One World Week's 2019 Theme:
Climate Changes Everything - Now is the time to act
We are building on last year's theme so, inspired by the 16 year old schoolgirl climate activist, Greta Thunberg, we shall be focussing on the urgency for action. We need to act now if we are to keep climate change within limits that allow the planet's systems to continue to support its diversity of plants and animals, including humans, and their projected populations.
It is becoming clear that our current values system and associated economic system make it difficult to achieve the rapid and profound changes necessary to safeguard the future of our children. This is why "Everything needs to change - and it needs to start today" (Greta Thunberg, TED talk. See it below: [streamed from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2QxFM9y0tY ]
We appreciate that it is shocking to realise how much needs to be done and in such a short time scale. What needs to be done has been known for over 15 years, so why has it not been talked about more? Publicised more? Legislated about more?
Some progress has been made but not enough and not fast enough to avoid the serious risks posed by global warming. The science suggests that change is accelerating despite our best (?) efforts. Our children are urging us to do better.
In OWW we want to help people acknowledge the urgency for change and offer ideas of actions they can take personally, as communities and as national and global citizens. It is vital that we do not drive people to despair but, instead, inspire people to act.
"Once we start to act hope is everywhere"
Greta Thunberg (TED Published Feb. 13, 2019)
Natasha Josette (The Independent, 21 April 2019) has commented that while Extinction Rebellion has played a vital role in drawing attention to the climate crisis, not everyone feels comfortable expressing their concerns through protests that invite police arrest; "people of colour" have been conspicuous by their absence. Many feel alienated by this kind environmental action. It is important that the movement to tackle climate change includes the views and support of the widest possible sections of society, including ethnic minorities and the poor.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions successfully societal changes in behaviour will need to involve us all.
OWW, with its experience of bringing local people of various faiths and ethnicities together, has a particular role to play through including these communities in addressing climate crisis.
OWW will be offering resources about:
- the facts of global warming
- the risks posed by different levels of global warming (including the impact on migration, health, diet, species extinction)
- testimonies from around the world showing how people and ecosystems are affected now and how they are responding
- groups you can work with
- materials for working with Muslims
- actions you can take
More details coming very soon. In the meantime, be inspired - watch Greta - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2QxFM9y0tY
Here is a report of what went on in 2018 when the theme was:
The World is Changing - How about us?
“We are the first generation to know that we’re undermining the ability of the Earth system to support human development…. This is a profound new insight and it’s potentially very, very scary … This is also an enormous privilege because it means that we are the first generation to know that we now need to navigate a transformation to a globally sustainable future.”
Rockstrom, J. The Great Acceleration.
Lecture 3 in Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities. 2014
Quoted in Raworth, K. Doughnut Economics (2017) p55
At the start of the 21st century, we now know that we cannot continue to extract resources and dump waste into the ecosystems of our planet without the very real risk of a shift away from the stable conditions of the last 12,000 years in which humans developed agriculture and civilizations flourished. Since 1950, we have been pursuing a path of economic development to fuel lifestyles which have demanded a dramatic increase in the use of Earth’s resources (population x 3; GDP x 7; energy use x 4; fresh water use x 3; fertiliser x 10).
In last few years we have become aware of changes in weather patterns: extremes and irregularities in droughts and floods, melting icecaps, polluted oceans and air; dying coral reefs and a rapid rise in species extinction all indicate that human activity is destabilising Earth’s systems.
“It is difficult to overestimate the scale and speed of change … In a single lifetime humanity has become a planetary geological force – this is a new phenomenon” (Will Steffen- 2015, a scientist who has been documenting these trends)
The surge of industrial capitalism which successfully lifted billions out of poverty, extended human lives, and connected a global community, has also fostered growing inequality leaving billions of people without their most basic needs; financial crises threaten to bankrupt businesses and whole countries. We need to change to an economic system that acknowledges that human activity depends on sustainable interactions with Earth’s systems, and has the goal, as Kate Raworth in her 2017 book, “Doughnut Economics”, puts it: to achieve human prosperity in a flourishing web of life.
And this change is beginning. The alternative goal to pursuing profits at all costs is investment in the welfare of people and the environment and choosing technologies that are kinder to the planet and its people. (Christian Felber: "Change Everything: the Economy for the Common Good")
- renewable energy offering a real and potentially planet-saving alternative to fossil fuels;
- new businesses starting up with the aim of putting the welfare of their workforce and the health of the environment before their shareholders profits;
- local currencies ensuring that local enterprises flourish;
- degraded land being transformed back into productive farmland with terraces and organic methods;
- people in run down areas of cities working together across cultural divides to build communities that meet their common needs;
- people eating less meat, growing vegetables on their roofs and underground and reducing plastic waste;
- widespread committment to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Seeds of hope across the world are growing technologies and changing mind sets to be fit for a 21st century world.
In OWW 2018 we saw local events and dialogue in social media which recognised the difficulties humanity faces, enabling people to see alternatives which could inspire them to make changes in their own lives and support joint actions to act individually and together to achieve human prosperity in a flourishing web of life.
You can find out more about the threats to our planet's life support systems, ground breaking ideas to improve the economy and facts about progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals by downloading the resource: 'Our Changing World' which has references and links to easily accessible (and some very short) videos and articles.
We welcome your ideas, suggestions of resources and examples. We can change better together! So please contact us
You can find them on the Resources page under the THEME and GUIDELINES resources library:
more detailed discussion about interpreting the theme;
other useful resources and activities you can include in events
more details below
Making your own publicity? – You can use the images, headings etc. from the leaflet. If you are using the illustration, please credit Webber Design (www.webber-design.com).
available to download and print (enter ‘2018 leaflet’ in search box) (We do have a small printed supply for distribution at events and in mailings. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you would like some. Contact us here)
A worship anthology for 2018 and added alternative materials which you can use or adapt for a service that suits your needs for “The World Is Changing - How about us?”
The short (5-7 mins) sketch, “Planet Doctor” (found in the Worship Anthology) fits the theme perfectly and is suitable for all ages, so you could use it in all kinds of events beyond worship – a cabaret at a OWW meal? a school assembly?
A ONE WORLD SONG
Produced by Portsmouth Music Hub as part of their One World Project. Perfect for our theme - check it out on youtube here:
Scatter some of our “Let’s Talk” discussion starters around your coffee morning,
about changing the world - post these up around your event venue, to get people thinking and talking about the theme.
provoke some discussion by drawing attention to changes over the 40 years OWW has been operating.
about environmental change - people love quizzes so this could provide a focus of interest as part of your event.
Whatever you choose, make sure you have pledges available, including a set about“Plastics, Waste and Recycling”, so people can commit to make some specific changes in their lives after the event.
We have a useful guide to help you choose. (Type ‘films’ in Search Box).
MATERIALS TO USE WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
OWW is part of Global Education Week – you may be interested in seeing what’s going on around Europe and making use of some of their resources. Visit GEW’s website to explore a feast of excellent resources.
find them on the resources pages