Planet SOS and Leaders
How people’s hopes for a sustainable Future have been betrayed
“Climate change” describes a change in the average conditions — such as temperature and rainfall — in a region over a long period of time. Earth’s climate is always changing over long periods of time and has been hotter and cooler than it is now, but the pace of change has sped up significantly in recent decades. Scientists are deeply concerned about the changes they’ve observed since the Industrial Revolution.
Human-caused climate change is affecting the planet in ways that could alter all life on Earth. It’s the biggest, most urgent problem we face. In fact, many — including the David Suzuki Foundation — have started using stronger terms such as climate emergency, climate crisis, climate disruption and climate chaos to reflect the severity. (David Suzuki Foundation-One Nature)
Climate Change and Leaders Searching for Reason
The compass of leadership credibility will spell out the time and accountability when most exemplary vigilance on climate change is liable to a great many surprises. Global leaders make promises and break promises – a hybrid culture of politics – part human, part unthinkable cruelty to the interest of mankind. The gaps between words and actions are widening to endanger human survival on Earth. Leaders professing to be wise appear ignorant of the reality of global warming. Do the world leaders know how the Earth and the living Universe were created? How do they function and what Laws of Nature govern the global planetary systems? What relationship do Man and Humanity enjoin to the working of Earth and the larger Universe? Canons of rationality must make a comparative analysis of leaders’ ambitions and integrity to know the reality of climate change. We the People are conscious – our present and future is managed by those lacking basic knowledge and comprehension of life, its origin, Laws of Nature which govern the planet and imperatives of the relationship between Man, Humanity, the Earth and the living Universe.
We the People are the focus of global conferences but we are always left outside, dehumanized morally and intellectually, and forgotten in the determination of our own future. We cannot ignore the force of our aim to strengthen human solidarity to preserve our lives and the planet from all man-made challenges of ignorance, indifference and socio-economic-industrial manipulations. America under President Biden has rejoined the UN Climate Change movement. Trump had refused to accept the urgency of global warming and denied its impacts on civic society. At COP 26, noticeably President Putin and President Xi Jinping of China were absent. Were the Western leaders planning to compete for historic tensions at the COP 26 conference? Why wait for 2030 to reduce the carbon emissions – why not now when the Planet SOS is sounding alarms? It appears debatable if leaders will honor their commitments to meet the tumultuous changes. António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, told COP 26 delegates that even with the latest pledges and commitments made at COP 26; we remain on track for a catastrophic temperature rise well above 2 degrees Celsius.
“We know what must be done. Keeping the 1.5-degree goal within reach means reducing emissions globally by 45 percent by 2030. But the present set of Nationally Determined Contributions – even if fully implemented – will still increase emissions by 2030,” he said.
Alok Sharma, a UK Minister and President of COP26, gave an update on the negotiations that some progress has been made, and acknowledged the spirit of cooperation and civility, demonstrated throughout the negotiations, but he cautioned that “they are not there yet” on the most critical issues and the world needs to rise to the challenge and increase ambition.
Global warming and unthinkable climate changes have been baffling mankind since ages. Leaders and nations prefer compromise over commitment and virtue while devotion to truth appears offensive. In the Paris climate agreement of 2015, 196 UN member states pledged that nations would try to limit temperature rises to less than 1.5°C by drastically limiting fossil fuel emissions, the principal cause of global heating. Many financial commitments to help the developing nations were not honored.
The Glasgow COP 26 has been described as the “last best chance to get runaway climate change under control” after reports showed that the world is far away from keeping global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the 21st century. In the conference of 200 participating delegates at Glasgow (Scotland), the world leaders were at the podium to divulge on climate change ignoring the real socio-economic issues frustrating the human beings on this planet.
Manufacturing Ignorance and Arrogance to Manage the Planet and its Security
Leaders, think tanks and nations appear to be experts in manufacturing ignorance and denying the real-world problems simply to play on the passions of mankind. Most world leaders appear to be ignorant about the direct consequences of global warming. In a “60 Minutes” interview, former US President Donald Trump clarified about global warming: “I don’t know that it’s man-made.” Many continued to deny if global warming is a man-made problem. The global climate conferences witnessed the tyranny of reason for a long time – promises of financial contributions and reduction of fossil fuel emissions broken again and again, yet, COP 26 was held at Glasgow with great expectations of navigational change and better climate change management systems. Most world leaders lack a knowledge-based understanding – how the Laws of Nature govern the Earth and its enlarged scope of direct impacts on human life and sustenance provided by God. The Earth, the seas, forests, rainfalls, icebergs, natural gases supporting life and habitats and all that which could be imagined in relation to life, happiness, progress and survival for the future.
