بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
News Right Now: Devastating Impact
Earlier this month, the 27th annual climate change conference took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where nearly 200 countries' representatives gathered to discuss how to minimize the dangers of climate change and look toward experimental technologies for help, as worries reach new highs. A crucial plan is needed especially now when new research shows that nearly half the world’s population [of course this being the developing world] will be at high risk of climate change impacts in less than a decade. The United States unveiled a plan to raise billions to help developing nations wean off fossil fuels. Whereas developing nations want rich countries to compensate them for having to bear the brunt of the climate crisis.
The sad reality is that the world is being destroyed! Air pollution, chemical waste, poisoned waters have all had detrimental consequences to the climate. On top of this whole industries have been built upon fossil energy from automobiles, petrochemicals, agriculture, plastics, cement, steel, electronics and many others. Even China’s economic miracle is built upon its use of its immense Coal reserves and even today Coal still provides 60% of its electricity. It is then no wonder really why we are in the state we are in today! As a result, there has been a sheer increase in extreme heat, droughts, flooding and extreme weathers around the world.
There is a huge problem here which no amount of climate conferences can solve yet alone even acknowledge. That is the man-made problem where man is striving to live his life in a particular way, known as consumerism lifestyle. We live in a society today where the message stands that you are what you own, and the more you own the happier you will be. This then all legitimizes capitalism in our lives and motivates people to become greater consumers. The more consumers there are, the more these companies make. And today companies deliberately produce products with less lifespan to make consumers only return for more.
Capitalism – which revolves entirely around economic growth, has been driven by endemic consumerism which fuels the demands for material goods with zero care for the environmental consequences. Fast fashion is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry has gone from releasing two lines of clothing a year to six! The toxic waste waters from the textile industry are dumped directly into the rivers heavily affecting the aquatic life as well the local communities’ water source. As long as profits are made and the economy thrives, there’s no problem for them. Economic growth, consumerism, debt and spending and material wealth is the system that Capitalism promotes and is the dominant ideology for much of the world.
There have been numerous groups, initiatives and activists calling for change to help save the planet. From one side of the spectrum, where you have the banning of fossil fuels to the other side of the spectrum of having regulations ensuring products are designed and manufactured to last, and then absolutely everything in between – nothing will work. The problem is systematic and therefore requires a systematic change! Until capitalism is not unrooted and replaced in its entirety, all attempts to solve this problem will be in vain.
Only Islam, which places Allah (swt's) laws and systems above everything can seek that change. It came as a mercy to mankind. Only Islam, the Islamic Khilafah system, will ensure that the earth is preserved and not exploited, that no damage or harm is caused due to negligence or lack of care from man. Only Islam has the ability to protect and manage the resources in a way which is in harmony with nature while also ensuring economic progress and development for humankind. Allah (swt) tells us in Surah Rum Verse 41:
(ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ)
“Corruption has spread on land and sea as a result of what people’s hands have done, so that Allah may cause them to taste ˹the consequences of˺ some of their deeds and perhaps they might return ˹to the Right Path”
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