PLACE OF THE SACRED IN SHAPING ECO-PERSPECTIVES[i]
Dr. Vincent Sekhar, S.J.
Environment vis-à-vis Religion - Crossing Boundaries:
A casual glance at The Hindu Survey of the Environment 2008[ii] would reveal in summary the challenges humanity faces in India on the issue of conservation of natural resources, bio-diversity, and the environment. Waste management and pollution control remain a challenge for years despite the Central Pollution Control Board and several organizations like Greenpeace[iii] undertaking campaigns and offering parameters to minimize and to manage waste. Electronic trash and biomedical refuse are ever increasing, resulting in infections and other hazards. The climatic change and the growing earth warming is a researched fact due to higher carbon emissions from human activity. Harnessing the power of the sun like in Solar Energy is becoming revolutionary in lighting the billions of life. Wetlands and water banks, which provide many services to local communities, are under threat and evidences indicate that solutions to protect coastal ecosystems are far from satisfactory. Needless to say that sustainable transport future may land us in undertaking fewer, shorter trips, greater use of public transport, number of walking and cycle trips. Problems abound on the issue of Genetically Modified crops, its health and other risk factors, conservation of forest and wild life, extinction of rare species, etc. States and non-governmental organizations engineer solutions to these problems with little success.
Can religion offer anything substantial in this regard? The purpose of this article is to show that humanity has the will and power to divert from its suicidal path, provided it becomes religiously and morally sensitive, listening to the primordial Words and acting on them. Some people argue that religions can not offer solutions to problems which are political or economic in nature....