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Co-operation between people with common goals is needed

Humanists are concerned with human welfare and happiness but also care about the natural world which is is not an optional extra as mankind depends on the natural world for its survival as a species.

Traditionally religious people believe that their God created the world and gave humans stewardship over it. This is not a view shared by Humanists and others who believe that human beings evolved and go on evolving, along with the rest of nature. We recognize that human welfare is highly dependent on the environment and the continued existence of many other species. Humanists also appreciate the happiness and inspiration that contact with nature and animals can bring. Conversely they believe that indifference to animal welfare and ignoring cruelty can only degrade human sensibilities.

Integral to the Humanist outlook is a scientific view of the world. It was and is scientists - mainly biologists and ecologists - who noticed and monitored environmental problems. However it is society at large that must take the responsibility for how we choose to use scientific and technological developments. Tackling global warming, possibly the most pressing problem of our age, cleaning up our planet and finding new sources of energy will be tasks for scientists and engineers and the rest of us (especially those of us in the wealthier nations) must be prepared to fund and support their work.

Humanists were involved in setting up organisations such as UNESCO, which has world wide environmental responsibilities. We have always supported birth control as an important contribution to lessening the demands on the environment and were active in helping to set up United Nations birth control programmes. Of course Humanists share many aspirations with rational and concerned people of all beliefs. Most environmental campaign groups, such as Greenpeace, Compassion in World Farming, Friends of the Earth and the World Wide Fund for Nature are non-religious and supported by people of all faiths and none. Cooperation between people with common goals, whatever their other differences, is vital if progress is to be made.

George Broadhead
Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists