Two prominent scientists, who have decades of experience in researching environmental change, recently urged religious leaders across the world to mobilize public opinion against the desecration of different ecosystems.
While writing a research paper titled ‘Pursuit of Common Good,’ climate and atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan and economist Partha Dasgupta explained how organized religion is placed strategically enough to encourage communities to resist government policies and industrial activities that threaten the earth’s natural resources. The paper was published only days before a United Nations summit on climate change was scheduled to take place in New York on September 23.
Detailing how humanity’s equation with natural resources is “at crossroads”, the authors of the paper suggested earth’s natural capital, which is exploited to rid people of poverty and depravity in the first place, only leads to people demanding more food, water and energy. According to Ramanathan and Dasgupta, the desecration of important ecosystems is taken care of neither by national governments nor by development economists.
“Religion has access to networks at every level in a way that scientists do not, and that's really why we are appealing to them to help address common issues for the sake of a common good,” said Dasgupta.
Apart from the influence that religious leaders have on public opinion, religious organizations also have the potential to offer practical help, according to the paper. For example, Dasgupta believes religious institutions can use their charitable means to provide needy individuals with cost effective, green energy technologies like solar lamps and biogas stoves.
“It is miraculous that eight decades of research by Professor Dasgupta and myself on the natural and social science aspects of environmental changes has led us to the doorstep of moral leaders of religions to rescue humanity from climate change,” said Ramanathan.
Photo Credits: University of California, San Diego