Sunday, June 23, 2013

ON THIS DAY WHEN THE SUN IS RED - farming, the haze and our greed and consumerism

Nothing seem to us more natural than farming. After all, our ancestors have been doing it since the first time they noticed how the sapling shoot out of the ground. With attention and care, they manage to replicate what mother nature does, but on a bigger scale.

Management of a Disturbed Eco-system. But truth be told, farming is anything but natural. As a professor cousin of mine once said, "Farming is the management of a disturbed eco-system". For you see, nature (naturally) doesn't want to create a mono-crop valley or meadow. Nature wants all sorts of crop and plants to grow, wherever and however it wants to. Nature doesn't need to answer to an annual general meeting of its shareholders, and explain why its profit has not increased this year. 

The Haze. One day perhaps, we shall look into the intensive farming industry and how it is generally affecting our world. But for today my focus is on The Haze. No, nature did not intend this for it is wholly man-made. The Haze has become an annual event here in south east asia, but most affected countries are Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. I have to focus on it because the acrid smell is everywhere. And if you can smell the smoke even in your washroom, you know that it must be very bad outdoors.

The Haze appears to be coming from the slash and burn clearing of forests in Indonesia, commonly in Sumatera and Kalimantan. And while we understand the Indonesians placing some of the blame on Malaysian and Singaporean multinational oil palm companies operating in the republic, ultimately the issue resides in the sovereign country of Indonesia and involves legal enforcement of its local laws. 

Indonesia. At the end of the day, Indonesia often considers itself the big brother of the south east asian region. Largest and most populated country here. But there is little point being touchy or sensitive about The Haze, when there is little doubt where The Haze originates from. Malaysian and Singaporean firms operate in Indonesia because Indonesia has a lot of land and labour, and I guess is relatively cost-effective to develop compared to other countries. If there are environmental laws that govern the problem of slash and burn clearing of forests or plantations, there is no other authority that can enforce the law but the Indonesian government.

A Symptom. The Indonesians are correct in that there must be some blaming finger pointing at the multinational mega-corporations. But the truth is that under the fiat (paper) money system and the overwhelming usurious global banking and credit system, megacorporations are animals bred to maximise profit, at whatever the cost to the environment. And the government of Indonesia, just like the governments of Malaysia and Singapore, are willing participants in this credit-consumer driven casino.

The Haze is a reflection of the human spirit, and in this context should we be surprised that we are reaping the firestorm of our greed and ostentatious consumerism? 

Something to think about, sunshine... on this day when the sun is red.

May Allah (s.w.t.) not leave humanity to our caprice. We seek guidance and support always from the Prophet of the Middle Path, Muhammad Habibullah (s.a.w.s.),

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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