Divine Revelation

A blog with an Islamic perspective

Although climate change is a natural phenomenon the term "climate change" is used to refer to those changes that have been identified since the last 100 years or so and those predicted over the next 80 years due to human behavior rather than natural changes in the atmosphere.
Some of the possible effects of climate change include:
1) Rise in sea levels causing an increase in number of people whose lives will be in danger because of flooding. Low lying countries like Bangladesh may loose 17.5 % of their land area
2) Negative impact on crops and productivity
3) Expose more people to diseases like malaria, dengue and yellow fever4) Cause serious damage to finely balanced ecosystems causing global warming and widespread disappearance of forests.

What causes climate change?The sun rays warm the earth. The earth sends some of those sun rays back. But not all can bounce back. The atmosphere which is made up of greenhouse gases absorbs some of these rays trying to escape the earth. This absorption by greenhouse gases is crucial for maintaining the optimum temperature of our planet. One of the main greenhouse gases is Carbon dioxide, which is the principal pollutant caused by running cars and power plants. Thus the ever increasing air pollution and deforestation causes an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, preventing reflected rays from escaping the atmosphere, leading to an increase in global warming and climate change.
At the heart of international efforts to combat global warming lies the Kyoto Protocol. The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997 for its signatory nations to assign mandatory emission limitations for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Till date a total of 169 countries and other governmental entities have ratified the agreement.
Some of the significant points of Kyoto Protocol are:
a) Industrialized countries have committed to cut their combined emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2008 – 2012
b) It exempts developing countries like India and China from emission reductions, even though they are one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases. It is estimated that it has taken around a 100 years for the existing extra cloud of greenhouse gases to be formed, and the developing countries have obviously no share in its formation.
c) Kyoto initiated the concept of emission trading through Carbon Credits (CC). These are basically certificates issued to countries that reduce their emission of greenhouse gases. One credit is equivalent to reduction of one ton of CO2 emission. Thus we have the developed countries with CC deficit, whereas a developing country like India has one of the highest surpluses of CC. Carbon credits can be traded in Climate Exchanges. Highly polluting countries can buy these unused "credits" from those with surplus CC.

The most notable exceptions to Kyoto are Australia and the United States. America has less than 5 percent of the world's population but produces close to a quarter of the world's emissions. It still has the audacity to reject Kyoto and oppose all proposals for significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The US dubs the treaty "fatally flawed", partly because it does not require developing countries to commit to emissions reductions. Further it sees the higher energy costs to have calamitous consequences on the US economy and believes that emissions reductions must be achieved through voluntary action and new energy technologies.

Everyone should first realize the importance of preserving and safeguarding the ecology. Man has been sent on this earth by Allah as His vicegerent. Thus it is the duty of man to protect the earth and the fine balance of the ecosystems that has been gifted to us by God. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "If any Muslim plants any plant and a human being or an animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity." He (peace be upon him) also said: Whenever a Muslim plants a tree, he has the reward of charity for him, for what is eaten out of that is charity; what is stolen out of that, what the beast eat out of that, what the birds eat out of that is charity for him. (In short) none incurs a loss to him but it becomes a charity on his part." Let us rise above politics and protect the environment to the best of our ability.

Posted by Arshad on Saturday, July 28, 2007.

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