THE ABSURD TIMES — STILL

ISLAMIC STATEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on August 21, 2015

THE ABSURD TIMES

Illustration: From the great Latuff. (Not really related to our topic, but it has been awhile, so here it is. No explanation is needed.)

ISLAMIC STATEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

BY

Czar Donic

One looks back with nostalgia of the times of the Cold War and slightly before. At that time, it was clear that in a matter of minutes, one could be completely vaporized. While some were busy buying expensive shelters with passageways that would somehow elude gamma radiation, the more sensible people were hoping that a nuclear bomb might land next door. One even mentioned a desire to try to catch it before it hit the ground. Our family, on the other hand, moved to a place where missal silos were rumored to be built. Whether or not there actually were missals there was irrelevant: if the “enemy” thought they were there, that place would be a target, making death that much more complete and rapid.

Today, we do not face that luxury. We have the inevitable outcome of making our own planet uninhabitable for ourselves within this century. In fact we have made it so and the environmentalists are optimists, or at least trying to make the near future less unlivable.

There was a time we could have reversed this trend. As late as the 70s, people became aware of something happening. Nixon began the EPA. People recognized that the ozone layer was being depleted. Ozone kept things so people could still lie in the sun, so saving it was important. Ozone is O3 and that means it has an extra O in it. The stuff that deodorants and freon were made of lacked an O, so once up there in the air, it could grab one of the Os and make carbon dioxide. (This is very simplistic, and still I’ve lost a few here.) Anyway, the process turned out also to be a chain reaction, so there was a move to ban that offending stuff and the ozone layer is reasonably safe.

However, other stuff kept accumulating up there and now there is so much that the process is irreversible. Steps should have been taken in the 80s, but by then Reagan was screwing with everything American, so things went to hell and have been declining since. For example, we often hear of clear, clean water. Sometimes blue water, although it looks brown, or green. Here is the U.S. of A., we have ORANGE water flowing in our rivers. No, I’m not making that up. Still, the rate of deterioration can be slowed. Anyway, here’s some documentation and efforts:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2015

Islamic Leaders Take on Climate Change, Criticizing “Relentless Pursuit of Economic Growth”

A group of leading Islamic scholars have issued a declaration calling on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to do their part to eliminate dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and turn toward renewable energy sources. The declaration urges world leaders meeting in Paris later this year to commit to a 100 percent zero-emissions strategy and to invest in decentralized renewable energy in order to reduce poverty and the catastrophic impacts of climate change. The declaration comes on the heels of the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment earlier this year, which also calls for sweeping action on climate change. Like the encyclical, this declaration, endorsed by more than 60 leading Islamic scholars, links climate change to the economic system, stating: “We recognize the corruption that humans have caused on the Earth due to our relentless pursuit of economic growth and consumption.” We speak to Bangladeshi climate scientist Saleemul Huq, one of the contributors and signatories to the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change.

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEENSHAIKH: We turn now to a sweeping climate change declarationissued by the world’s leading Islamic scholars, calling on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to do their part to eliminate dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and turn towards renewable energy sources. The declaration urges world leaders meeting in Paris later this year to commit to a 100 percent zero-emissions strategy and to invest in decentralized renewable energy in order to reduce poverty and the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The declaration comes on the heels of the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment earlier this year, which also calls for sweeping action on climate change. Like the encyclical, this declaration, endorsed by more than 60 leading Islamic scholars, links climate change to the economic system, stating, quote, “We recognize the corruption that humans have caused on the Earth due to our relentless pursuit of economic growth and consumption.” It places special emphasis on richer countries and communities, noting that the risks of climate change are, quote, “unevenly distributed, and are generally greater for the poor and disadvantaged communities of every country, at all levels of development.”

AMYGOODMAN: To talk more about the significance of this declaration, we go to London to speak with Saleemul Huq, one of the contributors and signatories to the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, a climate scientist at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, and director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh.

