The climate change is a grave threat faced by humankind. Changes in the environment – reportedly largely due to greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by human activity – threatened to make earth uninhabitable for humans.
Today, man and nature seem to be struggling to survive each other. It was not always so. Earlier people were close to nature. They studies natural phenomenon minutely, and watched in awe the creation, change and destruction caused by forces of nature and so, they attributed divinity to nature. Myths from every part of the world featuring gods and goddesses of trees, rivers and mountains are expressions of the value that the ancients attached to nature, and their gratitude for sustenance it provided. The Vedas contain hymns glorifying the earth as mother and extolling air, fire and water for their power and the services they render to humans. It was understood that the well-being of the planet depended con conserving each of its constituent elements, so people took from nature only what they needed, and not more. This kind of harmony between man and nature is one of the characteristics of Satyug, the Age of Truth , as described in Hindu texts.
People in ancient societies were more in touch with spiritual truths. Consequently, spiritual values such as, purity, peace and generosity found expression in their action, and they were not beholden to material desires. Over time, material inclinations began to inform human actions and that changed human relationship with their natural world. The unnatural climate change we are experiencing is the manifestation of change in the climate of human minds over the past several centuries, whereby reverence for the nature has given way to unbridled greed. The quality of the environment is shaped by the quality of our consciousness. Industrialisation provided the motive and means for plunder of the earth for profit. While nature can replenish itself to sustain life, the resources and unchecked pollution of the environment have overwhelmed its capacity, destroying the ecological balance.
Man’s greed lies at the root of the environmental crisis facing us today, and the solution to it is with each one of us. We can adopt lifestyles that encourage need-based consumption, sharing of resources and minimum wastage. Simple acts, such as use of public transport and recycling, can make a big difference when done by large number of people. Planting trees is another way we can help heal the wounds man has inflicted on the planet. Trees support life in many ways, absorbing and storing carbon, producing oxygen and providing a habitat for a wide variety of creatures.
When people begin to make “green” choices, industry will follow suit. But for this to happen, there needs to be greater environmental and spiritual awareness. When we become mindful of environmental cost of our actions and realise that taking from nature has its karmic consequences, we will make more enlightened decisions.
Only by befriending nature we can achieve long lasting well-being for everyone. This friendship will yield life giving succour and prosperity without poisoning our bodies or destroying the only home humankind has in the entire universe.