“While it is essential to cut carbon emissions and heed the warnings of scientists, we need to learn not only how to act differently but also how to think differently about the natural world. We need to recover the veneration of nature that human beings carefully cultivated for millennia; if we fail to do this, our concern for the natural environment will remain superficial. But this doesn’t have to be an insuperable task, because despite our careless and destructive behaviour, we have not entirely lost our love of nature. Our poets still extol the beauty and mystery of the natural world and David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries continue to attract huge audiences. People flock to the sea for holidays and walk in the woods or in parks at weekends — a return to nature which is both pleasurable and restorative. Even in our large, polluted cities, people cherish their garden, a little oasis of nature in the urban desert. We should consciously develop this remnant of our primordial link to nature in our struggle to save the planet. It is essential not only to our well-being but to our humanity.”

“This will require imagination and effort. It is crucial that we behave differently not just when we feel like it but all the time. Here the religious practices and disciplines of the past have much to offer. They can help us to develop an aesthetic appreciation of nature and to devise an ethical programme that will guide our behaviour and our thoughts.”