October 29, 2008

Reducing livestock to counter global warming.

Research by Briton Dr. Andy Thorpe of University of Portsmouth has found that methane emissions are playing a more significant role in global warming, as their proportion is on the rise.

Compared to CO2, which has increased by 31 percent during the past 250 years, methane has increased by 149 percent during the same period. Moreover, methane is far more potent, trapping 72 times more heat than CO2 over a 20 year period. Dr. Thorpe stated, "Methane emission growth… has been increasing exponentially within the developing world due to rising incomes [causing] increased demand for meat proteins and developed countries sourcing meat from developing markets." Dr. Thorpe suggested reducing methane emissions via livestock down-sizing and corresponding reduced meat consumption.

At the same time, he also warns against shifting from eating meat to fish, saying that this would be devastating to the ocean ecosystems.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/emissions-from-burping-cows-higher-than-family-car-967995.html

Government advisor: eat less meat to tackle climate changewarming.

The United Kingdom's Professor Tim Lang, who formulated the concept of food miles, recently stated the world may be eating its way to starvation through inefficient and energy-intensive ways of producing food. Saying that food policy can be used to reverse global warming, the City University professor encouraged people to grow their own food and eat using fewer resources, stating,

"We need to lobby government for change, eat less meat and fewer dairy products, and garden more." 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/10/15/eafood115.xml

October 28, 2008

Arctic is melting even in Winter

Arctic ice now melting even in winter. In a study conducted by the Centre for Polar Observation, satellite data collected by UK researcher Dr. Kathrine Giles has found that the ice has continued to thin during what is normally the winter season for the thickening in the Arctic.
 
Moreover, the cause of the melting is very alarming. Because the air temperature has been cold enough for the ice to freeze, the thinning ice through the winter is most likely due to warming waters or changes in the circulation of the ocean, meaning that the Arctic ice cap may disappear more quickly than originally predicted.

“This is one of the most serious problems the world has ever faced.”

   - Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5014744.ece

October 19, 2008

Canadian Parliament Member speaks candidly on global warming.




Recently, Parliament Member Glen Pearson of the Liberal Party of Canada gave a presentation on “An Inconvenient Truth,” the engaging lecture designed by Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist Al Gore, on the dire climate changes occurring around the world.

Glen Pearson, Parliament Member, Canada (M): It’s increasing; you can’t deny it.
You can see that precipitation around the globe is going to increase in many areas. The two hardest hit areas are going to be Canada and Russia. During all of those 160,000 years hardly any species loss. And just in the last couple of decades, look what we’ve done.

VOICE: Glen Pearson and his wife recently adopted 3 children from Darfur, Sudan. He thus brought to the presentation first-hand information on environmental refugees based on his families’ frequent visits to the region.

Glen Pearson MP (M): This is Lake Chad. You see it starts in 1963. Just in that period of time it was gone. We were in South Sudan this year; we found 100,000 Darfur refugees who suddenly just showed up at our doorstep because they had no water. They weren’t fleeing persecution or war. They had nothing to live on.

VOICE: Following his speech, Mr. Pearson answered a question on curbing the meat industry to help reduce devastating global warming effects such as these. He stated that a main source of this solution lay in the voice of citizens.

Glen Pearson MP (M): The [meat] industry is so strong and the lobby is so strong, that’s where the real difficulty is coming from. I think people have been talking about this in Ottawa; we’ve been hearing about it. My wife became a vegetarian at the Earth Summit in 1992. Should we determine that these are things that we want to do something about, what political party is going to tackle that particular lobby group? If people come to us and give us these things and say, “We want you to take action on this,” this is how we know as a party we can’t get away with it.

For more information about Canadian Parliament Member Glen Pearson, please visit glenpearson.liberal.ca 

Global warming visually affects Mount Rainier.

