Thursday, 28 April 2011

Interview with Charles Agboklu of the Evangelical Presbytrerian Church of Ghana climate change programme

Carol Finlay of the Church of Scotland World Mission Council recently interviewed Charles Agboklu about the work the EP church is doing to combat climate change. You can listen to the 30 minute interview below:

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Church of Scotland to debate Climate Change

The Church of Scotland General Assembly will be holding a debate on climate change during its meeting in May. Adrian Shaw, the church's Climate Change officer, has prepared this report for commissioners to debate. The report contains policy recommendations called deliverances which the assembly may accept or ammend.

Click here to read the report.

 If you have any comments please contact Adrian Shaw at the Climate Change Project.

To Hell and Back… on a Number 12 Bus

I was recently invited to a meeting in an office at the Gyle, the enormous office and shopping development to the west of Edinburgh. Being the proud user of a Lothian Buses Ridacard it seemed sensible to take the bus and knowing that the bus to the airport took about 30 minutes thought than about 20 minutes should do it. Bad mistake. The worrying omens started upon arrival at the bus stop on Princes Street to find that the usually excellent bus time indicators had all gone down. Eventually a No. 12 appeared, destination The Gyle, so I jumped on and off we set, on a leisurely tour of Edinburgh’s western suburbs, which eventually morph into the landscape of The Gyle. When seen from the train to Glasgow it is gone in a fleeting glance, but seen from ground level the amorphous and anonymous mass of roads, roundabouts, parking lots and corporate offices is a vast and bleak prospect. Make no mistake, this is the land of the car and of business; it is not a place to walk, or live or enjoy.

The bus eventually arrived at the shopping centre, a typical out of town development linking a large department store at one end to a supermarket at the other. From here I could see my destination but there was no direct way to reach it on foot, because of fast moving traffic on a wide dual carriage way in between. The map my hosts had kindly provided indicated a round about route through an underpass to another set of traffic lights and then a road that together described two sides of a triangle between where I was and where I needed to be. Following this prescribed route I found myself in a large car park. The destination was straight ahead but there was a beech hedge between the two and no visible way through. There was however a hole in the hedge revealing a wire fence with muddy footprints either side of it, which other desperate souls had clearly used as a means of passage. Slightly muddy, tatty and grumpy I arrived at the office a full hour after leaving George Street in the town centre.

The Gyle does not seem to be built for human beings; it is about making money. Office space is cheaper than in the middle of town and this is presumably why businesses choose to move there; this and ease of access by car. It is a landscape designed around the car, where people have to fit in and is consequently both inhuman in scale and design. Do we have to continue with developments like this? If we are serious about responding to climate change, or about reducing our dependence on the car or about protecting green space from tarmac and concrete then surely not: there have to be better alternatives.

Adrian Shaw