September 30, 2010

UK leaders and co-citizens speak out on factory farms

A proposed “super dairy” farm of 1,000 cows in Wales, United Kingdom recently prompted concerns regarding animal welfare, additional noise, and odor from local residents as well as from the organization Compassion in World Farming.

Despite general public disfavor of industrial-scale animal farms, as well as their associated environmental impacts, it was estimated by environmental group Friends of the Earth that in 2009, £700 million contributed by British taxpayers went toward subsidizing factory farms of cows, pigs, or chickens in England.

Deputy Leader Mr. Adrian Ramsay of England and Wales’ Green Party expressed his concerns, saying that factory farming must end, for the benefit of human health and animal welfare as well as to address climate change.

Adrian Ramsay – Deputy Leader, Green Party in England and Wales (M): It’s clear that many of the public health scares we’ve had on issues like BSE, avian flu, swine flu, have resulted from factory farming, from intensive horrific conditions in which animals have been reared both in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

Moving away from factory farming would really help us to tackle climate change, and there’s a number of reasons for that.

One of them is the deforestation that’s happening in so many parts of the world, which is affecting indigenous communities and wildlife, but it’s certainly increasing climate change as well.

And one of the main reasons for deforestation is clearing land for intensive rearing of animals or for growing food to feed to those animals, when we know that crop production is a far more efficient way of feeding people.

Of course the emissions from intensive farming, including methane emissions, are very substantial and have a real effect on the changes in the environment that we’re seeing.

VOICE: Referring to the Green Party’s own legislative efforts to address this problem, Mr. Ramsay called for governmental support of local farmers’ markets and environmentally friendly farming practices.

Adrian Ramsay – Deputy Leader, Green Party in England and Wales (M): We want to promote organic farming. We want to make it easier for farmers to go organic and to grow things more locally, and on a small scale, wildlife-friendly way that preserves biodiversity, and we think that the subsidies that go to farmers should be focused around achieving these objectives, making it easier for farmers to do the green thing.

VOICE: Our appreciation Deputy Leader Ramsay, Green Party members and all other concerned advocates for your encouragement of sustainable food production. May leaders everywhere end the destructive and cruel animal industry by offering support for organic vegan farming practices. In an interview published in the September 2009 edition of the British Parliament's The House Magazine, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the optimal outcome for our Earth through plant-based food policies.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The government can support organic vegan farming through subsidies. They can also redirect the funds away from the meat industries and instead toward encouraging citizens to plant, to buy and to choose organic vegan food. And when they do, we will soon have a lot of healthy, happy, productive people, a restored green environment, and minimum climate mitigation costs – something all governments can look forward to and gain the enthusiastic support of all citizens.

If humans switch to the vegan diet, the Earth will begin cooling immediately and many of these dilemmas can even be reversed. So please, be veg and do good, to save the planet and all the beings on it, including you and me.

September 29, 2010

Satellite images reveal shrinking of Mount Ararat glaciers

Scientists say that the glaciers on Turkey’s highest peak, the historic Mount Ararat believed to be where Noah's Ark settled after the Great Flood, have shrunk by 30% in surface area over the last 30 years.

Geologist Mehmet Akif Sarikaya, Assistant Professor at Istanbul's Fatih University stated that the satellite images revealed the extent of the melting, with the glacier’s surface area decreasing from eight square kilometers in 1976 to 5.5 in 2008, a loss of about seven hectares per year.

The ice disappearance also correlates with measurements of successive temperature increase in the region of .03 degrees Celsius per year. Professor Sarikaya and Fatih University colleagues, we are grateful for your observations, despite their disturbing nature, which add to the picture of glacial loss we are seeing across the globe.

May we heed such warnings and quickly switch to lifestyles that restore the Earth’s balance and the lives of her inhabitants. During an August 2008 videoconference with our Canadian Association members, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted the urgency of ice cap melt worldwide and emphasized, as on many previous occasions, the need to foster eco-conscious ways.

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.

Ocean dead zones increase at alarming rate

A report just issued by the US Executive Office of Science and Technology Policy, representing the work of scientists from multiple institutions, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US Geological Survey and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, indicates that ocean hypoxia has increased nearly 30-fold since data began to be collected 50 years ago.

The scientists found that nearly half of the 647 total US coastal water bodies evaluated are currently affected by hypoxia, a condition in which oxygen levels drop so low that fish and other marine life cannot survive.

Their assessment also linked the rapid spread of these low-oxygen areas to livestock manure and fertilizer run-off, which is carried in waterways and dumps a surplus of substances such as nitrogen and phosphorus into the oceans.

Algae then grow in the waters and deplete oxygen supplies. While this report focuses on the coastal waters of the USA, Dr. Tony Koslow of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography cautioned that dead zones are a growing global problem, one which is likely being accelerated by climate change, because of the effect that the warming of the top ocean layer has when it mixes with the colder, oxygen-poor layers further below.

Dr. Koslow stated that oxygen levels in deep oceans are forecast to decline up to 40% in the next century, with potentially devastating effects on sensitive marine organisms. Moreover, the report concluded, “If current practices are continued, the expansion of hypoxia in coastal waters will continue and increase in severity.”

Our appreciation, Dr. Koslow, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, US Executive Office of Science and Technology Policy and all participating scientists, for this updated information about the dire state of our marine environments.

We pray for the rejuvenation of the oceans and all inhabitants as humans choose lifestyles that reflect awareness and consideration of all beings. Speaking with concern during an October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the detrimental impacts of livestock-raising to marine ecosystems and what must be done to reverse these effects.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The livestock sector is probably the world's biggest source of water pollution. Excessive animal waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides degrade waterways, killing aquatic organisms by creating algae blooms, which in turn chokes the oxygen from water systems and help form these oceanic dead zones.

The number of oxygen-depleted oceanic dead zones has increased from only 49 in the 1960s to 405 in 2008. And I am sure there are more now. Regarding the concrete instructions and guidance to avoid the planet’s destruction, it’s again: Be veg, go green, do good deeds and be loving. That’s the loving way to live; that’s the noble way to live.

We must develop our innate noble qualities, because after all, we are humane beings. And, it’s the only way we can save the planet from destruction.

September 28, 2010

Antarctic melt is speeding methane release

On a recent trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, Argentine geologist Dr. Rodolfo del Valle witnessed continuous bubbling under certain areas of the water’s surface. Measurements revealed that the bubbles were 99% methane gas.

With ice shelves in Western Antarctica and the Peninsula already noted to be melting due to climate change, the additional release of methane could, due to its potency, accelerate global warming beyond what scientists have described as an irreversible tipping point, leading then to immense Earth changes.

Dr. del Valle is now working to determine the potential impact of this greenhouse gas as he stated, “We believe there is a huge amount of destabilized methane deposits that may leak into the atmosphere and ramp up warming.”

