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Thought for the weekend

 

By Canon Walter Lewis

This weekend, I wish to speak to you about two crucially important issues of our day - waste management/recycling and global warming.

Recently, I had a meeting with some people whose main task is to ensure we live in an environment which is healthy, positive and good for human habitation and development. They talked about 'sustainability', an important concept in maintaining the human population, health and environment.

Waste collection is for the protection of the environment and the health of the population. Proper waste disposal ensures that as much as possible is recycled, protecting the environment and saving resources. As little as possible should be sent to landfill, which is very damaging to the environment.

It used to be said councils had responsibility for emptying the bins and burying the dead. Today, councils' responsibilities stretch into community health, waste management and recycling on a massive scale. Most homes now have three bins - black for waste, blue for paper, plastic, glass, etc and brown for food and garden cuttings.

Councils are to the fore in pioneering recycling in collaboration with schools, churches, voluntary organisations and businesses. Besides bin collections, we are all encouraged to use our local recycling centres.

Just two months ago, in Katowice, Poland, the United Nations Conference on Global Warming took place. The main message that emerged was that time is running out to take action on global warming.

The key finding of the conference was that a firm target to slow down global warming must be set and adhered to by member nations. That target is 1.5°C warming by 2030. They agreed this will require "deep emissions reductions" of harmful gases, and rapid far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. Failure to achieve that limit will not meet the essential target to reverse the current danger.

Delivering the main conference statement, naturalist Sir David Attenborough warned: "Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years, is climate change. If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.

"Time is running out. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations, and the natural world on which we depend, is in your hands. Urgent action to halt climate change is necessary."

Belfast Telegraph

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