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Protecting The World, The Hindu Way

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The rich must live more simply so the poor may simply live.”

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Climate change, california, economic
Climate Change Fuels California Fires. Flickr

By Vijai Singhal

Īśāvāsyam idaṁsarvaṁyatkiñcajagatyāṁjagat;

Tena tyaktenabhuñjīthā,

mā gdha kasya svid dhanam.

 – (Isa Upanishad, Verse 1)

“Everything animate or inanimate in this universe is pervaded by God. Take whatever you need for your sustenance without the sense of ownership. Do not covet the wealth of anyone.”

Consumerism is the basic cause of climate change. Our economic model is demand based. We are constantly pushed to buy more as we have a system of planned obsolescence which results in excesswaste. We can see in our Hindu literature that the emphasis is on need and not on demand. Mahatma Gandhi said: “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”Greed is the root cause of all our problems – environmental or economic.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters, U.S., economic
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, VOA

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a common measure of economic growth. However, GDP fails to account fully for the ecological damage that growth causes. By prioritizing economic growth, societies based on capitalism permit excessive consumption and with it comes excess waste. In 2012, the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan adopted the Gross National Happiness Index as their main development indicator.  This index measured‘Well-being and Happiness’ as a new economic paradigm. The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network which contains rankings of national happiness and analysis of the data from various perspectives, publishes an annual World Happiness Report.

In their report, Finland ranks 1st, Australia ranks 10th, whereas India ranks 133rd. New Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world. The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi had launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) on 2nd Oct 2014, with the aim to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India. The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of nearly 73 million household and community toilets since the launch of the plan. The Indian government is also pushing the use of renewable energy, particularly solar energy.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters, U.S., economic
Traffic moves as smoke emits from the chimney of a factory on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. VOA

Indian government is actively pushing the use of renewable energy. The International Solar Alliance, an alliance of over 121 countries with an aim to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and to promote use of solar energy was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Mr Modi at the India Africa Summit, ahead of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. India has built the World’s largest solar farm of 2GW capacity in Karnataka State and the Energy Minister, Mr PiyushGoel has declared that there will be no new coal-fired power stations planned in India beyond 2018. In Australia also the rooftop solar installations is edging to 2 million households mark but unfortunately the Australian government is dragging its feet in support of the coal-fired power stations.

There is a proposal that has been put forward to the United Nations for declaring 2018 InternationalYear of Clean and Healthy Planet aiming to mobilize millions of people worldwide in a single day event to clean up illegal waste on World Clean-up Day on 8th of September, 2018.  Last year, ABC TV produced a three-part series – War on Waste, highlighting the amount of waste we are producing in Australia. We are wasting a massive 40% of food items. With persuasion by the program producer and public reaction to waste, both Woolworths and Coles have declared that they would be cutting down on the use of throw away plastic and reducing the food wastage. This is a positive development.

Australia, Meat free,Hurricane, climate change, economic
Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Healthy living and a healthy planet go hand-in-hand. Choosing a plant-based diet is the single most important thing one can do for the environment and for our own health. There is a strong push for using vegan or plant-based diet in countries like Australia, United Kingdom and the USA, where meat consumption has traditionally been very high. Australia has become the third fastest growing vegan market in the world witha recent survey showing there are 2.1 million vegan/ nearly vegetarian people in Australia. This is another positive development for the health of our planet.

Also Read: Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

The world’s poor people are the worst sufferers of the environmental pollution. As responsible members of the society it is our duty to live a simple and ecologically sustainable life style. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The rich must live more simply so the poor may simply live.” (Hindu Council Of Australia)

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Haryana Takes Steps to Curtail Crop Residue Burning by Increasing Maize Crop Area

The state government said that there is a centralised control room where the monitoring is done and the FIRs are registered

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Haryana
Paddy stubble burning incidents in neighbouring states like Haryana have been identified as among the reasons for high pollution levels in the Delhi NCR region during the winter season. Pixabay

Haryana is taking a number of steps to curtail crop residue burning, including diversifying rice area to maize crop and daily monitoring of fire burning incidents.

Paddy stubble burning incidents in neighbouring states like Haryana have been identified as among the reasons for high pollution levels in the Delhi NCR region during the winter season

Haryana has submitted before the National Green Tribunal that it has undertaken a major programme to diversify rice area to growing maize crop by which the target was to achieve water conservation and conservation of ecology. This will, indirectly, also reduce the chances of crop burning residue in rice cultivation area.

The burning locations are monitored by Haryana Space Applications Centre and the alerts are being issued by them to all the stake-holders.

The state government said that there is a centralised control room where the monitoring is done and the FIRs are registered. Dashboard monitoring is also being conducted. Also FIR and minute level monitoring at field level and serving alert messages to other field authorities is also being done.

A special cell has been in place at Directorate of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Haryana with regard to review the status of crop residue burning on daily basis.

Haryana
The burning locations on fields are monitored by Haryana Space Applications Centre and the alerts are being issued by them to all the stake-holders. Pixabay

The Indian Oil Corporation is going to establish ethanol plant in Panipat district and the Haryana government has already notified bio-energy policy.

The government is also carrying out timely supply of crop residue machinery to the farmers. A pilot project is also being taken up for setting up compost units in a cluster of villages. The matter is also being taken up with the Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar.

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Haryana has also selected 10,179 beneficiaries for providing subsidy under the crop residue management scheme. (IANS)