The US national park, widely admired for its meadows of alpine asters and purple lupines, is now being overtaken by trees. The National Park Service attributes the change to decreased snowfall due to global warming, which reduces the snowpack needed for open meadow areas. Botanist Dr. Regina Rochefort, a science adviser at the National Park Service who has been studying the process since the early 1990s said, “We are trying to get a better handle on what changes we will see, where we will see the most rapid changes and how we can use that information to help manage parks.”

We thank Dr. Rochefort and National Park Service scientists for sharing this observation of humans’ effect on the balance of nature. May we quickly make more eco-friendly choices to preserve the colorful diversity and beauty of our Earth.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/front/topphoto/story/496324.html

World coral reefs in dramatic decline.

Like many of the ocean’s coral reefs, Latin America’s Chitales, which stretches from Cancun, Mexico to Honduras, is losing life at an alarming rate. Climate change, which warms the oceans and makes them more acidic, is one reason for the decline, while pollution from agricultural runoff and waste along with overfishing is said to be speeding it even more. The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network reports that across the Caribbean, in just the last three decades, living coral has diminished by 80%. Beside their remarkable beauty, coral reefs serve as buffers to coastal cities during hurricanes and are irreplaceable nurseries for fish.

Our appreciation, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and all who are working to save these uniquely precious marine treasures. May humanity further appreciate the interconnectedness of all life and act quickly to restore our planet.

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE48T01G20080930  

October 6, 2008

Vegetarianism should be promoted for health and the planet.

On Saturday, the Finnish environmental organization Dodo organized a seminar called “Megapolis 2023 – Happy Cities,” which brought together world leaders and media interested in designing wholesome urban regions. An important consideration discussed during the forum was climate change.

Aleksi Neuvonen, Megapolis Seminar organizer (M): The idea here is to bring new ideas about cities and the way cities can promote better environments and finding solutions to great environmental threats we are soon to face.

Enrique Peñalosa – Advisor of urban strategies, former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia (M): The same policies that you would create to implement to create good mobility, the same policies that you would create to improve quality of life, are the same policies which are good for the environment and for sustainability and for global warming.

VOICE: Speaking on the theme of “happiness” of city residents was Heidi Hautala, Member of Finnish Parliament and vegetarian entrepreneur who established one of the country’s first meat-free restaurants.

Heidi Hautala – Member of Finnish Parliament (Vegetarian) (F): If we look at 3 areas where we can improve our lifestyles and reduce our ecological footprint the most, I would say that these areas are housing, transport and food. In terms of food, we can certainly reduce our ecological footprint on this planet very much by reducing dramatically the amount of animal food that we take.

Certainly we could reduce serving meat in our workplace, canteens, schools and hospitals – quite drastically, with very good impact, and also maybe saving some money which is scarce today in public services.


October 3, 2008

Greenhouse gas emissions still rising.

 Despite an economic decline, a 3% increase in carbon dioxide emissions from 2006-2007 has been observed, which surpasses the worst case scenario predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Along with predictions of an 11 degree Fahrenheit global temperature increase by the end of the century, scientists also report that forest and ocean absorption of carbon dioxide have decreased. Dr. Richard Moss, Vice President and Managing Director for climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, said “We should be worried -- really worried. This is happening in the context of trying to reduce emissions.”
Dr. Moss, World Wildlife Fund and other scientists, we are thankful for this eye-opening report. We pray that all people awaken to this most urgent matter of our time and step quickly toward Earth-saving practices to preserve the lives of all beings.
 
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-warming26-2008sep26,0,5554637.story http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/26/headlines#6 http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbontrends/index_new.htm http://www.globalchange.umd.edu/staff/rmoss/  

Choose veggies over meat to save water.

Weather experts in Formosa (Taiwan) recently noted that rainfall patterns have changed. While the volume of rain per day has increased, the total number of rainy days has fallen. As a result of this climate change, both floods and droughts occur more frequently in Formosa and worldwide. With increased droughts, water conservation efforts have become a priority, demanding collective efforts. Formosa’s Water Resources Agency wants the public to consider the comprehensive, or hidden cost of water in daily life.

