I believe humans “can” have a deep connection with the earth, and I don’t believe religion is the biggest factor. You get out what you put in. A connection with the environment is like any other relationship. It needs to be cultivated- so actually spending quality time in nature is key. The costal communities in Dr. Siwatibau’s article have such a deep connection with their environment because they depend on it, spend time with it, and cultivate their relationship with it.
Religions taking a stand on environmental issues is admiral and undoubtedly helpful but I don’t think it can slow climate change at this point. We will only feel the impacts of what we’ve don’t to increase climate change in years to come, maybe generations. However, the human race can definitely slow of stop environmental degradation, as to not exacerbate the ozone damage we have already done.
There is a lot to be said for Catherine McGee’s insight on mindfulness. Knowing yourself and loving yourself awakens you to the fact that your also one with other creatures and the earth at large, and to extend that compassion to the earth as well. We definitely have an intrinsic connection to the earth, but we shut that off like we shut off the true connection we have to ourselves. We don’t look because then we have to acknowledge our imperfections and our limits. That blindness to ourselves is reflected in how we shut off our connection with the earth; we aren’t in tune and we just want progress without acknowledging earth’s limits or the damage we are causing as a human race.