A threat to our planet

Last Monday I watched a program on BBC1: “Meat: a threat to our planet?” It interested me because my millennial grandchildren are somewhat critical of my positive approach to meat. Indeed, at table I am often the only person eating it.
So I thought this program would give me a broader picture. I might even demonstrate my, temporary, breadth of knowledge. And I would impress the young.

Liz Bonnin, who leads the program, presented herself as someone who had a general belief in the dangers of climate warming, but who wanted to nail down the facts.
She started in Texas – where she found the huge industry required to satisfy the American determination to eat meat: it was gross and almost deliberately wasteful. The outcome was a huge contribution to climate change. The work being currently done to provide non-meat food but which tastes like meat would not have impressed them. The global livestock industry around the world is the source responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the running of all the world’s transport combined. It’s polluting air, land, and water.

Of course although we may argue about the details and the consequences of different factors which lead towards climate change (think of 50,000 Texan cows belching out methane or huge quantities of polluting manure from pig farms), and then add to that the great number of factors which contribute to the threat to many aspects of our lives.

But then, just as I pause writing this post and glance at the Daily Telegraph (28 November), I notice a story headed “Meat free world would devastate the environment, say scientists” Among other points, it refers to the needs of children who apparently require the benefits of meat for their cognitive and physical development. So nothing, of course, is simple.

In fact, I have reduced my meat eating in recent months – but it is still part of my diet. I can of course sit pretty – after all I will have snuffed it long before the worst has arrived. But last week I had a visit from a three years old great granddaughter. Apart from the fact that her beauty makes my eyes water, she showed a surprising temperament: she thought, she decided, and then she went into action. She is the future – but what sort of future will we leave her?

About Quentin

Science Editor, Catholic Herald. Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
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76 Responses to A threat to our planet

  1. Iona says:

    “… it refers to the needs of children who apparently require the benefits of meat for their cognitive and physical development”
    I find this hard to believe, as I have two grand-daughters (aged eight and five) who have never tasted meat in their lives – nor fish – and who appear to be developing, both physically and cognitively, with no problems whatsoever.
    They do eat eggs, cheese, milk and such-like dairy foods. Perhaps the DT article you refer to meant animal products rather than meat as such? Vegan rather than vegetarian children?

  2. Alasdair says:

    Poor Texans. They take the wrap unfairly for so many things. I didn’t see the Liz Bonnin programme but I’m guessing that Liz didn’t mention that the Irish (her compatriots) are the biggest red meat eaters on the planet.

    • milliganp says:

      To defend my compatriots, the old saying about lies, damn lies and statistics holds true. Because Ireland processes meat before exporting the meat figures get distorted – much like it’s GDP 40% of which is actually laundering US profits.
      However, almost all of Ireland meat production relies on grazing grass which is much more ecologically sound than razing Amazonian forests.

      • Alasdair says:

        That lets the good ol’ boys off the hook as most Texan beef is raised on what was always grassland.
        I’m not convinced though that the Irish grassland was not once upon a time mixed woodland which had to be cleared.

      • milliganp says:

        Alasdair, don’t start on Irish woodland, as a child I was taught that it was the British who cleared Ireland’s woodlands.
        However, there is a major qualitative difference with what appears to be happening in the Amazon as grassland is not the end products of clearance but desert.
        I don’t think we have the right to deny economic prosperity to developing countries but perhaps, if we believe the future of our entire world is at stake, we should be providing appropriate aid to reduce the damage being caused.

  3. David Smith says:

    We live in an age when we’re never free from the insistent and compelling voices of propagandizing. George Orwell would recognize it. His was the ever-present face and voice of Big Brother, on a device you could never turn off. Ours is likewise the ever-present face and voice of Big Brother, on screens and speakers almost everywhere, which can never be darkened and stilled. One advantage we have over Orwell is that, so long as we have a well soundproofed place of our own, we can be mercifully free of our Big Brother for a little while. Oddly, though, it seems that very few of us *want* to be free of him. We watch and listen to him hour after hour, willingly, by choice, happily. And, of course, after all those long hours of propagandizing, we become convinced that Big Brother is right. A is black and bad, and B is white and good. Do B and hate A. Absolutely. Intensely.

    Thus, the young, newly fledged and freed from parental constraint, with hormones raging, itching unbearably for causes to champion, and avid addicts of Big Brother, believe that A is very, very bad and that B is very, very good. If your grandfather eats meat, Big Brother tells them, that is very, very bad. Frown at him, shame him, and send him off to watch the Big Brother Corporation, which will set him right in a little under an hour. Did you do that? Good!

  4. FZM says:

    It interested me because my millennial grandchildren are somewhat critical of my positive approach to meat. Indeed, at table I am often the only person eating it.

