Parallel to the main negotiations of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, non-governmental groups, scientists and others have been working to bring the newest information on certain aspects of global warming, such as marine ecosystem impact, to the participants' attention.
Supreme Master Television reports from the summit location in Durban, South Africa. Correspondent (F): As the COP 17 negotiations come to a close here in Durban, members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association have continued to raise awareness about the effective organic vegan diet solution to climate change.
Many of the summit participants have received SOS bags containing literature and DVDs to help inform their decision making. Over 700 bags were distributed in cooperation with 11 hotels, all of whom agreed to help deliver the bags to their guests attending the conference.
Also in Durban this past week, the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands held an event to raise awareness on the urgent need to address the state of the world’s oceans as part of the climate equation.
Ben Ngubane – Board Chair, South African Broadcasting Corporation (M): We always think of rainforests as the main source of carbon sinks, but the ocean is an even bigger sink.
Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright – Assistant Director-General, UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (F): However, what’s happening with this absorption of carbon dioxide is #1, the ocean is becoming saturated, and #2, the ocean is becoming more acid. This has an enormous impact.
Dr. Carol Turley – Senior Scientist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK (F): Sixty-five million years ago, there was a big carbon perturbation then, and the oceans became more acidic, they became warmer, they had less oxygen. Many, many species on Earth became extinct, including the dinosaurs. And we’re kind of going through something that’s even more rapid now.
Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright (F): The number of dead zones has increased tremendously even in the past few decades from 40 a number of years ago, and it’s up I believe globally over 500 dead zones.
Nick Nuttal – Spokesperson, United Nations Environment Program (M): This is in fact due to the discharge of fertilizer, sewage and animal wastes down the river systems.
Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright (F): The ocean is the lungs of the planet. It is also the heart of the planet, because it pumps the water around and it gives us our atmosphere, it gives us our weather, our climate.
Dr. Carol Turley (F): No, we won’t survive without the oceans.
Correspondent (F): Meanwhile, Supreme Master Television has spoken with many leading participants from governments, groups, and media who shared their thoughts about the necessity of eliminating animal product consumption, including meat and fish.
Dr. Ricardo Navarro – Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology (M): Among all the things that humans do, probably the one that has more impact is the way we eat.
Foster Dongozi – Secretary-General, Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (M): It’s best for the climate to go vegetarian. The consumption of animal products is one of the major contributors to global warming and climate change.
Mia MacDonald – Executive Director, Brighter Green; Senior fellow of Worldwatch Institute; vegetarian (F): Governments can certainly encourage people to eat a plant-based diet. It’s a natural state for many, many countries. So it shouldn’t be radical to say, Look, by and large, eat a plant-based diet, for human health, for the environment, for the climate. And to be more public about that.
Correspondent (F): Reporting from Durban, South Africa for Supreme Master Television.
VOICE: Our appreciation, all governments, organizations, scientists and activists working to understand and solve the crisis of our oceans and planet. May leaders and individuals like be compelled toward all efforts necessary to save the precious ecosphere that is essential for all beings' survival. As during an October 2009 videoconference
in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently addressed the need to restore the balance of both marine environments and the Earth.