12th November 2021

Sacrifice. Not a word that we have heard very often from the COP26 conference in Glasgow. Targets and five-year plans a-plenty, but not the one thing that is necessary to stop runaway climate change. Sacrifice. Things that we need to give up.

And it is not about the small things such as turning off the tap when you brush your teeth or cycling that mile to the shop rather than driving – even in an electric car. The climate activists are probably correct to say that we must give up private cars completely.

Ships and aircraft – certainly those of the big, cargo-carrying variety – cannot run on electric batteries, so they will have to go. Perhaps hydrogen-fuel technology will one day power boats and planes, perhaps nuclear-powered ships will become widespread, but for now we probably have to end international shipping. No more cheap goods from China. No more electronics from Korea.

Sacrifice – to give up something valuable for the sake of a greater good.

Are we prepared to give up our comfortable way of life to do what is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change?

One sacrifice lies at the heart of our Christian faith. “Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people” (Hebrews 9.28a). A unique sacrifice. The Son of God who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. And on the third day He rose again from the dead. “He will come again… to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9.28b). Some sacrifices are worth it.

Ian Waddington