Introduction: The Vision
All faiths can significantly influence how we approach ecological sustainability. Krznaric (2008) says across the world’s religion there is an increasing awareness of the dangers of climate change and the urgent need to address these problems Christianity and Hinduism are among these faiths that contribute to good ecological practice. Their principles correspond to the core values of sustainability, as defined by Our Common Future Report (1987); these essential components are environmental protection, improvement of socio-economic conditions, and instituting environmental policy; and are very much evident in contemporary ecological theories; the World Charter for Nature (1982), Rio Declaration Principles (1992), and Kyoto Protocol (1997). Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. embodied the ideal model of churchmanship and Christian activism. Although he was not a public figure of environmental activism, King taught individuals that submitting themselves to Christian values would result in the embodiment of a loving relationship that God envisions us his children to have for one another. The experience of this love perpetuates goodness in our hearts, and with this goodness, we learn to live in ways that are least harmful to others, including being good environmental stewards. His devotion to the second most important commandment “...you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) provided him with the foundation to maintain a perception of good in the world. This divine view of others perpetuated his sensitivity for the black community and eventually contributed to the ending of institutionalized segregation in the United States of America. The ending of segregation provided Black African Americans the opportunity to access formal education; good education is not only a necessary means of social development but also an effective tool to broaden ones awareness of the ecological crisis. In essence, King’s efforts put forth the concept that minority communities can significantly contribute to sustainability, provided they access good education; educated people tend to be more influential in generating change concerning societal issues. Education is a necessary means to promote awareness and address challenges to attain ecological development; the World Charter Nature (WCN) says, “knowledge of nature shall be broadly disseminated by all possible means, particularly by ecological education as an integral part of general education”. The adoption of strong educational principles is the seed of growth for organizations like the African American Environmentalist Association (1985); today are an informative source of knowledge for the black community in many parts of America. AAEA says its mission is “deliver environmental information and services directly into communities. We work to clean up neighbourhoods by implementing toxics education, energy, and water and clean programs (AAEA, 2010).
Bhagavad-Gita believes human...