Great Books of the World – Part 12

 

“You cannot get through a single day
without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide
what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

Recent changes in council regulations in the United Kingdom, designed to save money, resulted in unprecedented numbers of fly-tipping in this country. Unscrupulous builders leave a van or lorry load of building rubbish (often including whole baths, sinks, etc) on the pathways to private land, often close to people’s houses. The nationwide cost of clearing the mess was recently estimated by the Local Government Association as reaching over £1 million a week. Some time ago, Dr Raziq wrote to me about his weekly clearing of the part of the desert close to the camel milk farm, where he is a veterinary director, and usually over 10kg of rubbish is collected. Last week’s post of one of my readers galvanised me into action.  I am so impressed by this young man, not yet out of school, that I am going to quote his post word for word and picture by picture. As long as such young people exist, the future of Earth is not lost.

The disgrace of fly-tipping across the UK

 

This is from the blog of Sudarshan Paliwal, the impressive young man whom I mentioned at the beginning:

Hello everyone, I hope you are well and doing great.

I want to ask one question to myself and to everyone: Why are we making Earth full of garbage? We can see in cities or villages the waste or garbage on the roadside, or near railway tracks, public places, and many more. Some of them don’t throw the waste in the dustbin, they throw it directly on the road or many other places. Some of the cities are very clean because the people of that city are very supportive, they don’t throw the waste everywhere.

If you don’t see a dustbin nearby you, just keep the waste in your pocket but don’t throw it anywhere. Many diseases take place if we live in dirty places.

In the village I saw, once the drain is made, they never come and clean it and people also ignore that; what happens then is that the water of the drains comes out onto the road.

Drain water on the road

So please be supportive and make your city, town, or village neat and clean.

We do and we only struggle.

As you can see in the above image, this is how small kids react towards garbage. So, therefore I request, please know your responsibilities towards the nature of your living place.

And here is the latest example we found of pollution in the River Ganges:

 

Here are a recent post and pictures from the blog of Dr Raziq.

The desert that Dr Raziq would walk in before it was polluted.

Plastic is one of the hazardous products of the modern era, scattered everywhere, from mountains to the seabed. Deserts are also full of plastic pollution. When the plastic is in the form of bottles, bags etc, it harms plants and retards their growth and germination. With time, plastic breaks into small pieces, becoming more dangerous and hazardous, especially for livestock. The so-called decomposable plastic is even more dangerous in my view. It gets shattered over a broad surface, usually accumulating under bushes, and ultimately makes its way into a camel’s or other livestock’s gut.

Once a week, I go to the desert, spend some hours collecting plastic and throw it in nearby waste bins. During such exercise, I almost always collect up to 10 kg of waste, mostly bottles and other plastic. I collect it in plastic bags and share the photographs on my social media to give two lessons to people:

1. to not throw plastic except in the wastebin

2. to collect some waste from the desert whenever you visit the desert and dispose of it appropriately

 

Map showing course of River Nile

Volunteers clearing plastic pollution on the River Nile

The biggest problem the Nile is facing now is horrendous plastic pollution. If possible, everyone should watch the documentary ‘The Plastic Nile.’ Reporter Alex Crawford writes: ‘Today, thousands of years after the pyramids were built along it, the river is still the life spring for millions. But for how long?’ Her documentary reveals that the Nile has reached a crisis point with a devastating impact potentially around the globe. ‘Every year the Nile dumps 80,000 tonnes of plastic into the Mediterranean, and that affects our future.’ writes Alex. ‘It is an environmental catastrophe. … Some waterways were so clogged up, you couldn’t see there was water underneath.’ When finally Alex reaches the point where the Nile runs into the sea, she can see that there is plastic everywhere. ‘We in the West think we’re doing our bit, but we need to see the bigger picture. We need international collaboration, urgently. People need to realise what’s going on.’

The Nile will die if nothing is done now.

Less than one year on, this is what is still happening in Egypt and on the Nile:

A man collects water from a canal beside a dead donkey in the Nile Delta town of Al-Borollos 300 km (186 miles) north of  Cairo REUTERS/Nasser Nuri (EGYPT) – RTR1YHD4

 

People walk across a bridge surrounded by litter and waste at a canal connected to the river Nile in Cairo. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh – RTR4UD5Y

 

 

And this is my antidote to the horrific pictures just shown.