    Having a range of quality meats available at reasonable prices may contribute to social stability, the situation where people working full time can’t afford much choice in their food is something that hasn’t been known in Western countries for some time. There is a suspicion that some environmental activism will result in tangible declines in the standard of living for many people on middle to lower incomes. I remember one working class British commentator putting it in a spicy way when envisaging his future as living in a pod in Mega City One having to eat mainly maggot and locust protein.

    Some way may have to found around this.

  5. galerimo says:

    Having read your non-committal comments, I am right now feeling a sense of foreboding as the aroma of summer BBQs wafts across this warm Aussie evening.

    Are we to be condemned, in the name of preservation, to the abandonment of one of our sacred settler traditions? What? No meat on the barbie?

    Strewth! You have us all bloody scared mate!

    And a shiver up the spine for any Irish carnivore, reared on the tradition of meat and two veg that the ghost of VR lurks, in the dark carbon shadows of polluting emissions waiting to re-emerge as “The Famine Queen”.

    Nevertheless it is cheering to read with delight about the healthy glow of grandchildren who grow strong and clever without a morsel of meat crossing their lips.

    It all sounds to me too easy a way to let the great corporate polluters of the hook.

    Of course everyone has the right to decide which diet they choose to follow; making it out to be a means of seriously reducing emissions while we cling to our fossil fuelled economies in the name of vested interests sticks in the throat, just a bit.

    I have a hunch that mother earth herself will, in her 4.54 billion year old wisdom, provide the solution and it well might well mean eliminating both the polluters as well as the pollution.
    Well. It is something I am chewing on.

    And one final morsel – it may even happen quicker than our experts think.

  6. milliganp says:

    There is a general problem of the proliferation of single issue pressure groups. When I saw the trailer for the program, which featured deforestation in the Amazon, I checked how much meat the EU imports from South America and it’s so low as to be irrelevant; so I could literally say ‘not my problem’ – as is Chinese and Indian carbon consumption. I remember once being told (wisely) not to worry about problems over which I have no control.
    This is not complacency or arrogance, it is reality. To use an Irish expression, we need to cop on. The media want to keep us in a constant state of anxiety, we must not let them control us.

    • David Smith says:

      milliganp writes:

      // I remember once being told (wisely) not to worry about problems over which I have no control. //

      Amen.

      • galerimo says:

        Problem I have when I advocate that position people accuse of “charity ends at home”.

      • David Smith says:

        galerimo writes:

        // Problem I have when I advocate that position people accuse of “charity ends at home” //

        “The Earth” is a cold and empty abstraction. No flesh-and-blood people live there.

      • milliganp says:

        Galerimo, I trust you do not share that glib sentiment. If I hear of a disaster somewhere in the world, I can choose to make a donation to a disaster relief charity; as a Christian I might also be obliged to do something because I can. However there is no similar opportunity to be obliged to insist American’s eat fewer hamburgers or smaller steaks or that South American cattle farmers practice better husbandry of their lands. Most of the indignation in western single-issue politics is of the self-righteous variety.
        Perhaps I should start the “end all self-righteousness” single-issue pressure group!

    • Alasdair says:

      A key feature of the term Global Warming is the Global bit. So unless you don’t live on the globe, surely it is your problem.

  7. Nektarios says:

    In all this environment hot air(straight out of hell) that this planet is warming up and will end in less than 12 years unless we drastically reduce emissions that are harming us and the planet, effectively shutting down the West. Such environmentalists are pawns in a game of fraudulent propaganda, science built on computer projections and the term now is, ‘settled science consensus’ by the IPCC who are themselves pawns in a political game to rid the people of billions of people by the Globalist and elites and the Chi-Comms (Chinese Communists).

    the IPCC is a fraudulent political group whose job it is is to control the public on the narrative of climate change. The ever-changing data and means the IPCC employ demonstrates the weakness of their arguments and so-called scientific settled consensus – science does not work like that, it is never settled, never a consensus. When we see or hear terms like these banded about on the media, our government should ignore them and so should we.

    God who created this world and everything in it tells me folks, “as oft as ye crave meat, eat it.”
    God is the sole and best real authority there is on the subject, so on Sunday I will ( not as a protest)
    but will be God-willing enjoying a meat dinner.

    • Alasdair says:

      I’ve never heard anyone claim that the planet will end in 12 years in the manner that Nektarios states. However various timescales are being claimed as deadlines for decisive action. Perhaps that’s why he’s confused.
      There is also no question of reduction of emissions shutting down the West, or indeed any other point of the compass. Quite the contrary. This week there was an announcement of further major investments in renewable energy in Scotland. The “Green Industrial Revolution” is well under way, bringing jobs and wealth. This is now a major pillar of the economy, and increasing.
      My son is a manager in a major Netherlands company which is plugging and abandoning oil wells, dismantling platforms, and building and commissioning zero carbon installations offshore, including the wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast that Donald Trump tried to stop. And bringing jobs, jobs, jobs.
      Change is inevitable, and has to be embraced by intelligent leaders. All change has winners and losers. The losers are the deniers and the naysayers, and those caught like rabbits in the headlights.
      I have to admit that I first heard the meat-eating/climate change issue only relatively recently – perhaps only 6 or 8 years ago. The case being made is compelling and may indeed alter my behaviour.

