The open session of the Tehran City Council yesterday was attended by many municipality officials as well as journalists and ordinary people. I had asked the procurement officer of the City Council to buy red apples enough for those present in the session. Mehdi Chamran, the Head of the Council was reluctant to accept my plan to distribute the apples, however I insisted and explained that on the occasion of Earth Day I intended to make a simple demonstration of how fragile the earth is. After some resistance he finally accepted , the apples were distributed with a green plate and plastic knife. I reminded everyone that they should not eat the apples and wait for my explanations. There was a sense of suspense and anticipation, the Government supporters in the Council were very worried that I may use this opportunity to speak out as I had done before. Chamran finally gave me the floor to talk. I compared the apple to our planet earth and I asked everyone to cut the apple into 4 equal pieces. 3 pieces are water, the oceans lakes and wetlands where life has begun and is sustained. 1/4 of the apple is land. I asked them to half that one piece and told them that half of that land including mountain cliffs and deserts is not habitable for humans. " Take one piece and cut it into four pieces" that would be the equivalent of arable land where where humans can cultivate to reap the fruits and products, I told them. I then asked them to peel the skin off that very small piece , "this is the top soil in which we can hope to produce food for about 7 billion inhabitants of this planet. That is the lesson of the apple. Now we can eat it together."
Some members were eating the apple before I began and some were joking about the cooking lessons I was giving.
Yet the message came across, particularly when the combination of green plate and red apples came out in the media.