Saturday July 20, 2019

Yoga Can Help the World in Fighting Climate Change, Fostering Global Harmony: UN

It teaches us a holistic vision of the world encouraging us to live in harmony with ourselves

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climate change, reducing inequality
The natural environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate: sea levels are rising; ocean acidification is accelerating. Pixabay

Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has said that yoga can help the world in these troubled times by inspiring the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle to fight climate change and by promoting tolerance and peace.

Addressing the fifth International Yoga Day celebration here on Thursday, she said: “The essence of yoga is balance not only within us, but also in our relationship with humanity, with the world. As such, yoga can promote solidarity, social integration, tolerance justice and peace.

“It teaches us a holistic vision of the world encouraging us to live in harmony with ourselves, society and nature.”

The theme of the celebration was Yoga and Climate Action, and Mohammed said that yoga “has a valuable contribution in addressing climate change, the defining issue of our time, by inspiring us to shift away from the unsustainable practices towards inclusive green growth, conscious consumption and much more sustainable lifestyles”.

Yoga, Climate Change, Global Harmony
Yoga can help the world in these troubled times by inspiring the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle to fight climate change . Pixabay

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a video message that the global significance of yoga is that like it unites tbe body, mind and soul, it can also unite the world.

The celebration was filled with symbolism relevant to the issues of the day. In a show of the nature’s challenge, week-long rains continuing into the day, turned the UN lawns soggy, forcing the event indoors into the General Assembly chamber.

And the hall that often echoes with words of disharmony and confrontation instead reverberated with chants of “Om, Om Shanti” led by the yoga gurus.

In a sign of human ingenuity meeting nature’s adversities, the yoga masters quickly changed the planned mass outdoor yoga exercises into a performance of “office yoga” for closed in spaces by the diplomats, officials and yoga enthusiasts thronging the Assembly chamber.

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India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin noted that the International Yoga Day was born in that very hall through a resolution adopted by the Assembly in 2014.

“There is growing discourse among theglobal community that yoga can be one of the tools in our collective quest for promoting sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature,” he said.

Yoga drives the quest for balance and this “provides us with a framework for managing our needs and desires” he said.

“When applied to communities and societies, yoga offers a toolkit for embracing lifestyles that are sustainable, lifestyles that appeal to the human yearning for harmony.”

Yoga, Climate Change, Global Harmony
The essence of yoga is balance not only within us, but also in our relationship with humanity. Pixabay

Celebrity yoga instructor and pranic healer Sunaina Rekhi of Mumbai’s Yoga Gallery received loud cheers as she led the audience through a freewheeling session of joyous yoga with feet stomping and jumping in place showing how to relieve stress and relax.

Swami Paramananda of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, and Kevin Tobar from the Bhakti Centre led chants and yoga exercises adapted for practice in confined spaces like offices.

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Since Wednesday, a light show of yoga asanas is being projected on the north face of the iconic, 39-storey UN building at night. (IANS)

Next Story

New York Governor Signs Ambitious Climate Change Bill with Goal of Slashing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030

He was joined by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who has made fighting global warming his life's work

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climate change
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, right, accompanied by former Vice President Al Gore, announces that he is signing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Fordham University in New York. VOA

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an ambitious climate change bill Thursday with the goal of slashing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 85% below what they were in 1990.

“Cries for a new green movement are hollow political rhetoric if not combined with aggressive goals and a realistic plan on how to achieve them,” Cuomo said before signing the bill into law. He was joined by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who has made fighting global warming his life’s work. “We still have it within our power to grab hold of this crisis,” Gore said.

The measure Cuomo signed looks to use renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to generate 70% of the state’s electric power by 2030. It also includes construction of massive wind farms off the coast of Long Island, which Cuomo said would generate enough electricity to power 1 million homes.

It was unclear how Cuomo and future New York state governments planned to put the ambitious plan into action. The governor and other state officials will put together a 22-member panel to devise that.

climate change
As the federal government retreats from dealing with climate change, major parts of corporate America are moving forward anyway. Pixabay

Warning about costs

Business leaders and utility companies, however, warned residents to expect higher electric bills because of the initial investment needed to build up solar and wind capacity.

ALSO READ: Education Institutions from Across the World Declares Climate Emergency

Meanwhile, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month was the hottest June for the globe since at least 1880, when record-keeping began. NOAA said the planet’s average temperature was 15.9 Celsius, or 60.6 Fahrenheit.

Climate experts say global warming caused by greenhouse gases is to blame and say more records will fall before summer ends in the Northern Hemisphere. Many large U.S. cities can expect dangerously high temperatures this weekend, including Washington, where it is expected to feel like 43 degrees Celsius Friday and Saturday. (VOA)