Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made a tour of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia to market “climate change.” He said the visit would have a “very significant effect” on his thinking about climate change – a topic he has long been passionate about, reported ABC News.
The Guardian makes his intention a little more obvious headlining that Welby said churches should encourage direct action on climate change. The archbishop has long been active and vocal on climate change, The Guardian reported. Seeing the impact close up, he said “Seeing the devastation here … just brings it home. Let alone what it will be in a few years.”
On 28 February, the biggest flood in modern Australian history inundated Lismore and the rest of the Northern Rivers. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, over a period of four days leading up to the disaster, three rain episodes occurred. Under usual conditions, each would have generated a moderate flood but cumulatively they created a catastrophe.
In a 2021 article, Sebastian Lüning – who regularly publishes in climate science journals and, as a reviewer, has contributed to IPCC reports – fact-checked what floods really have to do with climate change. “In medieval times, the priest would have declared that it would have been a punishment from God for the wicked behaviour of sinners. Today’s explanation is unfortunately not far from that,” he wrote.
Lüning noted two studies of global precipitation over the past 50-70 years. Both studies reached similar conclusions: on the global scale, the severity of floods has decreased overall.
Below, Paul Collits gives his take on Justin Welby’s recent visit to Lismore.
Just imagine if the Pope came to Lismore. That would be a story.
Well, this week we were graced (pun intended) with a visit from the spiritual leader of the Anglican communion. He is not, technically, the head of the Church of England. That privilege, since the time of the multiplied married, philandering Henry the Eighth, rests with the British monarch. Some things never change.
The Archbishop came to Lismore.
At any rate, Justin Welby included flood-ravaged Lismore in his Australian itinerary. Ostensibly, the visit was to provide comfort to a city wracked by natural disaster.
Archbishop Welby is nearing the end of a two-week visit to Australia that has included Perth, Melbourne, and the Torres Strait Islands.
He said he particularly wanted to visit the Northern Rivers after hearing about the devastation of the floods.
Parts of England have had their own experiences with catastrophic flooding in recent years.
Archbishop Welby said he wanted to see what his church could learn from its Australian counterparts about supporting communities through a disaster.
He said he also wanted to show solidarity.
Read more: Archbishop of Canterbury visits flood-ravaged Lismore in an ‘uplifting’ experience for locals of faith, ABC News, 16 October 2022
So far, so good. The spirit of the good Samaritan lives on.
Inevitably, the Bill Gates-funded Guardian newspaper portrayed the visit as a discovery of the ravages of climate change.
Justin Welby says churches should encourage direct action on climate change as he sees boarded-up shops and unliveable houses in far-flung parish reeling from disaster.
Read more: ‘It brings it home’: Archbishop of Canterbury highlights climate crisis in Australia with visit to Lismore, The Guardian, 15 October 2022
“It brings it home”.