Posted by: ARC | August 3, 2009

Abundance versus Scarcity thinking

What I wanted to write about today is something that has transformed my thinking both about how to explain the work we do at ARC and about the Copenhagen climate change talks themselves.

At the EcoSikh launch in Delhi, Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary General of UNDP said that what has characterized the history of the climate change negotiations over the past 20 years has been “everyone generally wanting to do as little as possible, while pushing for others to do as much as possible”. This comes from a scarcity mentality, “to make sure that someone else pays the bill.”

However, what we see in many meetings of faiths on the environment is quite the opposite. We see people are saying: “this is what we can offer: this is what we are going to do.” They don’t say: “we’ll only do this if another faith does this, or if the government does this,” they simply say: “this is what we can give and this is what we can do.”

This comes from an abundance mentality… And if some of that mentality rubs off on those attending the Copenhagen talks in December, then the world just might be a clearer place. And even if it doesn’t, then all these actions that religions are announcing in the next few years, are going to happen anyway. “Religions hold a key – an important key – to the task that humanity has been given.”

This text is from our latest newsletter, which can be read in its more complete form here.

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Posted by: ARC | July 31, 2009

Meeting the Grand Mufti of All Syria

Martin has just been in Syria, recording for the BBC Sunday service. And when he was there he met the Grand Mufti of All Syria, Sheikh Hassoun, who was very enthusiastic about the Islamic Seven Year Plan programme which was announced in Istanbul at the beginning of this month. What was his position on the environment, Martin asked. And Sheikh Hassoun paused. “If I put the Qu’ran, or the Bible, or the Torah on the ground and trod on it you would be shocked, and you would ask ‘what is he doing?’ and you would try to stop me. But that is what humans are doing every day to God’s earth, which is as much part of His Glory as the Qu’ran, or the Torah or the Bible.”

The service will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on August 9th.rac

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