1st July

Last night we met up with Tim Farron our MP on zoom as part of the Climate Coalition Lobby of MPs. I was on from the parish and Cafod, but in our constituency there were lots of us taking part, 36 I counted at one point. My question was about debt relief for poorer countries but most of the questions, naturally enough, were about how we can improve the area and make life in Cumbria in general and around here much more sustainably based, and all sorts of ideas flowed, from sheep’s wool insulation to better transport to flood defences and the needs of farmers. Tim was very good. We were a very mixed bunch, but what struck me was that so much of it is covered in Laudato Si by the Pope. “Given the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, those who design buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces and cities, ought to draw on the various disciplines that help us to understand people’s thought processes, and ways of acting. It is not enough to seek the beauty of design. More precious still is the service we offer to another kind of beauty: people’s quality of life, their adaptation to the environment, encounter and mutual assistance…We need to protect those common areas, visual landmarks and (urban) landscapes which increase our sense of belonging, of rootedness, of ‘feeling at home’…Interventions which affect the urban or rural landscape should take into account how various elements combine to form a whole…When we speak of the ‘environment’ what we are really talking about is the relationship between nature and the society that lives within it.”

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