Dr. Chen Shen Hsien - Director General of Water Resources Agency, Formosa (Taiwan) (M): If we add up the water used to produce what we eat and use, then the amount is enormous. If we can eat less meat to reduce the amount of meat production, we will reduce gas emissions and thus slow down the climate warming effect or protect the water resources

One factory farm creates more pollution than the city of Houston, Texas.

A US General Accounting Office report found that a single factory farm produces 1.6 million tons of manure each year, which in turn contaminates local water resources through runoff into streams, rivers and lakes. Often these water bodies are no longer safe for swimming, drinking or as wildlife habitat due to bacteria and excessive chemicals. A recent report by the Pew Commission concluded that measures to curtail factory farming are necessary to prevent further damage to water supplies and the environment, along with accelerated global warming.
US General Accounting Office and Pew Commission, we are grateful for these informative studies that help us understand the urgency of our situation. May we all join together to revive our beautiful Earth’s sustainability through such quickly effective practices as the ecologically sound plant-based diet. 
http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/factory-farms-47092401?src=syn&dom=yah_buzz&mag=tdg&ha=1&kw=ist


Argentina endures its worst drought of the century.

Argentina endures its worst drought of the century.

Thus far in 2008, Argentina has received fewer than 200 millimeters (7.9 inches) of rain, which is less than a third of the nation’s normal precipitation at this point in the year. Along with 15% of the region’s cattle having perished, the drought is also affecting farming sectors. Mr. Sixto Periche of the National Institute of Farming Technology stated, “We are almost at the limit of the last date that we can plant sunflowers. If it doesn’t rain this week, they won’t plant sunflowers.”

We pray for God’s grace and the blessing of rain to ease the plight of the Argentinean people. May these conditions serve as a reminder of our need to walk swiftly toward practices that help heal our Mother Earth.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/09/26/argentina.drought/index.html

Arctic methane release raises concern for runaway global warming

Arctic methane release raises concern for runaway global warming.

Scientists aboard a Russian research ship along the coast of Siberia recently discovered an extensive oceanic area releasing methane; at amounts 100 times normal for the area.  Scientists believe undersea methane in the Arctic is held in check by frozen permafrost, which is now melting as the Arctic has been rapidly warming. Dr. Örjan Gustafsson of Sweden’s Stockholm University, who was onboard the vessel, stated, “Yesterday, for the first time, we documented a field where the release was so intense that the methane did not have time to dissolve into the seawater but was rising as methane bubbles to the sea surface." Methane released into the atmosphere is up to 72 times more potent than CO2 over a 20 year period, and could thus cause accelerated global warming that would be much more difficult to control.

Supreme Master Ching Hai Video Archive:December 25, 2007 - Paris Seminar

We have to save this planet, so that we’ll be able to stay, first. 
Because if the ice all melt, if all the poles all melt out, and then if the sea is warm,
then the gas might be released from the ocean, and we might all be poisoned. It’s a lot of gas.

If you see the Singapore lecture, I already warned that we have to change the way we live, otherwise it’s  too late. It was 10 or 15 years. Or before that, I always talk about how we deforest our planet, yah? Meat eating and all that contributes to a lot of damage to our Earth planet, you know.

Scientists say many things. They are listening now, but I just hope they do it fast.  It just takes action. All the governments in the world really take it now seriously. It’s just I’m worried
the action might be too slow, that’s all. 

Because the ice reflecting the sun, you see, so send it back into the space, but the ice is melting
so fast now, that there’s not enough reflection and because the sea is already warm, it melts the ice. And because the ice melt, the sea warmer. You see what I mean,
the cycle?

The way it is going, if they don’t fix it, 4 or 5 years time, finito. No more. It’s really that urgent.




We are grateful for your advisement of these alarming facts, Dr. Gustafsson and colleagues. We pray for humanity’s response through planet-saving practices such as the plant-based diet to quickly halt these warming trends. 

http://www.independent.co.uk:80/news/science/exclusive-the-methane-time-bomb-938932.html, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918192943.htm

Heat waves decrease plants’ ability to absorb CO2.