      • galerimo says:

        Good to read these encouraging facts.

        They come like the vision of Isaiah, son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem this first Sunday of advent.

        A much needed candle in this cursed darkness when, regarding our reduction targets, we appear to be going backward.

        – with our carbon dioxide emissions plus our methane and nitrous oxide having all together exceeded what was emitted in 2018! (World Meteorological Organisation Report).

        – and the UN reporting at the same time how our world’s population is set to increase by ten percent to 8.5 billion in a decade, reaching 9.7 billion by 2050.

        So there will be another 2 billion people to feed clothe, house and employ AFTER we have passed a temperature rise, conservatively estimated at 1.5C – and rising. (UN 2019 Population Report).

        That too is the inevitability of change – unless of course, the Prophet is right.

    • Alasdair says:

      Nektarios,
      You said that the ever changing data and means employed by the IPCC demonstrates the weakness of their arguments. This is hardly a valid criticism of the IPCC if you then state immediately afterwards that science (ie science in general) is never settled or a consensus. As they are scientists, surely we would therefore expect and wish that their data be revised and that their methods would be refined.
      That said, the basic message from the IPCC remains unchanged because the issue they address remains grave and pressing.

  8. milliganp says:

    I have a number of vegetarian friends who seem to be happy for their cats and dogs to eat meat based, I believe, on a false narrative that, for humans, being vegetarian is ‘natural’. Surely the breeding of cats and dogs merely to meet the social needs of humans is entirely unnecessary.

    • Nektarios says:

      milliganp

      Try telling that to Eskimos living in the frozen North, Those living in colder parts of the world, they, like our Eskimo friends need meat. In warmer climes, they have much more fruit and vegetables than we have and need less protein to generate heat. We also have the problem, if there really is one, of the carbon footprint of shipping bringing to our shores such products and produce to satisfy the dietary needs and demands of the Vegans and vegetarians among us.

      • Alasdair says:

        The meat traditionally eaten by eskimos is locally sourced and does not require grazing land. It doesn’t even produce methane as it does not eat grass, leaves or cereal. Therefore we might excuse eskimos, unless of course they’re supplementing their protein with BigMacs.

      • Alasdair says:

        Two of my friends who are vegan have both suffered from cold injuries in severe conditions. One suffered from hypothermia during a kayaking trip and the other frost bitten feet which required surgery after a mountaineering trip in Central Asia. None of the other members of either trip were so badly affected but I can’t say whether these were vegetarians or not.

      • FZM says:

        Nektarios is right that there is a stronger demand for fatty meat like pork in colder climates, a purely vegetarian diet is not as attractive when it is -20, at least in my experience. The government here also recommends eating fish regularly to combat iodine deficiency and the effects of radiation.

        I heard someone on the BBC radio at the weekend saying that people in the UK will have to reduce their consumption of resources to a fifth of what it is presently to meet the required reductions in carbon emissions. This will be closer to the average Belarusian or Moldovan standard and way of living, it seems impossible to imagine any political party being able to win support to push through something like this at the moment.

  9. Martha says:

    A lot of the meat eaten in this country has travelled across the world too Nektarios, and in addition to harming the environment involves animal welfare issues, as does the quantities eaten. I think both could be alleviated if more people ate less meat. I think eating meat is fine as long as the animal or fowl concerned has had a reasonable life and has been slaughtered humanely, but this can be difficult to find and more expensive.

    • Nektarios says:

      Martha
      Yes, we are well aware of the issues and transportation of meat. The UK would not buy meat from countries that did not meet our standards for animal welfare and slaughter of animals.

      A story about a poor vegetable grower in a poor country. He is carrying the rich buyer for his produce and low prices on his back. The rich buyer says to him, ‘we like your produce and will always buy from you.’
      The poor man rains poor. He replies, “Good to know you like and will buy my produce, but the one thing you won’t do is get off my back.”

      • Martha says:

        I am not sure that I share your confidence in the standards of UK animal management. Battery hens for instance have terrible lives and slaughter houses are not always run as they should be, and the conditions suffered by sheep we export by sea are appalling.

    • galerimo says:

      I want to reply to your later comment of 9pm but dont seem to be able to locate my reply below it.

      Quentin has probably all sorts of editorial privileges that give him priority of place there!

      So just an endorsement for your concern about the humane slaughter of animals

      I continue to whole hearted condemn the export of live animals – sheep and cattle – from
      here to the middle east – as do many others – but all to no avail.

