Empathy Action volunteer, Paul Williams, has been on the Church of England’s Pilgramage2Paris. Here he shares some reflections he has had whilst on the walk.
The moon is rising over the splendid Eglise St Gervais-St. Protais in Gisor, as I await the arrival of fellow pilgrims. After 135 miles through rain, storms and mud on the pilgrimage2paris a strained muscle has forced me to take refuge in our support vehicle. A real blow 11 days into the pilgrimage and only 4 days from Paris. It’s a humbling reminder that we are not the masters of our destiny. I am privileged to be able to take part in the pilgrimage, to have a support vehicle as back up, and my comfortable Western European lifestyle to return to. Hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing across Europe as winter approaches have no such support if they fall by the way.
The Impact of our Culture
I am going to Paris to witness to those making decisions in the intergovernmental talks on climate change that it is God’s creation and we are ultimately accountable to Him for the way we care for it. Economic growth in the developed world since the industrial revolution has accelerated climate change, which impacts most on those who have done least to cause it and are least able to adapt to it.
In my lifetime (I was born in 1948), real disposable household income per head, that’s total income from wages, salaries and benefits after the deduction of taxes, has more than quadrupled. While this has brought undoubted benefits in the UK it is unsustainable. Ecological footprinting shows that if everyone in the world consumed as many natural resources as the average person in Western Europe, we’d need three planets to sustain us.
The exodus from Syria and unstable African regimes may be temporary situations but, unless measures are taken to abate climate change, the future will bring even more catastrophic problems.
Follow the link to find out more about the Pilgrimage2Paris.