June 30, 2011

Replacing deforested areas not effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

A study released on June 19, 2011 by Canadian researchers states that although tree planting to replace deforested areas has environmental benefits, it is not effective in cooling global temperatures and should not be considered a substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Sources:
PhysOrg
France24.com

Study finds highest sea level rise on US Atlantic coast In last 2000 years

A study published in the June 2011 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that the sea level is currently rising along the US Atlantic coast faster than at any time in the past 2,000 years due to increasing global temperatures caused by climate change.

Sources:
UPI
Boston.com
Philly.com
Techie Buzz
USA Today

June 29, 2011

Texas, USA is enduring its worst drought since record-keeping began

Water management officials warn that as of mid-June 2011 Texas, USA is enduring its worst drought since record-keeping began 116 years ago, while farmers in the state of Georgia, also afflicted by extreme lack of rain, are seeing corn and cotton crops dry up.

Sources:
WSBTV
Southeast Farm Press
Bloomberg
MSNBC

Afternoon work ban raises UAE standing globally

To help safeguard from exposure to extreme heat, the United Arab Emirates from June 15 through mid-September prohibits working between the hours of 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM, advising rest during that time as employers are also encouraged to provide shades, cold water and other amenities to protect employees.

Sources:
WAM.org
Khaleej Times

Rain not enough to stave off drought in central and eastern England

Despite recent rainfall, the British Environment Agency reports that central and eastern England received less than half of their usual average precipitation as of mid-June 2011, with this year's drought effects not yet reversed.

Sources:
Guardian
Cambs Times

China expands the ban on plastic bags

To further reduce pollution, the government of China expands the ban on plastic bags at the beginning of June 2011 to now include bookstores and pharmacies, saying that ban since 2008 for most merchants has prevented 600,000 tons of plastic waste.

Sources:
China Daily
EastDay
Gulf News
The Standard

June 28, 2011

Israel seeks to stabilize the Dead Sea

As part of a larger campaign to have the remarkable water body and surrounding region containing the lowest point on Earth declared as one of the natural wonders of the world, the Israeli government is also seeking to protect tourism near the Sea.

However, the rising waters of the Sea's southern basins are threatening to submerge buildings such as hotels within five to ten years.

These water levels, which are currently increasing at a rate of 20 centimeters a year, are caused by displacement, as millions of tons of salt are left behind on the Sea floor by ongoing mineral extraction industries.

Leading Israeli environmentalist, Dr. Alon Tal, (NFT: PhD) has proposed a solution of moving the submerged salts to the northern side of the Sea, which is drying.

The resulting displacement in the northern basin would have the desired effect of raising waters there, while also preventing flooding on the southern side.

Our thanks, Dr. Tal and Israeli government, for your efforts to find a solution that maintains the renowned Dead Sea. May sustainable, Earth-protecting practices be adopted everywhere to conserve our precious natural world.

Sources:
Newser
The National
South Jerusalem

Pollution-caused algal bloom in China

Officials in China report on Wednesday, June 15 that a pollution-caused algal bloom at least 130 square kilometers in size is floating towards the nation's east coast, raising alarm for marine life as it removes all oxygen from the waters as well as driving away people due to its overwhelming odor when it reaches the shore.

Sources:
Asia One
China Daily

Blackpool Shale Gas drilling suspended for public safety after earthquake

Shale gas drilling, or fracking, which applies high pressure and shatters underground rocks to release gas as a source of energy, was suspended for public safety at the beginning of June in Lancashire, UK following the detection of a second earthquake in two months.

Sources:
BBC

June 24, 2011

Small-scale farmers in Mali face uneven rainfall, rising food costs

Small-scale farmers in Mali, Africa, report concerns about adequate rain to grow their crops this year, as fluctuating precipitation in recent years has brought either too little or too much rain at once, damaging harvests and causing food shortages, which in turn has raised prices.

Sources:
Trust.org

Climate change conference held in Germany

Official preparatory talks for the upcoming United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, being hosted this week in the city of Bonn, are being attended by delegates from more than 190 nations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Among the presenters were top UN climate official Christiana Figueres, who announced support for less developed countries and small island nations, which are demanding that accords include terms designating average global warming temperature increases of 1.5 degrees Celsius or less, to protect those most vulnerable to climate change.