He went on to speak of the changes seen throughout significant periods of geologic history, saying, “Of seven major mass extinctions that erased 90% of the species at the time, five are attributable to climate change, and one in particular – at the Permo-Triassic boundary – could be directly attributable to mass methane release in the Upper Paleozoic.”

Dr. del Valle, we appreciate your work alerting us to this most recent evidence of continued climate change. Let us join in a rapid response to preserve a habitable ecosystem for all beings while we still have time.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has cautioned on previous occasions about the risks of methane release due to global warming, while also highlighting an effective way to stop it, as during a September 2008 interview on the US-based Environmentally Sound Radio.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You look all that and you see already because the methane gas and hydrogen sulfide are resulted from animal raising, and that produces a lot of toxic gas into the air and it warms the atmosphere, and then the atmosphere melts the ice and the ocean will be warm, and then more methane and other toxins will be released from the bottom of the ocean and permafrost and all that. And then it will be like a devil’s circle. I hope we stop it quick.

If we do not do anything, then we will goto the point of no return. But luckily, because due to many new vegetarian people joining the vegetarian diet, now we have delayed the point of no return.

September 27, 2010

Volcanic activity and water likely on Mars

A recent article published in the journal “Science” documents findings from scientists at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which include evidence of volcanic eruptions and water flow on Mars’ surface in the past 100 million years. Lead author Dr. Paul Niles of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston,

USA and colleagues analyzed what they affirmed to be the most precise measurements of the planet’s carbon dioxide to date. Collected by the Mars Phoenix Lander, the recent CO2 data indicated to researchers that the gas was not escaping into space as was previously thought, but instead was being continuously replenished, likely through volcanic activity.

In addition, scientists found that certain oxygen isotopes were being enriched in proportions that would naturally occur in the presence of not only CO2 but also liquid water.

Dr. Niles stated, “This is a quantifiable effect, and we see it in the carbon dioxide on Mars. This means that liquid water has been present on the surface of Mars in the recent geological past.”

Many thanks, Dr. Niles and fellow National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists for these new discoveries that highlight the eventful history of Mars. May such detailed observations of our neighbors in space expand our insights for sustaining life on the beautiful planet Earth. During an August 2009 climate change
videoconference in Thailand,Supreme Master Ching Hai referred to past events on Mars as a cautionto humankind, especially in light of the growing predicament presented by climate change.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We only need to look at our own neighboring planets, Mars and Venus, to see that the vision is bleak, is disastrous, if we don’t make the right choice, the right change now. Any planetary scientist knows that Mars and Venus went through dramatic atmospheric changes in the past, similar to what we have begun to experience right now.

Long ago, Mars and Venus were once a lot like our planet - they had water, life, and people similar to us. But the inhabitants of Mars and Venus destroyed their respective planetary homes because they raised too much livestock, and the gases released triggered an irreversible greenhouse gas effect, plus poisonous hydrogen sulfide in the case of Mars.

So let’s not end up like either Mars or Venus, our neighboring planets. Humanity must uphold a gentler, higher standard for the Earth to continue supporting life.

September 23, 2010

Climate change is affecting bees and pollination

Professor James Thompson of the University of Toronto in Canada observed that pollination of some plants has dramatically decreased in the last 17 years, some by as much as 50%.

His study in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA is one of the longest-ever observations of the pollination process. He comments that although bee numbers have declined, what was most crucial was that climate change has driven the plants and flowers to open at times that are no longer matched to when the bees
emerge from hibernation to pollinate them.

Other insects vital to pollination, such as butterflies, have also suffered declines due to habitat loss and climate change. Professor James Thompson said: “This is sobering because it suggests that pollination is vulnerable even in a relatively pristine environment that is free of pesticides and human disturbance but still subject to climate change.”

Such a finding is especially alarming as one-third of the world’s fruits and vegetables depend on pollinators including bees to flower and grow. Our gratitude Professor James Thompson for this comprehensive study that reflects another aspect of the disturbing implications of climate change on our natural world.

Let us turn toward conscientious decisions and concern for the environment that ease these conditions and restore our pristine planet. During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about the important roles of all animal species, including the bees, while also noting their keen awareness of human-caused climate change and what must be done about it.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It is almost too much to try to convey the importance of each and every inhabitant friend to the environment as a whole. The tiny bees contribute to pollination, that we could not replace, not only for flowers but vital food crops. We cannot replace their work even, as a human.

The animal friends are in pollination more aware of climate change than we are because they are the ones on the frontlines holding up nature’s delicate web of life. They are also, sadly, the first-hand victims of global warming, as we have witnessed and discovered.

They are in our hands, the humans’ hands. They know that the solution lies not so much in words but in daily actions, and the essential change that will be the most restorative for our world is to be vegan.

That is the essence of what we need to stabilize the planet, to bless the world through our everyday benevolent actions, meaning be vegan. ... ... ...

British cold water swimmer urges action on climate change

A recently released report by the US Geological Survey on the state of glacier retreat in the Himalayan mountains due to global warming cited diminished water supplies to millions of people along with added sea level rise, and increased likelihood of outburst floods from sources such as glacial lakes.

Of particular concern to the 39 scientists involved in the study is the accelerating melt of fresh water sources in the Himalayas. Working to raise further awareness of such global warming impacts is British explorer and swimmer Mr. Lewis Gordon Pugh, who, in May 2010, braved dangerous freezing temperatures and oxygen-depleted high altitudes in a symbolic one-kilometer swim across a lake at the base of Mount Everest, which itself has formed as a result of global warming.

Lewis Gordon Pugh – British explorer and swimmer raising awareness on climate change (M): This swim was one of the hardest swims I’ve ever done, because you’ve got to get a fine balance. If you go slowly where you’re just wearing a Speedo, you’re going to freeze to death. But, if you go too quickly, up there at 5,300 meters, it is very, very difficult to breathe.

What I was trying to do about this swim was to link damaging the environment and having conflict on this Earth. Imagine if you are a farmer, and you live at the bottom of the Ganges River, and you have less and less water.

And that water which you are getting is polluted and toxic, then you are going to be very, very angry. We need to protect our water supplies, because we cannot live on this Earth without good, clean water.

VOICE: Wearing no protective gear, Mr. Pugh had previously conducted a similar activity at the North Pole – a place that without global warming would have been covered by ice. His deep concern in raising awareness of these sites most jeopardized by climate change has allowed him to meet with world leaders to discuss solutions.

Lewis Gordon Pugh (M): For me, I am so passionate about trying to draw attention to what is happening, and the speed at which it is happening, as I will do anything to draw attention to this issue. If we are not able to stop climate change, there is no future. I think the most important thing that we need to do right now is to believe that we can stop climate change. Before I start with any expedition, I’ve got to believe I can do it. And that is the most important thing.

VOICE: Our salute and admiration Mr. Pugh for your determination, care and very courageous actions to hasten our actions to halt climate change. May leaders and citizens alike each do our part to save the planet.

