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A Message from the Chair: Celebrate and Protect Planet Earth

Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin, CIOGC Chair
April 2016

Celebrate and Protect Planet Earth

A token unto them is the dead earth. We revive it, and We bring forth from it grain so that they eat thereof; And We have placed therein gardens of the date palm and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein. That they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hand made it not. Will they not, then, give thanks? [Qur’an 36:33-35]

April 20, the Earth Day, is for us to celebrate our beautiful blue planet Earth.

Our planet Earth is currently providing sustenance to more than 7 billion humans and countless other animals and vegetation. There is no other planet in the vast universe that we have been able to find that comes even close to being as hospitable. The delicate balance God has created on earth is remarkable. A mere increase in the earth’s temperature by two degrees can create havoc. We have a challenge to not upset Earth’s balance. We can show gratitude for being blessed with this home by vowing not to abuse it and striving to stop its abuses that are currently threatening the comfort it provides.

Yes, ever since the start of the industrial revolution we the humanity have been abusing the very land and seas that sustain us. The emission of carbon into the atmosphere through the use of fossil fuels and destruction of forests causes the Earth’s temperature to rise. The warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen. The coastal areas are disappearing. Wonder if this is what God warned about in the Qur’an: See they not how We visit the land, reducing it of its outlying parts? [Qur’an 13:41]

There is hope, however, in the Climate Change Agreement reached by all countries of the world in Paris in December 2015. It has numerical guidelines for slowing down and ultimately arresting global warming. It is to be supported by developed countries with a $100 billion dollar annual fund. “The Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis,” President Obama said. “It creates the mechanism, the architecture, for us to continually tackle this problem in an effective way.”

On the Earth Day this year, the United Nations has called on all the world leaders to gather at the UN and sign the historic Climate Agreement. Everyone is urged to sign a petition at www.climaterealityproject.org/ content/sign-paris-agreement-earth-day to urge world leaders to sign.

What can every human being do? Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) laid down the most emphatic rule when he told Muslims to conserve water while performing ablution “even if you are on the banks of a flowing water.” His instructions more than 1400 years ago must have been from divine guidance. They are most applicable to us today in the conservation of water and other natural resources. Simple ways for protecting our planet Earth can be found at oceanservice. noaa.gov/ocean/earthday.html