Heat waves decrease plants’ ability to absorb CO2. 

A four-year study led by the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, USA simulated heat wave conditions by growing grassland plants in large climate-controlled chambers. The researchers found that grasslands subjected to heat waves for the equivalent of a one-year growing period had a 63 percent decrease in their ability to absorb carbon dioxide for that year, and even a year later had significantly reduced ability to absorb CO2. Naturally growing grasslands normally serve as major carbon sinks, absorbing significant amounts of CO2 to help alleviate the effects of global warming.

Desert Research Institute, we are grateful for these insights into the challenges we face as planetary temperatures continue to warm due to climate change. We pray for quick global action to preserve all lives on our wonderful Earth. 

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/36532/title/
Heat_waves_stunt_grassland_growth
   

Acidic oceans may catalyze mass extinctions.

Acidic oceans may catalyze mass extinctions. 

Addressing a writer’s conference in Brisbane, Australia, Ms. Alanna Mitchell, author of a book called “Seasick” and scientist Dr. Charlie Vernon, former chief scientist with the Australian Institute of Marine Science, outlined how carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the world’s oceans. Dr. Vernon explained that without intervention, a continuation of the already-escalating process would cause a tipping point to be surpassed. After this, massive extinctions on Earth would occur. Ms. Mitchell noted, “If everything on land were to die tomorrow, the ocean wouldn't even notice, but if everything in the ocean were to die tomorrow, everything on land would also die.”

Ms. Mitchell and Dr. Vernon, we deeply appreciate your honesty in further revealing the dire state of our planet. Our prayers that actions worldwide will quickly reduce our carbon footprint and help return the oceans and our Earth to a more pristine state.

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,24381178-5006301,00.html?from=public_rss   

European Parliament members report on livestock and climate change.

European Parliament members report on livestock and climate change.

Jens Holm is a Member of the European Parliament from Sweden, serving on Committees for the environment, climate change and international trade. A defender of animal welfare and global justice, Mr. Holm is also the author of a series of articles speaking out about the hazards of the meat industry on the climate. His 2007 report, “The Livestock and the Climate,” took a in-depth look at the costs of meat consumption in terms of finances, natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions.

Jens Holm – Member of European Parliament from Sweden, Vegetarian (M): Vegetarian food is not only good for the climate, it’s also good of course for the animals and for your own health. The problem though is that a lot of public money, mine and your taxpayers’ money, is actually used to subsidize the meat industry. There are also money directly going to marketing meat, to promote a meat lifestyle.

VOICE: Mr. Holm suggests that governments would be better advised to spend money on informing citizens about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. This could be done through public facilities ranging from elementary schools to centers for care of the elderly.

Jens Holm (M): Probably the biggest step a person could take is to reduce the consumption of meat and other animal products. And if you really want to become climate-friendly, well then you should become vegetarian and stop eating meat totally.
But also, we should be active in politics and in organizations, and make sure that our governments and political parties do what they have to do, and that is not to subsidize the meat industry, promote vegetarian food, for instance.

For more information about the report co-issued by European Parliament Member Jens Holm, please visit www.jensholm.se/english

VOICE: We appreciate your wise leadership and wholeheartedly support your views, Mr. Holm. May leaders and fellow citizens alike take the courageous steps to be informed and to be vegetarian for the quickest benefit to all beings on our Earth.

Australian leaders receive Awards from Supreme Master Ching Hai

Australian leaders receive Awards from Supreme Master Ching Hai.

In response to Australia’s prolonged water shortage and high levels of methane emissions from livestock, two Australian leaders have been working courageously to make a difference. They are former Senator Andrew Bartlett and State Parliament Member for Indooroopilly Ronan Lee, both from Queensland, Australia.