In a video message for a June 2009 climate change conference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai described the urgency of glacial melt worldwide while at the same time addressing the most effective solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Most of the planet’s glaciers will be gone within a few decades, jeopardizing the survival of more than 2 billion people. One billion of these people will suffer the effects of the Himalayan glacier retreats, which have been occurring at a pace more rapid than anywhere in the world, with two-thirds of the region's more than 18,000 glaciers receding.

The initial effects of glacier melt are destructive floods and landslides. As the glacial ice retreat continues, reduced rainfall, devastating droughts and water shortages are the result.

So, to cool the planet most quickly, we have to stop consuming meat in order to stop the livestock raising industry. If everyone in the world would adopt this simple but most powerful practice of an animal-free diet, then we could reverse the effect of global warming in no time.

September 22, 2010

Whales assist in the world’s carbon storage

Researchers from the US and Canada recently published a report on the impact of whaling on the ocean carbon cycle in the international Public Library of Science, noting that the past century of killing the marine mammals may have released 100 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

Saying that whales are the “forests of the ocean,” study scientist Dr. Andrew Pershing of the University of Maine in the USA, stated that the cetaceans store carbon within their immense bodies.

When a whale dies naturally, it transports the carbon to the ocean depths, away from the atmosphere for up to hundreds of years. However, when whales are killed, this carbon is released instead. The scientists thus cite this as yet another reason that restoring whale and large fish populations should be a top priority for the balance of marine ecosystems and our planet.

Our sincere thanks, Dr. Pershing and fellow scientists in the US and Canada. May such efforts as yours help us appreciate the intricate harmony of nature so that we may more deeply respect and protect the life of the majestic whale and all beings.

During an interview published in the December 16, 2009 edition of The Irish Dog Journal, Supreme Master Ching Hai reiterated the vital role of our marine co-inhabitants, as well as humanity’s need to safeguard their welfare, and in so doing, the survival of the planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Of course, animals also have very noble, vital roles in the physical realm. In the oceans, fish play an important role in quickly recycling nutrients in the ecosystem, which helps to sustain all the marine life.

Some of them are from higher levels of consciousness; they only came down in animal form to help humankind or other beings on Earth. You see, the seals and the whales emanate an incredible, great power of divine love, an unconditional love that could be likened to that between a mother and her child.

And it is this love that is sustaining our planet and keeping it from destruction up to now. So, we should never ever hunt and kill these noble, gracious helpers of humankind and the planet.

September 21, 2010

Liberia’s Atlantic coast is eroding quickly

Houses on the shores of Liberia are collapsing at the edge of the sea due to coastal erosion arising from climate-related sea level rise and other factors.

Government records show that in the area of Buchanan, for example, about 250 people lost their homes in recent years, with the last several years seeing a loss of a full 10 meters from the area’s coastal beaches.

In other populated coastal areas, the Liberian Environment Agency measured at least three meters of land being lost annually, with 50 meters of shore having disappeared since 2005 from one town alone.

Some families, unable to afford new dwellings, are still living in the portion of their home that has not been taken over by the rising tide waters.

Josep Gari, regional environmental team leader for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said that the global warming effects have been aggravated by unregulated sand mining and unsustainable harvesting of mangroves, which act as natural barriers from storm surges.

The Liberian government has announced a short-term plan to protect infrastructure but lacks resources for significant projects.

Meanwhile, experts express concern that densely populated communities throughout the shores of West Africa will soon be showing the similar effects of coastal erosion.

Our appreciation, Mr. Gari, United Nations Development Program and Liberia for your voiced concern over these distressing observations.

May we all move quickly toward lifestyles in harmony with nature to cool the planet and halt its demise. During an interview for the September 2009 edition of The House Magazine, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed global warming effects including coastal erosion, as well as the moral actions needed in response.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It’s too serious. Too serious. Sea level rise, for example, threatens half of the world's population living within 200 kilometers of a coastline. Seventeen million in Bangladesh have fled their homes already, mainly because of coastal erosion.

In the United Kingdom as well, several coastal flooding disasters have already occurred with more forecast by the nation’s Department of Environment. This is due in part to the fact that over 26 million residents in the UK live in coastal zones, with 40% of Britain’s manufacturing industry also located on or near the coast.

These situations will only worsen, not improve, until we stop the cause. This means to halt the livestock production and meat consumption.

If humans switch to the vegan diet, the Earth will begin cooling immediately and many of these dilemmas can even be reversed. So please, be veg and do good, to save the planet and all the beings on it, including you and me.

September 20, 2010

Survivors unite in shark preservation group

On Monday, September 13, nine people from five different countries came together at the United Nations Environment Program New York office in the USA to speak on behalf of a campaign organized by the Pew Environment Group.

The campaign is seeking greater protection of sharks, whose numbers are diminishing sharply as some 73 million are killed each year for a dish known as shark fin soup.

According to international researchers who have observed the practice, the sharks are often subjected to a cruel process known as finning, in which their fins are removed while they are still alive.

The sharks are then discarded, finless, into the sea, where they sink and are left to die on the ocean floor. Some shark populations have decreased by 80%, with nearly a third of all species now classified as endangered or near-threatened with extinction. The nine people who arrived to support the Pew Environment Group’s campaign, which includes a call to ban finning, are further distinguished by a common experience, namely, that all have endured serious injury or even loss of a limb from their own encounters with sharks.

Australian Navy diver Paul de Gelder, for instance, whose right hand and lower right leg were lost to a shark during a dive last year, said that he wanted to help give a voice to an animal that can't speak for itself.

He stated, “We're decimating the population of sharks just for a bowl of soup." Mr. de Gelder went on to say, “Regardless of what an animal does according to its base instincts of survival, it has its place in our world.

We have an obligation to protect and maintain the natural balance of our delicate ecosystems.” Fellow survivor, American Debbie Salamone stated, "Sharks deserve protection and I am proud to join with fellow survivors to carry that message. If we see the value in saving these animals after what we have endured, then everyone should."

We are touched by the depth of your care and commitment, survivor advocates, as we also send our appreciation to the Pew Environment Group for their dedicated endeavors to save our precious marine co-inhabitants.

Let us quickly halt such needless and devastating practices of fishing and adopt the life-affirming vegan diet for the sake of all beings and the planet.

During a March 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai reminded of our interconnectedness with all forms of life while highlighting the best way to care for the planet’s fragile ecosystems.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It’s not only oil but other of Our actions as well, such as overfishing and chemical run-off from farms and factories. these all cause harm, because they do not consider the impact of our actions on other beings.

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. This means we should respect all lives, and in action. 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.

Walruses endure mass migration due to melting ice

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has announced the observation that between 10,000 and 20,000 mother walruses and their calves had to travel this summer to the Alaskan shore, because the ice floes, where they typically spend their time raising families, are melting so quickly that they can no longer support the walrus populations.

Geoff York, of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) global Arctic program stated, “It's something that we have never seen before in this area. As the ice decreases, the walrus are abandoning it earlier and earlier.”

A new report also found that 17 additional species are at risk of extinction due to global warming and effects such as melting Arctic ice.