Her statements coincided with another report's findings that excessive CO2 emissions in 2010 may make such limits impossible. However, a report released on Tuesday by leading atmospheric scientists in the UN Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization suggested that a focus on reducing shorter-lived climate forcers could effectively mitigate the rapidly warming climate.

According to their findings, reductions specifically of methane, black carbon and ozone offer the best chance for limiting near- and medium-term temperature increases, while significantly increasing the chances of keeping global average temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius because they dissipate out of the atmosphere so quickly.

The report goes on to identify livestock as a significant source of methane, which is a precursor to ozone, with livestock manure being a major cause of black carbon emissions through the burning of the biomass.

Our appreciation, United Nations and all participating dignitaries and scientists for your concerned efforts to help resolve the dire predicament we are facing through climate change. May we all join in actions that preserve life on our beautiful Mother Earth.

Sources:
France 24
Guardian
EcoPolity
UNFCCC
UNEP

The US National Interagency Fire Center raises concern at the number of wildfires in the US

In a June 13 news report, the US National Interagency Fire Center raises concern at the number of wildfires in the US, saying that over 4.1 million acres have burned already so far this year, more than the total for all of 2010 and more at this time of year than in any year in the last decade.

Sources:
CS Monitor
NY Times
KTAR

June 21, 2011

Colorada River driest in a century

With the last 11 years being the driest in a century for the Colorado River in the USA, representatives from the seven US states whose 30 million people depend on water from the river come together to release an interim June 2011 report that evaluates the shared impact of further climate change effects.

Sources:
Durango Herald
Mercury News

Rising temperatures could jeopardize winter roads built over frozen lakes and land across eight countries that contain Arctic regions

In a study published at the end of May 2011, US researchers find that rising temperatures could jeopardize winter roads built over frozen lakes and land across eight countries that contain Arctic regions, affecting both trade and travel as entire sections melt and are rendered impassable.

Sources:
Vancouver Sun
Ottawa Citizen

Greenland lose three largest glaciers

Scientists working in Greenland find that accelerated melt in the past decade due to global warming has caused one of the region's three largest glaciers to lose the equivalent of 11 years' normal snow accumulation, or approximately 300 billion tons of ice.

Sources:
PhysOrg

June 20, 2011

Himalayan Glaciers Continue to Melt Rapidly: Pachauri

Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warns that the Himalayan glaciers continue to melt very rapidly, with little being done by governments to address this area of vital concern to millions.

Sources:
Daiji World

Mattel to investigate toy packaging sources after Greenpeace alleges deforestation link

In response to the latest efforts of an ongoing campaign by international eco-organization Greenpeace to protect the dwindling Indonesian rainforest and her inhabitants, the world's biggest toy maker, Mattel, promises to stop obtaining goods from one supplier known to be engaged in destructive practices such as large-scale clear cutting.

At the same time, Greenpeace officials say that this is not going far enough as they urge for the company to implement a comprehensive policy that prohibits materials derived from deforestation.

With Indonesia's rain forest being the third-largest in the world after the Amazon and the Congo, groups such as the Indonesian wildlife conservation society ProFauna Indonesia warn that some 70% the nation's 40 primate species are on the brink of extinction due to destruction of their habitat caused by deforestation and illegal trade.

Our heartfelt appreciation and salute, Greenpeace, ProFauna Indonesia and other advocates for your tireless endeavors to preserve the environment and precious co-inhabitants.

May increased awareness bring action from more and more people to honor the balance of all life on Earth.

Sources:
LA Times Blog
Mongabay
ABC
YouTube

June 19, 2011

Average global cereal costs increased by 71% this year due to Europe's prolonged lack of rain

Average global cereal costs increased by 71% this year due to Europe's prolonged lack of rain, with continued drought raising concern for even higher food prices, potentially bringing further unrest to developing nations.

Sources:
News.com
Guardian

June 16, 2011

Heat wave persists in northern India

As a heat wave persists in northern India, above-normal temperatures continue in the capital New Delhi, with extreme highs of 48.2 degrees Celsius in other cities like Barmer affecting both tourism and already scarce water supplies.

