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     Environment Policy

 

 

Environmental issues have at last become part of the consciousness of everyone, as hardly a day goes by without even the most hedonistic of us being reminded of the toxic waste and acid rain that are threatening all life forms on the planet.

The exhaust fumes and chlorinated water of modern cities force everyone of us to be ecologically aware, indeed one woman wrote to a newspaper recently that her awakening to the problems of pollution began when her dog refused to drink tap-water, preferring instead the water in the local park pond.

The Islamic Party believes that educated people should shun jobs with large companies that are causing environmental pollution; except for taking part in research that helps to solve the problem. By now, surely no-one can say that environmental issues are detrimental to progress or higher education. Surely now the 'developing' third world can see the results of the world's industrialisation and will refrain from following them over the edge of the precipice.

There are several departments of government which are instrumental in controlling pollution, and a brief look at the role they can play in this would be helpful.

ECONOMY

The Islamic Party has as its main target the pernicious nature of lending money on interest and its debilitating effect on all aspects of life. Bank loans are the life blood of industry today, and repaying the loan's interest is such an important factor of management, second only to pleasing shareholders, that hardly any money is left for investing in anti-pollutant measures such as "scrubbers" for factory chimneys and the like.

AGRICULTURE

Encouraging smaller organic farms would reduce two major sources of agricultural pollution, namely slurry and chemical saturation. The abominable forms of factory farming like hen-batteries and calf pens (Islam orders to keep livestock in good condition and slaughter it in good condition) produce vast quantities of slurry which the farmer rarely wants. This ever and again finds its way into our streams and rivers. Hens and calves kept humanely, that is without cruelty, could add their dung to the fields and compost heap and help increase farm fertility. A major cause of food contamination would also thus be eliminated. As for crops (including pasture) the routine spraying of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides should cease. Modem plant breeding has produced strains that can hardly stand up without liberal dressings of fertiliser, and often the plant breeding stations which have produced these new strains are owned and funded by the agro-chemical makers themselves. Older, more resistant breeds of barley, wheat, potatoes, etc. could be used, thus saving the farmer and consumer from the cost and ill-effects of agro-chemical application. As for lays, a greater variety of plants, including white clover, would remove the evil of heavy nitrogen dressings.

TRANSPORT

No one who has watched rush-hour traffic could fail to see that a reduction in the number of cars is a most important step in reducing air pollution. Hundreds of cars, most containing only the driver, move at snail's pace, each adding its share to the global warm-up, by producing exhaust fumes. We suggest two remedial measures:

a) a great improvement in public transport would eliminate the necessity for people to fight the traffic in city rush-hours. Cheaper trains and more frequent coaches would take many cars off the motorways, too.

b) the problem of juggernauts which destroy roads and clog the transport system has to be tackled. A large section of this traffic could go by freight train and save the environment and infrastructure at the same time.

ENERGY

Nuclear energy is the main trouble under this category. With leukemia clusters and waste products that are deadly for thousands of years there ban be no more controversial source of energy than this. We believe that no more nuclear power stations should be built until research can come up with some answers to the problems of nuclear waste and the dangers of living near these stations. Renewable energy has to be taken from the bottom of the list and given more funding for research.

 

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Islamic Party 2000, Islamic Party of Britain, PO Box 844, Oldbrook, Milton Keynes, MK6 2YT