Our thanks, US Geological Survey, World Wildlife Fund and other participating scientists for this distressing alert to the adjustments being made by walruses and other Arctic animals as they attempt to cope with human-caused climate change.

Let us act swiftly to save all beings, including ourselves. As on previous occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with concern for the suffering of animal co-inhabitants during a May 2009 videoconference in Togo as she offered ways to explain the tolls of global warming to young people, who are key to the welfare of our planet’s future.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You can show how the migrating birds have to fly farther and farther to find a place to nest, and the polar bears swim longer and longer now because there is no more ice until sometimes they drown of exhaustion, or why the neighboring country has so many floods in recent years, so many disasters, etc.

Tell them how climate change is affecting real lives, real animals, real people, and their own lives as well. But it’s also important to show the young people that there is still hope; we can still save the planet.

It’s a chance to be true heroes, by being vegan and spread the news of this solution.

September 17, 2010

British migratory bird decline linked to climate change

A study conducted by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has discovered a connection between diminishing populations of 16 United Kingdom bird species, and rainfall patterns in their migratory destinations of the African Sahel region near the Sahara Desert.

Many of the species, including the tree pipit and the turtle dove, have experienced up to 85% population declines since 1966. The researchers believe that lower rainfall patterns and reduced habitats in Africa are in turn making fewer fruits and seeds available for the birds.

British Trust Ornithology ecologist Dr. Nancy Ockendon noted that birds flying back to the UK according to a regular migratory schedule might be too weak from lack of adequate food to survive the migration, while those that delay to build up enough energy for the return flight could arrive too late to nest and create new families.

Both possibilities place the species’ survival in jeopardy. Dr. Ockendon, we thank you and your colleagues at the British Trust for Ornithology for highlighting this crucial connection between a warming climate and avian survival.

May concerned leaders and citizens alike engage in effective mitigation to maintain the healthful lives of both our human and animal co-inhabitants.During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the plight being endured by many of our animal co-inhabitants while offering insight into how we can best ensure their survival.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Our animal friends are suffering terribly due to the effects of global warming. Many of the animals are dying or at the brink of extinction or already gone due to unbearable temperatures or they are being forced out of their habitats.

Birds of all kinds in every corner of the globe are also imperiled. According to the World Wildlife Fund, some bird populations declined by up to 90%. Some already disappeared.

With the expected 2-degree C temperature rise, bird extinction rates could reach 38% in Europe, and 72% in Northeast Australia. We have lost so many innocents already. But the animals know exactly what is happening without a word. They know that the solution lies not so much in words but in daily actions, and the essential change that will be the most restorative for our world is to be vegan.

September 16, 2010

Accelerated coral bleaching a sign of maximum stress

The vast marine area in Southeast Asia known as the Coral Triangle stretches from the waters of Indonesia northward to the Philippines. It is considered a hub of marine biodiversity and is home to over three-quarters of all coral species. However, the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch is reporting some of the worst bleaching ever seen in the region, following seven months this year of continuous record high temperatures on both land and sea.

The bleaching process, which arises from global warming-related higher temperatures as well as increased acidification due to the water’s absorption of CO2, results in expanses of lifeless white coral structures.

This not only endangers a wide range of fish and other marine life who make their homes in the reefs, it ultimately affects the health of the ocean.

Widespread bleaching has also been reported in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, as well as many parts of Indonesia, where damage off the coast of Aceh was described by the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society as “one of the most rapid and severe coral mortality events ever recorded.”

One international team of scientists studying the process there found that 80% of some species had collapsed since an initial assessment conducted just a few months ago in May.

Meanwhile, scientists fear that another area soon to be affected is the Caribbean, where sea temperatures have been above average since January.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other international researchers, we appreciate your diligent observations of the endangerment to the world’s vital coral reefs.

As we realize the true perils of global warming from such evidence as this, may we swiftly striveto protect the balance of life for the benefit of all beings.

During a November 2008 interview on for Ireland’s East Coast Radio FM, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed this disturbing trend, while highlighting the action needed to safeguard the coral reefs and our oceans.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: So, global warming is the greatest threat as it causes coral bleaching, or when temperature gets too high, and the corals’ important symbiotic algae is lost and exposes their white skeleton, and that's the sign of death for the coral colony.

Some scientists predict that most of the coral reefs could disappear in the near future if global warming increases.

Coral reefs are just like the forest on land. They are the protectors of 100-plus countries’ coastlines against storm surges and hurricanes. And they are also the supporters of over 25% of all marine species. So you see how important it is. And there are many more things that we have not discovered about the benefits of coral reef and marine life.

Louise (f): So, we really do need to do what we can to protect them?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. We have to stop global warming, that's what. The solution is vegetarian diet.

Agriculture is a major driver of tropical deforestation

Using satellite data from the United Nations researchers at Stanford University in California, USA have found that more than 80% of agricultural land expansion in the tropics between 1980 and 2000 did not come from use of existing land but instead resulted from deforestation of primarily rainforests.

What has also been documented is that the forests are being cleared to create pastureland for livestock as well as to grow crops such as soya and palm oil products used for animal feed.

Stanford researcher and study author Dr. Holly Gibbs stated, “This has huge implications for global warming, if we continue to expand our farmland into tropical forests at that rate.” An earlier study, “Climate Benefits of Changing Diet,” from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, found that a global shift to a vegan diet would result in significant reforestation, along with an 80% reduction in climate change mitigation costs.

Thank you, Dr. Gibbs, Stanford colleagues and Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency for highlighting the link between tropical deforestation and livestock raising.

May we all realize the importance of a dietary shift away from animal products to save the tropical rainforests and reverse global warming. As on many other occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai reminded of the detrimental tolls of livestock raising and the need to halt it for the sake of our planet during 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.

September 15, 2010

Rising waters endanger indigenous Venezuelan culture

Rising sea levels caused by global warming are forcing the migration of the Warao people, who reside in the delta of the Orinoco River. It is also threatening the freshwater ecosystem of aquatic life there. The indigenous Warao, or canoe people, number around 25,000 and have lived in the delta region for hundreds of years.

Their livelihoods include creating hammocks, houses and canoes out of palms and trees. It has often been noted that such cultures as the Warao are scarcely responsible for the greenhouse gases that have been created by the industrial world, yet they are often the most impacted. In this case, climate change-induced rising sea levels are now threatening the way of life of the Warao, as the encroaching ocean means they have to search for drinking water and will likely have to move completely from the water’s edge and the environment that has defined them as a culture. We pray for the well-being of the Warao people and indigenous cultures throughout the world.

May humans everywhere realize the interconnectedness of all life to better protect one another and our Earth another through sustainable lifestyle choices.
Speaking during a December 2008 videoconference in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with sorrow over the strife of those whose livelihoods are jeopardized by rising sea levels, while addressing the fastest solution to such tolls of global warming.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: So many islands have sunk under water already. Many coastal cities’ land has been eroded. Two thousand more islands are sinking, and 18 islands–for what we have known, maybe more, but we don’t know—18 islands including small nation islands already gone, disappeared under water, sometimes 6 meters under water already, and another 40 are or are at risk of sinking, or uninhabitable or begin to be uninhabitable because they cannot cultivate anymore because the land became inundated with salty water already.






