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Religion and the Energy Crisis

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Religion and the Energy Crisis

When faced with the daunting specter of world energy issues and environmental crisis, it

is natural to focus on finding solutions to our problems of sustainability and pollution. Before jumping into a frenzied search for solutions, however, it is necessary to take a hard look at precisely why we care to solve this problem in the first place. This is a much broader question, rooted in culture, philosophy, ethics, and religion. How we as a species deal with our spirituality has a great impact on our obligations to each other, to the world we live in, and to future generations.

Looking at the potential harmfulness of the energy crisis, it is remarkable that more

people are not concerned about changing lifestyles and conserving resources. Our high rate of growth and energy production are causing widespread climate change, poisoning our air and resulting in the extinction of species. Humanity cannot continue to consume energy at the present rate given the limited supply of fossil fuels and the consequences of pollution, yet there seems to be a problem in cultivating widespread public concern for these issues. Even if the average American does not know the specifics of the matter, most everyone is aware of global warming, dying species, and the fossil fuel problem, so the lack of motivation does not stem from ignorance. There is some other factor contributing to the motivation problem, one that goes much deeper into human nature.

The basic problem faced in cultivating concern about the environment is one of

selfishness. In our modern secular society people are encouraged to be self serving, seeking individual success. They are valued for what they are able to accomplish for themselves, with t...

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