When I helped set up an environmental organisation 30 years ago and made all the necessary contacts, I noticed how few representatives of faith organisations were showing up on the radar. I thought that caring for the Earth should be fundamental for those of faith and I was surprised to see that so few were actively involved in environmental concern and action.
Over the years, I have met a considerable number of faithful environmentalists and most have shared a frustration that environmental concern was not ‘mainstream’ in the faiths.
When I was invited to speak on the same platform as Rabbi Natan Levy, I found we were both singing from the same hymn sheet. After our presentations, we talked about how we both wished that more of our faiths took a serious interest in the environment and seriously promoted environmental concern amongst the brethren.
And so the seeds of our book – Sharing Eden - were planted, although it has taken a long time to come to fruition. We have come through times when the environment was high profile, but now we are told it is on the ‘back burner'. In fact, some might say that it’s not the best time to launch our book! However, our faiths have such clear pointers to environmental concern in their fundamental beliefs that surely there is no better time than the present.
It is all there in our Good Books, and since many religious publications do not seem relevant to the mainstream news, a book that reminds and explains a few basic facts about religion and the environment may not be such a bad idea.
To some, the environment may be on the back burner, but the issues have not and are unlikely to ever go away. Ignore it or dismiss it as something for the greenies sitting at the back of the church and we could all find our environmental problems getting worse.