Often what we learn in Religious Studies interweaves with other school subjects. For me that’s the best bit about Religious Studies: you can be considering evil and suffering and link it to the Holocaust which you’ve just been learning about in history, or you question how the world was created and remember about science and geography knowledge about rock formations and tectonic plates to support your arguments.
In the old AQA GCSE we have the topic of Planet Earth which is hugely influenced by science and geography learning. We have to know how the international community tries to deal with climate change and other environmental concerns. So we start with Rio…
At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 countries of the world met to discuss how we could promote sustainable development, that is develop our industry that doesn’t ruin the environment.
- Developed and developing countries alike are required to limit their emissions to relatively safe levels, of 2C with an aspiration of 1.5C, with regular reviews to ensure these commitments can be increased in line with scientific advice.
- Finance will be provided to poor nations to help them cut emissions and cope with the effects of extreme weather.
- Countries affected by climate-related disasters will gain urgent aid.
So people start shouting,”Three cheers for the world”, “Hip hip hooray”, but you should rarely celebrate when world leaders keep on changing and the new man in town isn’t a huge believer in climate change.
Already Trump has started to tear away pollution laws put in place by the previous US president, and the big fear is that President Trump will pull out of the Paris agreement.
If world politicians aren’t saving the planet, what might religious believers be doing? Perhaps they are donating money to or supporting groups such as the Christian Operation Noah, Christian Aid, and the Global Muslim Climate Network. Or they are out protesting, writing letter to MPs, joining pressure groups like Greenpeace, voting for the Green Party, recycling more, fitting solar panels to their houses, driving electric cars, walking and cycling more often, and praying.
Or maybe they think like President Trump and don’t see climate change as being real at all.