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A2 Model Answer :

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Introduction

A2 Model Answer : Qst (a) Examine the factors which have contributed to the present debate about the environment (30 mks). Qst (b) critically evaluate, from a religious perspective, the view that the problem of human greed lies at the root of the present environmental crisis (15 mks). Ans. There are a number of factors which have contributed to contemporary concerns about environmental issues. They include concern about : * Population Growth - The ever-increasing population of the world makes corresponding demands on food resources, which are invariably unequally distributed. The number of people in the world will soon break the 6 billion barrier. There is an understandable concern about how many more people the world can support - particularly in terms of resources. From a religious perspective, the General Synod of the Church of England has urged the Government to consider what contribution it can make to the encouragement of the stabilising of the world`s population so that human beings can live in sustainable harmony with the rest of the natural order and flourish without want. * The Problem of Resource Depletion - There is concern that fossil fuels cannot be recycled and cannot be produced by humans, and are thus finite (limited). Air is being polluted and essential environments upon which other creatures depend are also being consistently depleted, along with over-fishing and deforestation. ...read more.

Middle

All of these organisations are based on Christian environmental principles. Qst (b) Critically evaluate, from a religious perspective, the view that the problem of human greed lies at the root of the present environmental crisis (15 mks). Ans. It could, with some considerable justification be argued that human greed is a major contributory factor to much of the present environmental crisis. This can be illustrated by statistical data such as the fact that one-fifth of the world`s six billion population are living in extreme poverty whereas in the rich Northern Hemisphere there is much extravagance and waste. In the UK in 1992 for example 63 million was spent advertising breakfast cereals. This amount of money in the developing world could have provided : * 500,000 tool kits to help build wells in Ethiopia * 500,000 emergency shelters large enough to house 10 people after a disaster * 1.5 million vaccines to immunise children against 6 killer diseases Those who live in the rich Northern Hemisphere nations ( 1/4 of the world`s population) : * pump out 4/5ths of the world`s Greenhouse Gases * consume 5/6ths of the world`s resources In the poor Southern Hemisphere : * live 3/4ths of the world`s people * who consume just 1/6th of the world`s resources * and have average incomes 18 times lower than those in Northern Hemisphere nations N.B. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Church`s General Synod has urged Government : * to take all possible steps, both nationally and internationally, to establish a just and economical use of the Earth`s energy resources and to minimise the impact of consequential environmental pollution. The Methodist Church sees the universe as a whole as a product of God`s creative and imaginative will. All it`s parts are interdependent. Men and women are to be stewards, not exploiters of it`s resources - material, animal and spiritual. Christians must support those working for conservation and the development of more appropriate, sustainable life-styles. The Catholic Church has echoed similar environmental concerns in recent years - emphasizing : * Economic Justice - the economy is for all the people and the resources of the earth are to be equitably shared by all. * Stewardship - all property has a 'social mortgage'. It is 'borrowed'. All people are to be respected and to share the earth`s resources. By our work we are co-creators in the continuing development of the earth. In conclusion then there would appear to be a growing consensus on the need for a more responsible (and less selfish) attitude towards human usage of the world`s resources and a growing realisation of our interconnectedness and inter-dependence. Such a view has been influenced considerably by Christian perspectives - which regard environmental issues as much spiritual problems as scientific or economic problems - in that they relate to our responsibility to each other and to the world as part of God`s Creation. D.McCready 8.08.02 ...read more.

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