How do many people think we treat the Earth?
Many people believe we are damaging the Earth, which is irreplaceable, beyond repair.
Explain Christian beliefs about the origins of life on Earth.
The Bible begins with a story that tell how God created the heavens and the Earth out of nothing, filled the Earth with living creatures and made human beings. God completed his work in 6 days and rested on the 7th.
Some Christians take these stories literally, whilst most prefer to concentrate on the religious truths they teach about caring for the Earth.
Explain Buddhist beliefs about the origins of life on Earth.
There is no Buddhist creation story. The Buddha thought questions about how the Earth started was idle speculation.
A feeling of respect; insight into meaning greater than oneself.
Marvelling at the complexity and beauty of the universe.
What is the wow factor?
Science reveals a world filled with mystery, awe and wonder. Without a sense of awe and wonder at the mysteries of nature or its power and beauty, our lives can remain flat and boring.
However, some people worry that humans have lost their sense of awe and take the planet for granted.
What are Buddhist beliefs about the Universe?
To Buddhists, the Universe is a single, vast living thing. Therefore, humans should not act against it.
What are Christian beliefs about the Earth?
Christians believe God created the universe as an expression of his love.
As God's children, humans have the responsibility to care for and protect the natural world and be thankful to God.
The world really belongs to God, not human beings.
What is meant by stewardship?
The idea that believers have a duty to look after the environment on behalf of God.
What do religious people believe about stewardship?
Some believe God will judge humans when they die on how well they look after the Earth.
Those who believe in reincarnation believe they will return to Earth, so will want to ensure they have a good Earth to return to.
What are the Buddhist beliefs about caring for the Earth?
Buddhists should develop an attitude of loving kindness (metta) to all things, including the Earth.
What are the Christian beliefs about caring for the Earth?
In the past, the instruction by God to 'rule over...every living creature' was understood as domination rather than stewardship.
Now, Christians believe they have a duty to conserve the Earth for future generations.
What threats to the environment are posed by humans?
-Carbon emissions from vehicles, power stations and factories.
-Increasing amounts of waste.
-Pollution of river and seas.
-Deforestation and destruction of natural habitats.
-Using up natural resources faster than they can be replaced.
What is the greenhouse effect?
Greenhouse gases released from cars, etc. cover the Earth like a blanket, trapping the Sun's heat. Most people agree that this greenhouse effect causes global warming.
How is household waste disposed of?
Most of it goes to the tip and much of it is not biodegradable. However, people are starting to recycle things like glass and paper.
Why is industrial waste dangerous?
Industrial waste contains dangerous chemicals which can affect human health and the environment so is hard to deal with.
Waste from nuclear power stations is particularly dangerous because its radioactivity lasts for thousands of years and can seep into soil and drinking water, causing cancer and illness.
How does recycling help to save the environment?
-Saves energy, which reduces carbon emissions.
-Conserves natural resources so protects natural habitats.
-Reduces the need for landfill sites which produce methane, another greenhouse gas.
The contamination of something, especially the environment.
Define acid rain.
Rain made acidic by contamination through pollution in the atmosphere as a result of emissions from factories, vehicles, power stations and so on.
How does acid rain damage the environment?
Acid rain poisons lakes and rivers, the soil, plant and trees.
Substances used to destroy insects and pests that attack crops.
How do oil spills damage the environment?
Oil spills can ruin coastlines and cover seabirds and marine life in thick, toxic coating.
The oil can kill seabirds, seals, otters and fish.
How can pesticides damage the environment?
At high doses they kills not only insects but birds and mammals aswell.
They seep down into the soil and get into the water table.
They are also absorbed into the atmosphere where they fall to Earth as acid rain.
What does religion say about pollution?
Pollution is a fairly recent problem so the founders of the world's religions did not speak about it.
Polluting the planet is not good stewardship. Pollution harms people so is not following Christian teaching to 'love one's neighbour'.
