Saturday, February 19, 2011

The benefits of a carbon fast

'Lenten Thoughts – Reduce Carbon Footprints, Practice Carbon Fasting'

By Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostum and Roy P. Thomas

Published by Christava Sahitya Samithi.

Pages 112. Price Rs 90

By Shevlin Sebastian

In 2009, Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostum, one of the senior-most bishops of the 10 lakh-strong Mar Thoma Church, came up with the idea of carbon fasting during the Lenten period -- the 40 days of prayer and fasting for Christians before Easter. He advised churchgoers on ways to cut down on carbon emissions. They included simple things like: Unplug your mobile charger. Only run your washing machine when you have a full load. Turn down the air conditioner when you go to bed or leave the house. Avoid plastic bags. Switch off lights. Have an ‘embrace-the-silence’ Sunday. Turn off everything: no TV, radio, or ring-tones. Stop using cars.

On January 22, a 112-page book was released by the Tiruvalla-based Christava Sahitya Samithi. Called 'Lenten Thoughts' – Reduce Carbon Footprints, Practice Carbon Fasting', it has been co-authored by Mar Chrysostum and Roy P. Thomas. The Kannur-based Thomas is a Deputy Conservator of Forests, who has co-authored the 'Manual of Forest Laws in Kerala'.

“This idea of carbon fasting was already prevalent in the West,” says Roy. “Following discussions with Mar Chrysostum, we decided to introduce this concept in India.”

In the book, on one page there are suggestions for the carbon fast, while on the next page is a quotation from the Bible, along with a commentary. “The tragedy is that those with the power to do something about carbon emissions are least affected, while those who are most affected are powerless to bring about change,” says Roy. “There is a moral imperative on our part to rein in our consumption.”

After reading the book, your attitude towards carbon consumption and global warming is changed forever.

(The New Indian Express, Kerala)

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