      It is the most outrageous crime to have these animals on board ship for 6 weeks at least
      to arrive in some unregulated slaughter house somewhere in the middle East – the heat alone on such a voyage for animals intended for open spaces is downright criminal.

      My opponents tell me to stop eating meat – but I know the animals that are slaughtered here are at least in a more closely regulated environment.

      But I take heed of your caution around such confidence.

      • galerimo says:

        Oh look – it worked. Apologies Quentin.

      • Quentin says:

        My best guess is that the automatic spam filter did it. A huge volume of spam comes through – any serious religious site is a target for that. You might have written something completely innocent but it fooled the filter. The Blog has received 27,483 comments (at my last check) so the occasional misfilter is inevitable.

  10. Quentin says:

    I don’t think we have mentioned the contribution to global warming of the Catholic Church through its requirement that we must abstain from meat on Fridays, There is no upper age limit. And a general failure to do so is mortally sinful. So a rasher of bacon at Friday breafast is not just a rap on the fingers but Hell for all eternity. Probably hotter than global warming. Watch it, everybody.
    (Pope Paul VI, Paenitemini (1966), III.II.1)
    My father was subtle about this. At the end of WWII we were frequently sent hams from the US. He argued that if you ate ham at breakfast by mistake you could continue to eat meat for the rest of the day since you could no longer abstain — as the rule requires.

  11. Iona says:

    Abstaining from meat on Fridays is not universally required, is it? – I thought it depended on the bishops in each individual country. It was reintroduced in the UK only at the plaintive request of many UK Catholics, who missed the camaraderie of “we all eat fish on Fridays”, and didn’t feel it was adequately substituted for by “giving up something” – television? Sweets? Wearing make-up? – of each individual’s choice.

    • Martha says:

      One of our sons lives in Switzerland and was quite surprised some years ago to find that we were required to abstain from meat on Fridays now in the U.K., not required over there. And we don’t “all eat fish on Fridsys” do we?

    • milliganp says:

      I’m far more cynical. In my opinion the reintroduction was a minimal empty gesture by our bishops. There aren’t enough practicing Catholics left in this country to feel any sort of solidarity.

  12. Nektarios says:

    If one wants to abstain from eating meats or fasting for a reason,, let no one know it from looking at you, but we seem to have lost the spiritual aspect largely of all that and have become mere conformists on the dictates of a Bishop or the present dictates and fads of society. It has become all rather silly really.

    I would like to mention for those city-dwellers who know little about farming, a very important point
    regarding what they the farmers or producers will grow or not grow on their land. It all depends on the soil and location etc. Some land is good grassland and good for feeding and rearing of cattle. Uplands are not so good for cattle but good for the rearing of sheep. Another land is not so fertile and it is where goats can feed and grow.
    Another land is good for the growing of crops, vegetables, fruit etc. Another land is good for the growing of grapes and the making of wine. You get the point.

    We have mentioned this on a previous topic some time ago regarding Vegans. The carbon footprint necessary for Vegans to have the production of B12 would be to build more and bigger and bigger factories producing B12 essential for their well-being and general health would be huge.
    I am so sorry to tease the virtue signalling Vegans but the best source for B12 is found naturally in pork.

    • Alasdair says:

      I agree with all that, and I share with you the annoyance of uniformed opinions coming from city and suburban dwellers who, at best, watch Countryfile, and visit the countryside at weekends, then pronounce on rural issues.
      But there’s one further point. Lowland grassland, the grassland on which cattle are reared, does not occur naturally on most of Great Britain or Ireland. It has been created by land clearance and deforestation, removing in the process, native mixed woodland habitat of many species which are now locally extinct. And removing the “carbon sink”. This process has occurred over centuries and has created what many regard as our green and pleasant land. But it’s not natural, and would be unrecognisable to a time traveller from centuries ago.
      We have an excuse perhaps. It was a long time ago and nobody knew any better at the time.
      These days we do know better so there’s no excuse for this process to be continuing on a scale which is orders-of-magnitude bigger.

      • milliganp says:

        Alasdair, can I express minor disagreement at your proposition that acts of man are not natural – are we not part of nature? When a beaver builds a dam, it alters nature for other creatures. What man has done is to mechanise our capacity for destruction.
        The reason the human population is growing is largely down to the fact that we have defeated so many infectious diseases, ended the deaths of women in childbirth and haven’t slaughtered the flower of our youth in war for several generations. I would seem this has been a disaster for our planet.

