Traditional Values:An Environmental Ethic for the Planet

Sixty percent of the earth’s ecosystems that serve to sustain life are under threat and will seriously degrade in the next 50 years according the the Millenial Ecosystem Assessment released yesterday.

This is a values issue at the heart of the survival of the planet and most of the world’s religions.

The report is worrisome because it reveals how human behavior is putting the natural ecosystem at risk. The earth’s capacity to carry human life is not unlimited, but we continue to develop and waste as if these have no consequences. In fact, they do.

The challenge we face is to find the same energy and urgency for preserving the earth that we put into other issues. And this, it seems to me, is a major challenge for those who must find the way to communicate the urgency of this message to masses of people around the world, some of whom are victims of environmental degradation and others who benefit from it through consumption lifestyles that are deeply ingrained in the culture.

This is truly an issue that affects all of us and will reveal how we care for each other and for the earth that sustains us. It is issue of ethical behavior and religious values.

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