We often talk of the ‘global commons’ meaning for example air, oceans or Antarctica – by definition these are ‘commons’ to be shared. But more ‘commons’ need to be identified. For instance, there are respects in which Land should be treated as a resource to be shared or fish and other marine resources. Or, in order for international action regarding climate change to be pursued, how are allowable emissions from fossil fuel burning or from deforestation to be allocated? How do we as a world share these natural resources between us and especially between the very rich – like ourselves - and the very poor?

A proposal by the Global Commons Institute is that emissions should first be allocated to everybody in the world equally per capita, then transfer of allocations being allowed through trading between nations. The logic and the basic equity of this proposal is in principle quite compelling – but is it achievable? Sustainability will never be achieved without a great deal more sharing. Sharing is an important Christian principle that needs to be worked out in practice. John the Baptist preached about sharing (Luke 3 v11), Jesus talked about sharing (Luke 12 v33), the early church were prepared to share everything (Acts 4 v32) and Paul advocated it (2 Cor 8 v13-15). The opposite of sharing - greed and covetousness - is condemned throughout 11 scripture. The sharing of knowledge and skills with those in the third world is also an important responsibility.

These new attitudes are not just to provide guidance to policy makers in government or elsewhere. They need to be espoused by the public at large. Otherwise government will not possess the confidence to act. For the public to take them on board, the public have to under-stand them. To understand, they have to be informed. There is a great need for accurate and understandable information to be propagated about all aspects of sustainability. Christian churches could play a significant role in this.
Global Warming Climate Change and Sustainability
John Ray Initiative



As with the 'Berlin Wall', the 'Climate-Firewall' can yet come down. 'Climate-detente' possible at COP-17 with negotiated rates of C&C.
Why not

Why not