Thinking Anglicans

more commentary about fracking

See this earlier article for background.

Some interesting material has been published by the joint public issues team of the Baptist, Methodist, and United Reformed Churches:

… with the exception of a discussion on fuel poverty, the Church of England’s statement does not reveal its own perspective on “balancing considerations” which it claims are not being taken into account by others.

The Church of England takes on the protestors by stating that blanket opposition to fracking “fails to take into account those who suffer most.” But this link to fuel poverty begs some critical examination…

This analysis references two earlier documents:

a report and study guide to help individuals and local groups:

– understand the position of The Baptist Union, The Methodist Church and The United Reformed Church on climate change

– become aware of a vital connections between climate change and the Christian faith

– transform lifestyles through studying, praying and acting on the issues

– inspire others in the community to live in harmony with the whole of creation

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CynthiaErika BakerCraig NelsonrjbFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith

Of course, one of the corollaries of the present discussion on fracking and climate change, is that the resources of the earth are actually finite, and that this has a tremendous relevance to the prospect of unlimited procreation. What happens when all the reserves are exhausted – will that be ‘Armageddon’? Or will the Churches that advocate unlimited population increase (e.g. bans on contraception) begin to realise that very soon there will be neither food nor fuel to support the exponential growth of world population? One cannot deal with the planned depredation of resources without also dealing with the need… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker

Fr Ron,
while I agree with you I don’t think the churches positions on contraception have any significant influence in the world.
Statistics show that when countries become richer and having many children is no longer the best way of securing your survival in old age, they all see a fall in population, regardless of the predominant faith.
Population size is tied to financial security.


I’m less optimistic than Erika because, while middle-class families have fewer children than the very poor, these families also consume vastly more resources as they become wealthier. But the discourse of over-population seems to me to be a red-herring. It has the advantage of palming responsibility for the imagined Malthusian crisis off to the profligate Third World (‘breeding like rabbits!’), while ignoring the fact that this crisis arises not from the number of people there are in the world, but from the share of the earth’s resources they consume. Population is not really the issue. The issue is how much… Read more »

Craig Nelson
Craig Nelson

While population growth isn’t the only thing and even where important not directly related to religious dogma so one can exaggerate its effect, I still thing that religious choices that emphasise unlimited procreation have to be subject to critique.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker

That is a very good point, rjb!
I would add that not all of it is individual lifestyle related. The per capita use of resources usually includes the resources used by industry, and the real challenge is to find less resource intensive processes.

The recession has shown how instable our societies become when people are suddenly pushed into deep financial insecurity. Some analyses I read link the current situation in Syria and Egypt to underlying economic reasons.

The answer will have to come from research and more and more advanced and sustainable technologies. A simple back to the future cannot solve the crisis.


Agree with rjb. It’s the wealthy doing the consumption and lifestyle changes are crucial – I’m not giving up heat in winter! But I don’t have to. I have a combination electric assisted solar heat, an energy company that let’s you buy a percentage of your electricity from wind energy, and a fireplace. Obviously, that is only a start, but I think it points to productive, sustainable solutions, i.e. using a diverse array of energy sources.

The problem is that the polluting energies seem to hold a lot of power. Ur, I mean political power.