November 23, 2011

Arctic natives bear witness to climate change

A recent study by the US Geological Survey (USGS) affirms that the “traditional knowledge" of Alaska, USA native communities and scientific data are in agreement, and that climate change is altering both landscapes and lives.

The researchers interviewed elders from among the Yup'ik Eskimos, all of whom affirmed the climate-related changes that they have seen in their lives, noting especially warmer winters and less snow.

The elders also reported that familiar bird species like ptarmigan and ducks have disappeared, while moose and beaver are now seen further north in new ranges of habitat.

The Yup'ik Eskimos also say that travel has become more difficult and dangerous, because the once-frozen rivers that served as winter highways linking communities no longer freeze reliably.

The USGS researchers were also able to match these observations with scientific data, saying that Arctic temperatures are now at a 400-year high, with this being a cause for deep concern since warming by even a few degrees can completely alter the landscape in the region.

Similarly, Arctic regions of Canada are also experiencing dramatic land changes, as described by Canadian resident and researcher Caroline Halde of the Organic Agriculture Center of Canada at the University of Manitoba.

Caroline Halde, M.Sc. – Organic farming and soil scientist, University of Manitoba, Canada (F): Now we’re experiencing in the northern territories of our country, that the snow is really melting fast, so the soil is really releasing a lot of greenhouse gases, because it's melting.

The soil was usually frozen all year long, but now during the summer, it's melting, so the houses and buildings are kind of moving and cracking.

VOICE: When asked about the most effective way to address this predicament, Caroline Halde commented on the vegan solution to curbing global warming.

Caroline Halde (F): Most of the scientific studies have shown that really if you switch your diet from eating meat to a vegan diet, and just at the farm level also, then you decrease the greenhouse gases that you’re producing, and also it's just more efficient to eat grain than eating meat, it’s proven and documented in the scientific literatures. So, Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

VOICE: We are grateful, Alaskan indigenous elders, Ms. Carolyn Halde and US Geological Survey scientists, for these first-hand observations of the imbalances being caused by Arctic warming. May humanity heed such messages and act together now to protect our planetary home.

During a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea, Supreme Master Ching Hai discussed the priority effort required to stop the threats of climate change in the Arctic and the whole globe.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: As you saw for yourself how quickly the North Pole is melting – it’s at least twice as fast as the rest of the globe. First, we have to survive. We cut down the number one cause of global warming.

We have to eliminate animal products because we want to save the planet. No animal products means having the planet. And even a heavenly world we will have because being veg changes everything drastically.

With temperatures stabilized, ecosystems balanced, animals thriving in peace, one of the results is that the ice in the Arctic will be restored, and quickly, along with the repairing of nature in every corner of the planet.

Sources: PhysOrg, Organic AG Centre

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