      • Alasdair says:

        Answering milligamp December 2.
        Thanks. The few humans who live sustainably in their environment, in a traditional manner, like Amazon indians could be described as part of nature but I don’t think post hunter-gatherers can.
        Geologists are starting to label the current epoch as the Anthropocene in recognition that human activity is the dominant force, natural or otherwise, on the planet. Biologists are speaking about the 6th global mass extinction, the 5th having been the end of the cretaceous period. It’s simply not good enough to to talk about preserving our western lifestyle unaltered at all costs as being of prime importance (as some have) especially since economically viable alternatives are already in operation, or to label groups who are trying to wake us from our sleepwalk as single issue cranks (as some have).
        Humans might survive such an extinction event in small numbers but in a greatly impoverished world.

    • ignatius says:

      LETS JUST HAVE A FACT CHECK HERE:
      Searching for foods high in Vit B12 we find: Animal liver/kidney-especially lamb to be a good source but not much better than the other foods high in Vit B12 e.g Eggs, Milk,Salmon and trout, beef and sardines. I can find NO emphasis on pork itself anywhere but pork liver is also high. .

      • Nektarios says:

        Ignatius

        I was tongue in cheek to our Vegan friends, but one of the higher concentrates of B12
        actually is in pork. As Vegans don’t eat meat or fish or dairy products I was saying in effect their life choice was not sustainable not without factories with its carbon footprint producing
        their B12.
        I am of course aware of certain meats and fish are foods that have B12.

        I think this climate change issue is more political than scientific with the IPCC controlling the narratives with so-called science that does not stand to scrutiny no more than their computer projections stand up, in fact, the IPCC has been caught out many times with wrong projections and time scales. And of course, science is never, never, never a consensus.
        Of course, climate changes and of course there are floods, drought and so on, but this was true in Biblical times long before the industrial revolution. So climate change as the IPCC would have it is a Globalist idea to shut the west down from its production, paying for the privilege and turn us into slaves. But the IPCC and the Globalists are losing the narrative, but the cost to the West which would practically bankrupt everyone.

      • Alasdair says:

        Apparently “Vitamin B12 is created by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, however, synthetic forms are widely available and added to many foods like cereals”. So that would explain why B vitamins, including B12 are always added to Marmite and its competitors which are promoted as suitable for vegetarians.
        Maybe it was obvious, but I didn’t think of it before.

      • Alan says:

        Nektarios – “science is never, never, never a consensus.”

        Medicine is never a consensus either. I will still value the second (or the 99th) opinion of the doctors on what the science of the subject was over the non-professionals who think that they know better or imagine that almost all doctors are in some collective conspiracy to dishonestly misrepresent their profession so as to secure funding for their work. Especially since others would happily pay them to challenge the consensus.

  13. Geordie says:

    Quentin,
    Do you honestly believe that we’ll go to hell for all eternity if we eat meat on a Friday? I thought we had do penance on a Friday and “not eating meat” isn’t a penance for most people. When meat eating was allowed years ago, we were told we still had to do some penance on Fridays; but this was largely ignored. I think this is another example of the poor leadership of our bishops.

    • Quentin says:

      The general teaching of the Church on the requirements of penance constitutes “grave matter ” ergo it is potential matter for mortal sin. Fortunately it is not the Church but Christ who decides — and he seems rather keen on getting us into Heaven.

    • milliganp says:

      There are at least two major areas where the Catholic church has failed to address long held beliefs that do not stand any modern rational analysis. The first in mono-genesis, the idea that we all descend from a single distinctive pair of human beings – this is essential for the doctrine of Original Sin. The second is the doctrine of mortal sin which states that by this sin we are removed entirely from the possibility of salvation without sacramental confession. The latter is supplemented by a list of ‘automatic’ Mortal Sins, failure to attend Mass on Sunday, any sexual activity outside marriage, sending your children to a non-catholic school, failing to put money in the collection on Sunday, and of course – eating meat on Friday.
      Some Catholic theologians have tried to come closer to the idea of justification by faith but this has, I suspect, been resisted because of the Protestant doctirne of the same name.

  14. Nektarios says:

    Geordie

    What you wrote to Quentin, is simply control freakery and fear tactics on the part of the Roman Catholic Church, none of which they can back up with Holy Scriptures. Penance, of course, involves the priests just another tier of control freakery. I know this is upsetting to some of our Catholic friends, nevertheless, it is true.

    What started out well in the Roman Church, after about 250-300 years the Apostolic doctrine, teaching and practice, especially the practice was subtly altered. Instead of Christ ruling over us, one lands up with a very much less, often blunt and often cruel approach by Church leaders, who have forgotten what it means to serve in the household of God, choosing to rule over you with little thought of God’s paths and ways in the whole plan of God’s salvation and care even less.
    It is tragic really locking people up to all their invented nonsense.

    • David Smith says:

      Nektarios writes:

      // Penance, of course, involves the priests just another tier of control freakery. //

      I’m sympathetic to that point of view, Nektarios. And yet, I think that we run the risk of rejecting out of hand practices and ways of thinking and feeling that are outside our ken and foreign to our sympathies. There’s an enormous amount of church history to be studied, ingested, and pondered. Nothing exists in itself, certainly not dogma and practice.

