FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Preventing climate change, our sacred duty
Posted:Apr 26, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Around the world in some 600 cities, hundreds of millions of people marched last Saturday, April 22 to mark Earth Day, emphasising the significance of evidence–based science on issues ranging from climate change to new technology. It was essentially a people–based mass movement though United States President Donald Trump says he wants to put American business interests first and has slashed funds for the US Environmental Protection Agency amid disturbing reports that he might pull the US out of the historic climate change accord, which almost all countries signed in Paris in December 2015.   
 
 For Sri Lanka, Earth Day came in the aftermath of the Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster in which more than 30 people were killed and about 1,000 displaced. Government leaders have pledged that high technology will be used to turn organic waste into energy or compost fertilizer. Last week top Japanese experts rushed here for an in-depth study on garbage disposal and their recommendations are likely to be implemented in the coming months. Not only the Government but all people, religious groups and private organisations need to cooperate in carrying out proper methods of garbage collection and disposal.
 
 Eco-friendly citizens need to understand the importance of reducing the use of polythene and plastic as a vital step in the battle against global warming. According to the United Nations, environmentalists have expressed shock at the 300 billion pieces of plastic floating in the Arctic Ocean.    
 
The first event for Earth Day, which was held in America nearly five decades ago following a devastating oil spill, is credited as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Since its launch, Earth Day has been supported by famous personalities including Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Watson. Now it is coordinated globally by the non-profit Earth Day Network, which describes it as the largest secular holiday in the world. 
 
Each year, festivals, parades and rallies are held in at least 192 countries to demonstrate support for environmental Protection. The day has its own flag, which was created by US peace activist John McConnell and, perhaps unsurprisingly, features a picture of the world on it. Russia has set up an early warning system to detect when its mysterious ‘exploding Arctic domes’ might erupt. It also has its own anthems -- one of which is performed to the tune of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, but with lyrics on protecting the planet.    
 
In Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena has led the battle against climate change. As Minister of Environmental Affairs, he has initiated a number of creative projects for the battle against climate change or global warming. Even after the recent Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster, he has initiated effective steps to turn garbage into eco-friendly energy or compost fertilizer. Supporting him actively, are Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka among others. President Sirisena also led the Sri Lanka delegation to the Paris Climate Change Summit. 
 
Sri Lanka signed and ratified the Paris accords.    What is the Paris Agreement? In December 2015, the Paris Agreement saw 196 countries agree to cut their carbon emissions in an effort to keep the increase of average global temperature to below 2ºC. But according to US President Trump, the plan to cut greenhouse gases will impact on US jobs and leave the country at the mercy of oil imports from the Middle East. By pulling out of the Paris accord he could derail the whole agreement, analysts say.    
 
That is why it is essential for people’s movements and all religions to take major initiatives in battling the possible catastrophe that could come from climate change. We cannot leave such a vital mission to leaders such as Donald Trump who are clearly inconsistent and unpredictable. His ‘America First’ policy is self-centred and is not likely to succeed. 
 
That is why Pope Francis has put the battle against climate change high on the list of priorities in the mission for the church and the world. We hope other religious leaders also will do so, because preventing climate change and maintaining the delicate eco-balance is a sacred duty, perhaps more important than some rites and rituals. Let us remember that we all have been a part of the crisis, now we need to become a part of the solution rather than just complaining about the current heat wave. 
 
Daily Mirror, April 27, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
  Nearly 58 per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive