Green Earth Movement
An E-Newsletter for the cause of Environment, Peace, Harmony and Justice
Remember - “you and I can decide the future”
·  Readers’ Letters
·  GEM Inspirational series
·  Huts gobbling up Versova mangroves land
·  Get blue-print ready for Yamuna clean-up – SC TO IITs
·  Illegal mining of slates continues along Khaniara village
·  St Agnes hosts unique event on waste management

·  Hundreds of students urge citizens to bid good bye to plastic

·  Plastic ban – MCC to resume raid on violators

·  Conference on environment and occupational health

/ ·  Companies fined heavily for mining over limit
·  Coca cola bottle to be turned into stadium seats for World Cup
·  Protestors close down Copper Mine

·  WHO reports prompts march on pollutants

·  Infosyis gets energy conservation award
·  This Frenchman fixes potholes in Mysore roads
·  Vijaya Mallya offers 3 KG gold to Lord Venketeshwara
·  84% population follows some religion
·  Patient at Father Muller sets example on harmony
·  Justice for poor is nun Suma Sebastian’s mission
·  Aam Aadmi party vows to end corruption in society
·  Calls grow Modi to run for PM
·  Narendra Modi’s developmental claim phony
·  Blood donors unite
Thought for the week …
“The relationship between individuals or communities and the environment ultimately stems from their relationship with God. When ‘man turns his back on the Creator’s plan, he provokes a disorder which has inevitable repercussions on the rest of the created order.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Dr. (Sr.) Mudita Sodder’s Christmas Message.
“The Church has a responsibility towards Creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere,” said Pope Benedict XVI. In the year 2008 Newsweek, one of the world’s most popular weeklies, called Pope Benedict XVI
“The Green Pope”, when he addressed 400,000 youth at the Youth Rally in 2007 in Loreto, Italy and said, “Learn to sustain the Planet before it is too late.” He also announced Seven New Sins that need repentance and forgiveness, and the fourth sin is, “THOU SHALL NOT POLLUTE THE ENVIRONMENT”. Pope Benedict XVI walks the talk. He has put up nearly 3000 panels to harness Solar Energy to run the State of Vatican. Solar collectors regulate the cooling and heating system of the Vatican buildings. He has adopted a large tract of Hungary’s Buukk National Park to reduce Vatican’s Carbon Footprint and several other Green Activities.
Christians have been the least environment friendly people. In the 1970’s Professor Lyn White, a theologian and a scientist, scientifically proved to the world, how Christians have destroyed the world. The historical roots of Christianity have resulted in an ecological crisis. Can we reverentially uphold the dignity and sanctity of all God’s Creation, Mother Earth and of the Environment and dream of a Green Christmas in this Year of Faith? Can we love and respect the whole of Creation as Jesus did? Can we pledge to do tiny Green Acts to make this dream a reality? Can we bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence here on the Blue Planet?
Genesis 2:15 says, “Yahweh God took the man and the woman and settled them in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it.” Unfortunately we humans have desecrated and destroyed it. The Noah Story of the Old Testament too sets the tone. God cared for all His creatures which is why, He made provision for two of every species to be in Noah’s Ark- including the serpent He had cursed i.e. reptiles too were included. This shows that God cared for all His creatures. In the Old Testament Yahweh gave us the Book of Deuteronomy, the Nature Psalms and the Prophets etc. to enlighten us.
The first reading from Isaiah 52:7-10 speaks of the beautiful mountains and glad tidings. The birth of the babe i.e. the salvific event of Jesus at Christmas announces Peace and bears Good News. The Lord is restoring Zion and all the ends of the Earth will behold the salvation of our God. Matter and mud become the Body and Blood of Jesus. What are the signs of the times? What is God telling us today? Can we listen to His whisper? Alarm bells are ringing. Our Mother Earth is in Great Danger. Either we do something about this global concern which is very crucial, vital, urgent and alarmingly dangerous which needs our immediate attention and better the situation or perish with her. We have to cut carbon now or never. The climate emergency is acute. St. Hildegard of Bingen says, “The Earth forms not only the basic raw material for humankind, but also the substance of the Incarnation of God’s Son.”
Jesus was eco-friendly, a true Son of the Earth. He was in love with the Earth which is why He spent most of His time in the open, praying and teaching on the hills, mountains, fields, valleys, among trees, on the seas etc. using every day familiar examples from creation, like birds of the air and lilies in the fields.
The Central Insight of the New Testament is that God is always in control and at work. He never ceases to care for us. New inventions and discoveries like solar energy, pedal energy, wind, water and wave energy are all the miracles of today. The Kingdom of God is here and now. God is savingly active all over the world, whispering into the hearts of people to stand and take action to protect the Planet. Ignatius of Antioch (35-110) a prophetic figure says, “Creation is the Primary Book of God’s Revelation”, while St Ireneus of Lyons, the 2nd century Church Father proclaimed, “The Glory of God is the human being fully alive.” Christian life is thus integrally related to the Earth and to the Environment. Francis of Assisi of the Middle Ages (1182-1226) and the Patron of Ecology ushered in a Revolution with his Spirituality of Relationships. Francis related to all of God’s creatures and lived a life of friendship and harmony with nature.
We have stretched Mother Earth beyond her regenerative capacity. 20% of her species are already extinct. The UN has declared the Decade 2011-2020 as the Decade of Biodiversity. The UN Convention of Parties (CoP XI) took place in Hyderabad in India in October 2012. Ecological earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, irregular monsoons, climatic changes etc. have come to stay. Land, water and air pollution continue unabatedly. The eco-balance is tilted and the rhythm of nature is dangerously affected.
In this Year of Faith, planting trees alone is not enough. We need to do more and act quickly before it is too late. Electricity is the biggest pollutant and India is the third biggest emitter of carbon-dioxide in the world. Biodiversity is the next most important area of concern and E-Waste Management needs to be looked at seriously. Individual actions make a difference.
Can we pledge to use electricity sparingly, put off lights and fans when not required keeping in mind the fact that 52 kilos of coal is burned emitting harmful carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere, to produce one unit of electricity. Carbon dioxide increases the hole in the ozone layer causing the frightening yet growing process of global warming and climatic change. Can we pledge to plant local species, eat seasonal vegetables and fruits, use both sides of paper, avoid plastics, use cloth or jute bags, use energy efficient vehicles and appliances and thus save biodiversity? Can we make a deliberate choice and decide to use electronic devices judiciously?
“Nature Protects if She is Protected”- (The logo for CoP XI). Tiny Green Acts like using water in a mug to brush our teeth, choosing organic food, drinking natural sherbets, using candles and diyas instead of electric bulbs for festivals, using carpools and public transport, giving eco-friendly gifts to friends and family etc. are small steps towards a long journey. Vatican II Document Gaudium et Spes (22) says, “Our mode of proceeding is to trace the footprints of God everywhere, knowing that the spirit of Christ is at work in all places and situations and in all activities and mediations that seek to make Him more present in the world.” This Christmas let us all join hands, take up our responsibility like one big family-Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam to reduce our own Carbon Footprint and increase our own Hand Print-the best gift perhaps, we can offer the babe in the manger. Happy Christmas 2012 and a Blessed New Year 2013!
Dr (Sr) Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ
With inputs from Dr (Fr) Robert Athickal SJ, Co-ordinator Tarumitra, Patna
23rd December 2012
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Following educational and awareness PowerPoint Presentations (editable) may be used for school/college students, NGOs, Municipal Corporation employees, Church groups, Housing society members etc .
GEM section
1.  Solar Energy
2.  Junk Food – A slow poison
3.  Twenty Tips To Save Nature
4.  Plastic – a boon or bane?
5.  Green Passion.
6.  Soft drink – A Health Hazard
7.  Waste to energy
8.  Rain Water Harvesting
9.  Eco-friendly Religions
10. Happy Green Diwali
11. Climate Change

Dear Fr. Felix,
Can some action taken against the chemical farming or those who raise crops besides railway tracks using gutter water ?
Roney Corriea

Dear Fr. Felix,
wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New year full of Blessings and opportunities.
We are looking for people to work for Naturopathy. Mainly we are looking for people who are strong in our Catholic faith and Word of God and who want to earn extra income .We are supplying organic wheat grass which is good for health and looking for people from all over India.[ any age, education and language ] They will have to work in their own diocese, district, city, and parish. We will train and guide them and they can earn from Rs.10,000/- to even up to 50,000/- and above according to their efforts. This is work from home opportunity.
Please inform the people in the parishes and readers GEM

Dear Fr Felix,
Wish you complements of the season and especially THANK YOU for sending the good stuff regularly on ecology. I enjoy the reflections and articles.
praying for you.
with gratitude
Arun SJ

Towards Spiritual Awakening

By: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Speaking Tree, TOI
The recent brutal violation of the young girl we call Nirbhaya – the Fearless one – has shaken everyone, compelling us to examine the life we lead and the values we follow. Any kind of violence perpetrated on another is not a sign of power; it is a pointer to weakness and lack of character that comes from lack of direction which in turn could be the result of various reasons. In this case, there was absolutely no respect for another’s dignity or life.
One day in 1893 Swami Vivekananda was walking down a street in Chicago clad in two pieces of untailored saffron cloth. At that time this was a strange sight in America. A lady who was walking on the same street saw Swamiji, and said to her husband: “I don’t think this man is a gentleman.” Swami Vivekananda, who overheard her remark, walked up to her and politely said: “Excuse me Madam, in your country the tailor makes a man gentleman; but in my country, character makes man a gentleman.” Gentleman is as gentleman does – it is not about what he is wearing. We need to do more than revive this spirit in India. We need to conduct ourselves in a way that we uphold human dignity and sanctity of life and realise our potential as a spiritual superpower.
Every group of people outraged by the criminal assault on Nirbhaya is voicing their concern for a common cause: to make India crime-free, a value-based society, law-abiding, where human dignity is preserved, and where we may present a good example to other nations.
After independence, our leaders wanted to bring about reform in India. The easy way they found was paper activism, that is, legislation. You can write laws on paper, but paper cannot implement laws by itself. Both the central parliament and state assemblies were actively involved in enacting laws, to the extent that now we are living in a jungle of laws.
Importantly, in India there are numerous human rights activists, but seldom can you find a person or organisation which engages in human duties activism. This has created a society that is rights conscious rather than duty conscious. A rights conscious person only knows his own needs, whereas a duty conscious person thinks about the needs of society. That is why crimes flourish in a rights conscious society, while in a duty conscious society, crimes are kept in check.
As a Gandhian, I can say that peace is not simply a method, peace is power. We need to start a peaceful movement aimed at reviving positive human values. In Gandhian terms, it is non-violent activism that made India a free India. I hope that the present non-violent activism will lead to the next cherished goal, that is, making India a spiritual India.
As a nonagenarian, I can give only one piece of practical advice. If we want respect for ourselves we have to respect others. Overcome your base instincts and realise your potential as a human being to lead a life of nonviolence by following divine character. Conscience is the strongest check against wrongdoing. Anyone who wants to live on this planet as an honest person must keep guard and heed his conscience or moral sensitivity. Keeping one’s conscience alive is the only way to maintain a peaceful character and doing so is the beginning of spiritual awakening.