WE are now into several days of the fuel shortage crisis. I have now got less than half a tank of petrol. Do I use the car to take the dog to the nearest woods or do we walk the same distance round and round Kettlewell? As someone relatively unaffected at this point in the crisis my ethical decision nevertheless induces guilt.

It feels like the loo roll crisis all over again. The irrationality of it all, making a temporary crisis so much worse: we know there is plenty of loo roll in the world (at the moment at least) yet we act as if it has suddenly become a limited commodity. And because no habituation to different patterns was required of us we didn’t learn anything. Has this latest crisis demonstrated the same thing?

It is now less than 50 days until the UK government hosts the crucial UN climate talks, COP26. One of big differences between this crisis and the loo roll crisis is the damage caused to the environment. Each day this crisis continues the lower our carbon emissions will drop, ‘dampening’ the rebound in rising emissions after the dramatic global fall in emissions in 2020 caused by Covid.

If you believe that every action counts in the fight for climate justice that will shape how you answer the question of whether we ever learn anything from a crisis.

Rev Tom Lusty

Vicar, Parish of Upper Wharfedale and Littondale