Sunday, March 21, 2010


BEIJING (BBC News) - Beijing has been shrouded in orange dust as a strong sandstorm blew hundreds of miles from drought-struck northern China to the nation's capital. The authorities have issued a level-five pollution warning and urged people to stay indoors. In Tiananmen Square, clouds of dust obscured monuments and visitors wore masks to avoid the dust and soil. The storm has already caused havoc in Xinjiang, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hebei regions and is heading to South Korea. Residents of the South Korean capital, Seoul, as well as those in central and western regions, have been advised to stay indoors. By Saturday, the storm had spread over an area of 810,000 sq km (313,000 sq miles) with a population of 250 million, state news agency Xinhua reported. It was expected to last until Monday, the meteorological agency said in a statement on its website. Guo Hu, head of Beijing's meteorological agency, said the storm came from the deserts of Inner Mongolia.

Beijing has long-suffered from sandstorms - including a single instance in April 2006 when 300,000 tons of sand poured down on the city, Xinhua reported. But Mr Guo said the storms had become less frequent in recent years. Currently 270 million people are affected and forecasters say the storm will move from northern China and reach past the Yangtze River basin. Experts say the storms are, in part, caused by deforestation and the rapid expansion of urban areas in recent decades. The desert's shifting sands can cause sandstorms which can send grit to South Korea and Japan and reach as far as the western United States.

It is thought that the sandstorm is caused by severe drought. It is also believed that deforestation is the culprit for the desert’s shifting sands. No matter what the true causes, one thing is clear: the environmental degradation suffered by our mother earth, mainly lies in our lack of gratitude to God and His creation.

So it is all Krishna's blessings. Krishna is the Lord. He is the Lord of all the Lords. He is the creator. ... Now you are sitting under a tree. You feel happy. No sunrays will fall upon you. And you will be happy. You get cool breeze, you get flowers, the scenery. The trees are helping us. To all our senses they help. They make us enjoy. You enjoy. But, no (laughs), we never enjoy. We cut the trees. We don't preserve the beauty. Whenever we want we cut the trees. For our satisfaction we cut the trees. Whenever we want, at the beginning we cut, and branches we cut, and the leaves and everything we cut and enjoy.

Śrīla Bhakti Vaibhava Purī Mahārāj :
Lecture: “Navada Bhakti”

Slovenia, summer 1998.
Śrī Krishna Chaitanya Mission.

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