Faith leaders call for repentance and spiritual reformation to address climate change
Originally published by RNS on August 17 by Bob Smietana
Dealing with the climate crisis will require developing renewable forms of energy such as solar and wind power, decreasing greenhouse gases and creating more sustainable lifestyles.
It also requires a change of heart, says Swami Rameshwarananda, a Hindu spiritual leader from Spain.
While many people know that immediate action needs to be taken to address rising global temperatures, said Rameshwarananda, most of us would rather protect the comfortable life we have than make needed changes.
“We have to exchange the concept of ego for the concept of ‘eco,'” he said. “Ego is the problem.”
Rameshwarananda is one of approximately 50 faith leaders who drafted a set of 10 spiritual principles for addressing the climate crisis. Those principles urge repenting for failing to care for the Earth and pledging to do better in the future. They were unveiled last fall in “climate repentance” ceremonies held both in Egypt and London in time to coincide with the U.N. climate change conference in Egypt.
A similar ceremony was held this week at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, which drew 6,000 leaders from more than 200 spiritual traditions to Chicago.