Religion and the Environment Revision Key words: write out the answers then click to check them Pollution The contamination of the natural environment Global warming Increase CO2 in the atmosphere raises the temperature of the earth, with potentially devastating effects on the environment Conservation Preserving and protecting the environment and its natural resources Stewardship Taking care of the environment on behalf of God and for the benefit of future generations Animal rights The principle that animals have the right not to be exploited by humans Air pollution Water pollution Types of pollution Noise pollution Land pollution Effects of pollution • • • • • Most scientists say that pollution has caused a hole in the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect which is heating up the earth This in turn has caused the polar ice caps to melt It has also meant that we experience more freak weather conditions However, not all scientists agree! Some believe that this is a natural worldly cycle that happens every so many thousands of years Also, not all pollution is damaging e.g. noise pollution only effects people, not the environment Non-religious attitudes to the environment Many non-religious people are concerned about the environment. Governments have pressured large companies such as McDonalds and B&Q in to making sure that they recycle waste and that they ethically source good. Governments have also set targets to reduce CO2 and to recycle more, hence many houses now have recycle bins and tips are more accessible. It is understood that the effects of global warming are felt everywhere but especially by LEDCs who experience more drought and so have food shortages. It is estimated that over the next few hundred years much of low land in countries will be under water due to the melting of the ice caps e.g much of Holland On the other hand some people still don’t care what the damage is and refuse to do their part. If governments really wanted change then more could be done to make people have environmentally friendly cars and use solar panels on their houses to get electricity Greenpeace This is a non-religious group who: • Work for sustainable development • Campaign against climate change • Try to protect the rain forests from being destroyed • Stand up for animal rights e.g. they try to stop whaling They do this because they believe that the planet belongs to everyone and so no one should destroy it. Ways people try to reduce pollution • Recycle clothes, plastics, paper etc • Use public transport or walk rather than use a car • Use energy efficient products e.g. light bulbs, washing machines • Carry re-useable bags to cut down on plastic bags • Buy local produce to reduce transports carbon foot print The Christian attitude to the environment All Christians believe that they have a duty to protect and care for the environment and should not pollute it This is because: 1. The Bible says that people were created by God to be stewards – to take care of it on God’s behalf and for the benefit of future generations 2. God made the world and so it is not ours to ruin 3. Christians believe they should protect the environment for future generations, because God wants the world to continue developing, not being destroyed. 4. If Christians look after the world then they will be rewarded by God in heaven. 5. Pollution is NOT looking after the planet. It is selfish and does not look after the world as God intended. Buddhist attitudes to the environment All Buddhists believe that they have a duty to protect and care for the environment and should not pollute it This is because: 1. Buddhists believe that all life, in all forms, should be respected, and not destroyed through e.g. deforestation 2. Buddha taught compassion for all life. Destroying the environment affects humans, animals and the whole of nature. 3. The Dalai Lama said the ‘destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the earth’s living things…this lack of respect extends to future generations who would inherit the degraded planet. 4. ‘Do not harm others’ (First Precept) 5. There are Karmic consequences for all our actions. Karma affects our rebirth. Christian Aid This is a Christian group who work for conservation. They do this because they believe that humans are stewards of the earth, and should look after it for God They believe in the parable of the talents which says that those who leave the earth in a better state than they found it will go to heaven They campaign against climate change and put pressure on the international community to reduce CO2 They believe that we all have a responsibility to recycle and to save the rainforests which are the lungs of the earth Planet Earth Test yourself • Name the 4 types of pollution • Which do not physically damage the environment? • Name 3 ways people try to reduce pollution • What is the Buddhist and Christian attitude towards the environment? • Give 4 reasons a Christian has this view • Give 4 reasons a Buddhist has this view PLANET EARTH • Give two ways we damage the earth. (2) • Give two reasons why humans should look after the environment. (2) • Name two forms of renewable energy. (2) • Name two ways we use natural resources. (2) • Explain briefly how science believes the world began. (4) • Explain what makes it difficult to look after the environment. (Think about in school, in your home street, in your country, across the world) (4) • ‘Only religious people have a duty to look after the world.’ (6) Do you agree? Give reasons and explain your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view, including the two religious views you have studied. 8. ‘People today only think of themselves, not the planet.’ (6) Do you agree? Give reasons and explain your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view, including the two religious views you have studied. 9. ‘A hotter world is a better world.’ (6) Do you agree? Give reasons and explain your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view, including the two religious views you have studied.