Sources:
Samay Live
Times of India
IBN Live

June 15, 2011

Peaceful energy begets peace

During a videoconference on June 4 at the Expo Ser holistic health event in Mexico’s World Trade Center, invited guest speaker Supreme Master Ching Hai lauded the government for its green endeavors while encouraging all in the world to adopt the organic vegan solution for halting climate change.

During a question and answer session, one Expo participant spoke about Supreme Master Ching Hai’s book, “From Crisis to Peace: The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer,” asking how peace is related to the organic vegan diet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: At the core of the way to peace is the organic vegan diet because the organic vegan diet is the diet of peace. On the contrary, the animal diet is a diet of violence.

This is truly a war, war on animals, with complete imprisonment, torture, executions with knives and guns and explosives even, extremely high financial and health costs for people as well, and destruction of all kinds, such as psychological damage and environmental devastation, and soon maybe the destruction of the whole planet.

If we continue to generate non-peaceful energy – be it through war between humans or war on animals, we will not beget peace. Because like begets like. Only peace energy will beget peace for our planet.

Everyone should be informed and adopt the organic vegan diet, a diet that saves lives, a diet of peace.

VOICE: Our thanks, Expo Ser, for this forum to raise awareness about the health of ourselves and the planet. We also appreciate Supreme Master Ching Hai for sharing her time and spiritual knowledge in this crucial period. May the day come soon that everyone's adoption of the gentle organic vegan lifestyle begets lasting peace on Earth.

Please tune in to Supreme Master Television for the full re-broadcast of this live videoconference at a later date on Words of Wisdom, with multi-language subtitles.

June 14, 2011

New study indicates carbon release to atmosphere ten times faster than in the past

Scientists in Norway gathering rock core data confirm that carbon today is being released into the atmosphere 10 times faster than a period of high temperatures 55 million years ago, as they note that the current rate may be faster than ecosystems can adapt.

Sources:
PhysOrg
USA Today

Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai at Mexico’s Expo Ser

On Saturday, June 4, Supreme Master Ching Hai graciously agreed to speak to health- and spiritually-oriented participants via videoconference at the Expo Ser in Mexico City, Mexico on the theme, “From Crisis to Peace: The Universe Is Blessing Us.”

Supreme Master Ching Hai had been invited as an honored guest to this live-broadcast discussion by Expo Ser founder Ms. Marylou Figueroa, who had wished more people could know about her hopeful message regarding humanity and the planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Now, the good news is that the Mexican government is making a lot, a lot of efforts to go green. Make green cities, green villages, planting more trees, reforestation, etc., etc.

Bravo, Mexico! Bravo. But of course this is not all, because we have an urgent danger facing us. We still have to solve the problem of climate change more at its root.

Also, we still have to address food security, which is becoming an increasingly urgent matter for human survival. Just this one change, simple small change, changing our diet to an organic vegan diet.

This will help all the governments of the world to afford climate change mitigation and preserve biodiversity. Normally we would include vegetables in our food anyway.

So we just change a portion of our food daily, then we can save the world, for us and for future generations. What is the use for us to satisfy our taste right now with meat when we know for certain that, in the future, our children will go hungry, our world will collapse?

However tasty the meat is, we have to consider this option and change it, so that the world can continue to survive and thrive in abundance and happiness and health.


VOICE: With appreciation to Ms. Figueroa and Expo Ser for this beneficial event, we also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for offering her precious time and energy to share vital and encouraging messages for the public. May we take to heart this relevant information and adopt the organic vegan lifestyle now to ensure the survival of our planet and all generations.

Please tune in to Supreme Master Television for the full re-broadcast of this live videoconference at a later date on Words of Wisdom, with multi-language subtitles.

June 13, 2011

Isro satellite images reveals 75% of Himalayan glaciers are disappearing

A detailed study of Indian Space Research Organization satellite images reveals that 75% of Himalayan glaciers are disappearing, with average retreats of 3.75 kilometers during the 15 years analyzed, raising concerns about the future of Asia’s water supply.

