Footsteps’ secretary, Chris Martin, spoke at the Interfaith Discussion on Religion and Environment organised by ABSoc, as part of Aston University’s Go Green Week. Other speakers included Sheikh Arif, Al-Mahdi Institute; Dr Pyara Bhogal, Birmingham Council of Gurdwaras; and Jan Scott, Aston chaplaincy team.
The presentations highlighted how the teachings of all faiths emphasise the need to care for Planet Earth and the environment, and the ways in which our current use of water, plastic and fossil fuels are unsustainable.
We were given an example from the Punjab, where farmers are producing nine crops in a single season, but at the cost of the soil being poisoned by the amount of chemical fertilizer used. Elsewhere in India, the Ganges is totally polluted with plastic, and water tables are dropping.
Jan Scott had visited Kenya recently and, at the end of a service she was leading, asked what the congregation would they would like to pray for. The congregation said ‘climate change’ and explained how the changes in the local climate mean that they are no longer able to support their families on their plots of lands.
Watch this space for a short video in which the speakers sum up their presentations in one minute!
A lively discussion followed the presentations with the panel being asked challenging questions like “How can we convince the younger generation to forego the convenience of using a car, plastic, having a daily shower or two in order to reduce their carbon footprints?” and “What should I do next when I have stopped using single-use plastic mugs?”
Everybody present felt it had been a useful evening and thanked ABSoc for organising the event.