This article was published on thesheepdip
It’s a daft question. Still, we’ve got a minute or two to spare; let’s ponder it for a while. Biblically, we can say with full assurance that He drove a Honda Accord, but had the humility not to boast about it. He himself professed: For I did not speak of my own accord… (John 12:49). Modern-day critics would dispute this, after all, Robbie Williams was so insistent that Jesus drove a Camper Van that he made it the title of one of his songs. While the Rev Clive Jones of Staplehurst in Kent says Jesus would opt for a car “despised and rejected of men – a Skoda”.
Politicians, the media, your next door neighbour, the people on the next table in the pub… everyone’s talking about climate change. We complain about the lack of snow when we want to go ski-ing (if we are rich enough to enjoy such holidays) or we stress about the idea of a future where people struggle to survive a world that’s gone to pot, due to our behaviour in the here and now. Most people know what puts CO2 into the atmosphere and what doesn’t. Maybe a few less people are re-thinking their lifestyles and making changes, radical changes, to make sure they’re not part of the problem. Or at least, that they’re less a part of the problem that they were before.
Jesus says we should love others (Matthew 22:39). In fact, He goes so far as to say that we should love others in the same way that we love ourselves. So if we don’t really fancy having all our worldly possessions, house, and perhaps even family members and friends swept away by floods, or be hit by freak tropical storms, or suffer from long term drought that causes our crops to fail… then perhaps we ought to think again about how we’re treating the world’s poorest people, and even our own descendants.
One easy-peesy way that we can take action is to give more thought to our transportation. As well as flying less (or preferably not at all) and taking public transport where possible, we can all focus on our car usage. Here are several suggestions that will help reduce those CO2 emissions – take your pick!
Only make journeys that are totally necessary.
Walk or cycle all journeys of less than a mile.
For longer journeys, use the bus or train.
Take a car-free holiday.
Organise a car-sharing scheme in your local community.
Get food and other goods delivered to your home.
Work from home, if possible.
Ensure you do as many jobs as possible in one trip.
Avoid congested areas (and rush hour) to reduce travel time.
Inflating tyres to the correct pressure cuts emissions by 5%.
Control your speed – travelling at less than 15mph creates the most pollution. (Increased speed up to 50mph means your level of pollution decreases. Over 50mph increases your level of pollution again.)
Get in the right gear – top gear is most energy-efficient.
Avoid drag – e.g. remove the trailer or roof rack, shut windows and the sunroof. Remove any excess weight.
Avoid unnecessary revving, idling of the engine, harsh acceleration and braking as this uses more fuel.
Avoid overfilling the tank as spilled fuel evaporates and releases harmful emissions.
Convert your current car to LPG, or even to run on biofuels!
Put pressure on your local Council to give priority to people rather than vehicles: traffic calming schemes, cycle facilities, pedestrian crossings, and lorry restrictions.
Continue to press the government to give higher priority to an integrated public transport system: simplified ticketing and easily accessible information.
Hold a ‘No-car Sunday’.
Organise Lift-sharing for services.
Organize a church outing/weekend away using public transport!
Find out whether your church leader gets an allowance for cycle mileage as well as car mileage.
Check if your church has a cycle-rack as well as a car park.
Give out local bus timetables out church.
If purchasing a church mini-bus choose one which is fuel efficient.
Raise awareness in your congregation – download CEL’s Green Transport Leaflet, print out, and sneak them into copies of your Sunday notice sheet when ‘they’ aren’t looking! [www.christian-ecology.org.uk/green-transport.pdf]
What would Jesus drive if He were on Earth today? Who knows. Perhaps He wouldn’t drive at all, or he’d become a keen cyclist (although He’d have to take care that His flowing white robes didn’t get caught in the wheel spokes). As far as we’re concerned, to consider the above ideas would surely be the most ‘loving’ gesture to others, whether we drive a sanctified Honda Accord, Camper Van or Skoda… or just some far-less-holy common ‘other’ car. If the car is ours, the choice is ours also.