Learning Area

Climate Change and Environment
Are you concerned with climate change, land and water pollution, and the overall destruction of our planet earth? Do you often feel powerless, overwhelmed, and yet in search of a way to change our environmental and planetary future? The Jain tradition has a wealth of philosophical and ethical principles to help us think through these difficult and yet vital questions for the betterment of our environment and planet. For example, the vow of limited possession (aparigraha) challenges the human compulsion to mindlessly consume, while the supporting vow of limiting one’s unnecessary movement and excess travel (dig-vrata) challenges us to re-think our unsustainable travel habits and the harm they cause to the environment. Here at Arihanta Academy, our courses in Climate Change and Environment put these and many other critical Jain principles into conversation with academic fields including climate science, environmental studies, and pollution studies. We do this in order to shape informed, empowered, and proactive students who are ready to take action to make a positive impact in light of the environmental challenges before us. As you already know, we are currently facing unprecedented ecological challenges due to the pollution of our shared air, water, and land. Climate change has already begun to unleash catastrophic weather events, human displacement, drought, flooding, heat waves, wildfires, ocean acidification, and other unfortunate events caused by fossil fuels, unsustainable energy sources, and unnecessary land use for animal agriculture. Recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change findings have given us grave warnings over the past several years, imploring humanity to act immediately at all levels of society to avoid the worst of climate change’s damage. Meanwhile, our oceans are polluted with the plastic remnants of unchecked consumer culture, our land and ground water are increasingly poisoned with pesticides, chemicals, and massive amounts of runoff from animal agriculture, our lands are deforested, and our air is full of hazardous air pollutants. Because of this, our human bodies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to disease and dysfunction. As we also know, however, we can still avoid the worst of climate change and future environmental degradation. The Jain tradition, which views the world as an ecologically interconnected web of life, has much to offer us in this regard. At Arihanta Academy, you will learn how to embody, act upon, and disseminate critical Jain principles in light of science for the betterment of our shared planetary future.