SupremeMasterTV to Sen. Bartlett: “You spoke up about the link between meat consumption and environmental and greenhouse pollution, and called on all Australians to urgently change to a plant-based diet. For displaying such fearless leadership…”

VOICE: Senator Bartlett received the Shining World Leadership Award, and Parliament Member Ronan Lee received the Shining World Hero Award from Supreme Master Ching Hai.

SupremeMasterTV to MP Lee: In recognition of courageously promoting the vegetarian diet, compassionately advancing conservation for our precious water resources, lighting the way to a nobler future for all of Earth’s inhabitants.

SupremeMasterTV  to Sen. Bartlett: On behalf of Supreme Master Ching Hai, I wish to present you the Shining World Leadership Award.

Andrew Bartlett – Senator (1997-2008), Queensland Australia, (Vegan) (M): Very impressive. Thank you very much for that.

Ronan Lee – State Parliament Member for Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia (Vegetarian) (M): The first thing to say is thank you. It’s a humbling experience.

VOICE: Both vegetarians themselves, the two were the first in their assemblies to publicly recognize that reducing meat consumption is a major solution to curb global warming.

Senator Andrew Bartlett (M): It’s just the undeniability of the science behind it. I’ve long promoted the animal rights approach, and that’s one justification for people having less animal products in their diet. The environmental argument is equally compelling. Such a significant component of greenhouse emissions was just being ignored because it’s socially or politically awkward.

 For more information on Mr. Andrew Bartlett, please visit: andrewbartlett.com

Ronan Lee – State Parliament Member for Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia (M): In no way would I consider that one speech made a huge difference, but clearly one speech got people thinking. People started to think about their consumption of food. And I’m noticing it among my colleagues, but also I’m noticing that there’s been a change in State government strategy on food. The State government now endorses what’s called the “Low Carbon Diet.”

For more information on Ronan Lee MP, please visit: www.ronanleemp.com

VOICE: Along with the award plaque, the two leaders received gifts including Supreme Master Ching Hai’s #1 international bestselling books, “The Dogs in My Life,” “The Birds in My Life,” and “The Noble Wilds.” We applaud the brave and noble leadership of our heroes Mr. Bartlett and Mr. Lee. May your endeavors and personal examples continue to be a shining light for leaders and co-citizens of Australia and the world.

Korean Democratic Labor Party leader calls for switch to plant-based diet.

Korean Democratic Labor Party leader calls for switch to plant-based diet. 

Widely admired for his integrity and commitment to agriculture, food safety and public health, South Korean Senator and head of the Democratic Labor Party, Gang Gi-Gap also practices a vegetarian lifestyle daily as much as possible. Supreme Master Television had the chance to speak with Senator Gang about his reasons for choosing a plant-centered diet.

Gang Gi-Gap – Senator, Head of Democratic Labor Party in South Korea (M): As I’ve continued eating vegetarian for a long time, I’ve realized that a vegetarian life is the environment-friendly and eco-friendly diet. If we go vegetarian and eat foods containing a lot of green, life-sustaining elements, we will have more abundant vitality.

VOICE: Also compelling to Senator Gang is the need to ease the global food crisis as well as the moral duty to protect and amicably co-exist with other life forms such as the animals. The former vegetable farmer further discussed the higher cost of animal farming on global warming.

Senator Gang Gi-Gap (M): In the case of the meat diet, a comparatively great deal of CO2 gas is generated from animal raising as well as the excretions of animals, and this amount is extremely serious. So, at least starting now, we humans need to make a great change in our lives. And I think the political parties should reflect on this and be enlightened first.

VOICE: We applaud Senator Gang for his genuine concern for co-citizens as well as the animals and the Earth. May all of society share the farmer’s natural love and nurturing of life, to ensure our own survival and the vitality of our planetary home. 

October 2, 2008

Scientists find climate change on Mars resembles Antarctica.

Scientists find climate change on Mars resembles Antarctica. 