September 14, 2010

UN calls for governments to prepare for greater volatility in food supplies

Following recent devastating crop losses in Russia and Pakistan due to climate-related drought, fires and floods, public awareness of the global food supply’s vulnerability has driven food commodity prices up. This has created tension and conflict that in some cases has resulted in deadly violence, as in Mozambique where protests were sparked when bread prices suddenly increased by 30%.

Meanwhile, Europe’s wheat prices are now 60% higher than in 2009, and Russia just announced the extension of a ban on wheat exports for another year due to the nation’s severe drought, inadequate harvest, and economic inflation.

Farmers there, for example, have experienced the driest season in 130 years, with experts having observed cracks in the soil so dry that no moisture can be reached without digging an entire meter into the ground.

This year’s drought has in fact already threatened next year’s harvest as farmers must plant now to reap a fruitful crop, but cannot do so without rain. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has responded to these concerns by calling a September 24 meeting to discuss how to best address this and potential future instabilities in food supplies.

Speaking of the current food situation, UN FAO Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development, Hafez Ghanem, warned that even though grain production overall this year is the third highest on record despite the recent crop failures, future supplies could be jeopardized by extreme weather events or further export bans, causing more global price volatility. Grain prices have also been affected by demands for meat, with livestock consuming more than one-third of global grain supplies during the 2008/2009 season.

We thank the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization for your efforts to help stabilize global food markets through a better understanding of the current situation and effective planning for the future.

Let us all work together to shift food policies in a wise and sustainable direction for the security of all people. During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the most simple and effective remedy to this mounting global food shortage problem.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The leaders of the nations must do something. The people of all nations must do something. Just because we can still sit here pretty and talk, just because in our area there is not yet water shortage or food prices going up, doesn’t mean it will not happen to us soon.

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. Please take action now. Very simple. Just be veg. Just be veg is truly enough for now. And it will be enough for a long future to come.

Brazil and Peru stricken by drought

As announced on Monday, September 6, a severe dry period has resulted in the parching of Brazil’s flora- and fauna-rich Amazon basin forest and Pantanal area, with officials calling it the worst since 1973.

The arid conditions have also sparked some 1,200 wildfires, prompting an environmental emergency to be declared in 15 of the nation’s 26 states. Having just faced historic floods in 2009 due to a record rise in Amazon River water levels, several communities in Amazonas state now find themselves facing the opposite extreme as they have been isolated by drought and can no longer be accessed by boat, only by foot through the forest.

Water navigation in general has been seriously hampered, with the Juruá River nearly run dry and water levels of Pantanal’s Chacore Bay, the third largest in Brazil, having dropped significantly.

Over 80,000 people are currently estimated to have been affected, and the regional government is sending food and water supplies. Meanwhile in neighboring Peru, the Amazon River is noted to be at its lowest level in 40 years, with officials expressing concern over expected food shortages and disease as they brace for an extended dry period similar to one that occurred five years ago.

Robert Falcon of Peru's civil defense agency said, “The scientists are already saying that because of climate change these events will become more frequent.”

We appreciate the efforts of the Brazilian government and other officials to ease this challenging situation as we join in concern for the grave effects of these climate-related changes.

Let us all strive to foster a more balanced ecosphere for the survival and comfort of all life on Earth. In an October 2009 address to government magistrates and judges in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the dire effects of climate change, while appealing for the swift measures necessary to effectively halt them.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Once towering glaciers are receding so fast that over 2 billion people are already short of water and food. Many more suffer shortage as tens of thousands of rivers and waters are gone or drying.

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 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.

September 13, 2010

Unpredictable weather threatens stability of food supplies

On Tuesday, September 7, Sri Lankan-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI) presented a report to an international gathering of scientists at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.

Warning that climate change is bringing more erratic rainfall, the report stated that the unreliable timing and variable amounts of rain are having increasingly noticeable effects on food security and economic growth.

This is due in part to the fact that approximately 66% of crops in Asia are rain-fed only, rather than irrigated, while in Africa a full 94% are rain-fed. Highlighting the very recent examples of extremely dry conditions leading to this summer’s devastating Russian fires and the opposite in the calamitous Pakistani floods, Sunita Narain, head of the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) in India, stated, “We are getting to a point where we are getting more water, more rainy days, but it's more variable, so it leads to droughts and it leads to floods.”

The scientists recommended more investment in water storage options as well as water management.

We thank the International Water Management Institute, Ms. Narain and other international scientists for reminding of the connection between climate and water imbalances that affect urgent food supplies.

Let us all work to restore natural harmony through sustainable daily actions that ensure our planetary survival. During a September 2009 videoconference in Peru, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed her concern for humanity in light of the growing global food crisis, while also emphasizing the most comprehensive solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We can see everywhere reflections of a planet in trouble, with monsoons and flooding in one location and people losing their harvests and drinking water to drought in another.

One way that our world can be preserved and stabilized is through everyone’s change to a compassionate lifestyle, choosing organic vegan diet, which not only eliminates methane and other toxic, heat-trapping greenhouse gases emissions from the livestock industry, but the organic part takes care of harmful fertilizer chemicals and allows the soil to absorb a huge amount of atmospheric CO2.

Researchers warn of mass ocean extinction

A recent study of a unique natural laboratory created by scientists in the Mediterranean Sea has shown that the number of single-celled organisms called Foraminifera found around volcanic carbon dioxide vents near Naples, Italy, has diminished from 24 species to only four.

Scientists from the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom and the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil discovered that similar losses in many forms of marine life, especially organisms with calcium carbonate shells like Foraminifera, are linked to rising ocean acidity, which has occurred from the excessive absorption of carbon dioxide and has the effect of lowering the water’s pH levels.

Suggesting that over-acidification has been responsible for wide-scale extinctions in the past, study co-author Dr. Jason Hall-Spencer stated, “A tipping point occurs at … pH 7.8. This is the pH level predicted for the end of this century… The big concern for me is that unless we curb carbon emissions, we risk mass extinctions, degrading coastal waters and encouraging outbreaks of toxic jellyfish and algae."

Many thanks Dr. Hall-Spencer and other British and Brazilian colleagues, for reminding of our dire need to minimize greenhouse gas emissions to preserve our life-supporting oceans.

With Heaven's grace, may we accelerate effective planet-saving actions in all corners of the world. During a May 2009 videoconference in Togo, Supreme Master Ching Hai pointed out the imbalances already occurring in our marine environments, suggesting at the same time how to reverse these dangerous effects.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Balanced marine ecosystems are extremely important, as 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. In addition, oceans also absorb atmospheric CO2 – carbon dioxide – which directly helps to cool our planet.

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, which in turn is affecting the fish.

This is an equally urgent situation as the one presented by livestock industry, and it has the exact same solution. Stop eating the flesh; stop killing for food; stop eating the fish. This will help restore the balance of both the ocean and land, immediately.

September 10, 2010

Burmese residents endure nationwide drought

Record-high temperatures this year of up to 47 degrees Celsius have resulted in hundreds of heat-related deaths as well as ongoing drought across Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Widespread water shortages have consequently impacted several parts of the country such as Shan state, where Lake Inle, which serves as the nation’s second largest freshwater reserve, dropped to half its normal level this summer. Not only were the 70,000 people affected who live around the lake, but also many rare species that inhabit its waters.

The Mekong River, flowing through Myanmar as well as several other Southeast Asian countries and essential to the livelihood of some 60 million people, is also at a 50-year record low.

We are saddened to hear of the serious situation in Myanmar, and we pray for the blessing of gentle rain for the Burmese people. May the natural balance of our environment soon be restored through our wiser, planet-cooling choices.

As part of her frequent endeavors to ensure humanity’s welfare, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the increasing global warming-related water crises and how to most quickly minimize them during an interview published in the December 16, 2009 edition of The Irish Dog Journal.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Other devastating effects of climate change have already been occurring: And as a consequence of these environmental impacts, 2 billion people are facing water shortages, and 20 million people are in a desperate state – like refugees except with no official protection.

As drought and water crises are spreading silently across the globe, affecting 44% of the world’s population, even triggering conflicts in some areas, the livestock industry is guzzling much of our precious fresh water.

If we really want to conserve our clean, safe water for ourselves and our children, we must stop livestock production and adopt the plant-based diet.

Global plant growth in decline due to climate change-induced drought

Although it was once observed that global warming-induced temperature rises and longer growing seasons benefited plant growth, a new study from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has found that the droughts caused by warming result in overall decline.

So while plants in some northern latitudes may continue to grow, their southern latitude counterparts are decreasing, with an overall loss effect that impacts crops and thus food security as well.

Study co-author Dr. Steven Running of the University of Montana, biologist and co-author of the report, stated, “This is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperatures are not going to endlessly improve plant growth.”

Many thanks, Dr. Running and National Aeronautics and Space Administration study scientists for revealing this potentially disastrous decline of the world’s flora due to human-caused climate change.

Let us all speedily adopt effective measures to cool the planet and restore a verdant ecosphere. Foreseeing the increasing impact of global warming on all life, during a 2008 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai pointed out the most crucial way to restore nature’s harmony and thus save the planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Nature can help to absorb some of the carbon dioxide, but we overload nature, so we have a problem right now and we continue to have problem if we are not doing anything to prevent further destruction of the planet.

It’s just the meat industry that causes the most pollution for the planet, that the planet is overloaded, nature is overloaded. Everything warms up because of meat and animal products.

So, if we stop the meat production, if we stop eating meat and harming the animals, the good benevolent atmosphere will change everything into a beneficial planet for us.

Even before, our planet was good, but if we change into vegetarian diet, this planet will become a paradise, will be plentiful, will be very happy for everybody to live on.

September 9, 2010

West Nile virus takes toll in Greece

With 15 people who have succumbed to the disease, 39 are currently hospitalized, 9 of whom are in intensive care as the total number of cases rises to over 160. Most stem from areas in Macedonia that are in close proximity to lakes and rivers. Nearly all of the victims have suffered from the serious condition of encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain caused by the illness.

In response, the Greek government has allocated an additional €250,000 beyond the €300,000 initially pledged to help ensure prevention in the area. The West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and has become a growing health concern globally as its range widens with climate change.

Spokeswoman for Greece’s Hellenic Centre for the Control and Prevention of Diseases, Dr. Doritsa Bakka, noted that the spread of the disease had worsened from this year’s hot, wet summer that created ideal breeding grounds for the insects.

In a recent article published in the infectious disease journal “Eurosurveillance,” Italian researchers studying organ donors found to their surprise that certain serum samples testing positive for the virus originated in regions where infection previously wasn’t known to be a risk.

In a related “Eurosurveillance” editorial, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control warned that heightened monitoring and preparedness for West Nile virus is needed in Europe as human cases increase.

We thank Dr. Bakka, the Hellenic Center for the Control and Prevention of Diseases, and the Greek government for your concerned alert about the increased vulnerability to this disease.

Our heartfelt prayers for the recovery of those suffering from the West Nile virus, and that we may speed our actions to halt climate change and restore the vitality of both humans and the Earth.

Speaking with concern for humanity’s welfare during a July 2008 videoconference with our Association members in Washington, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained the most efficient way to curb such perils related to global warming.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: And some places may have more mental illness, and all kind of other illnesses, and diseases go where they have not been before even. Like mosquitoes, they migrate into different areas where they have not been before because the climate is warmer.

So it depends on how many people join the vegetarian diet. The more vegetarian people, the less killing of the animals, the more time we have to rescue the planet and the lives on the planet.

So everybody has to join to into the vegetarian diet, and stop the killing, stop the harm to other people and the animals and save energies every way possible and go green wherever possible.

Africa's growing humanitarian threat due to climate change

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the once-vast Lake Chad, has shrunk 90% over the past four decades, threatening the lives of up to 30 million people with hunger, conflict, and migration.

Residing in an area that forms a natural border for the countries of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, the surface area of the lake has gone from 25,000 square kilometers in 1960 to just 2,500 today, according to the Chadian government, which will be hosting the 8th World Forum for Sustainable Development in October with a theme of “Saving Lake Chad.”

Canadian Parliament Member Glen Pearson, who has been working to help Sudanese refugees since 1998, has been calling for climate change mitigation to prevent a large humanitarian catastrophe in the Lake Chad and other African regions.

With the support of the Canadian government, Mr. Pearson was among the first to assist the refugees emerging from the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, another region afflicted by water shortage, adopting three Sudanese orphans.

Glen Pearson – Canadian Member of Parliament, humanitarian, vegetarian (M): The people who are coming out of Darfur into the area in which we work, they're not complaining so much about the political situation. They complain that they can't find water. Lake Chad has dried up.

Just since we’ve started going there in 1998, the wells are now about six feet lower than they were before. Much of that water is polluted now, because the cattle come into the rivers. The rains are coming far later.

VOICE: According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), half of Lake Chad's shrinkage is due to climate change, and the other half by agricultural abuses including livestock overgrazing and unsustainable irrigation. With acute hunger already a serious problem in Chad and Niger, Mr. Pearson, a caring vegetarian, cautioned that the possibility of hundreds of millions of environmental refugees in Africa and beyond must be prevented through efforts to stop climate change, with the United Nations also urging better water management.

Glen Pearson (M): Not just in Africa but in Asia, over 200 million people will be traveling, moving. They are not going to know where the borders are. It doesn’t matter if I help them catch rain off of the roof, if, on the other hand, I am polluting into my own country, when it’s the people in Africa who suffer from me doing it.

If I really believe in helping the people of Africa, I will stop pumping carbon into the air because that’s the place where it affects the most; because in the end, that climate change will produce 230 million refugees and I am really scared about that.

VOICE: We appreciate Member of Parliament Glen Pearson, Canada and United Nations agencies, for your concerned wish to assist the African people. We pray that through such concerted actions to alleviate global warming and stabilize the environment, precious waters like Lake Chad may be restored.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often reminded of the changes necessary for averting climate change and humanitarian crises, as in a September 2009 climate change videoconference in Peru.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Some countries and communities have to cope with worsened drought situations. Their rivers and lakes are drying up or completely gone. So how can we handle the mass migration of tens of millions of people all at once due to desertification, the rising sea levels or the permanent loss of crop fields?

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.

September 7, 2010

2010 is the hottest year on record so far

This year is already on track to being the hottest in recorded history, according to climate scientists at the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

With July temperatures being reported as the second highest in history, the months of March, April, May, and June were each reported as the highest ever on record.

David Easterling of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center also noted the unusual finding in June that land masses across the entire globe were warm.

Moreover, 17 countries, comprising 19% of the Earth’s total land area and including northern nations such as Finland and Russia, have set new records for the most oppressive heat.

This is the largest surface area of the planet to be experiencing such unprecedented temperatures in the same year. Remarking on these alarming numbers, Dr. Mark Serreze, Director of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center stated, “The point of the matter is that global warming has not stopped.”

Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), further warned that in such conditions, we should prepare for increased tropical storms, saying, “The last time it was this warm was when we had the record-breaking hurricane season that led to Katrina and Rita, and we ran out of alphabet (characters).

This year the temperatures in the Atlantic are higher than they were in 2005.” Thank you all researchers and scientists for your detailed efforts to factually document the climate changes of our planet.

We pray that we may stop this dangerous cycle with our every effort to shift towards sustainable living. During a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of such adverse global warming effects as temperature increases, highlighting at the same time an effective and swift way to reverse them.

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.

But the livestock, that is the number one source of global warming worldwide; and methane is the primary greenhouse gas generated by livestock.

So, I repeat: The number one source of global warming is from our consumption – killing of all the cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, eggs, dairy. 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.

Another good news about this simple dietary solution is that methane, as a greenhouse gas, also dissipates quickly from the atmosphere. So, eliminating livestock production as this major source of methane is thus one of the fastest ways to cool our planet.

Massive ice chunks separate from Tasman glacier

As up to 50 million tons of ice separated from the Tasman Glacier in southern New Zealand, around 20 icebergs suddenly appeared on the surface of Tasman Lake, located at the foot of the glacier. This was the biggest calving in the history of the lake, which formed around 1973 as a result of global warming.

Researcher Dr. Martin Brook, a lecturer in physical geography at Australia’s Massey University, has forecast along with Dr. Martin Kirkbride that the glacier would disappear within a couple of decades.

This is due in part to the existence of the lake, which speeds the melting of ice beneath the water’s surface. The scientists have also warned that calving events such as the one that just occurred could be dangerous due to potentially immense icebergs that could suddenly appear while tourist boats are traveling across the glacial lake.

Our appreciation, Drs. Brook, Kirkbride and associates, for your concerned alert about the quickly deteriorating state of the Tasman and other glaciers. We pray that such anomalies of nature are curbed through our striving to restore Earthly balance. As on previous occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke during a November 2009 videoconference in Washington, DC, USA about the urgently needed actions to halt the alarming melt of glaciers throughout the world.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Glaciers across the globe are shrinking more quickly than researchers ever expected, leaving rivers and lakes gone, disappearing or drying, with no water for crops and billions who face food shortages due to water shortages, as well.

You may ask, what is the main cause of this damage and destruction to the environment? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not the coal industry or cars or planes or trains or boats or ships.

It’s methane, which is produced primarily by the livestock industry. So, to solve this, we do need to move quickly, and be vegan. There is an advantage of time here, because one aspect of methane is that it dissipates in around 12 years’ time, whereas carbon dioxide, CO2, stays in the atmosphere for up to thousands of years.
So, we remove the livestock-generated methane, and the planet cools fast!

September 6, 2010

Noise pollution imperils tropical fish

A recent study by Dr. Steve Simpson and team from the United Kingdom’s University of Bristol working at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, has shown that noise pollution can influence the judgment of young fish, leading them away from the protection offered by their natural habitats.

The team built on previous findings that baby tropical fish born at sea are able to return to protective coral reefs based on sounds that are emitted from reef-dwelling organisms.

The scientists thus introduced one group of baby damselfish to natural reef sounds only and another to a combination of synthesized tones. Placing the fish the following day into tube-shaped tanks that offered a choice of direction, they observed that only the group with direct experience ofthe natural sounds swam toward the reef; the other group was actually repelled and would swim away.

Besides highlighting the grave danger to young fish, who might mistakenly follow a ship out to sea rather than traveling to where they could grow in safety, this study also clearly demonstrates the persistent memory of fish in recalling events from the day before.

Dr. Simpson’s team recommended more stringent laws to protect reef areas from noise as well as interim technologies such as “bubble curtains” in certain regions to create insulation from potentially dangerous sounds.

Many thanks Dr. Simpson and University of Bristol colleagues for these findings that highlight both the intelligence and sensitivity of our aquatic co-inhabitants.

May we act responsibly and with respect to protect their lives and the ecosystems that are vital to our own survival. Supreme Master Ching Hai has many times reminded of the unconditional love and necessary balance offered by our fellow beings in all corners of the Earth, as during the following August 2009 videoconference in Thailand.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The animals are truly noble, gentle beings, selfless, and in harmony with one another, the environment, and with Heaven. Their role has always been since time immemorial to bring love and blessing to the world with their pure presence. If we would only stop harming and torturing them and killing them, and give them a chance to fulfill their God-given mission, then our planet will be saved and will be kept in splendor.

They wait on the sidelines in full support of humans, for the day they can be our friends again, truly, not our victims. On that day of peacemaking between humans and animals, our eyes may begin to be opened to our co-inhabitants’ true magnificent roles on Earth.

September 5, 2010

Water scarcities emerge in Middle East, southwestern USA and northern Mexico

With a combination of over-use and growing climate change effects causing the Jordan River to dwindle to a trickle, people in Syria, Israel and Jordan are suffering as their governments debate water rights.

Residents of Jordan often have the resource available only twice a week. Director of environmental organization Friends of the Earth Middle East, Gidon Bromberg, stated, “The river's almost been destroyed because of the ...competition.”

Meanwhile, Lake Mead, which provides water to northern Mexico and the southwestern US states of Arizona, Nevada and California, has declined to 40% of capacity, the lowest since the reservoir was created in the 1930s.

