“Good Tidings” 5.

Welcome to “Good Tidings” 5, the “Earth, Spirit, Action” Team’s bulletin on environment and climate change issues for the St. Matthew’s family and all those searching for ways to keep God’s creation healthy. “Good Tidings” provides information on local and global environmental and climate change issues; suggestions for personal and political actions that will build a healthy planet; information about webinars, resources, and petitions from other environment and climate change organizations; and news about environmentally themed worship and prayer opportunities.  

We welcome feedback from readers who would like to share their thoughts with us.                                     Our email is: earthspiritaction016@gmail.com


Local Environmental Issues:

As we wonder how we might make a difference on the decisions taken by our governments on local environmental issues, we should not underestimate the importance of speaking up at public hearings or writing letters to political leaders.  Here are some comments in a presentation made by Laurette Geldenhuys to the Law Amendments Committee on March 29 in support of the Biodiversity Act #4. 


“Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.  My name is Laurette Geldenhuys.  I am a physician, pathologist, and a mother of 3 daughters, and grandmother of 2 grandsons, aged 7 and 3.  Like many Nova Scotians, my family and I were extremely disappointed to see the province remove important sections of the Act following the misinformation campaign by the forestry industry lobby groups.  However, there are still many valuable and much-needed aspects of the Act that remain.  I therefore urge you to support the passage of Bill # 4 and bring in the Biodiversity Act now, and restore the omitted sections.  As a physician, I would like to share with you 5 summary points from the World Health Organization fact sheet on biodiversity and health.


  1. Biodiversity provides many goods and services essential to life on earth.The management of natural resources can determine the baseline health status of a community. Environmental stewardship can contribute to secure livelihoods and improve the resilience of communities. The loss of these resources can create the conditions responsible for morbidity or mortality.


  1. Biodiversity supports human and societal needs,including food and nutrition security, energy, development of medicines and pharmaceuticals and freshwater, which together underpin good health. It also supports economic opportunities, and leisure activities that contribute to overall wellbeing.


  1. Land use change,pollution, poor water quality, chemical and waste contamination, climate change and other causes of ecosystem degradation all contribute to biodiversity loss and, can pose considerable threats to human health.


  1. Human health and well-beingare influenced by the health of local plant and animal communities, and the integrity of the local ecosystems that they form.


  1. Infectious diseasescause over one billion human infections per year, with millions of deaths each year globally. Approximately two thirds of known human infectious diseases are shared with animals, and the majority of recently emerging diseases are associated with wildlife.

I will elaborate on point number 5, infectious diseases. A paper from the medical literature published in January this year states that: The loss of biodiversity in the ecosystems has created the general conditions that have favored and, in fact, made possible, the insurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.2


In conclusion, as a Nova Scotian mother of 3 daughters, and grandmother of 2 grandsons, aged 7 and 3, I urge you to preserve our beautiful province for their futures, and leave a legacy of which your and my grandchildren would be proud. Again, I urge you to support the passage of Bill #4 and bring in the Biodiversity Act now. Thank you.”  Laurette Geldenhuys.


Thank you Laurette for your presentation.  This is an encouragement to others of us to make our views on environmental issues known to our elected officials as well.     



Articles, Videos, Alerts, and Petitions on Local and Global Issues…

Articles worth reading…


Halifax Examiner Article on Atlantic Gold Open Pit Mine and Possible Impact on wild Atlantic Salmon https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/environment/sacrificing-wild-atlantic-salmon-for-gold/ Referred by Margaret Sagar


“Dare We Hope? Here’s My Cautious Case for Climate Optimism.” by Rebecca Solnit in The Guardian, May 1st. This is an encouraging assessment of where we are in the climate change struggle. Referred by Paul Bowlby.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/01/climate-change-environment-hope-future-optimism-success/   (control and click)


Videos worth Watching…


Diocesan Environmental Network Thursday Evening Talks.   Recommended by Margaret Sagar.

A wonderful presentation, “Blue Poo”, is an account of how excrement from the blue whales contributes to the fertility of the ocean and production of phytoplankton which become a huge carbon sink (better even than forests). The huge loss of blue whales has reduced the oceans’ ability to act as a carbon sink; another good reason to save the whales, for everything in creation is connected and interdependent.  Other links on this YouTube channel include access to a video of Friday Prayers on World Water day, a sample of worship focused on the Creator for Love of Creation.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXlyyJAFvPg-hj4H0-XvYiQ


See Greta Thunberg’s emergency alert to the general public for Earth Day 2021.  You can simply google “Greta Thunberg’s Facebook post on emergency alert to the general public”, or you can try this link.    https://www.facebook.com/gretathunbergsweden/posts/1389197501448066


Petitions and Actions…

Save Owl’s Head Provincial Park.                                                                                                                     For information on the delisting of Owl’s Head as protected provincial land, its proposed sale, and for an opportunity to sign a petition to the Nova Scotia Government, visit https://saveowlshead.org/petition/   


Ecology Action Center...

Atlantic Gold is proposing to build and operate an open pit gold mine, located in a wetland-rich area approximately 95 kilometers northeast of Halifax.  A public consultation was held on April 30, but you can read about this proposed development at https://ecologyaction.ca/fifteen-mile-stream-proposed-gold-mine and contact your MLA’s and Ministers with your views.       Referred by Laurette Geldenhuys.


From Emma Jackson - 350.org   Calling on the Federal Government for a Just Transition Act.


For months people across the country have been calling on the Trudeau government to answer a simple question: what happened to the Just Transition Act they promised during the 2019 election?  Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan has confirmed that his team is working on a Just Transition Act.1 You can let Minister O’Regan know we want immediate action, and a transition that guarantees a good, green job to anyone who wants one by following this link…. 

Use our one-click tool to call O’Regan and tell him to deliver the Just Transition Act ASAP.                                                                                    Referred by Margaret Sagar



Canadian Churches Launch “For the Love of Creation” Ecumenical Program

A coalition of 35 Canadian churches and faith-based organizations including the United Church of Canada has come together for an unprecedented months long campaign of personal environmental action coupled with federal climate advocacy.  In 2019, they came together to discern how they might deepen their collective action on climate change and make a meaningful contribution to the climate movement in the next decade. The result was the “For the Love of Creation” program.  

The For the Love of Creation program is providing resources for two distinct study programs for small group sessions across the country.  A Letter of the Faithful for the Love of Creation will gather   reflections from the “faithful conversations” held in small groups across the country on how faith speaks to the climate crisis facing our world. This grassroots, pastoral letter will lay out concerns and actions we can advocate for as faithful responses to climate change.   


Faithful Climate Conversations will offer three levels of small group conversations for those at different stages of involvement with climate change; those who have rarely discussed climate change in a group setting before; those with basic understanding but who are uncertain about the best ways to act; and those who want to focus on political and systemic change in this climate emergency.  For more information and resources you can contact “For the Love of Creation” at https://www.fortheloveofcreation.ca/resources/

Further details on the For the Love of Creation program, including its call on the federal government for various political actions, will be presented in upcoming issues.


The Earth, Spirit, Action Team of St. Matthew’s is considering hosting either small group conversations on “how our faith informs our response to climate change” or a larger “What If?” discussion about strategizing bold actions to achieve a significant environmental impact as a congregation. We are still in the deliberative stages. Watch for more details to come.