 pm

What with the hole Earl keeps digging, he himself is becoming a threat to the earth’s crust, if not its climate.


Earl 07.11.11 at 6:22 pm

As to the financing of a old european climate change boondoggle, this is not the 1950’s. There will be no Marshall Plan. But perhaps china will listen. True they are busy buying farmland in Africa. And they are busy building two coal fired electrical generating plants each week as well as nuclear plants. But they might listen.

As to “threat…” etc. If climate is a critical issue then don’t just recite the litany of those who are true believers. Show us the money. Show how your devotion is to be financed. Is this to be a state sponsored religion or is it to stand on its own? Anyone is free to believe whatever they want to believe about the climate. They are not free to expect that taxpayers will submissively fund the political agenda of their belief. Just exactly who is expected to pay the cost of the post-modern religion of climate change?


Andrew 12.14.11 at 6:54 pm

Richard as far as the Science is concerned we will leave to the individual to research the thousands of scientists who disagree with climate change but get no media attention as climate change is a political agenda. Read Agenda 21 which is the agenda behind climate change and mixing the pagan new age earth worship into this the false science of climate change which you have sold out to. Its pure idolatry, of the world and an abomination to the Lord.
The world loves its own Richard and when the Church compromises with the world and its agenda politics we know its no longer of God but of the world. You cannot love the world and love God, neither love the world or the things that are in the world. “Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called”


Richard 12.14.11 at 7:38 pm

“…the thousands of scientists who disagree with climate change”


I’m sorry. I can’t bring myself to argue. Life is simply too short.


Andrew 12.28.11 at 8:02 pm

“1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called”
Have you done any research at all on the opposing view of climate change? 30,000 scientists have signed a petition not buying into the climate change fraud. Have you any idea how many frauds have been commited by the IPPC , see As a Christian it would be impossible for me to listen to these secular lies and decepetions in any of your sermons and i would have to call out you about promoting them. How can you deny that you have not sold out your church and flock to the new age religion of climate change along with its wicked long term marxist agenda. The world is getting colder not warmer which is a demonstratable truth

If you take the Church (or your flock) into the corrupt world of secular politics and worldly agendas it helps if you speak the truth and not parrot satans lies and deceptions in light of the exposed frauds such as climategate and the politcal corruption and hidden pagan agendas behind the climate change scam.
And yes we have clear proof here that many Methodist chuches are going pagan alonng with goddess and earth worship heresy. see

Our lord and the Apostles warned us about the terrible decepetions and the falling away of the Church and the false prophets, i pray you have the courage to not compromise with the fallen and corrupt secular and pagan world that our lord called us out of.


Richard 12.29.11 at 8:16 am

Oh dear. Andrew, I assume that you’re referring to the so-called ‘Oregon petition’? Look into it a bit deeper - you’ve been deceived.


Byron Smith 02.06.12 at 4:11 pm

Hey, I read that 2009 report (“Hope in God’s future: Christian discipleship in the context of climate change”) and I reckon it’s excellent and worth a read. Unfortunately, the kind of thing that can all too easy sit on a (virtual) shelf gathering dust, but there is quality work there.


Richard 02.07.12 at 10:18 am

You’re right, Byron. And unfortunately, in these recessionary times it is very easy for concern about climate change to be set aside as an expensive luxury.

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