When Environmental Crisis Happens

Global and multidimensional crisis really happened. No aspects of human life can avoid this crisis. There are multidimensional crisis like global warming, environmental (also natural) disaster, over-consumption, pollution, lack of clean water, over-population, deforestation, illegal logging, loss of biodiversity, etc. However, the wisdom to maintain the environment is still near to the ground. Not only companies and government but per individual also play a role in this crisis.

We can see vulgarly many kind of environmental degradation such as companies, which privatize water, or government legalizing unjust environmental law, or even each individual working against environmental wisdom. Another side, the population growth quickly increases over the limit.

So, what important this issue in science-religion discourse? R.F Schumacher in his book, A Guide for the perplexed (1981), said that cause of multidimensional crisis is spiritual crisis in accordance with belief and meaning of life. Further, Sayyed Hossein Nasr states that this crisis mostly is caused by modern science that tends to scientism. In modern science, human being is central which its consequence destroys environment for human being need. In this case, the statement of Fritjof Capra in the Web and Life is true that we theoretically destroy this world before destroying practically.

Therefore, when reading The Environment and Risk, I become be pessimist for the future of this world. I doubt that our generation can survive in this world if we cannot change modern-man view. Due to this condition, Nasr criticizes modern science that put human being as a central. For that reason, Nasr suggests to promote what he calls scientia sacra, philosophia perennis, or al-hikmah al-khalidah, and advance eco-theology. There are many religious doctrines, which teach and promote environmental wisdom. The concept of Yin-Yang in Taoism and the concept of Ri’ayatul bi’ah (Yusuf Qordowi) who includes environment in Islamic principle (maqashid al-syari’ah), for instance, are religious resources that should be applied in practical life.

Nevertheless, I think, eco-theology is not sufficient. We have to advance what Charlene Spretnak calls Green politics. It is importance, because environmental degradation has something to do with politics. Unjust environmental law and weak law enforcement are politics area in which government should play a role.

For that reason, multidimensional crisis needs comprehensive solution, interdisciplinary resource, and multidimensional approach.


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