their cruel hearts, while they continued to satiate their instincts like animals, seeking pleasures, joys, and exploitations. Just as the Holy Koran draws the picture of humanity at the time of Its Revelation: “…They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle…”1

Man finally was caught in the painful infliction resulting from his own misdeeds; the horrible perversion that he fomented himself had made his life miserable. “Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of that which man’s hands have wrought…”2

Now it seems as if humanity is going through the first moments of awakening at the dawn of consciousness, rubbing drowsy eyes, the very eyes that had been closed in the deep slumber of heedlessness in the darkness of centuries.

Fortunately today, environmental scientists and experts are not the only ones to recognize the enormity of the situation. There is a kind of rising public reaction and popular protest in all inhabited parts of the planet earth. This is a promising trend; for I believe that until this important issue is understood by all, and the jeopardy threatening humanity is publicly discernible, the cries of handfuls of people in “Green” parties will not result in the ultimate solution; a popular mobilization of humanity. Without public understanding, the issue shall remain buried within conference proceedings and academic papers. Having the masses of humanity understand the problem is of paramount importance, and is the basis upon which everything else depends. Then all that remains is to find the root causes that conform and comply with the sound, natural, and pure disposition of human beings so that a proper solution and a logical strategy can be devised.

Our time is replete with cautionary saviors in the form of individuals or groups. Green parties have a significant presence everywhere. Thousands of articles and books are being written, and numerous screenplays and films are being made. Yet the sheer enormity and gravity of the situation is such that it is as if all these efforts have no efficacy, and they serve only as placebo for an illness. What is the mystery behind this?

It seems that the riddle of the failure lies in ignoring the causes and pursuing the results. Should we not confront the issue in a fundamental way, and reach its roots? Every effort is like giving placebo to a patient suffering from a festering infectious cyst within him. An unknown Iranian poet best illustrates his condition:


Al A’raf, verse 179 (Translator’s note: Al A’raf in Arabic means the elevated places. It is the seventh chapter in the Bounteous Koran.)


Al-Rum, verse 41 (Translator’s note: Al-Rum means the Romans. It is the thirtieth chapter in the Holy Koran.)

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement