January 6, 2010

Toxic algae creates plague for marine life

In oceans across the globe, warming temperatures and pollution, especially from livestock manure and related agriculture, are often responsible for the growth of harmful forms of algae such as the red tide that is now spreading through waters off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

This algae impairs other organisms’ ability to absorb oxygen, leading to suffocation, and is thus devastating for coral, fish and other marine life. Both Iran and the United Arab Emirates report the death of many tens of tons of fish, marine mammals and coral thus far. Although cooler winter weather is expected to alleviate the situation, patches of the algae currently remain, meaning that it could continue to spread.

Meanwhile, possibly hundreds of thousands of seabirds are in peril in the Northwest USA as a toxic algae bloom has contaminated hundreds of miles of coastline. As this algal bloom decays, it emits a substance that removes the birds’ waterproofing from their feathers, leaving them vulnerable to starvation, dehydration and hypothermia. Rescue efforts are underway but the unprecedented number of birds affected has left local centers overwhelmed.

It saddens us deeply to know of such distress to our marine and avian co-inhabitants.
Let us all act with urgency to tread more gently and protect our shared Earthly home. Expressing concern once more about humans’ pollution of waterway ecosystems, Supreme Master Ching Hai reminded of the importance of preserving nature during a July 2008 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan).

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Wild species suffer similar fates because we also drain our chemical substances, insecticides, pesticides into the rivers, into the lakes, into the oceans. So we lost many of these precious species, we lost many of us, because they are us. And we also lose ourselves, many of us humans, because of these poisonous substances – even from the farm industry - and we still did not wake up yet.

We should have more rules, more guidelines, to protect natural habitats. Above all, enlightenment is really what’s needed to govern. That’s number one. And vegan diet with right motive, number two, will offer more compassion and insight, also will help preserve precious natural habitats for the wild and protect the resources for humans.


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