Saleemul Huq, welcome back to Democracy Now! Talk about what prompted the declaration, who wrote it, and who were the major signatories on it.

SALEEMULHUQ: I think the origin of this came some—a few months ago, when the Climate Action Network, a group of climate activists, got together with the Islamic Relief Worldwide, a humanitarian Islamic organization that does quite a lot of work with vulnerable communities around the world. And they agreed that this was something that they should take up, and got in touch with Islamic scholars and leading clergy around the world, and started drafting a potential declaration of this kind. And then they held a two-day symposium in Istanbul, which ended just a day or so ago, where they brought about 60 international scholars, Muslim scholars, leading clergy from different countries, and we—and then invited me as a climate scientist to join them, also a Muslim, as well. And we honed the final declaration, which came out and has been released.

And it’s aimed very much at the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, bringing to their attention the verses of the Holy Qur’an, which enjoin Muslims everywhere to preserve the environment as stewards of the environment, and at the same time not cause harm to other people by their own pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and so, at a personal level, to reduce our emissions, and, at a global level, to join efforts by all faiths and all countries to bring down the fossil fuel use to zero as soon as possible.

NERMEENSHAIKH: Well, last month, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley made headlines by suggesting that the rise of the so-called Islamic State came about in part because of the effects of climate change. He was speaking on Bloomberg TV. Let’s go to a clip.

MARTINO’MALLEY: One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation-state of Syria and the rise of ISIS was the effect of climate change and the mega-drought that affected that region, wiped out farmers, drove people to cities, created a humanitarian crisis. It created the symptoms, or, rather, the conditions, of extreme poverty that has led now to the rise of ISIL and this extreme violence.

NERMEENSHAIKH: Dr. Saleemul Huq, your response? I mean, to what extent do you think the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, etc., Yemen, are exacerbated by climate change? Can the creation of ISIS really be attributed to the effects of a changing climate?

SALEEMULHUQ: I think that—I don’t think there’s a direct attribution of the rise of ISIS as an organization to climate change, but there is no denying the underlying logic of the statement that we just heard, which is that there was a continuing drought for quite a few years in Syria that predates the conflict, the civil war, and the rise ofISIS, and caused migration and refugees going from the rural areas to urban areas. And that’s the kind of thing that climate change is likely to cause in future, and almost certainly will cause future conflicts.

NERMEENSHAIKH: And, Dr. Huq, what does the declaration call on some of the Muslim-majority oil-producing countries to do? They’re the ones with among the least incentives to cut down on fossil fuels, since they’re dependent on them for their economy.

SALEEMULHUQ: Well, first of all, it enjoins all the Muslims in those countries, as individuals, to do what they can to reduce their own carbon footprints and also to help their fellow Muslims, who very often are amongst the most vulnerable people to the impacts of climate change, people like Muslims living in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, my country, and in parts of Africa. Many of these are Muslims who are suffering the consequences, and therefore those of us who are better off have a duty to help them, protect them and to stop causing the pollution that is causing the impacts on them, and at the same time hope to influence the leaders of these countries that it’s in their own best interest to move away from fossil fuels in the long run. And indeed, this is beginning to happen. If you look at the leaders of Abu Dhabi, for example, they are investing heavily in solar energy and in renewable energy, because they know that their oil is not going to last forever.

AMYGOODMAN: Saleemul Huq, we want to thank you for being with us, one of the contributors and signatories to the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, climate scientist at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh.

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2 Responses

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  1. Barry Wright said, on August 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Sorry about the late response, great writing old buddy, and no spelling errors, what the hell happened…? About the spelling I mean. The best Muslim theology matches the best Christian theology in many ways, like the identical stewardship of the environment’ topic.

    Of course, right wing nuts tend to be paranoid and judgmental, in any religion or political party.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. @honestcharlie said, on August 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you. The chemistry is a bit off, but hey, close enough for the news. 🙂

    Like


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