In studying more than 1,000 high resolution images sent back from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, researchers around the globe are seeing a distinct similarity between the distant planet’s gullies and craters and a region on the Earth’s Antarctic known as McMurdo Dry Valleys. The changes on Mars appear to have taken place as recently as a few hundred thousand years ago, giving credence to the idea that Mars is still a dynamically evolving planet. Besides these similarities, researchers are also hoping that further studies of Mars will reveal more about the Earth’s formation.

Our accolades, NASA and scientists for these latest discoveries! We look forward to an ever more expanded understanding of our Earth and the universe around us.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1058154/Amazing-dunes-reveal-climate-changes-Mars.html, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080828171703.htm, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2989625/NASA-releases-new-images-of-Mars.html 

VOICE: The following is an excerpt from a  videoconference in which Supreme Master Ching Hai shared her valuable advice and revealed further insights into the mysteries of our universe.

Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai with Supreme Master Television staff
Los Angeles, California, USA – July 31, 2008

SupremeMasterTV (M): Some exciting new data has been sent back by NASA’s spacecraft currently circling around Mars, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Pictures revealed that Mars once had diverse forms of water such as lakes and rivers – wet environments that might have supported life for thousands or even millions of years. Geologists have identified similar landforms between Mars and Alaska, such as evidence of ice avalanches which are now occurring more frequently in Alaska, most likely due to global warming. Master, you have spoken on several occasions about the parallels between the histories of Mars and Earth. Is it true that Mars experienced climate change at the hands of its inhabitants like our planet? Did the Martians have a chance to save their planet?
 
Supreme Master Ching Hai : They did have. The warning came like 20 or 30 years Earth time to them. The last urgent signs they had were about five years before the destruction. They did have a chance, but they did not do it.

SupremeMasterTV (M): Why is that, Master?

Supreme Master Ching Hai :  Because they did not know about the vegetarian diet that could change. At that moment, there were not enough people to stand up and communicate the urgency of the planet as well as the solution, like the vegetarian diet, the way we are doing now.

SupremeMasterTV (M): And Master, how about our planet, do people know the chance?

Supreme Master Ching Hai : : There are some people who don’t know what to do. And of course some people who know what to do because we inform them or the United Nations inform them or the scientists inform them, but they still did not change their habit. So, if we continue not changing our habit, then the planet will be destroyed, just the way Mars has been destroyed.

Supreme Master Ching Hai :  Right now, we are doing a lot of things; we inform people and distributing leaflets and all that, but we will have to rely on Heaven’s grace if we are to survive.

Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai
with Formosa (Taiwan) press - October 25, 2007

Chen: Just now you mentioned that Mars was like the Earth in the past. At present, the most popular topic under discussion in the world is the issue of global warming.

Supreme Master Ching Hai :  Right.

Chen: So is this a really serious problem? Will the Earth really face the end of the world?

Supreme Master Ching Hai :  It is serious. If we don’t find ways to improve, it’ll be serious, and very soon, sooner than we can imagine.

Plants discovered to communicate change.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, USA have found that plants reacting to stressors such as drought and high temperatures release a chemical that resembles aspirin into the air. This substance not only boosts the plant’s defenses against injury, it is now thought to signal nearby plants of danger. Researcher Alex Guenther said, “These findings show tangible proof that plant-to-plant communication occurs on the ecosystem level. It appears that plants have the ability to communicate through the atmosphere.”

In a videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai on February 7, 2008, she shared the following:

Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai with Supreme Master Television staff
Los Angeles, California, USA – February 7, 2008

Supreme Master Ching Hai : It's a very rare gift.  And it's a very beautiful jewel.  It exists because it's due to exceptional good merit of all its co-inhabitants, namely humans, animals, even minerals and plants, trees. 

If we really appreciate this planet.  All of the co-inhabitants must continue in a meritorious way so that, we can keep it and enjoy the planet. 

What an illuminating concept! Our appreciation, Dr. Guenther and colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, for this glimpse into the intricacy of our beautiful biosphere! May your findings remind us to be more considerate stewards of our shared planetary home.