      I do not find the Roman Catholic sacrament of penance to have been badly decided on and implemented. In fact, I think, one of the numerous unfortunate outcomes of Vatican II has been the dramatic falling off of the frequent use of confession. We humans are terribly imperfect creatures, and yet we are also terribly proud creatures. We badly need to be reminded, often, how small we are and how frequently we fail to be what we could be and, hopefully, what we want to be. Frequent confession is, I think, an excellent way of providing those reminders.

      • Nektarios says:

        David Smith
        You wrote: “I think that we run the risk of rejecting out of hand practices and ways of thinking and feeling that are outside our ken and foreign to our sympathies. There’s an enormous amount of church history to be studied, ingested, and pondered. Nothing exists in itself, certainly not dogma and practice.”

        That is precisely what the clergy and the Church want you to think. There is indeed a long history of the Church, but if one is spiritually alive in Christ, then what you say, “I think that we run the risk of rejecting out of hand practices and ways of thinking and feeling that are outside our ken and foreign to our sympathies.”
        What the Holy Spirit did at Pentecost, Acts 2 what the Early Church did was of the Holy Spirit read it for yourself.
        Compare that with the reality of history and Christian Church history, it does not take very long to see the many departures from the Apostolic doctrine, teaching and practice once delivered and the later changes to that that were made.

        Consider, when priests alone having the power came in and why. It was such abuses as that of the people of God that eventually led to a full-blown Reformation the ramifications of which are with us today.

        When it comes to confession, have you never heard of the throne of grace?

        There is so much more to say on this, but we would be directing from the topic. I would say this though, it is not so much the planet that is in danger, it isn’t until the end, but the souls of Mankind.

      • David Smith says:

        Nektarios writes:

        // When it comes to confession, have you never heard of the throne of grace? //

        No, I haven’t, Nektarios. What does that refer to?

  15. Nektarios says:

    Correction: should have read in Para.3. Consider when priests alone had the power to forgive sin and give absolution came in and why…

    • Nektarios says:

      David Smith

      It refers to us as believers, no longer under the Law but under grace. The throne of Grace is where our Lord Jesus Christ sits. Hebrews 4:14-16. expand your biblical reading from this point.
      It is at the throne of grace we can receive forgiveness and help we need from the One who died for us.

      • David Smith says:

        Nektarios writes:

        // [The throne of grace] refers to us as believers, no longer under the Law but under grace. //

        Thank you, Nektarios. Food for thought.

  16. ignatius says:

    I liked the programme about meat. While I was familiar with several aspects of the discussion the programme put the points well and was a bit of a wake up call. Alas I don’t think abstaining from my occasional ham sandwich will reverse the trend much but the call to moderation was definitley appropriate.

    Just a word about the ministry of reconciliation:

    I am a relatively intelligent self employed averagely successful adult who became a Catholic around 15 years ago. I go to confession freely and under no compulsion whatsoever, I go as and when my conscience dictates. I have found the ministry of reconciliation to be among the most profoundly life changing and grace filled sacramental practices of the Catholic Church.

    Two days a week I work in a prison and have done so now for several years. Because I understand the great help of confessional practice I encourage it and discuss the subject often with inmates where I work. It is not uncommon for me to sit with men who are in tears, barely able to express their gratitude for the freshly discovered life changing and sacred ministry of reconciliation.

    There was a time when I might of expressed similar views to those of Nektarios Nov 30th,2.37pm
    but now, with the benefit of experience, I realise how uninformed and erroneous those views were and are. All forms of religious practice lend themselves to abuse if abuse and manipulation is the intention, you can for example stab someone to death with a scalpel if you wish but no one in their right mind would then blame the scalpel for your actions. Reconciliation is a beautiful God given sacrament which we cheapen at our peril.

  17. David Smith says:

    Quentin writes:

    // She started in Texas – where she found the huge industry required to satisfy the American determination to eat meat: it was gross and almost deliberately wasteful. The outcome was a huge contribution to climate change. //

    Quentin, I hope you recognized that your emotions were being manipulated. What you were watching was part editorial and part propaganda. If it was presented as an unbiased documentary, that was at least a little disgraceful, but, alas, it would have been perfectly in line with contemporary journalistic practice.

  18. ignatius says:

    Yes but nonetheless the bare bones of the argument were present in the programme. Most of us of more than 50 years of age should be able to view propaganda of any form with a degree of discernment and detachment. The young, so my 25 year old lawyer daughter tells me, have a much greater difficulty with this. I must admit though to have been encouraged recently by the attempts of China to invest in renewable source energy. When I lived in Xi’an some 30 years ago the place was halfway through its industrial revolution and everywhere reminded me of places like Stockport and the industrial north at the turn of last century. There is hope for the world yet.