Sources:
India Times
Zee News

World's largest solar-powered boat visits Brisbane, Australia

On a quest to become the first fully solar-powered vessel to circumnavigate the globe, the sun-propelled Türanor PlanetSolar successfully crosses the Pacific Ocean from the Panama Canal to reach the halfway milestone of Brisbane, Australia.

Sources:
CNTV
Courier Mail

June 12, 2011

US scientists warn of an above-normal hurricane season

As US scientists warn of an above-normal hurricane season this summer, with a higher number and more severe storms, US president Barack Obama urges the country toward increased emergency preparedness measures for greater public safety and resiliency.

Sources:
Compass Cayman
New York Times
Xin Hua News

Rivers in the UK fall to lowest levels recorded

With three-quarters of the rivers in the UK below normal levels, and nearly one in four now categorized as "exceptionally low,” the Telegraph reports that fragile ecosystems including cherished wildlife such as otters and kingfishers could suffer long-term damage.

Sources:
The Telegraph

Parching droughts impact lives in Kenya and China

Declaring a national disaster due to the hardships imposed by the dry conditions, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has asked for immediate steps to help those affected.
In meetings with the nation's legislators and Cabinet ministers, the president asked for the speeding of operations such as grain imports in an effort to relieve the suffering of affected citizens.

In China, where persistent drought has brought the Yangtze River to its lowest levels in half a century, poor harvests have caused staple food prices to rise steeply across 50 cities, some by as much as 16% in just a week.

This has left millions unable to purchase basic food items. Meanwhile, many more are lacking adequate access to drinking water as large sections of major lakes have quickly dried up, including Honghu Lake in Hubei province, Dongting Lake in Hunan province and Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province.

We are saddened to know of the hardships of the diligent Kenyan and Chinese people, and we pray for the restorative blessing of rain. May such suffering soon be eased as we join in more caring actions for our planet to once again thrive.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Some countries and communities have to cope with worsened drought situations. There is not enough water to raise crops or even to drink.
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.

The warming atmosphere, water shortage, food scarcity, desertification – we can quickly eliminate by stopping meat production. Stop it now, no further!

Sources:
Bloomberg
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
Straits Times Link 1
Straits Times Link 2
UPI
Xin Hua News
Reuters

June 9, 2011

20 former world leaders warn of an imminent global water crisis

At a meeting of the InterAction Council in Quebec City, Canada, 20 former world leaders warn of an imminent global water crisis as they call for a new international water ethic and agree to establish a panel to assist with this vital shortage concern.

Sources:
EurekAlert!
France 24

Save the seas, shun coral items

To help protect the regions' unique biodiversity, the Philippine government calls for an international boycott on the purchase of products such as jewelry made from illegally harvested black coral.

Sources:
Manila Times

Australian scientists call for koalas

Australian scientists call for koalas to be declared an endangered species, noting that their habitat has decreased by 80% in some places over the past 10 to 15 years, with climate change increasing their vulnerability.

Sources:
New Zealand Herald
An Hour Ago USA
PhysOrg
University of Sydney

The state of Orissa in India launches a climate change action plan

The state of Orissa in India launches a climate change action plan to help decrease carbon emissions while increasing environmental protection and alleviating the effects of global warming.

Sources:
The Telegraph India
Business Standard

Tons of fish found dead in Philippines

Over 800 metric tons of milkfish and tilapia on fish farms have been discovered suddenly perished in the waters of five towns across Batangas province. Officials have banned the sale of the dead rotting fish, which are being cleared from the lakes and buried by the truck loads.

Investigation by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reveals that the fish suffocated from lack of oxygen, brought on by climate change-related extremes of a scorching summer followed by a sudden drop in temperatures at the onset of the rainy season.

Other factors include deteriorating water quality due to pollutants. DENR Secretary Ramon Paje stated that the farmed fish are also kept in cages so crowded that they obstruct water flow, as he urged for better regulations. Measurements on May 30 found that the waters' oxygen levels were still depleted at 3.71 parts per million compared to a norm of 6 parts per million.

We are deeply saddened at this tragic loss of aquatic life, which is surely sending a clear signal about the condition of our planet. Let us act quickly in respect toward the fish and all beings to restore their rightful existence and the balance of our Earthly home.

