Courtesy of Alex Calis
“The forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself. Nature is not merely created by God, nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with
his entire body, breath sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness.”
– Richard Nelson <3
As the UN-backed COP21 climate talks are about to commence in Paris, the eyes of the world are set on the city of lights which despite the horrendous Paris attacks of November 13th which killed 130 people and injured hundreds more will be hosting thousands of international diplomats and 158 heads of state including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in an effort to reach an ambitious deal that would help reduce global carbon emissions and resolve the climate crisis.
Human-induced carbon emissions which are responsible for the rise in global temperatures that are contributing to melting glaciers, rising sea levels, rampant droughts, catastrophic floods and heatwaves that has killed thousands and displaced millions around the world including in countries like Pakistan which remains worst affected from this climate crisis.
Despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently declaring, ‘climate change as a serious threat to human life’ the official response from the Pakistani authorities does not really seem to reflect the urgency to deal with the climate crisis after Pakistan not only delayed the submission of its own national climate action plan but the 350-word one pager it submitted to the United Nation was declared as “irrelevant” and “not serious enough” by many experts for solving one of the greatest threat that humanity faces in the 21th century.
Pakistani delegation must highlight some of the key facts mentioned below at the Paris climate talks to not only present their side of the story but in order to ensure climate justice could be served for one of the world’s most vulnerable and poorest of the countries affected by climate change.
- Pakistan happens to be one of the most affected country from the present climate crisis as it has already suffered from extreme and deadly climate events such as the floods of 2010 & 2012, 2012 Gayari Sector avalanche, 2015 Karachi heat waves which have lead to widespread loss of human life, undermining economic development and national security of the country as a result.
- Pakistan needs international assistance and cooperation if it wants to mitigate and adapt from the effects of climate change. Despite the increase in global funding for adaptation and mitigation within developed nations, Pakistan’s share has been “too little, too late” compare to the magnitude of disasters it has faced. The average cost of climate change adaption for Pakistan alone would be an average annual cost of around $6-14 billion and the cost of mitigation would run around 17 billion every year according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- Pakistan is home to around 191 million people that makes it one of the world’s sixth most populous country but its global contribution to climate change is a mere 1% of the global emissions, despite the minuscule contribution Pakistan on average is suffering immense economic loss of about $6-10 billion related to weather-related disasters that is far greater than compare to economic loss related to terrorism that accounts to around $ 1 billion annually according to experts. Climate change thus poses a greater national security threat to Pakistan than India in the long run as it will contribute to widespread chronic water shortages and drought in the coming decades will result in significant loss of agriculture, food insecurity and increase mass migration in Pakistan according to Asian Development Bank.
- Pakistan is a country that faces an acute and serious energy crisis, one of the solutions to free the country from this menace would be moving towards a clean energy transition that is sustainable, low carbon and cost effective. Pakistan is already going ahead with a planned development of Asia’s largest solar farm called the Quaid -e-Azam Solar Park, which eventually will produce 1,000 MW of power. But in order to truly move ahead with its climate friendly and energy independence objectives Pakistan must seek more investment, international co-operation and funding for development of the renewable energy sector, which is projected to meet 7 to 30% of the Pakistan’s energy requirements by the year 2030 that can eventually lead to a stabilized and economically progress Pakistan.
France the host country to the Paris climate conference which recently suffered an unimaginable tragedy that shocked the world still planned to move ahead against all odds with the climate talks and its ambassador to Pakistan Martine Dorance recently declared the ‘Paris conference to be a moment of solidarity’. Pakistan as a country that is not only a victim of terrorism but equally suffers from the climate crisis too must realize that this crisis is a security threat that endangers the stability and security of Pakistan and it is a threat that must not be ignored at any cost.
Muhammad Salman Khan
The author is an environmental campaigner and social activist based in Karachi. He is a lover of science, tech and nature who tweets as @ImGreenGuru (twitter.com/ImGreenGuru)
This Is A Poetic Tribute To The Gay Community & Their Supporters
We hide from the world,
We fear for our lives,
and never shall we be truly free.
Love is love,
Let love be free,
A kiss won’t be the end of the world by me.