An article in the Clinical Medicine Journal of the Royal College of Physicians, written by Sir Richard Thompson, highlighted the increasing evidence that plants, green spaces, and gardening benefit mental and physical health. The author referred to a Japanese study that found that looking at plants alters electrocardiogram readings (which check the electrical activity of the heart), improves mood, and reduces pulse rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. One of the commentators, a doctor, wrote: “I cannot think of any drug taken in isolation that could achieve this.” He added: “Spending time among nature can be transformative.”

As I wrote before, my garden is the best therapist there is. Perhaps with one exception – the Himalayas. But with the pandemic raging, I might never have a chance to see the moon above the mountains or walk in the invigorating, pure air of its forests. Or just sit quietly and admire the spectacular view of nature’s magnificent splendour.

When I think of paradise it starts with my garden, some images of which are shown below. No matter how turbulent is the daily news or how stressful my daily life can be, just a few minutes into my work take the stress away as if a heavy coat has slipped off my shoulders. It is a form of meditation but I don’t need to empty my head of thoughts, I just focus on what is to be done to make my plants, living creatures, happy. The plaque on my garden wall carries the Roman maxim: “Who plants a garden, plants happiness.”

Who can look at the abomination of the piles of rubbish and disagree?

The most famous rose in the word, called ‘Peace’, created after the Second World War

 

 

Here are some books which you may find of interest and encouragement to help do your bit in tackling this horrific plague.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

117 thoughts on “Great Books of the World – Part 12

  1. Thought provoking post, Joanna. Some information is simply unbelievable and horrifying.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you, Ramya, it is horrifying but we have to see and be inspired to act. Did you look at the end of the post, at the antidote? My roses and my garden are worth having a look at, Ramya.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes. We are definitely doing our bit. But, is it ever going to be enough, Joanna??

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We can only strive that it is.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sure, i was thinking about it today morning only

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m Dr. Raziq, thanks for your encouragement and appreciation.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Hi Joana,
    I read your great and very valuable article word by read. It is really very helpful in making understanding about the hazardous things happening around us. We as good kids of our mother earth should realize our role and follow the following rules in our life.
    1. Reduce
    2. Reuse
    3. Recycle
    Thanks for appreciation of my efforts. Though my role is very small as there is tonns of plastic in the desert and I collect in kgs but it will have great symbolic effects.
    Thanks once again for your great work and sensitive thoughts to our mother earth.
    Dr. Raziq

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Thank you so much, Dr. Raziq. Your efforts are very valuable because if everybody collected kilograms of rubbish it would make a huge difference. Also, your kilograms over time will turn into tonnes.

    Joanna

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, your point is valid.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m really happy and grateful that you responded to my comments. The mother earth needs worthy sons like you. My sincere thanks and regards 🙏🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Indore is going to win 🏆 next time also.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I will wait for your post on Swami Vivekananda. He is the source of motivation in today’s young India. We should learn his teachings.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Certainly, I agree and will do so soon but I have to study 8 volumes of his work and it takes time. On another subject, Loku, wouldn’t be more illuminating if you were to read my posts (over 150 now) instead of just comments of other people. There is Swami in my Saturday’s post this week, perhaps, you could look it up, please?

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your work has great importance. I am already reading your post, every post is a book in itself.

    Like

  15. Your readers must have a huge heart otherwise, they will lose their patience.

    Like

  16. This is such a relevant write, Joanna. Fly-tipping is a major hazard especially in cities resulting in dieseases and deaths of both humans and animals. It’s a sorry sight to simply traverse along the city roads when places that could have beheld rich greenery are now dumped with garbage. I once watched a documentary on the Ganga where a doctor remarked that pollution was decreasing oxygen levels which in turn caused fishes to choke and eventually die. It was both disturbing and heartbreaking to watch.
    Thank you for sharing both articles, this is a timely issue that needs to be addressed at the earliest.
    You have such a lovely garden! The Peace rose looks stunning! We only have red and yellow roses but they’re always a refreshing sight.
    I’ve been meaning to write something about our environment but I can’t seem to find the right words.
    I also apologize for being so late to reading. Have a lovely day ahead!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. You haven’t read 60 or more reviews here, have you? That says more about you than about my post. But thank you that at least you have tried.

