Religion addressing environmental issues..


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Conference: Religion joins with science to address environmental issues

WASHINGTON, 17 September (BWNS) –

People’s spiritual beliefs influence their attitude toward climate change, with religious groups increasingly helping to frame humanity’s response to environmental issues.

That was one of the messages from a session at the 33rd annual conference of the Association for Baha’i Studies, held in mid-August in Washington. The gathering drew nearly 1,000 participants from some 20 countries.

The theme of the conference was “Environments,” and one of the plenary speakers was Peter G. Brown, a geography professor at McGill University in Montreal who has participated in the Moral Economy Project of the Quaker Institute for the Future.

Dr. Brown said the current economic paradigm is bringing mayhem to the planet and that people need to learn to think of themselves as citizens, not consumers.

“We need a different image of ourselves,” he said – an image that sees humanity as part of a long “co-evolutionary” process. Rather than asking how to better exploit the earth's resources, humanity should be asking how to live with an ethic of respect and reciprocity for all life, he said.

Society’s concept of morality is too limited, he continued, suggesting that a moral framework must be applied to systems, not just to individuals.

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Conference: Religion joins with science to address environment issues
The "missing dimension" in the climate debate...

Ethics are 'missing dimension' in climate debate, says IPCC chairman

NEW YORK, 23 September (BWNS) – The inequities and injustices that are likely to occur on a global level because of climate change mean that world leaders must carefully examine the moral and ethical dimensions of global warming, said Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"The impacts of climate change are going to be inequitable, unequal, and severe in many parts of the world," said Dr. Pachauri, who spoke today at a breakfast meeting at the Baha'i International Community offices.

"We have to think at a much higher level. And I think this is where ethics comes in so critically as the missing dimension in this debate," he said.

Dr. Pachauri's comments came at the official launch of an appeal, directed at world leaders gathered at this week's UN Summit on Climate Change, to emphasize the importance of the moral and ethical dimensions of global warming and its impact in their deliberations.

The appeal was drafted by the Baha'i International Community and has been signed by 25 nongovernmental organizations, religious groups, and policy institutes. The document calls on world leaders to "consider deeply the ethical and moral questions at the root of the climate change crisis."

"The quest for climate justice is not a competition for limited resources but part of an unfolding process towards greater degrees of unity among nations as they endeavor to build a sustainable, just and peaceful civilization," the appeal states.

Tahirih Naylor, a Baha'i representative to the United Nations, said the purpose of the document is to call attention to the fact that climate change is more than a political, economic and scientific problem. ...

To read the complete article and the text of the appeal to world leaders, and to see accompanying photographs, go to Ethics are 'missing dimension' in climate debate, says IPCC head

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