If you fear my love,
You fear yourself not me,
What we only wish in this life is to love as we please.
Salman Khan as a tribute to all those who love and support the LGBT/ gay community.
Our era is marked by the rise of the religious-Right – not because of a “religious revival” but rather due to the rise of far-Right political movements and states using religion for political supremacy. This rise is a direct consequence of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism and the social policies of communalism and cultural relativism. Universalism, secularism and citizenship rights have been abandoned and segregation of societies and “communities” based on ethnicity, religion and culture have become the norm.
The Islamic State (formerly ISIS), the Saudi regime, Hindutva (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in India, the Christian-Right in the US and Europe, Bodu Bala Sena in Sri Lanka, Haredim in Israel, AQMI and MUJAO in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria are examples of this.
For many decades now, people in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Diaspora have been the first victims but also on the frontlines of resistance against the religious-Right (whether religious states, organisations and movements) and in defence of secularism and universal rights, often at great risk to their lives.
We call on people everywhere to stand with us to establish an international front against the religious-Right and for secularism. We demand:
Complete separation of religion from the state. Secularism is a fundamental right.
Separation of religion from public policy, including the educational system, health care and scientific research.
Abolition of religious laws in the family, civil and criminal codes. An end to discrimination against and persecution of LGBT, religious minorities, women, freethinkers, ex-Muslims, and others.
Freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religions. Belief as a private affair.
Equality between women and men and citizenship rights for all.
Reposted blog from http://www.freethoughtblogs.com by Maryam Namazie
My heart bleeds to bare witness to the gruesome sight of this massacre of all that is innocent and pure in this world,
What isn’t holy from the start must not be revered for eternity; let it fade away into the oblivion,
My only wish is to see such pagan massacre be turned into ancient history once and for all,
But my wish would stay a wish forever if there isn’t room for enlightenment amongst the darkened hearts of such lost souls,
Let peace and love for all prevails into the hearts and minds of souls lost into the dark side.
Written by Salman Khan in the protest of all that is inappropriate.
Once upon a time there use to be vast swaths of marshes and wetlands across Sind, Pakistan that was home to an amazing diversity of fauna and flora but now what remains is landscape that is plagued by human agricultural intensification and hunting pressure that threatens some of the world’s most endangered species with extinction.
One such species is the Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), that is now an endangered species threatened throughout its old haunts from Pakistan to island of Java in Indonesia. Once common around the marshes, wetlands and mangroves of Southern & South-east Asia, widespread destruction and fragmentation of its habitat, pollution and hunting has pushed this species to the edge of extinction.
In Pakistan, Fishing cats were found along the wetlands and marshes of river Indus but since the past few decades this species has almost gone extinct from its entire range. The remnants of the population that survives in Sind province are now under pressure from urban development, deforestation, agricultural conversion, pollution and climate change. To add further with the list of threats this incredible species is ruthlessly hunted for its prized skin that fetches high price in the black market.
Recently in the Dawn News an article was published erroneously headlined, ‘Indian’ cheetah cub shot dead’. But Indian Cheetah aptly known as Asiatic Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) are long extinct from India and only a small and precariously declining population of 40-70 individuals survives in Iran’s vast central desert. The medium sized cat that was killed was a Fishing cat that crossed over from India to the district of Badin in Sind. Sind offers the last refuge to this endangered cat before it goes extinct forever from Pakistan.
Social media and newspapers are filled with photographs of hunters posting pictures of endangered wild cats like Common leopard, Fishing cat and other species either hunted as trophy, pest or captured as pets. If the Government of Pakistan does not takes tough action to put a full stop on this massacre then it won’t be long that we would be losing our wild cats like the Asiatic lion, Bengal Tiger and possibly the Asiatic Cheetah lost from Pakistan.
Salman Khan aka “GreenGuru“ is a passionate eco blogger, activist and writer on environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and climate change related topics. A millennial polymath, entrepreneur & visionary that has founded “GreenGuru” – a sustainable media company – “Wild Planet” – as social media for wildlife enthusiasts – and “Natureology” – a new age naturalistic spiritualism.