    Joanna

    Like

  18. What a Road to Damascus epiphany!! Thank you. I take it “War and Peace” wouldn’t be your thing? I am elated, not complaining,
    Thank you.

    Joanna

    Like

  19. I am glad that you have read India – Empire of the Spirit. If you have really read all, you have my admiration, as it is 6000 words. And every, single one is an important one. Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I have read all of them. I appreciate your writing. Thank you.🙂

    Like

  21. Thank you very much, Loku, I will strive not to disappoint you! I hope to read your comment after you have read Saturday’s post, of course, mine one!
    Joanna
    PS What is this nonsense you wrote about yourself? You an intelligent and very nice young man with a brilliant future.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you again, I think we are going to be friends.

    Joanna

    Like

  23. I am confused. Please tell me what that nonsense is ?

    Like

  24. I want to be honest with you. Sometimes I can’t understand your comments.

    Like

  25. What it is that you don’t understand? Which sentence?

    Like

  26. You wrote something that I didn’t want to tell the world about. It is starting with “Stupid Loku ….”
    I am going to work on my post so I won’t look up anything you write until much later. Goodnight

    Joanna

    Like

  27. ” PS what is this nonsense you wrote about yourself? You can intelligent and very nice yo….”

    ???

    Like

  28. Ok. I will not write anything like that. Thanks.

    Like

  29. I seemed to have lost my reply to your lovely comment. Have you read it? Otherwise, I will write again

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I’m afraid, I didn’t, Joanna. But that’s fine, you don’t have to write again!
    Happy Friday!

    Like

  31. Something happened here, and I have to find out what and why. I need to finish the post for tomorrow ((you will love it, as a talented writer), and after I will give my full attention.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I cannot see your text either!! I will sort this out later. Apologies!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  33. FANTASTIC post Joanna❣️A wonderful and much needed call to waste disposal and it’s impact on our beautiful planet!

    Garbage is one of my biggest fears today and for future generations!

    It pains me greatly to imagine see the photos of the waste and defiling of the earth.

    I am an avid supporter of refuse, reuse and repurpose!

    I read a fabulous book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown and isn’t changed my life by only purchasing whats essential for my functioning in life. Not minimalism in the strictest sense but I’ve discovered I don’t need much at all to function and be happy. 😍

    In the end, stuff will NEVER make us happy ❣️

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Thank you, Teri, for such insightful comments. It really is wonderful to read how many people not only agree with the post’s message but are taking action to do something positive around them. When I first read about pollution, my next day task was to change the supplier of excellent milk, but coming in plastic bottles, for the one providing less wonderful milk but in glass bottles that were recycled. There is still so many plastic containers which we should insist on not being supplied any longer.
    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  35. I found your text but as soon I touched reply space, it disappeared again. I will work on this tomorrow.
    My apologies.

    Joanna

    Like

  36. I will sort this out tomorrow.

    Joanna

    Like

  37. Keep up the great work❤️

    Like

  38. Thanks you for building awareness 🤗🤗

    Like

  39. Please take your time, Joanna. Looking forward to it!

    Like

  40. Your photos are horrifying of that plastic pollution, Joanna, but they bring perspective. Everyone needs to be on the same page though for our planet to heal. Your garden is beautiful and I appreciate your insightful anecdote, too.
    ~Lauren 🌷

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Thank you, Lauren, this is the crucial point – to galvanise as many people to work fight this horror. Children from primary school up to the highest level should be taken (under supervision), once a week to clean their local areas, etc. That way they would learn to never throw rubbish on the ground, they might even teach their parents not to do so.
    Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I love this post. You’ve gone so in-depth into a problem that is so prevalent today! Truly, almost everyone preaches “don’t litter” and such, but not everyone has the mind to follow it. The abundance of pictures really gives us a perspective to recognise what we do.

    Thank you for the eye-opening post!

    Liked by 4 people

  43. Welcome to the Team Save Mother Earth! We all pledge to join in the action to clean locally the rubbish, small or big. Perhaps you could tell about this vast problem to other young people at school? Everything cleared is better than nothing.
    Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

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