Patricia Espinosa, the head of climate change at the UN, has warned that “Time is now running out,” and that world leaders are still “far away” from securing a deal to limit the disastrous effects of global warming. She explained that ‘although advances had been made at the G7 meeting in Cornwall, UK, progress had not been made on honoring past commitments to find $100bn (£72.5bn) a year to help developing countries invest in green technologies.’
“Planet SOS”, Reflections on the Divine Revelations and Our Sustainable Future
Nick Bostrom, Professor of philosophy who directs Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, warns: “We have learned to worry about asteroids and supervolcanoes, but the more likely scenario is that we humans will destroy ourselves … Most worrying to Professor Bostrom is the subset of existential risks … Extinction risks constitute an especially severe subset of what could go badly wrong for humanity. The greatest extinction risks (and existential risks more generally) arise from human activity.
In the New York Times, highlighting the issue, writes David Jolly, “An era has dawned in which humanity’s impact on the Earth could prove to be as great as ice ages or meteoric collisions, scientists, government officials and business leaders warned this week at a big environmental conference in London. The world’s approach to tackling environmental problems, therefore, must change rapidly if a disaster is to be avoided.”
Religion cannot be seen as compartmentalization of human life but it is a wholesome and complete indoctrination of human life – Man, Humanity, the Universe and all that encompasses within or outside the solar system known to or imagined by human intellect. The Divine Revelations inscribe the natural trust taken by Man — human beings. The Trust is something given to a person over which he has a power of disposition and he is expected to use it as directed but he has the power to use it otherwise. This TRUST and its reminder are explicitly mentioned in The Qur’an, (Chapter 33: 72): “We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth; and the mountains but they refused; To undertake it, being afraid thereof: But man undertook it; He was indeed unjust and foolish.”
“And He created everything, and measured it in due proportion.” (The Qur’an: Chapter 25: 2)
“We have not created the Heavens and the Earth and whatever is between them: We have not created them but for a serious end. But the greater part of them understand it not.” (The Qur’an: Chapter 44: 38)
We the People wonder who else except God created life, the Earth and the living Universe floating in space well balanced and functional since time immemorial. Who else other than God determined the Earth spinning at 1670 km per hour? Who else than God ordained it to orbit the sun at 107,000 km per hour? And who else than God made it to spin at 28,437 km per hour at the equator?
Be aware that Earth’s average distance to the Sun is about 93 million miles (105 million km); the distance of the Moon from the Earth is currently 384,821 km equivalent to 0.002572 Astronomical Units and if the distance between the Earth and Sun or the Earth and moon were ever to change, there will be no sign of life or habitats left on Earth.
“Behold! in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, There are indeed Signs for men of understanding … and contemplate the (wonders of ) creation in the heavens and the Earth with the thought): Our Lord! Not for naught Hast Thou created all this, Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the Penalty of the Fire.” (The Qur’an: Chapter 3: 190-191)
“In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth. And the earth was without form and void … And God said, Let there be light: and there was light … And God said, Let us make man in our image … and let them have dominion over every living thing. He blessed them and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply.” (1st Chapter of the Genesis: The Bible).
We desperately need to re-organize our thoughts and genius for unity and coordination of One Humanity. Robert Burns must have sensed Man’s inhumanity to man that sparked his 18th-century poetic imagination: “Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!”
Who could predict the end time in human history? If time and history are a reference point, we the humankind stand at a critical juncture of our own complicity to have allowed despotic and ignorant leaders and institutions to govern our lives and the planet. Given the human ingenuity, knowledge and common understanding of life, Man continues to be professing ignorance and indifference towards the Laws of God governing life and the Universe. It is recognized that governments and leaders across the globe have failed to start a reasoned scheme of things to avert the global warming arising from 1.5°C. Human disconnect to truth has caused many catastrophic disasters and contradictions to mislead the global conscience. Climate change, if not tackled rationally, threatens the life of people, the working of the planet, systems of political governance, including those to life, food, air, water, Antarctica’s icebergs, health, housing, self-determination, sea levels, forests, culture and human survival. There are many leaders and institutions manufacturing ignorance and indifference to global warming – the readymade Time Bomb ticking across the Earth.
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany.