Monday, January 14, 2008

The Guardian and Those Who Can Save the Planet

There is no end to this extremely cold weather, it seems. Tehran is still lingering about ten degrees below zero and most cities in Iran follow the same course; some even falling below -30 degrees Celsius. A friend called me asking me to take back the prayers we had made some months ago in the north pole. In an interfaith ceremony we had then prayed that global warming and therefore destruction of life on earth would slow down. "Your prayers have now been accepted and we are now freezing !" she told me ," please, if possible take those prayers back". My efforts to explain the scientific flaws in her reasoning were useless.
A couple days ago, I received an email from RSE Religion Science Environment , which is an international NGO that organizes symposia on the issues of religion and environment and the nexus of these two with science. The last Symposium was held in 2007, in Greenland near to the north pole. They held a prayer ceremony where all religions took part to pray for the earth. The email indicated that Guardian International Newspaper, in its January 5 issue had mentioned the names of 50 people who could save the earth. The Archbishop of Bartholomew, the Patron of RSE, was on the list. I read the list suddenly realizing that a few names below that of the Archbishop, my name was also there in that list of saviors of the earth!
A string of congratulations flowing since yesterday in this freezing weather has brought some warmth; for me at least. Many websites and some local papers have published the news. I think I owe this recognition to great people who have worked with me to protect our natural environment; scholars, managers, rangers, experts , NGOs ,media and the ordinary people. They all have a share in this title. Nothing could have been achieved alone. To save the earth we need a collective effort. You can see the article at http://www.guardian.co.cuk/environment/2008/jan/05/activists.ethicalliving.

1 comment:

Rakhshan Bahar said...

To save the earth we need to stop overpopulating it, and those of us who are here need to use our resources more efficiently.

The smartest thing we can do to relieve the overpopulation burden is to educate women and give them the right to vote. Once they find their economic freedom and feel empowered, they will not see themselves merely as economically dependent subservient wombs, but as a part of the family and community economy. For women to be productive in this more powerful role, having bunches of babies to care for makes no sense.

The best hope for reducing fossil fuel impacts after global population reduction is individual choices. Do you heat your house to 24 degrees or 19 degrees? Do you make a special trip to the store for one item, or combine tasks in one trip. After individual choice comes Government leadership, be it in new standards for home insulation, appliance, or auto effeciencies. This is followed by further shifting away from fossil fuels by using renewable energy sources and nuclear power.

Climate change can be accomplished, but it must be attacked from many directions at once.