    • David Smith says:

      Ignatius writes:

      // Most of us of more than 50 years of age should be able to view propaganda of any form with a degree of discernment and detachment. //

      Should be, perhaps, but propaganda is powerful, and insidious. These days, it’s everywhere, and even intelligent people tire of the effort needed to watch for it. It’s so much easier just to convince oneself that one is imagining or at the least exaggerating the threat. Also, in a culture in which relativism is considered smart and wise, the default position is to accept whatever the establishment puts out.

  19. Alasdair says:

    I was searching for actual facts (!) to inform my voting choice at the forthcoming general election. I came across the following. It seems that the Green Party has the highest level of scientific and technical competence among its candidates.
    Most notably Siân Berry, co-leader of the England-and-Wales Green Party is a MEng (Master of Engineering), and Lorna Slater co-leader of Scottish Greens is an electro-mechanical engineer and project leader on renewable energy projects.
    A refreshing change from most of the candidates in most of the other parties who simply don’t have the capacity to grasp STEM (science,technology, engineering,mathematics) issues.

  20. David Smith says:

    Alisdair writes:

    // I was searching for actual facts (!) to inform my voting choice at the forthcoming general election. I came across the following. It seems that the Green Party has the highest level of scientific and technical competence among its candidates. //

    Alisdair, I realize that it’s tempting these days to think that because one has graduated from university with a certificate in some area of science or technology one must be far more intelligent, knowledgeable, and wise than electricians, garbage collectors, and clerks. More intelligent, maybe, but knowledgeable in only one sort of thing, and certainly not wiser. Also, please remember that anyone who runs for political office is very likely to be rather more self-important and bossy than the average human creature. I’m inclined to think that no one who runs for public office should be trusted with that office :o)

  21. Nektarios says:

    This is hot off the press 2/12/2019 IMPORTANT TO READ

    The “climate crisis” is “not just about the environment” but is intended to dismantle the current world order, Greta Thunberg and her fellow activists finally admitted.
    In an op/ed published by Project Syndicate, Thunberg and others who co-wrote the piece state that “climate crisis” activism is intended to smash “colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression.”
    Read it for yourself:

    That action must be powerful and wide-ranging. After all, the climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice, and of political will. Colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all. Our political leaders can no longer shirk their responsibilities.
    There you have it. We’ve been warning you for years that the global warming climate change movement was always about ushering in a bureaucratic world government at the expense of individual countries ran by elected local leaders.

    What better way to erode national sovereignty than to claim that there’s a “climate emergency” that’s way too big for just one nation to solve, and therefore we need a top-down global government to “fix” the crisis?
    And that’s why the focus is on dismantling the current world order, particularly the United States’ current position as a superpower.
    Case in point, notice how Thunberg, who’s been backed by establishment foundations, has been largely lecturing Western countries on cutting their carbon emissions while practically ignoring China, which is not only one of the world’s largest polluters in a variety of metrics but is also an economic rival to the West.
    That tells you the agenda isn’t really about fixing the global environment but is rather about picking and choosing the “winners and losers” of geopolitics by handicapping certain nations (particularly the U.S.) for the benefit of others (particularly China.)

    • Alasdair says:

      Important to read – yes indeed – if only to understand the abject nonsense and lengths that some groups are prepared to go to to protect their polluting nest-eggs against attempts to provide us with a viable future.

      • FZM says:

        Nektarios might be right to highlight the ‘watermelon’ issue (in respect of political parties, green on the outside, red on the inside) because yoking environmental concerns to leftist identity politics and anti-Westernism can be counter productive.

        The issue doesn’t seem to be a political monopoly of one side or the other; there used to be a robust anti-industrialisation and proto-environmentalist movement on the reactionary right and far-right and far-left movements have a record of profligate disregard for environmental safety and conservation issues when they conflict with their own agendas.

        Then, this kind of conflation is fertile ground for conspiracy theories because it ends up being quite clearly contradictory, China is both an anti-racist, anti-colonialist left wing state and a massive polluter, colonial rule in India meant that the population hardly grew at all in 250 years and had low environmental impact, something reversed by the end of colonialism, the SJW left in European countries often advocate for population reduction among Europeans and increased non-European immigration to reverse population decline simultaneously etc.

  22. Geordie says:

    David Smith you are right about intelligent and knowledgeable people. There are millions of clever people in the world but there are very few wise ones.

  23. Nektarios says:

    In addition and its important following on from my posting of 2 Dec 2019 at 11:45pm.
    It is important to send to others and to your MP and to the Government negotiators at the Climate Change Summit.
    What I posted is from the Greta Thunberg site goes to show what the real agenda is. Next, it will be you, the Church, your family.
    The Russians know only too well what such an agenda as I also outlined meant and they have no desire to return to it, but this is what the Globalists and Greta Thunberg (unwittingly methinks) is being asked to present.
    They think they are in an unassailable position, and feel they can get away with it.
    The EU is in on the no borders at all just an unelected bunch of bureaucrats running the world.
    Time to take action and make your voice heard.

    • ignatius says:

      I think its time you took your tablets… 🙂

      • Nektarios says:

        Ignatius

        Are you referring to what said or someone else, explain yourself?

        This response of yours is totally inadequate, it would seem it is more than you can bear right now, more than you know or comprehend of what is really going on in the world and what it means for humanity.

  24. Alasdair says:

    I will indeed be taking action and making my voice heard – thanks for the prompt.

  25. ignatius says:

    “This response of yours is totally inadequate, it would seem it is more than you can bear right now, more than you know or comprehend of what is really going on in the world and what it means for humanity….”

    If you have been seeing those green lizards again I reccomend you take the blue pills..if its just your usual tendency towards messianic delusions then the yellow capsules might be sufficient. Try and get a good nights sleep, Nektarios, things may look better in the morning.

    • Nektarios says:

      Ignatius

      No explanation as I requested. This approach by you does no one any good least of all you. And by the way, I don’t suffer from delusions.

      • ignatius says:

        Sorry Nektarios, hyperbole got the better of me there. I’m sure your convictions are well mean’t. Also I do agree that poor Greta has got out of her depth a little and is being somewhat manipulated. I was probably very sure of myself too at her age.Conspiracy theory is very often a bit wacky though.

  26. Martha says:

    Current concern for the environment does seem to have considerable validity, and it certainly reinforces the misgivings I have always had about the
    sustainability of our relatively recent life style, as compared with many aspects of my much more frugal childhood and accounts from my forbears. However, there have always been apocalyptic fears, and I recall personally in the early 1960’s that there was a very real threat of nuclear annihilation, which still exists, and I did not want to join a pension scheme as I thought it more than likely the world would not survive till I would reach 60.

    • David Smith says:

      Martha writes:

      // Current concern for the environment does seem to have considerable validity //

      Any concern is likely to have considerable validity for someone. It’s a curse of our time that one group’s obsessions are likely to spread to nearly everyone almost overnight.

      That this is happening should, one might think, have long been obvious, but that seems not to be the case. Casualties continue to mount. People, alas, are sheep.

      Martha, just because nearly any argument has some merit is not a good reason for adopting it.

  27. ignatius says:

    Gosh, yes..I remember the Cuban missile crisis so well even though I was only 16 at the time. Vietnam too seemed apocalyptic, I guess these things do when we are younger.

  28. Nektarios says:

    What are the big threats to our planet and our life on earth? It is very clear it is not climate change which is a diversion from the reality of the real threats to our planet and life. This planet will be going when the Lord returns, till then there will be seasons, times of sowing and times of harvest. Our Lord asked a question, “when I come upon the earth again, will I find faith?”

    Having no faith as many do, means they really do not know themselves. Problems come and they are needing help, and if they have rejected the Christ and Salvation, then they are pawns in the hands of madmen, sinners monsters and demons.
    Many come to help in the guise of lovely, good people when they are mere religionist wanting your control handed over to them. We have seen saints and sinners, but we have also seen monsters and demons, all claiming lordship over you.

    We can talk about AI or technocracies they want to control you too while frying your brain with 5-10G mobiles. It is also sophisticated surveillance of people. They want to merge man with machine. They want to confuse the sexes, where they will by various hideous and devilish means render what is natural as unnatural, and claim unnatural is natural. These are madmen, monsters and demons masquerading in the guise of respectability.
    We can talk about Governments that want your vote to rule and control over you in every aspect of your life.

    There is an enormous amount of ignorance, and our Churches are not helping people, let alone Christians to stand against the present onslaught of downright evil now.

    If you think what I am describing is in the far-flung future, it is happening right now to us, to our children in education. Misinformation in the media and on the Internet is not after ratings, but to control your mind. These are truly sinners, monsters, and demons. How close we need to walk in the truth. Doing so they have no power over us seeing their wiles and traps they set for us we can avoid them

    Is there any hope against all this, indeed there is. God is still on the throne. There is hope for everyone. The Lord Jesus has already defeated Satan and those demons and made a show of them openly.
    We all have to go through suffering, trials and difficulties, but if we as Christian will remain true to the Lord and what He has taught us, we will overcome.

    • David Smith says:

      Nektarios, I, too, am unhappy with what’s happening to our culture and, within the culture, to the Christian churches. I’m inclined, however, to attribute it to the weakness of the human mind. We are born intelligent but not wise, predisposed, rather, simply to mimic others. If others are foolish, we are likely to become foolish ourselves. I suspect that we need to be taught a healthy mistrust of the voices around us. In the absence of that vital lesson, we are, perhaps, doomed to remain merely sponges, ingesting the poisons along with the good water.

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