Do We Care for Our Environment?
The article with the caption above by Cedric Prakash S.J. is one of its kind, scholarly and well written.
How we have such a dire environmental situation?
Many think that the Original Sin is hiding in the Old Testament: “Then God said….let them (humankind) have dominance over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” (1:25 Genesis).
Since whatever is written in the Bible is taken by the Christians as God- given, they firmly believe that their God will take care of everything including the mess they create. This is the thinking of many American Christians even today and all efforts for climate control and preserving the environment are opposed.
Nature which sustains everything in the earth we live is devastated callously. One example is the denuding of Amazon forest for its trees and other vegetation and oil exploration resulting in the uprooting of the lives of the indigenous people living there for ages. Greed is the cause for the wanton degradation of our environment. But by doings of a few, humankind as a whole pay the price. Nature retaliates by increasing heatwaves, draught, spreading of deserts, high velocity winds, thunder storms, cyclones, unseasonal rains, floods, mudslides,etc making our planet more and more unlivable. Our rivers, lakes and water bodies have become highly polluted, our seas and oceans have become cauldrons of dangerous substances resulting in the destruction of sea creatures and the ocean ecosystem. Over thousands of years, Homo Sapiens plundered and meddled with nature without any restraint.
In countries like India, everything is put in the lap of gods. People beeline to places of worship and wail before their favourite deities. They do not spend any time or make any worthwhile effort clear up the mess they create. So rotting garbage pile up; pests proliferate, deceases become endemic.
The Protestant Christianity views wealth as the blessing of God. This thinking spawned capitalism, Laissez faire, free market, created demands, consumerism, profiteering resulting in the unbridled exploitation of the limited resources of the earth. With a view to making profit, even very dangerous products are made with scant concern to the ill consequences they cause.
A well-informed proactive society may to some extent arrest the dangerous trend by undertaking social audit and restrain the wanton destruction of the natural and sustainable environment.