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Flashcards in Religion and Environmental Issues Deck (19)
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What is meant by 'awe and wonder'?

Awe: a feeling of respect, insight into meaning greater than oneself.

Wonder: marvelling at the complexity and beauty of the universe.


What does Genesis 1 teach Christians about 'stewardship'?

The Christian creation story teaches Christians to take responsibility for the environment because it was created by God therefore they are called to be stewards of the earth, to look after it for God.


What is meant by 'dominion'?

Christians interpret in 2 ways:
1. Authority over God's creation as the only beings 'in God's image' - can do whatever is needed to help humans.
2. Be a responsible ruler who uses intelligence and reason to work out how best to protect God's creation.


What is global warming and why is it a problem?

Greenhouse gases (C02 acts like greenhouse gas to warm the planet). This has led to global warming which has led to the melting of polar ice caps, rising sea levels and more extreme weather e.g. droughts in Africa leading to famines.


What is pollution and why is it a problem?

1. Carbon emissions from increasing number of vehicles on the road, power stations and factories particularly in developing countries pollute the air. It contributes to global warming and causes health problems for people (e.g. asthma).
2. Pollution of seas and rivers with oil and pesticides - damages wildlife habitats and kills animals. Endangers communities that rely on clean water supply from a particular river.


What is deforestation and why is it a problem?

Destruction of large areas of forest e.g. rainforests– leading to destruction of natural habitats which affects animals and the local environment e.g. can lead to flooding. It increases the greenhouse effect as trees remove CO2 from atmosphere.


What is the acid rain cycle?

When fossil fuels are burned they create gas emissions which react with the atmosphere and come down as rain which poisons soil, forests, seas and lakes, killing fish. It can also be caused by pesticides being absorbed into the atmosphere.


Why is waste an environmental problem?

Live in a 'throwaway society', too much packaging and little is recyclable. (e.g. plastic bags) so it ends up in landfill sites where it simply sits as cannot be broken down. Run out of space...???


What are non-renewable natural resources?

Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas which cannot be replaced. Scientists fear we will run out due to our reliance on them for electricity and transport.


What can religious believers do to protect the environment?

1. RRR - Reduce, reuse and recycle.
2. Reduce carbon footprint by paying an additional fee when flying to have trees planted.
3. Increase use of renewable energy sources e.g. solar power.


What is meant by conservation?

Looking after the environment and protecting animals e.g. by belonging to a group which supports particular species or how councils encourage people to be 'green' by buying organic food and finding alternatives to cars.


What is sustainable development?

Development which takes into consideration the impact on the natural world for future generations e.g. targets to reduce carbon emissions, taking action to avoid the world's water running out.


What happened at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Kyoto in 1997 and Johannesburg in 2002?

Earth Summits: World leaders discuss threats to the Earth and agree on international action -
Rio - Plan to promote sustainable development and protect animal and plant species.
Kyoto - Kyoto Protocol agreed to reduce CO2 emissions.
Johannesburg - Discussed problem of poor and 2 billion who live without clean water and the extinction of animal species. 185 countries agreed to work on this.


Are Earth Summits successful?

Yes - encourage countries to agree on issues and work together to take action on issues such as sustainable development and CO2 emissions. Had to put promises into action e.g. Climate Change Bill in UK promising cuts in emissions.
No - targets are too challenging and so are not realistic, won't happen. Not all countries sign up. Unfair on the countries that have only just achieved industrialization.


What are Buddhist attitudes to the environment?

- For Buddhists, the universe is a single, vast living thing. All parts of the natural world depend on each other. Since humans are part of nature they should not act against it.
- Buddhist appreciation of the universe (awe & wonder) is linked with ideas about INTERDEPENDENCE:
Dhammapada 49 "As the bee takes the essence of a flower and flies away without destroying its beauty and perfume, so let the sage wander in this life"
- Noble Eightfold Path - Right Intention, Right Effort and Right Action.
- 5 Precepts - Avoid taking life, Avoid taking what is not given.


Other than stewardship - what other teachings are relevant for Christians when thinking about how to treat the environment?

1. Sanctity of life - taking care of the environment through conservation and sustainable development supports the poorest who are most affected by climate change.
2. 'Love your neighbour'/agape - thinking about impact on others with lifestyle choices.
3. Living in harmony as encouraged to in the Bible - with other, nature and animals.


What are the key points made by Christians at Assisi in 1986?

1. Just because humans put in charge doesn't give permission to abuse or destroy.
2. Appreciate God's glory in the natural world (awe and wonder).
3. Christians should be against all thoughtless actions that threaten to destroy nature and human life.


What are the key points made by Buddhists at Assisi in 1986?

1. Destruction of environment result of 3 Poisons of greed, ignorance and disregard for richness of life.
2. Failure to see this will lead to future generations inheriting a dead world.
3. This generation's responsibility to take action before it's too late.


Describe the work of religious organisation that works to improve the environment.

Christian Aid - has projects on climate change and fair trade. Part of belief that justice for poor means rich countries using fewer non-renewable resources.