May 28, 2010

Continuous evacuation of Pakistanis as glacier-fed lake threatens to burst

The quickly-rising Attabad Lake in a mountainous northern region of the country has resulted in over 17,000 people already having to leave their homes. The lake, which was formed from a massive landslide on January 4 that cost at least 20 lives and blocked the River Hunza, left thousands stranded as well as transportation and trade with China disrupted due to closure of the area’s Karakoram Highway.

On Saturday, May 15, the water level of the lake was noted to have already risen an alarming 341 feet, just a few meters below its limit, and submerged 120 houses, resulting in homelessness for 1,300 people and 12,000 others in some 36 downstream villages to seek higher ground.

Officials and experts now fear that the wall around the lake may burst, releasing a tidal wave up to 60 meters high into the valley.

Downstream evacuations continue, with the government having set up shelters and relief camps as well as a siren system to alert the locals of danger. Visiting the region, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani pledged financial help. Meanwhile, army engineers have dug a spillway to divert the water into a river, but experts caution that the channel could fail. Some officials now recommend requesting help from China, whose government has more experience in these situations.

Our appreciation, Pakistani government, officials, and all personnel working to assist the region’s residents. We are deeply affected by this bad news and pray that with Allah’s grace, may the Pakistani people be protected as humanity hastens to ensure our planetary safety through the adoption of eco-conscious lifestyles.

Ever concerned for humanity’s welfare in facing this plight, Supreme Master Ching Hai in a September 2009 videoconference in Peru once again spoke of such imminent global warming effects as glacial ice melt, urging for wise action.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Glaciers melt in many places so dramatically that one moment there are massive floods, and soon after, a drought. So how can we handle the mass migration of tens of millions of people all at once?

It’s very difficult and maybe even impossible. And it’s not just numbers. Every child, family, and society will be affected in some way by this experience of trauma and tragedy.

We are not ready for the changes that are coming. We are not ready at all. We are not prepared enough. Some of the changes are even anticipated to be unexpected, because there are many complicated interacting factors.

The smartest way would be to stop the worsening of global warming by being vegan. It sounds very simple but it is the best solution, the most effective and the effect of it will be felt almost immediately.

May 27, 2010

British fish species plummet 94% in the last 118 years

Researchers from the University of York in the United Kingdom have found that the industrialization of fishing has exploited fish stocks and has dramatically altered seabed ecosystems, with many marine species that have since collapsed.

Species that have been heavily fished as food items, such as halibut, turbot and plaice have fallen 94% in numbers since 1889. Moreover, cod has declined 87%, with hake decreasing by more than 95%.

The researchers note that fishing laws and quotas have thus far been ineffective in replenishing fish populations. Study co-author Ruth Thurstan commented, “I hope this allows people to realize just how much the seas have been altered and how much has been lost.”

Meanwhile, overfishing combined with global warming and pollution, has also endangered other regions such as the Mediterranean Sea.

Philippe Cousteau, son of French environmentalist and explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, is also CEO of the ocean education organization EarthEco International.

He commented on the drastic change of the world’s oceans since the time of his grandfather, legendary oceanographer and conservationist Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Philippe Cousteau (M): The Mediterranean Ocean is a dead sea. Well, my grandfather was diving 40-50 years ago. You can go back and see those films and look at that footage.

And you go back to the same places today and it’s changed so much. And these places with coral and full of life, you go back and it looks like desert under water.

Supreme Master TV: And what do you propose as a solution to all of this?

Philippe Cousteau (M): Cutting back on meat is a very important one because of all the carbon waste, all the animal waste that goes into the water supplies and pollutes the water and the oceans.

Also thinking about cutting back on simple things every day, like plastic bags, plastic bottles. Plastic is a very, very terrible substance that is polluting our oceans and polluting water everywhere and our land. We have a motto that says, “It’s not that you can make a difference, it’s that everything you do makes a difference.”

VOICE: Our thanks Mr. Cousteau and scientists for raising our awareness about the plight of our depleted oceans. May we all lend a hand in restoring the beauty and balance of our precious water planet by respecting and granting peace to all life forms of the sea.

At a March 2009 climate change conference in Xalapa City, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged for humankind’s care of all co-inhabitants, including those that support the living oceans.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Every being on Earth and in the sea has value, no matter how small they might look, and something unique to do on this planet. It is our ignoring of this balance and the preciousness of all lives that has contributed to our global danger right now.

The way to solve this problem is through greater consideration for all lives.

If everyone is vegan, having an animal-free diet, then there is a different outlook, different conception for development of all kinds.

In our case, it will proceed with compassion and care, which is what we need to restore the wonders of our marine life.

May 26, 2010

UN Secretary General calls for urgent halt to biodiversity loss

Speaking on Friday, May 21 for the annual commemoration of the International Day for Biodiversity, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that the current rates of flora and fauna loss are pushing ecosystems to points beyond which they can no longer sustain life.

Among the actions already recommended to reverse these declines is reducing livestock raising, already recognized by the UN as a significant cause of biodiversity loss. The organization’s most recent "Third Global Biodiversity Outlook" report goes on to suggest decreasing meat consumption, also highlighting the need to remove subsidies and promote market incentives that encourage healthier food options and use of natural resources.

Secretary General Ban stated, "Let us reflect on the root causes of biodiversity decline and take action to arrest it. Let us adjust policies and mindsets to reflect the true value of species and habitats. Let us recognize that biodiversity is life — our life. Let us act now to preserve it, before it is too late."

Ban Ki-moon: We need focused action. We know what we need to do. We know what works. The time for delay is over. The time for delivery is now.

We join in concern, Your Excellency, as we also laud the work of the United Nations and all scientists working to raise awareness of our critical global state. Let us heed the urgency of our time and turn to the lifesaving plant-based lifestyle to restore the treasured life forms of our world.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often echoed the imperative need for humanity to protect nature’s creations on Earth, as during an October 2009 videoconference in Hong Kong.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: A lot of the ecological and environmental news today is not very good due to the effects of global warming. We hear about glaciers melting, water becoming more scarce, rising food shortages, rising food prices with over one billion people going hungry every day, animals becoming extinct and many species gone forever and so on and so forth.

But even though our time is running out, we do still have time to save this beautiful planet and restore it to its original splendor, or even more so if all turn to the vegan diet.

As it has already been mentioned, recent research shows that more than 50% of emissions which heat up our planet, which put our lives in danger, which put our world into the perilous situation of mass extinction, are from the livestock industry.

The solution is at hand for each and every one of us, which is simply to forego animal products and become vegan – one small change; it’s no big deal.

May 25, 2010

World is fast approaching certain tipping points

A recent United Nations report on biodiversity warns that ecosystems may be headed towards permanent damage as countries fail to achieve goals to protect animal and plant life.

The report, entitled "Global Biodiversity Outlook 3," identifies vulnerable ecosystems that are headed towards irreparable decline, including coral reefs, many of which are collapsing due to overfishing as well as increased ocean warming and acidity.

The report goes on to cite the Amazon rainforest as being at risk due to continued deforestation, which in turn spurs further global warming and the massive loss of plant and animal species.

Finally, contamination from pollutants such as livestock runoff are rendering many freshwater lakes and rivers unable to support life.

Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ahmed Djoghlaf emphasized, "We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history – extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical background rate." The report’s authors call for urgent action to protect natural habitats, pointing out that a fraction of the money spent to avoid economic downturns would prevent a much more serious and fundamental collapse of the Earth's life support systems.

United Nations scientists and officials, we are thankful for your message that conveys the need to address our planet’s dire state. Let us join in protecting human life and all species by adopting lifestyles that show our care. Supreme Master Ching Hai has also frequently mentioned the critical need for action to halt such devastating changes, as during an interview published in the December 16, 2009 edition of The Irish Dog Journal.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The world’s scientists fear that if we pass certain tipping points, the next stages of climate change would not only be fast but irreversible and catastrophic. So, there are already signs of this dangerous time approaching.

Other devastating effects of climate change have already been occurring. Very sad things. All these situations are getting worse and worse and won't stop until we really change the way we live our life.

So, what's to be done? The solution is quite easy: simply stop eating meat. Simply stop eating meat – that is the best solution.

This is imperative now because of the perilous state of our planet and our limited time. Stopping meat production will lower greenhouse gas emissions in the fastest possible way and halt the unspeakable environmental damages, ranging from climate change to land and water misuse, pollution, loss of wildlife and threats to human health.

Large healthy coral colony found in Japan

Local residents of Kumejima, a town in Okinawa of southwestern Japan, recently discovered an immense and thriving colony of corals 100 kilometers off the coast of the prefecture’s main island. In a recent follow-up survey, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that this colony is not only large, but it is also impressive because of its vitality, which is unusual since many coral colonies around the world are known to be threatened by bleaching due to global warming.

These colonies, on the other hand, appear to enjoy certain conditions unique to the Okinawa island region that include warm subtropical waters carried by the Kuroshio Current, an absence of silt from runoff and the water’s high salinity, all of which are necessary for large coral growth.

In a related study, Spanish and French scientists observing coral colonies in the Mediterranean discovered that the recovery of ailing coral health was directly proportional to the length of time and restorative conditions of being left undisturbed from fishing and other human activities.

According to another new finding by UK researchers, the survival of coral reefs rests in part on the remarkable ability of baby corals to perceive sounds emitted from parent colonies.

Believed until now to drift aimlessly, the tiny young organisms actually detect and navigate towards the sounds of activity coming from coral reef habitats.

However, participating study scientists have expressed concern that human-made noise from boats, shipping, and other activities could interfere with this vital lifesaving skill.

Meanwhile, the Japanese scientists who discovered the Kumejima coral are also advocating the region’s protection to help in replenishing depleted regions.

Our appreciation World Wildlife Fund and British, Spanish and French researchers for your findings of these ocean wonders. We pray that such precious coral colonies will continue in their pristine state and that all marine ecosystems may likewise be allowed to flourish through humans’ protection.

In an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged for the conservation of Earth’s coral reefs through our conscientious actions.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: One report has put it this way, I quote exactly from that report: "Overfishing is causing more damage to the coral reefs than earthquakes or tsunamis." Can you imagine this?

If we are vegan, coral reefs will be left in peace and beauty, and will protect us. The coral reef is a protector of our lives, of the sea. Right now it is endangered, the coral reef, due to overfishing. If we truly wish to see real harmony born between humans and animals and nature and Heaven, we must be the harmony, we must live in harmony, and act also in harmony, which includes the act of eating harmoniously each time we come to the table. Peace, compassion, mercy begin on our plate.

We must protect the environment and the animals because we have to protect ourselves.

Melting polar cap is behind warming of Arctic

Over the past two decades, the Arctic region has been observed by scientists to be warming at more than twice the rate of other locations on the globe.

However, the reason for this alarming difference was unknown. Now, a study led by Dr. James Screen of the University of Melbourne, Australia, provides evidence that links the excessive Arctic warming to the region’s shrinking ice cover.

Using new data collected over the past 20 years, Dr. Screen and his colleague Dr. Ian Simmonds found a direct correlation between ice cover loss and regional temperature rise.

The scientists explained that the ice loss accelerates evaporation of water in the summer, turning it into a powerful greenhouse gas in the atmosphere that in turn speeds temperature rise.

Global warming is also increased via the albedo effect, in which dark water absorbs more heat than the white reflective ice. Addressing the matter of tipping points, beyond which such damaging change is irreversible, Dr. Screen stated, “Our results cannot prove whether we have passed a tipping point or not.

What we can say is that the emergence of these strong ice-temperature feedbacks can only increase the likelihood of further rapid warming and sea ice loss.”

Drs. Screen, Simmonds and other associates at University of Melbourne, our heartfelt thanks for sharing these important findings.

We pray that all of humanity may quickly take the necessary actions during these critical times to halt ice melt and restore harmony to the planet.

Speaking during a May 2009 videoconference, Supreme Master Ching Hai also warned of the gravity of the melting Arctic, offering the most effective solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The rapid rate at which the planet is warming can be seen from many examples, one of which is the melting of the Arctic ice. A report released by the United States National Snow and Ice Data Center found that the rate of Arctic ice melt has been speeding up dramatically.

The scientists also reported that Arctic tundra temperatures have been rising 1 degree Celsius each decade, which is faster than anywhere else in the world, and that the tundra itself is emitting significantly more methane and nitrous oxide than previously estimated. This is a dangerous situation, apart from what we are already having.

How do we stop this? The most effective way, and the way that truly works, is be veg, be vegan. Stop the use of all animal products and the globe will quickly cool down.

Warming causes ice cap on Ugandan mountain range to split

Researchers at Uganda's Wildlife Authority (UWA) say that climate change has accelerated glacial melt on the country's western Rwenzori mountain range, with a recent six-meter wide crevice discovered on the ice cap covering Mount Margherita, Africa’s third highest peak.

This mountain, one of the few near the equator to host a glacier, was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1994.

However, rising temperatures have seen Mount Margherita’s ice cap go from six square kilometers in size 50 years ago to less than one square kilometer today, with scientists forecasting that all the glaciers in the Rwenzori range could disappear within 20 years.

Uganda Wildlife Authority scientists, we are thankful for your careful observations and insights into the African continent’s vital glaciers.

May such information hasten us all toward lifestyles that restore the Earth’s balance and stability.

Highlighting the urgency of the planet’s warming state, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized as on many previous occasions the need to foster eco-conscious ways during an August 2008 videoconference with our Canadian Association members.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The time of disappearing of the ice means also the spelling of trouble for our planet. Of course it would be better if we already saved the planet before the ice melted.

But as it is, we can only do the best we can and trying to inform everybody to save themselves by being vegan. If the ice melts quicker, then, of course, we have shorter time to save the planet.

But nevertheless because people are joining the vegan diet, we still can manage to save the world.

Lower Jordan River could vanish by 2011

Two recent landmark studies by the environmental organization Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) have forecast that the lower segment of the Jordan River could collapse as early as next year due to global warming, extreme pollution and decades of human use that have resulted in up to 98% diversion of the river’s volume.

These FoEME studies are the first to show the shocking level of demise and the extent of rehabilitation needed to restore the river.

Stating that river flow since the 1930s has gone from 1.3 billion cubic meters per year to just 20 million annually today, FoEME researchers point out that the river south of the Sea of Galilee has been reduced to a contaminated trickle.

Chairman and Jordanian FoEME Director Munqeth Mehyar stated, “…We have lost at least 50% percent of biodiversity in and around the river due to the near total diversion of fresh water… Some 400 million cubic meters of water annually are urgently needed to be returned to the river to bring it back to life.”

Recently, the organization, which is also unique in bringing together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmental advocates united in a common cause, proposed the first solution ever to save the river.

They have identified both the quantity of water needed annually as well as the ways that the recipient water countries of Syria, Israel, Jordan and Palestine could cooperate to restore its flow.

Director Mehyar and all scientists and advocates at Friends of the Earth Middle East, we applaud your collaborative actions to inform of the legendary Jordan River’s dire state for its ultimate restoration.

Through humanity’s wise and conscientious care, may this life-sustaining source flourish harmoniously once more. Supreme Master Ching Hai has often discussed ways to appreciate and preserve the precious resource of water, as in this October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan).

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We tell people to do organic farming, how to conserve rainwater, ground water, and conserve land, planting trees to attract rain, etc.

In the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India, one Indian village was able to guide the water enough that it brought back to life five flowing rivers – five flowing rivers – that had been dead before, been dried up before due to withdrawing too much water.

We could learn from them as well. But even these water losses pale in comparison to the incredible amount of water that is wasted for animal production. It takes approximately 4,664 liters of water to produce just one serving of beef, but an entire vegan meal can be produced with only 371 liters of water.

The livestock sector is probably the world's biggest source of water pollution as well.

Water means everything to our existence. We must conserve the water; we must do everything we can. And the first step to begin is to be vegan.

May 18, 2010

Global warming threatens floods from glacial melts in Bhutan

As the Thorthomi glacier near Punakha Dzong, Bhutan is noted by scientists to be melting rapidly due to climate change, grave concern is now being expressed over the threat of a glacial lake outburst flood, which is caused by a sudden and large release of water held under a glacier.

Dowchu Dupka, Engineer with the Bhutanese Ministry of Geology and Mines: People term it as the tsunami from the sky. If this whole glacier melts, which it will do in the course of time that could create the worst-case scenario.

Karma, Bhutanese village resident: When it comes to myself, I may be able to run away but we worry for our elderly relatives who may not be in a apposition to escape immediately. When they talk about the likely chance of a lake bursting, I am terrified.

Dzongpon Ugey, Bhutanese farmer: When I built this house two years ago, no experts from the outside had ever visited this area and so I was not aware of the dangers of flooding. Now that I know the danger, I really regret building it here.

Dowchu Dupka, Engineer with the Bhutanese Ministry of Geology and Mines: The plan is to install sensors at the source here as well as a little bit further downstream that would give enough lead time for the settlements or for the people to evacuate.

Such an event would destroy the historic, administrative, and religious center of the Punakha district, including the sacred Punakha Dzong Buddhist monastic temple.

In addition, forests and ancient villages downstream from the lake would suffer the impact of an overwhelming rush of river water due to the so-called “mountain tsunami.”

According to a report published by the International Center for integrated Mountain Development and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), 24 out of 2,674 glacial lakes in Bhutan are at risk of bursting, with other experts saying that Bhutan’s glaciers are retreating on average 30 meters each year.

In an effort to protect the Bhutanese people, the government hired US-based Sutron Corporation in April to install a glacier lake outburst flood early warning system for the Punakha district region.

We pray for the safety of the Punakha Dzong and all Bhutanese villagers of this beautiful and special place. May we quickly reverse these harmful warming effects through our conscientious actions to exist harmoniously with the environment.

In an August 2008 interview by Ireland’s East Coast FM Radio, as on previous occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the decisive actions needed to avert such forecasts of global warming calamity.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: According to the scientists, whatever they have predicted or prescribed about our critical situation is accurate up to 99%. They want us to change the way we live our lives by cutting down CO2 emissions. And the fastest way that individuals can do, without a lot of protocol and ado, is to be veg.

It’s truly critical now, as we have witnessed increasing disaster worldwide, due to climate change.

We still have time, we still have a little time to change the course of destiny, thanks to the vegetarian population, old and new members that reduce the most karmic retribution in the shortest span of time.

Thus we have like an extended deadline before the no return point. But it’s not much. We must change fast to avoid much more damage to the Earth as well as loss of more lives and resources.

Scientists say carbon storing is not a viable solution

With countries like Britain, Australia and the US poised to implement carbon capture and storage processes (CCS) in an attempt to reduce global warming, a research paper from Houston University in the United States is casting doubts on the practicality of such plans.

The paper states first of all that it would require a reservoir the size of a small US state to contain the carbon dioxide produced by even one power station.

Co-authors Drs. Michael Economides, professor of chemical engineering at Houston University, and Christene Ehlig-Economides, professor of energy engineering at Texas A&M University, go on to assert that previous models of CCS are inaccurate because they assume a constant pressure from the carbon as it is stored in underground rock structures.

In fact, the pressure on surrounding rock will likely become so intense in places that it would cause fractures, with the escaping carbon eventually migrating back to the surface.

The paper concludes by stating, "(CCS) is not a practical means to provide any substantive reduction in CO2 emissions, although it has been repeatedly presented as such by others."

In response, the British Geological Survey has affirmed its intention to quickly review the findings and produce a peer-reviewed analysis.

Drs. Economides, Ehlig-Economides and all participating scientists, we are grateful for your careful evaluation of the urgent matter of handling carbon emissions. May we be guided to planet-cooling actions that bring a lasting revival of our ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai often urges for the most effective way to solve global warming, as during an international gathering with our Association members in February 2008.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Everybody knows by now, from the UN Report that meat eating, animal raising, it’s one of the worst factors, or even the worst factor of global warming.
And nobody talks about it. Everybody says, okay, new energy, biofuel, hybrid car, dig a hole and store the carbon. As if it will not bust one day.

What is so difficult, to put down one piece of meat, and replace it with one piece of tofu. Which is exactly the same, better nutrition. Better for your health. More economized.

May 17, 2010

Fatal blistering heat spreads misery in Myanmar, also known as Burma

As scorching weather recently gripped the city of Yangon, two taxi drivers succumbed to heat exposure. This year, the central part of the country has especially been hit with record high temperatures, some rising to an oppressive 45 degrees Celsius, a full 6 degrees above the average maximum for the time of year.

The population is responding by curtailing activities and remaining indoors whenever possible. Officials are also disseminating survival tips and have halted the export of rice to ensure food supplies in case the lack of rain leads to crop failure.

In rural areas, extreme temperatures are causing water shortages as wells dry up, with a higher incidence of diseases such as flu and skin allergies being noted. In one township alone, around 100,000 fish were estimated to perish in a single day from the heat and lack of rainfall.

We are deeply saddened at the loss of life and suffering caused by the extreme heat. Our prayers for the soon blessing of cool rain for the gentle Burmese people and that humanity unites in sustainable lifestyles to halt climate change and restore balance to the planet.

Speaking with concern as she has previously about our urgent situation, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed global warming during an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, describing the simple but meaningful action needed to counteract its dangers.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Now, according to expert scientists, the atmospheric temperatures are rising so steeply that we do not have much time left to change. And that is just what they have predicted up to date.

The effects of climate change can be seen in so many ways, with increased flooding, droughts, fires and even earthquakes everywhere in the world.

How do we stop these alarming changes? The greenhouse gases released from the animals, from their waste, agricultural runoff, and the activities related to these massive operations have been identified as the primary, the number one cause of global warming.

We have to halt the meat consumption and the livestock raising.

Instead, we should choose to buy organic vegetable and fruit products to save our lives and those of our families, save the animals and the planet.

Honeybees show signs of terminal decline

For the fourth consecutive year, honeybee colonies in the Unites States have seen massive die-offs over the winter months, leading some experts to fear for their extinction.

Since 2006, more than three million colonies in the US and billions worldwide have perished. This global population collapse is acknowledged as a major threat to food supplies, with an estimated one-third of all sustenance consumed by humans relying on honeybee pollination.

A recently published global review of honeybee deaths by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) affirms a primary role of pesticides, noting that their overall damaging effect on bee health could make the insects more susceptible to many diseases.

Scientists have found 121 different pesticides in bees, wax and pollen samples. OIE Director-general Dr. Bernard Vallat stated, “Bees contribute to global food security, and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster.”

We are shocked and saddened to know of the dire state of the imperiled honeybees. Let us quickly step toward planet-saving lifestyles to protect the bees and all cherished fellow beings.

During a July 2008 videoconference with our Association members in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted once more the urgent priority of preserving life on Earth through our eco-conscious actions.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Organic farming is the best. It’s the ideal for health and the planet. When I say planet, I mean for all the inhabitants, the bees and insects and animals alike.

Because if we’re using chemicals, then of course they’re going to die out, sooner or later, big and small. That’s why the bees are disappearing.

We have been destroying this ecosystem. It’s a very sad affair. The government has to employ another kind of farming technique.

Otherwise, not just bee colonies collapse, many other useful insects and helpful animals, they will be dying out. They’re dying out every day now, a lot of them.

We got to pray for Heaven’s help. And if you can, tell the farmers, tell the government to change it. We use only beneficial products for agriculture. Otherwise we will have nothing left.

Do anything you can to support this organic vegetarian farming.

May 14, 2010

US oil spill threatens marine life.

Since the April 20 bursting of an offshore drilling rig near Louisiana, USA, tens of thousands of gallons of toxic crude oil per day have been gushing unabated into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Unlike the major oil spill in Alaska in 1989 that came from a tanker, the current underground source is non-finite, with contamination that if left unchecked could inflict untold harm on marine wildlife.

Dr. Moby Solangi - President and Executive Director, Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (M): By now we have at least 2 or 3 million gallons that’s floating out there, and if they don’t cap it, this could be the worst manmade disaster in US history.

VOICE: Dr. Moby Solangi, President and Executive Director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Louisiana, has been preparing urgently to assist some of the marine animals that might be affected.

Dr. Moby Solangi (M): We specialize with dolphins, turtles and manatees. These are animals that are most vulnerable. They are air breathing animals. When they breathe the fumes, their lungs would be affected and they could get pneumonias and other toxins. And so that is really a big concern.

VOICE: Dr. Solangi is especially concerned that the oil could eventually impact all species associated with the coastal waters and marshes.

Apart from whales and sea turtles that would become coated with oil as they rise to the ocean surface, native birds such as the reddish egret and the mottled duck would have nowhere else to go once their habitats are affected.

Still other species, including the dolphin and bluefin tuna, recently gave birth to their young who may be particularly at risk.

Dr. Moby Solangi (M): There are a lot of baby dolphins that are going to be close to the shoreline, then they could be affected. Just like other young animals, they’re very inquisitive and they like to go into things, touch things. An animal does not know that oil spill is dangerous, so they get caught up into the oil spill and all these other issues cascade into a really serious injury.

They are depending upon us for their security, for their life, and it is the responsibility of human beings to take care of their surroundings and the animals that inhabit it, because ultimately their survival is our survival.

VOICE: We thank Dr. Solangi for your concerned efforts to protect our marine co-inhabitants who have become more fragile at this time. May further spillage be swiftly stopped as we pray meanwhile for the safety of human and animal residents alike. During a July 2008 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai urged greater conscientiousness in our lifestyles and actions toward the environment.

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 – 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.

Eyjafjallajökull volcano accelerating glacial melt

Icelandic glaciologist Helgi Björnsson has expressed concern that the glacier on the now-active volcano will not recover quickly from the massive eruption in mid-April, which is causing the glacier to melt more rapidly because of the warming climate.

In a past eruption of Eyjafjallajökull that occurred nearly 200 years ago in 1821-1823, glacial loss was prevented at that time thanks to an accumulated mass of snow that formed during the time period known as the "Little Ice Age." Even now, in an unchanged climate the glacier could still recover from the regional heat generated by such an eruption within 10-20 years.

However, with global warming, Icelandic scientists have noted that the glacier is already shrinking faster than the snow can be replenished in the same year. Referring to the sudden added heating factor of the recent eruptions, Dr. Björnsson stated, "Now the outlook is even bleaker."

Glaciologist Björnsson, we appreciate your insightful analysis of global warming’s additional impact on the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. May the balance of this and all other such monuments of nature be renewed through our sustainable stewardship of the ecosphere.

During a September 2009 videoconference in Peru, as on previous occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged for action to curb the impacts of such unpredictable events.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We are not ready for the changes that are coming. We are not ready at all. We are not prepared enough. Some of the changes are even anticipated to be unexpected, because there are many complicated interacting factors. The wisest action would be to fix the situation we have now and prevent further damage, then we won’t even have to worry about the future.

The smartest way would be to stop the worsening of global warming by being vegan. It sounds very simple but it is the best solution, the most effective and the effect of it will be felt almost immediately.

So please, before the situation gets any more out of hand - let’s choose the vegan diet.

May 13, 2010

Nigeria loses islands to the sea

The need to address the rapidly degrading coasts of Nigeria was the main focus of a recent workshop held in Calabar. With the theme “Living with coastal erosion in southern Nigeria,” the forum was organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment and sponsored by the German non-profit Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Attending regional experts and dignitaries reported that rising sea levels due to global warming have caused some islands in the nation’s Delta region to disappear, with residents who have been forced to relocate to safer locations.

Meanwhile, Dr. Victor Fodeke, head of a special climate change committee for the Ministry of the Environment, emphasized the vital nature of the nation’s islands and regions like the Delta as essential areas for living and livelihoods.

Also raised at the meeting was a warning given 20 years ago by Professors Chidi Ibe and Benjamin Akpati of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research, who had reported then that Nigeria was already losing coastal land at an alarming rate.

Minister of the Environment John Odey reaffirmed the Nigerian government’s commitment to alleviating the risks posed by the coastal loss, while a document presented by the Heinrich Böll Foundation included suggestions such as building barriers along the coast, raising the heights of roads and rail routes and reforestation with mangrove species.

The meeting concluded with a consensus agreement on the high vulnerability of the affected communities as sea levels continue to rise, and the need to address the issues at hand.

Our appreciation, Your Excellencies, Heinrich Böll Foundation members, Nigerian government, and all policy-makers working to safeguard the precious Nigerian land and her people.

Let us all join swiftly in sustainable efforts to halt global warming for the sake of humanity and our ecosphere.

In her concern for humanity’s well-being, Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned as she has many times the urgent solution to our Earth’s fragile state during an October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan).

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We also do not forget all the islands in other countries who are submerging or sinking or disappearing or disappeared because of climate change. My heart is troubled every day, thinking of all these innocent people and all the defenseless animals who have to suffer in this great upheaval we call climate change. But we still have time We could stop future disasters by converting, returning to the compassionate vegan diet and encouraging others to do the same.

The government has the power to do this. I beg all the governments of the world, please, do this before it’s too late, for the sake of your citizens and your own children as well.

Portland, Oregon, USA leads the way in veg sustainability

The city of Portland has long been upheld as a role model in environmental policies in areas from energy-efficient buildings to food and agriculture.

Steve Cohen – Manager, Food Policy and Programs, Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, USA, Vegetarian (M): We were the first city to actually have a climate change plan way back in 1993 and we just updated that plan last year in 2009.

VOICE: Portland’s citizens also say that sustainability is a known part of their culture.

Leslie Pol-kosbau – Representative, Portland Parks & Recreation Community Garden Program (F): I represent Portland Parks & Recreation’s Community Garden Program, providing community garden spaces in the city for 35 years. The citizens of Portland wanted us to start a program that would allow them to use land so that they could do that year-round.

VOICE: Mr. Steve Cohen, manager of the Food Policy and Programs of Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, is the first US city government official with the title. The creation of his position reflects how the city is also at the forefront of addressing food policy in relation to environmental protection and climate change.

The City Hall recently held a public “Climate and Food Choices Discussion” with Mr. Cohen and author Anna Lappé of the bestselling book, “Diet for a Hot Planet” to seek ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food. This was followed by a community vegetable garden re-dedication activity, led by Mr. Cohen, who is also a long-time vegetarian.

Steve Cohen (M): I read Francis Moore Lappé’s book in 1972, “Diet for a Small Planet,” and it just made total sense to me. That we’ve got these animals out there that are actually food factories in reverse, putting all this grain in them and you get one pound back for 20 that you put in. Didn’t make sense, and I became a vegetarian and that was it.

VOICE: With the veg diet known to be a key solution to climate change, Portland City also has a head start, with 35 community vegetable gardens and ranking as America’s #1 Best Vegetarian-Friendly Large City by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Moreover, in April 2010, The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in both Portland and the Pacific Northwest region of the USA, launched a twice-monthly column on called “Going Vegan,” which features recipes and other tips on enjoying a vegan lifestyle in Portland.

Bravo Portland and thank you Mr. Cohen, the city government and co-citizens for your leadership in the area of food and the environment.

May yours and other cities worldwide help continue the veg trend for truly sustainable lifestyles. In a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai encouraged all world governments toward leading roles in the needed shift to veganism to save the planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The governments have the power to make this urgent transition to the organic vegan diet. First, they should ban all animal products, informing people about the facts of animal products, explaining that because it’s poisoning their co-citizens and piling up far more costs than any gains, economically and environmentally, and because it’s eating up our planet.

Next, the governments can help the agriculture sector transition to being an organic vegan sector First, it will help the world be veg easily, thus eliminating more than half of the greenhouse gas emissions which are heating up our planet and endangering our lives; and second, the high-quality organic soil will absorb much of the rest of the greenhouse gas emissions and it will also help to save our planet.

According to respected Dutch scientists, tens of trillions of US dollars can be saved by world governments if all the world becomes vegan. In addition, the governments of the world have the power to make the veg trend an exciting movement for everyone toward a healthier lifestyle.

May 12, 2010

UK rivers in danger of drying out

The environmental organization, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the United Kingdom recently warned that climate change and increasing human demands for water are threatening rivers throughout the nation, many of which are already below normal levels.

With one ecosystem in every three river catchments reported to be at risk of drying out during hot summers, wildlife like water voles, otters, salmon, and kingfishers are already being affected. Threatened rivers include the upper Wharfe in Yorkshire, and a number of water bodies in the south like the Severn.

In its report, “Riverside Tales,” the WWF-United Kingdom strongly advocates for measures that encourage efficient and sustainable water usage such as changing licenses that currently allow damaging water abstractions to be drawn by utility companies.

In addition, the suggested installation of water meters could help households reduce usage by the 12.5% minimum needed in the next 20 years to address the problem and protect the survival of rivers and their ecosystems.

We thank the World Wildlife Fund for your concerned report that brings to our attention the dire conditions of our freshwater bodies, not just in the United Kingdom but throughout the world. Let us step in unison to adopt lifestyles that show greater consideration for the flora and fauna with which we share our planetary home.

Ever-concerned for humanity’s welfare, Supreme Master Ching Hai again highlighted the changes needed to secure our Earth’s precious water resources for generations to come during an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Many tens of thousands of rivers and great lakes are dying, dead, gone or going. And I don’t know how many more we must wait for to die in order for us to wake up. The leaders of the nations must do something. The people of all nations must do something.

We have to do something to avoid the tragedy that is already happening to billions of other people. There are one billion people hungry already because of climate change, and short of water and food. And three billion people are short of water.

Just be veg. Stop the meat, dairy, fish industry. Be benevolent. Create a merciful energy that will envelop our world, that will emit mercy, love, protection for us and our children on this planet. Please take action now.

Livestock feed increases ground ozone levels

Researchers at the University of California-Davis in the USA conducted a study to discover why tropospheric, or ground ozone levels are as high in California’s rural central valley region as they are in densely populated cities.

To find this source of ozone, which is normally associated with vehicles and industry as the world’s third-most prevalent greenhouse gas, the researchers in this rural area analyzed emissions from seven different types of livestock feed. They concluded that not only is fermented animal feed generating the harmful ozone gases, it is doing so at regional levels higher than those emitted by cars.

With related research finding that tropospheric ozone levels are increased in the presence of methane, whose single largest human source is livestock, scientists have noted that reducing meat consumption would decrease these detrimental ozone levels, while naturally removing fermented feed as a source as well.

Our appreciation, University of California-Davis scientists, for helping further clarify the key role of the livestock industry in global warming. May such findings awaken many to the eco-importance of adopting the humane and conscientious plant-based diet.

During an interview published in the July 12, 2009 edition of the Irish Sunday Independent, Supreme Master Ching Hai, as on several previous occasions, spoke of the meat industry’s grave tolls while offering the quickest, most effective a solution to global warming.

Supreme Master Ching Hai:
Reducing these more potent and shorter lifespan gases, like methane, for example, will bring a faster cooling than CO2 reduction. Besides, these will also in turn reduce CO2 as well, as a consequence.

Livestock is the single largest emitter of methane. Moreover, because of methane’s faster disappearance from the atmosphere, if we stop eating meat the planet will be able to cool immediately – almost, yes. Livestock raising and animal breeding also cause many other damages to our planet.

Livestock, by far, is the single largest human-related occupier of land, the main driver of deforestation, the biggest water polluter, and top culprit of biodiversity loss. And that’s just to name a few of the damages caused by livestock.

So, this pollutant is yet another damaging byproduct of the meat industry again. We will destroy the world if we do not stop eating and producing meat and other animal products.

So, the organic vegan diet is the fastest, easiest, and most effective solution for a life-sustaining planet.

May 10, 2010

Singaporean Minister Mentor urges governments to avert climate disaster

During the Inter-Pacific Bar Association conference on climate change and legal issues, His Excellency Lee Kuan Yew, current Minister Mentor and first Prime Minister of Singapore spoke at a special question-and-answer session.

Addressing 1,000 delegates at the international law conference, Minister Mentor Lee, who was recently recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010, urged greater political commitment in preventing global warming’s intolerable future impacts.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore (M): Climate change is not a subject for entertainment. It’s happening, it’s real. You see Australia getting drier but the north getting wetter. And you’ve got 1.3 billion Chinese (who will be) on the move as the river basins can no longer support these people. You can envisage the pandemonium that will spread throughout the world.

VOICE: While noting that the December 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark helped bring focus to the urgent issues, he emphasized that government leaders must exercise courage in implementing Earth-cooling initiatives.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore (M): So the idea is of taking tough action now as opposed to putting it off to a future generation.

VOICE: We respectfully thank Your Excellency Minister Mentor Lee and conference participants for these urgent calls to planet-saving leadership. May governments and individuals worldwide bravely set the necessary priorities at all costs for our children’s survival.

In a speech addressing government magistrates and judges of Mexico City, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai also reminded of the need for heroic actions from world leaders to halt climate change.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: At this most urgent time for the planet, I beseech your honorable graces to please help your country and our world spare lives from the impending global warming calamity.

If you don’t, there will be too massive a catastrophe, too immense a suffering upon people, families, the children, that our conscience might never be able to bear it.

We eliminate most of the human-made greenhouse gases by simply adopting the animal-free vegan organic lifestyle. This also leads to considerable financial savings for world governments.

We cannot wait for the sustainable energy and green technology to be available and used by everyone. It would be too late.

We must become vegan to save our planet.

International environment ministers advance climate change talks

In a three-day meeting jointly hosted with Mexico in Petersburgnear Bonn, Germany, environment ministers from 40 nations agreed by the forum’s conclusion on May 4 on several contributions toward the major United Nations climate conference in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010.

Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, along with European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard and attending ministers stated that a final agreement in areas such as climate-friendly technology transfer and forest protection is within reach.

Connie Hedegaard – European Commissioner for Climate Action (F): Now I’ve been doing some outreach, been out there seeing how serious people are already being impacted and affected.

And we cannot continue to talk. We must deliver specific action, and I really feel that that is also the spirit among colleagues here at Petersburg.

German Correspondent (M): We are here in Bonn at the conference: “European Union climate policy and the international climate negotiations.” The time that is left to curb climate change is dwindling. Europe has to regain a leading role in climate protection. To accomplish this goal, the delegates talk about strategies on both international and regional levels.

Tove Maria Ryding - Climate advisor, Greenpeace Denmark (F): When you eat vegetables, you actually do have a smaller carbon footprint than when you eat meat.

German Correspondent (M): This is Supreme Master Television from Bonn. The countries also presented their individual projects intended to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. France, Norway, and Germany, for instance, plan to halt deforestation through international collaboration and increased funding. Just the previous week, another preparatory climate meeting was held in Bonn, Germany.

As in the ministerial meeting, Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer and other European Union policy makers, such as European Parliament Member Yannick Jadot of France, also considered the deforestation issue.

Yannick Jadot – European Parliament Member from France (M): Stopping deforestation in the tropical regions – Latin America, Congo Basin, Southeast Asia, will be the most efficient way to fight climate change, because we can stop deforestation within months.

VOICE: European Parliament Members Yannick Jadot from France and Rebecca Harms from Germany further acknowledged that an essential element of curbing deforestation is to reduce animal agriculture and meat consumption.

Yannick Jadot – European Parliament Member, France (M): We have now a system in Europe where most of the animal feed is coming from Latin America, from soya, which is also contributing to deforestation and so to climate change.

VOICE: In the Amazon rainforest alone, livestock raising is the driving force behind more than 80% of the deforestation, with the rest mostly going to soy crops that are exported for animal consumption on factory farms.

Rebecca Harms – European Parliament Member from Germany, Co-President of The Greens Party/European Free Alliance (EFA) (F): Agriculture, the field where our food is produced, is an important dreadful factor for the Earth’s warming. Factory farming, for instance, is a huge problem.
Meat consumption, particularly in the rich northern countries, is not good for the climate.

VOICE: Congratulations and our appreciation on the progress made, European Parliament members, world environment ministers and all involved for your productive discussions on curbing the threat of climate change.

We pray that leaders worldwide realize the importance of implementing a meat-free policy as part of their dedicated efforts to save the planet.

Throughout the years, Supreme Master Ching Hai has been tirelessly emphasizing the need to eliminate meat production as a way to also halt deforestation, as in an October 2009 videoconference in Germany.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Saving the world’s tropical forests, the lungs of the Earth, is one of the very important priorities. The rainforests themselves normally are our protectors, but as the climate gets warmer, instead of absorbing CO2 to protect our planet’s climate, they will be emitting back CO2 as well.

Now, we need to look at the main reason why there is deforestation.

There is a whole industry behind it in most of the cases, namely the livestock industry. For example, the number one reason for deforestation of the Amazon, which is the greatest lung of our planet, is to raise cattle.

Stop the livestock industry - that would be the most effective way to halt global warming and restore our planet. It will save our precious forests, which takes decades to grow, and create more natural forests that we need to reduce global warming. We must stop the livestock industry. I hope the leaders will do this.

May 6, 2010

Scientists question Antarctic ice sheet stability

Containing some 90% of the world’s glacial water reserves, Antarctica has long been thought to be resistant to the melting that has characterized the ice cap at its opposite Arctic pole.

However, troubling new evidence indicates that these vast ice sheets could become unstable within this century and that they have in fact already seen periods of rapid decline.

Data from a collaborative geological research program known as ANDRILL, involving scientists from Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the United States is now indicating that a sea level rise of at least 61 meters could occur if ice sheets in Antarctica and in Greenland were to melt completely.

Examining 20 million years of data from an 1,100-meter long ice core sample, chief US scientist Dr. David Harwood observed that the ice sheets appear to dynamically increase and receded over time, while US geologist Dr. Robert DeConto went on to note the grave implications of current ice instability, saying, “Our models may be dramatically underestimating how much worse it's going to get….

We're seeing ice retreat faster and more dramatically than any model predicts.”

Drs. Harwood, DeConto and ANDRILL international colleagues, we appreciate your detailed work in bringing this factual evidence to light.

Let us act sustainably now to preserve the Antarctic and all life in our global ecosphere. Speaking at a November 2009 videoconference in Washington, D.C., USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai again highlighted the real urgency of global warming, while also reminding of humanity’s capacity to halt it.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The West Antarctic Ice Shelf is also melting, with 3.3 meter sea level rises forecast that would threaten cities like your country, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. And if all of Antarctica and Greenland were to melt – meaning the ice – then the sea levels could rise to as much as 70 meters, which would be deadly or disastrous to most lives on Earth.

I pray day and night that the divine manifest in the physical realm and wake up the leaders of our nations, wake up the religious heads, wake up everybody in time so that they understand the urgency of our situation, and that they understand the solution of solving this dangerous crisis that is facing us.

That is, we have to turn back to our caring and compassionate nature inside our heart. Being vegan worldwide is the advancement of compassion that will uplift and unify all cultures, bringing tranquility to humans and animals alike.

The inner peace that comes from replacing killing with respect for all life will spread like a wave across the globe, elevate human hearts, and create a harmonious Eden on Earth. That will bring us all to a lasting Golden Era.

May 5, 2010

Ocean acidity rising at alarming rate

According to a report by the US-based National Research Council, the chemistry of the sea is changing faster than it has in hundreds of thousands of years. The rising acidification, which is caused by the absorption of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, removes heat-producing CO2 from the atmosphere.

However, the resultant increase in acidity is adversely affecting such intricate ocean processes as photosynthesis, nutrient access, growth, reproduction and even the survival of marine life such as coral reefs and shellfish.

Noting that the current rate of change is more than any known in the past 800,000 years, the report recommends further assessment of potential damage as well as a plan to curb these harmful effects.

We are grateful National Research Council and all scientists who are calling attention to the silent crisis of the ocean caused by global warming. May we each and all do our part by adopting compassionate and sustainable lifestyles that are in harmony with the continuation of life on our planet.

Speaking at a March 2009 videoconference in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized, as she frequently has, the critical need to safeguard the delicate balance of our seas.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: There’s another condition called acidification where the lack of certain fish has contributed to higher ocean acidity which, in turn, reduces the capacity of the ocean to absorb CO2. The ocean is a very complex ecosystem where every living thing has a unique function. So, removing even a small fish for humans to eat creates an imbalance in the sea. In fact, we are already seeing an effect of this imbalance on marine mammals.

As the ocean becomes warmer and warmer and more acidic, more toxins are present in the water.

Anything God puts on Earth is for a purpose. We should not kill anything. We should not eat anything except plant-based diet.

Renowned British naturalist Sir David Attenborough writes of our ecological peril

Best known as the wildlife presenter for BBC natural programs, Sir David Attenborough has written the foreword for the book “Silent Summer: The State of Wildlife in Britain and Ireland,” which depicts the endangered future of many plant and animal species due to human activities.

Published 50 years after the acclaimed environmental volume “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson, this new book contains contributions from 40 eminent British ecologists, warns of further dangers of pesticides, population growth, farming, and other factors that have led to the demise of many butterflies, bees, flies, snails, and moths.

Sir David Attenborough writes: “… Small creatures like these are the basis of our entire ecosystems and they are disappearing faster than ever. That loss is transforming our wildlife and countryside.”

The wildlife presenter had just returned from his first trip to the North and South Poles, fulfilling a lifelong dream at age 73. While there, he witnessed firsthand and recorded for a seven-part BBC nature series “Frozen Planet” the devastation of climate change on both people and animals.

Thank you, Sir David Attenborough and contributors of “Silent Summer” for your work in bringing to light the impact of human activities on the fragile balance of our ecosystems.

May your findings and expertise awaken actions around the world to help sustain flora, fauna and ultimately, human survival. Addressing the significant implications of our actions, Supreme Master Ching Hai again called on humanity to tread more gently on Earth during a July 2008 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan).

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Everyone knows by now that protecting the environment, protecting the animals, are actually protecting ourselves. So we must protect the environment.

We should have more rules, more guidelines, to protect natural habitats. Because sometimes we overlook the long run effect. Then the consequence is very, very detrimental to ourselves and to the planet, just like what we are facing right now.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: People must be more aware of our dire situation and that everyone’s responsible action does help to minimize or stop global warming. We should act fast. Be veg. Go green.

May 4, 2010

Climate-related drought affects millions in Thailand

Director-General Anucha Mokkhavesa of the country’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has stated that more than 7.4 million people across 60 provinces have been enduring drinking water shortages as well as damage to more than 48,000 hectares of farmland due to prolonged lack of rain along with reduced water from the vital Mekong River, which reached its lowest level in 30 years.

