Thursday, December 8, 2022

Religious Leaders campaign for climate control

 Indonesia is a country with thousands of islands. Many of them, including Java where the Capital is, are adversely affected by climate change. Jakarta (the capital) recently had rains that displaced 400,000 people. Jakarta is flooding from rains AND from sinkage as the city has depleted the water table.

Flooding in Jakarta in 2022

The government and the church have gotten together and decided to flight climate change. In a country where trust in the government is pretty low, the country has turned to the Imams to spread the word. The Muslim Imams are the most respected institutional group in the country.

Let me quote from an Economist article:

Yet a country so exposed to the dangers of climate change is also a hotbed of climate denialism. A recent YouGov-Cambridge poll found that 13% of Indonesians say climate change is not caused by humans, just a shade less than the proportion in America. Indonesia’s imams, part of the influential Islamic establishment, want to change that. In July the country’s top Islamic representatives gathered at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta to establish the Muslim Congress for a Sustainable Indonesia, a forum for co-ordinating Islamic environmental activism among clerics, teachers, academics and politicians.

Nasaruddin Umar, Istiqlal’s grand imam, declared at the gathering that a mosque should be a place to “green the mind and the heart”. He has started by installing solar panels and water-recycling systems in his own mosque. Another 1,000 mosques will be fitted with solar panels and smart energy meters. Istiqlal is part of a growing movement. In 2018 Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, launched a series of sermons on waste and recycling. Muhammadiyah, the second-largest such body, created a programme to teach its imams to become “environmental preachers”.

It is surprising to me that a country where denial is so pervasive that religious leaders are taking the lead in fighting it. 

Or maybe it is surprising to me that so many western religious leaders do not. After all, I believe we were given a caretaker role in the Bible, so to ignore climate change seems odd.

Floods in Florida 2022

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