Having just endured an 11-year drought, the lake dropped another 15 feet in the past five months. US scientist and Lake Mead expert Dr. Tim Barnett, who forecast two years ago that the giant reservoir could run dry by 2021, stated, "It's a clear warning." Our appreciation, Mr. Bromberg, Dr. Barnett and colleagues for your work in alerting us to alarming scarcity of water across the globe. Let us join in quickly adopting more conserving and considerate practices as we also strive for planet-cooling measures to reverse climate change.

During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master China Hai spoke with concern over such crises, highlighting the importance of more conscientious stewardship of our world’s limited resources.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We have over six billion people in this world and the sources of groundwater for wells, which supports half of our world population, are dying, drying up.

And the top ten global river systems, drying or ebbing away. And three billion people are short of water. How many more, I don’t know, how many more of suffering people are we waiting before we take action?

Please do it now! 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. Very simple. Just be veg.

September 3, 2010

Global spread of dengue linked to climate change

With warming temperatures extending the northward range of tropical organisms, World Health Organization experts have also been forecasting the spread of disease such as mosquito-borne dengue fever, saying that some 2.5 billion people are currently at risk.

This severely painful disease is characterized by high fever, headaches and muscle and joint pains, and can be fatal. There is currently no vaccination or effective treatment that offers a cure.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health has reported a 48% increase in dengue cases this year, which now total nearly 41,000, with 328 fatalities. Cases now exceed 35,000 in Sri Lanka, and the government has warned that the entire population could become affected.

In Thailand, 45,000 people have been diagnosed, with 43 fatalities, leading the government to recommend that youth avoid black leggings, stating the mosquitoes carrying dengue are more attracted to dark clothing. The incidence in Yemen is currently so high that it is being called an epidemic, with the disease having spread to 100,000 people, causing over 200 deaths.

And with some 60,000 confirmed illnesses on the small French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, the epidemic there now affects around 4000 persons per week on each island.

Meanwhile, scientists such as Dr. Franco G. Teves in the Philippines are evaluating whether the actual life cycle of the dengue-carrying mosquito is changing as temperatures continue to rise.

He stated, "We are trying to substantiate whether temperature increase hastens the completion of the mosquito’s life cycle, leading to a … population explosion."

Our appreciation, Dr. Teves, World Health Organization and scientists around the world for these findings that raise the alert to the accelerating risk of dengue fever.

We are deeply saddened to know of the suffering endured by so many and pray that everyone quickly joins in planet-cooling actions to reverse climate change and protect all lives.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often reminded of acting preventively to address the imbalances of global warming, as in the following March 2009 videoconference in California, USA.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: How can we take measures to protect, not from rising sea levels, but also all the similar consequences of global warming? See?

When the sea level rises, there will be more mosquitoes and diseases.

Being vegan is our top priority because this provides the most immediate cooling through actions that can be taken by individuals because we are a big group on the planet, you see. Carbon removal is also good and acts fairly quickly, but being veg is something that every single person in the world can do and immediately.

Award-winning film shows the world’s oceans overwhelmed by plastic

French documentary "The Mermaids´ Tears: Oceans of Plastic" takes the viewer into the "plastic soup" that our global seas have become. In particular, the film focuses on the pollution that is affecting countless marine animals.

In the Netherlands, for example, scientists who were looking into the decline of the nation’s fulmar bird discovered plastic in 95% of the deceased birds’ stomachs, while in California, USA, dolphins and whales have been found to have died in extreme agony, with their digestive tracts completely blocked by plastic debris.

The phrase "mermaid tears" refers to the small pellets of plastic resembling fish eggs or even smaller that have been spilled in the transport of raw plastic materials, or have been broken down as granules of waste over the years.

With every square kilometer of ocean now containing an average of 74,000 pieces of plastic, these so-called mermaid’s tears are nearly impossible to clean up.

Directed by Sandrine Fevdel of France, the film’s thoughtful look at the destructive effects of plastic pollution has earned it numerous awards, including Best Environmental Film at the Prague Festival and the Greek Public Television Broadcasting Award at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2010.

Our heartfelt thanks, Ms. Feydel for this documentary, which makes clear the plight of marine animals in the face of human contamination of the oceans. May we all move rapidly to reverse these harmful effects and restore the health of our planet and oceans.

Ever-concerned for the balance of life on Earth, Supreme Master Ching Hai has often spoken of ways that humanity can show more care for the beings that depend on our actions for their survival, as during a May 2008 videoconference in South Korea.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: In many places there are already bans on the use of plastic bags. So I think that’s a very good start, and maybe we should impose a little stricter ban on these harmful substances.

Maybe we can use a carton instead, something more disposable, something more eco-friendly. And then we have to change.

The root of the problem is the cause of global warming, and that root is our unkindness to our co-inhabitants.

So, in order to solve the problem that we are facing right now, we have to reverse our actions. We have to be kind to our co-inhabitants. Instead of killing them, massacring them, sacrificing them, we have to take care of them.

Just become vegetarian, refuse all the animal products, then nobody will raise animals anymore, nobody will kill them anymore. Then we stop the physical harmful effect of animal stock raising.

September 2, 2010

China’s top scientists note increasing extreme weather due to global warming

In a recent statement, Mr. Ren Fumin, chief instructor of the China Meteorological Administration, cited climate change as the reason for such extreme weather this year across the country, saying that the relentless rainstorms and hot temperatures were due to increased heat and its abnormal circulation over the northern hemisphere.

Other scientists, such as Dr. Zong Yongqiang of the University of Hong Kong, agree that the region’s overall temperature rise is part of human-caused global warming.

Zong Yongqiang - Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Hong Kong (M): In the last few thousand years, the global climate actually has been cooling, so temperature has been falling, particularly on the northern hemisphere, China or East Asia included.

But if you look at the climate record in the last 200 years, this falling trend actually has been reversed. So in the last 200 years, we saw the temperature was rising. So that basically changed the long-term climate trajectory, which is very, very strong evidence for the sort of argument that recent climate warming is due to human-made impact.

VOICE: China has recorded nearly two full days of additional hot weather than previous years on average, while satellite-monitoring data on July 25 showed that the surface temperature in some regions of Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang provinces had reached a sweltering 45 degrees Celsius.

Moreover, since March, storms and floods across 28 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have claimed nearly 1,000 lives with hundreds of people still missing.

According to the most recent information released by the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, the total economic loss is estimated at US$27 billion.

Dr. Zong Yongqiang (M): The climate warming in the last 10, 20 years has significantly changed the weather patterns in China. We’ve seen more and more warm winters. We also recorded quite a lot of really hot summers, and summer is much warmer. This is noticeable I think, to most Chinese people in the last 20 years. Such changes have caused lots of problems, including increased snowfall in the last two years.

VOICE: We thank Mr. Ren Fumin and Dr. Zong Yongqiang for sharing their expert knowledge on the current effects of global warming. With sorrow for the suffering caused by such extreme weather patterns, we pray that citizens everywhere will join hands to protect our planet from further calamities through our caring lifestyle choices.

During an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed as on many previous occasions the urgency of global warming as well the fastest way to reverse its life-threatening impacts.

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.