Is our planet really in danger?
In most of the religions, nature is mentioned and play an important role in terms of the rights and duty of humans to preserve it. In some of those, nature is described as a fundament of the world, in others, it has more the task of a mediator…It is not an exaggeration to say that most of the religious texts ask their reader to respect the nature and the environment they live in. The following examples are to give an impression about the matter, in Buddhism, for example, interdependence, kindness, and protection are approached. Every element of nature are connected and are supposed to live together in kindness. Every species should be protected. In Hinduism, nature is needed and to be respected because it reincarnates the divinities at different states of spiritual evolution.
In ancient China, an old religion called Sinism used to promote nature as a mediator between human beings and divinities. Thus, they should keep it in harmony. Whereas Taoism aims to insert human beings into nature without dominating it. In Judaism and Christianism, the inhabitant of the earth considered as the administrator, master of the environment. Even if each religion and faith has its own approach and representation of nature and how human beings should deal with it, most of the texts acknowledge a necessary preservation and protection of the environment.
If even the religious text, which dates in centuries, mention the preservation of nature for many reasons, why are we not so respectful with our earth nowadays? Are these texts obsolete? Do not we trust them? Do not we believe in religions any more? Why do we live on such a polluted earth? What are the consequences?
We do still believe in religions. The last study of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public life found that 84% of the world population is religious. And in some regions of the world, the number of believer keeps on increasing. That is actually the sciences and the new discoveries which made us behave this way with the nature around us. Without generalizing, every human has a different behavioral face related to the environment. As humane being, we are required to be more conscious of our actions and behavior when it comes to protecting the environment. Not to pretend to be superior to nature, to be master of nature, to control it, to dominate it.
It is not for the planet that we should be careful. It is for ourselves. Nature has been here for more than 4.5 billion years, 22 500 older than we are. The probability that it will not die before the extinction of the sun in 4.5 billion years is very high. This planet is not really in danger, it is designed to evolve. It already evolved. It is anthropocentric to think that the earth would not exist without us. Human beings did not create the world and will not end it either. The existence of the planet does not depend on us. On the contrary, our existence depends on our planet. Nature protected and will remain to protect us for a long time, by providing food, and other resources, so we have to protect it in turn at least.
By neglecting the environment, we put ourselves in danger. We change the nature into culture. A long time ago, forests and land seemed to be limitless, resources were in abundance. But now, we just realize that these resources are not infinite. In a first time, it becomes a problem for our health, because it digs the gap between us and nature, that is not able anymore to provide us with what we need. In short, the air is polluted, the land is deserted, the water is not clean, the diseases are increasing, the bees cannot survive, there is a lack of water and of resources.
But it is also threatening to the status of peace and harmony between the 7 billion humans on the earth. Some resources become indeed rare and it leads to huge conflicts, whether global or local. We can mention among many others, the conflict in Colombia. It opposes paramilitary, guerrillas, and State, for more than 50 years. In this country, which is rich in mining and energy resources, more than 80% of civilians have died.
Who should be responsible for this? Is it our fault? Is it the government fault, that humans’ environmental security decreases?
One of the issues is that we think that the earth is not ours. We just “rent” it, live on it for a while, and then it will not be our problem anymore. That is why we dare to damage it. But let us think about the future generations, our children, our grandchildren. De Soto used to say that a person takes more care of his property and tends to neglect what is common. Maybe the solution would be to transform the environment into an economic property. In this case, everyone would be responsible for its own good. Briefly, the right to property could be an opportunity to improve the protection of the environment, and thus the human security.
By Giroud Elise