Sadly, during the past century, the environment of planet earth has been attacked. In some places habitats have been destroyed, in many places, irreparable damage has been done to its forests. The overall effect on Earth’s delicate environment has been devastating - particularly since the systems that would help the process of restoring vegetation will take much longer as they are still under attack.
For this reason, what is left must be protected and efforts made to reverse the effects of Climate Change must focus on a re-working of the economy to the benefit of the environment.
Personally the first priority will be to halt the production of all weaponry, nuclear and otherwise. Then we should can tackle the problem of our production and waste complexity peacefully.
The danger this represents is obvious. Not only living generations, but also future generations are threatened. Now is the time to act.
Furthermore, the inevitable next planetary emergency may well be one of an environmental nature. With the number of displaced people, refugees, due to climate change slowly overtaking numbers of people made stateless due to war.
One of the most positive developments in the world recently has been the growing awareness of the importance of nature, both for environmental reasons but also for our own physical and mental well being. It is a realisation of the interconnected nature of all things. As we poison our planet, we poison ourselves.
There is nothing sacred or holy about this. Taking care of our planet is like taking care of our houses. Since we as human beings come from nature, we are a part of it. There is no point in our going against nature, which is why I say the environment is not a matter of religion, faith or ethics or morality. These are luxuries, since we can survive without them. But we will not survive if we continue to go harm nature, harming our planet.
If we damage nature, humankind and human society will suffer. We have to accept this as a fact.
As we are the people alive today, we must consider future generations. Who are we to decide the human condition for the future, who are we to define the rights of generations to come. a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is not our right to take this away from others.
As Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting Movement once said: “Try to leave this planet a little better than you found it.”
It is therefore part of our responsibility towards others, alive now and in the future to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than when we found it.
This is not a difficult proposition. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a planetary humankind response might achieve. We have seen this before. Humans are compassionate, wonderful and capable of elevating all forms of commerce, art, rights and sciences.
It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that may be. Just because switching off the light when leaving the room seems inconsequential, it does not mean that we should not do it. Because of the interconnected nature of all forms turning a light off when you leave, helps to change the nature of reality for the better.
Once you accept in the connection between motivation and its effect, you will become more alert to the effects, which your own actions have upon yourself and others.
Human beings are in a sense children of the earth. And, whereas up until now our common mother tolerated her children's behaviour, she is presently showing us that she has reached the limit of her tolerance.
My own concerns on this extends to all members of the human family, their friends in the air, land and sea, and indeed, to all suffering future lives.
I believe that this suffering is caused by ignorance, and that people have inflicted pain on others in pursuit of their own happiness, profit or satisfaction. There is no blame to this, we have all in some way benefitted. We are all complicit.
Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through cultivation of altruism, of love, of compassion, and through the refocusing of anger, selfishness and greed to benefit the planet.
To some people this may sound naive, but I would remind them that, 'no matter what part of the world we come from, fundamentally we are all the same human beings. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering.
All of us human beings want freedom. The right to determine our own destiny as individuals. That is a part of human nature. The great social changes and challenges taking place everywhere in the world, from Eastern Europe to Africa, is a clear indication of this.
The problems we face today - violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on - are problems created by humans. They can be resolved - but only through and by humans working peacefully with effort.
We need to cultivate a universal responsibility, a caring friendship for one another and for the planet we share, based on a good heart and awareness.
As we work to ensure a clean environment for the future inhabitants of this world we help to preserve, and ensure that Human Rights remain, intact and ready to serve future generations.
With the ever-growing impact of science on our lives, religion, faith and spirituality have a greater role to play in reminding us of our humanity, our relevance in the world.