Srinagar Joins Battle Against Eco Abuse

24 October 2009
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: The summer capital of Kashmir joined the rest of the world today to air its acute anxiety over the impending environmental disaster looming over the globe due to rising pollution levels and carbon dioxide emissions. The cityís global mascot, the famour Dal Lake, now dying because of toxic effluents and abuse, hosted a unique symbol of solidarity with the environmentalists around the world by forming the compelling 350 sign signifying the acceptable levels of carbon dioxide per million parts of air. The Dalís celebrated shikaras, or roofed boats, joined together tip to tip to form the sign now becoming the global rallying cry against factors that cause irreparable climate change. The event was jointly organized by IYCN-Kashmir chapter, the JK Lakes and Waterway Development Authority and the 350.org. Around the world today - from capital cities to the melting slopes of Mount Everest, even underwater on dying coral reefs - people held rallies aimed at focusing attention on the number 350 because scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million. 'That's why glaciers and sea ice are melting, drought is spreading, and flooding is on the increase,' Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author twenty years ago of the first major book on climate change, said in a statement today. 'And it's why we need a huge worldwide movement to give us the momentum to make real political change. Our leaders have heard from major corporations and big polluters for a long time-today, finally, they heard from citizens and scientists,' the message read. Today's global action comes six weeks before the world nations convene in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to draw up a new climate treaty. 89 countries have already endorsed the 350 target, as well as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, the world's foremost climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, and Nobel prize-winner Al Gore. Images of the events from around the world, including the event in Srinagar, were featured on giant video screens in Times Square in New York as part of a 350 countdown. Visual documentation From the Day of Action will be delivered to the United Nations on Monday. 'People have said the science of global warming is too confusing for average citizens to understand,' McKibben said. 'Yesterday's events prove that millions of people understand exactly what is at stake in the next few years. The people want swift action to safeguard the future,' he added. Russian Poplars Cause of Pollution On this occasion, Director Information and Vice Chairman LAWDA highlighted historical importance of Kashmir Valley. They said that the successful campaign effectively implemented during current summer against use of polythene was the part of anti pollution campaign and now people should be made aware that Russian poplar trees are anti-environment and pollution creating material. Director Information Farooq Renzu said that as per the experts these Russian poplar trees are extracting water table of earth and rendering the place infertile and causing pollution. In case 350 level is to be maintained Kashmir should be kept poplar free zone.