According to Ipsos-Mori’s ‘tipping point or turning point‘ report, which I’ve been thinking about over the last few days, 54% of people in the UK are prepared to do more about their ecological footprint if others did it as well. In other words, we’ve reached an ‘I will if you will situation’ – nobody wants to be the one who’s missing out on the new car, the foreign holidays and all.
So it’s an interesting time for the Guardian to be launching its Tread Lightly initiative, which plans to answer just that problem. By pledging to make small steps together, as an online community, you can all see how much your achieving. It’s been running since saturday, and so far readers have pledged enough changes to be able to turn off a coal power station for 72 seconds. Similar things have been in place before, living generously being one of them.
It’s also interesting that the government called on faith groups to do more today. A new list of 50 things people can do has this to say to world religions: “The world’s faith groups have been silent for too long on the environment. It is time they fulfilled their rightful collective role in reminding us that we have a duty to restore and maintain the ecological balance of the planet.”
And they are right – faith groups could break the deadlock – and not just because faith leaders have power and influence. People with faith are more prepared to make sacrifices. Certainly as a Christian I am called to put others before myself. I am confident enough in myself and in my faith to not have to stand on my rights. I’m happy to lay down my rights to greater consumption and a bigger ecological footprint, so that others can have a fairer share. I am not bound by the ‘I will if you will’ tendency. I don’t mind what everyone else does.