According to the Royal Irrigation Department, available water in reservoirs has also dropped 15% this year. Moreover, Director-General Mokkhavesa stated that the number of villages damaged from drought has increased by nearly 40% in the period from November 2009 to mid-April 2010 compared to the same time-span the previous year.

Saying that his department is doing everything possible to relieve the situation, he requested that other officials continue with close monitoring to be able to provide the most timely assistance.

Our sincere thanks Your Excellency and government of Thailand for your watchfulness and caring actions. We pray that the affected lands and people will be showered with blessed rain and that such extreme conditions are eased as we strive for more conscientious consideration of our Earthly abode.

During an October 2009 videoconference in Germany, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with concern as she has previously many times about humanity’s plight, at the same time offering a remedy whose global adoption would bring a saved world for all.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: With current droughts and water shortages already affecting millions and only expected to get worse, worse and worse. But even though our predicament is very grave, we do still have time if we act now. And the solution is still very simple.

It’s the vegan diet – no animal products. Scientists have found that each person eating a meat and dairy based diet uses around 4,500 gallons of water per day, compared to 300 gallons per day for a vegan diet.

This also means that 1 pound of animal protein requires 100 times more water to produce than 1 pound of grain protein. Over the course of a year, the vegan diet saves approximately 1.5 million gallons of water per person. This is the key.

If everyone switches to this beneficial lifestyle, our planet will be cooled in no time, scientifically speaking and my promise.

Stranded marine mammals rescued from the shores of Chile and Formosa (Taiwan)

Upon finding 15 pilot whales stranded on Playa Brava beach in the northern Chilean city of Iquique, some 300 volunteers, police and navy personnel worked for more than 9 hours to return them to the sea.

While three sadly did not survive, the rescuers were successful in releasing 12 into the open waters.

Meanwhile, in Formosa the previous week, a pod of 21 pygmy orcas was found on the beach near Hsinta Port in Kaohsiung County. Approximately 80 Coast Guard Administration personnel initially used boats to lead them back to the sea, with 15 later found washed back on shore and four who had tragically perished.

The surviving 11 whales were then transported directly by boat and released successfully in open waters. Although the exact cause of these events is unknown, experts have cited both seismic activity and climate change effects.

Some of the perished marine mammals have also been found to contain vast amounts of human-made debris in their stomachs. Our gratefulness all rescuers for your efforts in saving our stranded marine mammal friends.

Let us strive to protect the oceanic homes of the gentle whales and other marine species so that they may thrive in their natural habitats once more.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often emphasized the importance of being good stewards of the ecosphere to safeguard the welfare of our fellow co-inhabitants, as during an international gathering in August 2008.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: So many whales and dolphins, they wash up ashore and die. There are so many dead zones in the ocean. It’s suffocating them, so they have to swim out of the water where it’s full of the poisonous gas that has been released! They cannot bear it, they cannot breathe. So they have to get out of it.

For them, life is in the water, but if water is full of poison, of course they come out. But when they come out, they die, too. Because they have no water. They stay in the ocean, they die; they came out, they die. There is no choice for them. This is the worst of all cruelty, that the people don’t take care of the environment. And let all beings keep dying like this.

Just to be vegan, how difficult can it be? Even the dolphins have to swim out of the ocean; because they think like that they can survive, even risking their lives. So why not we can just can change to vegan diet?

May 3, 2010

Study reveals climate change effects in northeastern USA

An analysis of 60 years of data from more than 200 weather stations in the US states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont found a predominance of extreme precipitation events, which are defined as storms that produced at least 1 inch of rain or its water equivalent in snow over a 24-hour period.

Researchers from the US-based organization Clean Air-Cool Planet and University of New Hampshire's Carbon Solutions New England stated that average annual precipitation also increased nearly three-quarters of an inch per decade over the 60-year period.

Although the storms and flooding in March that caused extensive damage throughout the northeastern states were not counted in the study findings, scientists say that these could easily be considered part of the global warming effect, with more in store if climate change continues.

Many thanks Clean Air-Cool Planet and University of New Hampshire’s Carbon Solutions New England for this revealing research. Let us swiftly adopt more sustaining lifestyles to stabilize the environment and preserve our precious Earth.

During a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai also addressed the increased threats induced by global warming while highlighting the most effective solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Some of the global warming effects that we hear about are a continued rise in the Earth’s atmospheric temperature, warming of the ocean, along with acidification, more frequent and stronger storms, prolonged droughts and intensified heat waves, soil desertification, plant and animal extinctions, and even melting of permafrost, which could trigger massive releases of more methane gas! That would be catastrophic beyond an unthinkable scale.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The rising intensity and frequency of storms comes from the warming of the ocean which changes weather patterns. Climate change is not an abstract concept at all. It is here and now, affecting our neighbors, affecting us, and more and more.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Researchers in the US came up with a simple comparison. According to calculations they performed, they concluded that eating a vegan diet for a year is more effective at cooling the planet than driving a hybrid vehicle for the same period of time.

So, the solution is very simple. We just have to turn away from the animal products. We stop eating meat, dairy, eggs, fish. If everyone does this, we will have a transformed world in no time.

Global warming intensifies imbalances in ocean salinity

In data collected from more than 460,000 oceanic readings, a first-ever assessment of overall ocean salinity conducted by Australian scientists has found that global warming is leading to certain ocean regions becoming more salt-concentrated, while others are more diluted with fresh water.

Increases in surface water temperature cause more water to be evaporated from some areas, which is then transferred to other regions and released as water in the form of rain or snow.

Researchers Dr. Susan Wijffels and Paul Durack of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) found that the geographic areas most affected by evaporation were subtropical oceans like the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic, while tropical and higher latitude waters were becoming more diluted through additional precipitation.

Moreover, measurements made below the water’s surface indicate that these changes in salinity are extending into deep ocean currents, with the scientists stating that the effect on human lives could be far-reaching as already-dry regions become dryer, and areas that receive high amounts of rainfall are even more inundated.

Our thanks, Dr. Wijffels, Mr. Durack and fellow Australian scientists for your detailed assessment that reveals this widespread effect of climate change.

May we heed the warning signs of such large-scale disturbances and act swiftly to stabilize our ecosystems. At a May 2009 videoconference in Togo, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke, as on previous occasions, of the vital importance of restoring balance to the world’s oceans.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: From the oceans themselves, we are seeing warming temperatures, rising sea levels, increasing acidification and terrible levels of pollution. So global warming is affecting the oceans.

More than two-thirds of the planet is covered by oceans. They provide half of the world’s oxygen and play a major part in regulating the global climate.

So, life on Earth truly depends very much on the ocean for survival.I am eager as you are, and can’t wait to see the day when we all become vegan, that is, before it is too late.

The planet will begin repairing itself in astonishing ways that scientists would be surprised.

The oceans will be healed as the rainfall and temperature begin to regulate themselves again, and produce restored balance.