Brethren, I welcome you all to this Half Yearly Communication and I am particularly happy that this pattern of having Half Yearly communications outside of Mumbai have proved successful and Lodges have eagerly and voluntarily come forward to host the same.
My sincerely thanks, appreciation and compliments to the RWM Bro. Mohan Deshpande and the Brethren of Lodges Royal Jubilee for their tireless efforts in putting up such interesting and enjoyable meet here in Solapur. I have been here several times and each time has been a memorable visit. Your affection and hospitality is infectious and commitment and dedication to Freemasonry is remarkable.
You have seen the winds of change from Scotland as our dynamic Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Bro. Ramsay McGhee is determined to provide us exciting times in Freemasonry in the years to come. The Governance Structure of Grand Lodge of Scotland has been totally revamped to meet the challenges of the future for which the necessary information has been sent by the District Grand Secretary.
I have dedicated our Half Yearly Communication to creating an awareness for Environment and Nature. When the District Grand Chaplain invoked the blessing of the great Geometrician of the Universe he said “that the rays of heaven may shed their benign influence over us to enlighten us un the paths of virtue and science.” Brethren these words are so profound that they should not be lost as “Visionary ideals” but imbibed as “Self-Evident Realities.” It means that we should explore the mysteries of nature and science.
But what have mankind done to Nature today? We have ravaged it for our selfish motives and greed. Today the world is grappling with this menace of carbon footprints and global warming and we are gradually destroying the elements and creations of Nature. Nothing is pure and salient as Nature had gifted. There is contamination and toxicity in everything – air, atmosphere, earth, water, vegetation, animal and marine life. We have woken up today because it has now become a threat to our life and existence.
What are the ways in which we have ravaged Nature:
- Ceaseless Carbon Emission by Industry, Vehicles and Aircraft
- Mounting Undegradable Waste like Plastic and Thermocol
- Uncontrolled Mining, depleting Natural Resources
- Mindless Construction Activities, Polluting the Environment
- Rampant Deforestation, resulting in Reducing Green cover
- Growing Toxicity in Ocean
- Unplanned Urbanisation burdening the infrastructure
- Vehicle Tyres wearing of, turning into dust particles in air
- Hazardous Gases from AC & Refrigerators
- Radiation from Telecom Towers
- Climate Change
- Global Warming
- Unseasonal Rainfall
- Glaciers Melting
- Sea Level Rising
- Plastic Clogging Oceans
- Crop Production and Yield Affected
- Extinction of Plant, Animal, Bird and Marine Life.
- Change in Ecosystem with U V Rays penetrating the Ozone Layer
- Poor Air Quality in metropolitan cities
- Polluting particles in Atmosphere
We have unleashed all these hazards in the name of development. Carbon Emission disturbs the greenhouse gases balance in nature. Which cause global warming and climate change which ultimately affects human health.
Take the case of plastic. A great innovation with no comparable substitute, but highly undegradable. We have rudimentary knowledge of its ill effects in terms of bottles, bags and articles which are not degradable, but the hazard is that most of it ultimately lands up in the ocean. It is all over the world but in the Pacific Ocean there is a Great Garbage Patch and it covers an area of 1.6 million sq. km., roughly 3 times the size of France. The danger is that it gets in the centre of a circular ocean current called gyre and breaks into fine micro and nano particles and then into marine life and organism which in turn affects birds, animals and human life as it enters our blood cells through food, inhilation and osmosis causing life threatening diseases.
Another hazard is CFC & HCFC gases from AC & Refrigeration and Aerosol products and causing dangerous thinning of Ozone and even huge holes in it. This ozone layer is a protective layer from U V Rays from Sun which can cause cancer if we are exposed.
Governments the world over have passed legislation and International Conventions are regularly held to contain and reverse the trend. We have introduced electric vehicles but that too has it problem of environmental damage through lithium batteries, so we are now exploring hydrogen as a substitute. All this is good but air travel is increasing and furthering the damage. Both Indigo and Air India have each placed an order for 500 large aircrafts to be included their fleet, so one does not know where we are headed.
How we can reduce Carbon Footprints
- Use less plastic
- Economise on Transport use
- Economise on Electricity use
- Keep Car Tyres inflated
- Eat locally grown food and less red meat
- Use cold water and less water for laundry and bathing
- Most Important ‘Be Aware’
We are not isolated beings, separate from God, Universe and Nature. There is unity in diversity from where the word Universe comes. Cosmos mean order, which we refer to as Dharma in Indian philosophy and the message is oneness with Nature.
Nature is very bountiful, the Sun gives energy, light and heat. The flower given fragrance and we routinely consume fruits, vegetables and cereals. The bird sings merrily without an audience. Unlike us Nature never asks for anything in return, all that we need to do is respect and keep the balance in Nature for our own benefit and survival. Think for minute all the elements and creations of Nature-Water, Air, Earth, Fire, Plants, Animals, Insects and Marine Life do not need us, we need them. They can exists without us, we cannot live without them.
I am particularly happy that today at our Charity Project for Tribal Children instead of traditional bouquets and garlands we were presented with poted Tusli plants which we shall sow in our property. I also observe that both in and outside our Lodge Room there are indoor plants which is quite unusual.
My thanks to District Grand Secretary Bro. Noshir Paghdiwalla for managing the office of the District so efficiently suitable assisted by Swapnnali Gaikwad. I also appreciate the services of our Treasurer, Farokh Chinoy and Brethren Farokh Santoke and Vispi Marolia.
District Grand Master