"On Doomsday, if any one has a palm-shoot in his hand, he should plant it" (Saying of the Prophet Muhammad)
|The candle is being burnt at both ends, and environmental degradation and illegal wars are but two inevitable consequences
With increasing pressures over the earths diminishing resources, climate change, possibly the biggest threat to our existence, will not make matters any easier. Not only are its expected consequences mass famine and scarcity of drinking water affecting billions , but by ignoring the problem of oil addiction, wars are being fought to secure what oil is left. The invasion of Iraq is but one example of this desperate situation that the industrialised world and especially the US have carved out for us all. The candle is being burnt at both ends, and environmental degradation and illegal wars are but two inevitable consequences.
Yet, on Saturday February 12th 2005, more than one thousand people gathered in London (and in other major cities throughout the world) to mark the beginning of the world's first enforceable international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions - the Kyoto agreement on climate change.
With choruses and chants, hundreds of colourful placards and the buzz of being part of a mass demonstration, the march began. Organised by the 'Campaign against Climate Change' and supported by organisations such as IFEES, LINE (London Islamic Network for the Environment), Friends of the Earth, Globalise Resistance and the Green Party, people were out on the streets celebrating.
Yet amongst the celebrations, dissatisfaction was also clearly in the air, for whilst we can and should celebrate the start of this significant international milestone in tackling one of the biggest challenges we collectively face, it would be unreal and selective not to point out that the worlds biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, the US, along with Australia has not signed up to the Kyoto agreement. It was thus appropriate that having first passed the Australian embassy, the march ended at the embassy of the United States. Here representatives from four organisations gave speeches to the large crowd gathering in the park opposite.
The Muslim presence, whilst small, was clearly visible (Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth pointed out the presence in his eloquent speech) and reflected the beginnings of a growing Islamic environmental movement, which is long overdue.
All in all, the day was a success (several demonstrators were also interviewed live on BBC TV) with the march being part of the process in which a much needed 'climate movement' is forming in the UK and of which the Muslim community is now an integral part.
To show your concern and take to the streets at the next climate march, please note the date in your diary now It is scheduled for Sat Dec 3rd and further information is on the 'Campaign against Climate Change' website.
We hope to see you there.