One of the glaring observations around the world about lockdown was how dramatically the pollution levels fell and the environment began “healing”. The abuse of the environment by humanity at large is unquestionable, but the ‘solution’ is less obvious.
Rather than just pushing for the use of alternative energy sources – that doesn’t address the underlying problem which is over-consumption – there is a need to dig a bit deeper.
Gus Speth, the American environmental lawyer, and advocate, former dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme has stated:
“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change.
I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong.
The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”
This view is reinforced by the British Economist, E.F. Schumacher, when in the early 1970’s he stated:
“The modern economy is propelled by a frenzy of greed and indulges in an orgy of envy, and these are not accidental features but the very causes of its expansionist success.
The question is whether such causes can be effective for long or whether they carry within themselves the seeds of destruction.”
The current environmental crisis is nothing less than a ‘spiritual’ crisis. And the solution must, therefore, be spiritual. Mahatma Gandhi wisely stated; “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”