It harms living creatures so it is against the Buddhist first precept not to harm living beings.
The cutting down of large amounts of forest, usually because of business needs.
What have been created to preserve the natural habitats of many species?
Why does deforestation happen?
-To clear the land for farming.
-To raise cattle for beef.
-To raise crops that can be sold abroad.
-To cut trees like mahogany and teak for furniture.
-To cut trees like oak and pine for building and firewood.
What are the effects of deforestation?
-Destroys natural habitats➡️Animals and plants face extinction.
-Deforestation contributes to climate change.
-Trees also draw up water and release it into the atmosphere➡️When trees are removed the region cannot hold as much water.
-With loss of protective cover from trees soil washes away into water courses, lakes and dams➡️This can cause flooding and landslides.
Why are fossil fuels called non-renewable resources?
They cannot be replaced.
Why are natural resources under pressure?
There has been a population 'explosion' since 1830.
What renewable sources are being developed?
Cars are being developed that use hydrogen or other renewable fuels.
Wave power needs further development and may not be cost effective.
Many people object to wind farms as they spoil the look of the countryside.
What is an advantage and disadvantage to nuclear power?
✅Nuclear power is cleaner than burning fossil fuels.
❌Waste remains radioactive for thousands of years.
What are the expected effects of global warming?
-Severe weather➡️Droughts or floods➡️Destruction of crops➡️Famine.
-Water becomes scarce➡️Damages agriculture, health, forests, plants and animals.
What are religious attitudes towards climate change?
Most religious believers consider climate change an important issue because of the harm it can do to people, animals and the delicately balaced system of life on Earth.
Religious principles of good stewardship, sanctity of life, love of neighbour, compassion for poor, living in harmony with world are applied to environmental problems by all religions.
Looking after the environment and protecting animals.
What is an Earth Summit?
A meeting of representatives of different countries, including religious leaders. They discuss the threat to the Earth and agree on international action.
There have been 3 Earth Summits so far.
What is meant by sustainable development?
Development which takes into consideration the impact on the natural world for future generations.
Who encourages conservation and how?
-Councils encourage people to be green by recycling, buying organic food and finding alternatives to using a car.
-Environmental pressure groups educate, campaign and protest about activities that damage the planet.
What happened in the Rio de Janeiro 1992 Earth Summit?
-Discussed pollution, deforestation and the growing scarcity of water.
-Produced Agenda 21, a plan to save the planet in the 21st country➡️Plan urged countries to find alternative energy sources, to protect animal and plant species and to promote sustainable development.
-Countries also agreed to keep greenhouse gas emissions at a steady level.
What challenges did the British government set itself in the Climate Change Bill?
In 2007, it promised to cut 60% of carbon emissions by 2050 and a 26-36% reduction by 2020.
What happened in the Kyoto 1997 Earth Summit?
-Kyoto Protocol agreed➡️Countries promised to cut CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
-If the country only maintained or increased emissions, they had to agree to carbon trading➡️Paying another country with low emissions to offset their own.
What happened in the Johannesburg 2002 Earth Summit?
-World Summit on Sustainable Development discussed problems of poor, particularly the 2 billion people who live without clean water.
-Summit also concerned about the loss of many animal and plant species, and the reduced numbers of fish in the sea.
-185 countries agreed to work hard to combat these problems by 2015.
When have religious leaders met to discuss environmental problems?
At Assisi in 1986, and Ohito in 1995.
What are Buddhist views to environmental issues?
-Destruction of the environment is a result of greed, ignorance and disregard for the richness of all living things.
-If it continues, future generations will inherit a dead world.
-This generation is aware of the great danger facing the world, so has the responsibility and ability to take action before it is too late.
What are Christian views on environmental issues?
-Just because humans were put in charge of Creation does not give us permission to abuse, spoil, waste or destroy what God has made.
-Christians oppose all thoughtless exploitation of nature that threatens to destroy it and human life as well.