This is my first post on the B’ham FoE blog, a nice new tool. Hopefully over time it’ll be clear to readers of this blog that ‘treehuggers’ come in different shades, flavours, ages and persuasions so if you care about our shared planet (Environment or Creation?), then do consider coming along to our regular meetings and add your 2p (or 2 pounds, or a prayer …).

Personally I’m most excited about B’ham FoE’s campaign on Faith & Climate Change, including a major project on ‘Climate Change Ambassadors’. The dream is to get an Ambassador at every place of worship in Birmingham (but who says we have to stop there?) … Hindu temple, Sikh gurdwara, Jewish synagogue, Christian church, Muslim mosque, etc, etc…, we have it all in diverse Brum. I think it’s a great project for the planet (or do we call it Environment, Creation?), a great project for community cohesion (as Ambassadors from different backgrounds exchange experience), and a great new way to help people realign their daily lives with their faith values. We’re currently in the process or recruiting someone to coordinate this exciting new development within B’ham FoE (with thanks to BEP funding) and the aim is to start with 10-15 Ambassadors. They’ll get all the support possible: latest info on the state of the planet, what is possible to be done in their place of worship without wrecking planet or purse, get togethers to share what works and doesn’t to convince a congregation and hopefully along the lines also see that what we share is so much more than what divides us.

I believe everybody wishes generations after them the best on this Earth, but how often do we actually think about what that requires from us? It’s not about going ‘back to the cave age’ and doing without any comforts, but it does take more than a prayer. The science can be complicated (especially when does who want to distract us from the truth get involved!), but you can leave that aside and just do what is good and be happy (waste not, want not; or as I like to be reminded “Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for God loves not wasters.” Qur’an, 7:31). Try it this upcoming ‘national downshifting week’ starting this Saturday … just shift down 1 gear at a time, trying to become angelic overnight is the sure way to kill your intention and efforts.

You can make a difference, together we can change the world (or was it Environment, Creation?)! Or as Confucius reminds us: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”.

In peace, Rianne

PS: 3 May is local election day. Don’t forget to use that opportunity to elect those you think will support implementation of your priorities of a greener, cleaner, more sustainable Brum!