Punjab CM calls for decisive war on global warming

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called for a decisive war on global warming and environmental pollution in order to save this planet as a home for our future generations.

Mr Badal was addressing the distinguished environmentalists, scholars and media luminaries at the Ecology Awards Function organised jointly by The Times of India Group and the JSW Foundation on Environment on the 'World Earth Day' this evening.

Mr Badal warned, "The earth faces the greatest threat to its survival ever in the history of the planet, and, unless drastic global steps were taken immediately to correct the situation, the planet could plunge into a deadly darkness for ever. This danger comes not from wild animals or any alien species from Mars but from you and me only. Man has become the greatest threat to life on this planet.'' The Chief Minister blamed thoughtless, indiscriminate and ill-planned use of science for the looming disaster and said, "It has taken billions of years for life to evolve on this planet but the blind and unethical application of science for ill-planned development today can wipe it off the face of this earth for ever in just a few more years.

Throughout the world, the national budgets for acquiring deadly weapons, bombs and other war machinery is many, many times higher than budgets for health, childcare, education or for fighting poverty, crime etc." He regretted that while our generation appeared to have acquired immense knowledge, it sorely lacked wisdom necessary for its own survival. He said it was as if the human kind were in the grip of a fatalistic death-wish, spending billions and billions of dollars on producing instruments of murder and mass destruction at a time when children cried for food and basic amenities for life.

He said, "The money spent on acquiring a single hydrogen bomb would be more than enough to meet the entire expenses on opening the most sophisticated and well-equipped schools and hospitals in most parts of the country." The Chief Minister also spoke about the 'proud ecological legacy of India' and said the wise men from this land had always advocated the basic unity and inter-connectedness of all matter in the universe.

This unity and interdependence was the guiding philosophy of all modern concepts of ecology, he said.

"Latest theories in science have only confirmed the oldest beliefs of religion that nothing exists in this world independently.

The Vedas are full of prayers for preserving the natural environment. Western thinkers used to make fun of our religions for preaching worship of various animals, plants, trees, sun, water, clouds and even snakes. But now the scientists also tell us that each species, ecosystem, gene and culture is important to the future of our planet," he said.

The Sikh Gurus, he said, also spoke most forcefully about this subject. In Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev-ji described air, water and earth as our spiritual guide, father and mother respectively.

Mr Badal asked the media to set the political, social, economic, educational, cultural and environmental agenda of the country and said, ''Media must move away from political sensationalism which pollutes our moral and spiritual ecology. It was media that set the agenda for the freedom of this country from its White Yoke. It should now set the agenda for a Cleaner, Greener India and lead the movement for saving our Green and Beautiful planet," concluded the Chief Minister.

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