Sources:
Boston.com
PhilStar
ABS CBN News
IB Times San Francisco

June 6, 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) focuses on climate change

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) announces plans to allocate US$430,000 for a study of climate change effects as well as to implement actions that will help ensure sustainable agricultural production and national food security.

Sources:
VOV News

Seven carpathian states adopt an international agreement for protecting primeval European forests

As the United Nations marks the International Year of Forests, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine sign a convention to protect old growth forests across their shared Carpathian Mountains region.

Sources:
United Nations Information Service
World Wildlife Fund

June 5, 2011

Ten million Chinese suffer severe drought

As one of the most recent areas to be afflicted by drought, Hubei province officials in China report 50% less rainfall so far this year, with over 100,000 hectares of crops lost or endangered and nearly ten million people affected.

Sources:
RT
Financial Times
The Globe & Mail

Yangtze River experiencing worst drought in years

With official statistics indicating that rainfall in the Yangtze River basin has been reduced by up to 70%, water levels in China’s longest river continue to decline.

Nearly 100 million hectares of land have been affected along with 5 million people who are in need of drinking water. The Henggang region in Guangdong province was noted to be at its lowest level in history, while dangerously low levels in a dolphin preservation area in Hubei province has already trapped the vulnerable finless dolphins during their sensitive calving season, with the aquatic mammal's survival now threatened.

Maritime officials are meanwhile issuing updates about the river's navigability by ships with closures in some sections following daily river inspections.

The drought conditions upriver have also shrunk Poyang Lake in South China's Jiangxi Province to just one tenth its usual size, and rice farmers report that despite recent rainfall, the land is so dry that they are still unable to transplant seedlings.

We are saddened by the drought's devastating effects as we pray for the relief of gentle rain. May our steps be swift toward more conscientious care of the environment to help restore planetary balance for all beings.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Tens of thousands of lakes and rivers throughout the world are drying out now due to global warming and glaciers melting. It is thus only a matter of time Knowing this, it would be best if we adopt the lifestyle that will restore the stability of our environment and benefit all beings in the world, which surely is the compassionate way of life, beginning with a vegan diet – no animal products.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/TOE61402P.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/05/tibet-warming-china
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/video/2011-05/23/c_13889201.htm
http://english.cntv.cn/program/newshour/20110522/102953.shtml
http://www.maplandia.com/china/guangdong/lianping/henggang/

June 3, 2011

EU urges governments to let city soils breathe

A new European Commission report describes the soil degradation and increased flood risks that come from covering the earth with materials like concrete and asphalt, with suggestions for improved design and systems like green roofs that encourage soil permeability.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2073311/eu-urges-governments-city-soils-breath

New British climate change agreement

British cabinet ministers agree on a climate change agreement that prioritizes emission reductions in the next two decades, with significant changes expected as the country becomes the first to commit to legally binding goals past 2020.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2071015/historic-climate-change-deal-legal-powers-agreed-cabinet

Sea level rising in Australia

With an eight-millimeter sea level rise since the 1990s already being observed along Australia's west and far northern coasts, scientists state that further rises combined with erosion will cause coastlines to retreat 100 meters inland by the end of this century.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/wa-beaches-parks-to-disappear-by-2100-20110523-1f0ks.html
http://www.stawelltimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/wa-beaches-parks-to-disappear-by-2100/2172748.aspx

Eight countries adopt pledge to protect elephants

Delegates from eight countries with the highest numbers of elephants - Botswana, Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand - meet for the first time in India to find ways to halt declining populations and to better protect these vital, gentle giants.

http://www.france24.com/en/20110524-elephant-countries-form-e-8-conservation-group
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/24/ap/asia/main20065752.shtml

Pakistan accepts the first draft of national climate policy

Pakistan’s Ministry of the Environment accepts the first draft of a National Climate Change Policy containing 120 measures for global warming mitigation and adaptation, which is being forwarded to the federal Cabinet for approval.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/pakistan-approves-first-draft-of-national-climate-policy/
http://www.scidev.net/en/news/pakistan-s-climate-change-policy-up-for-cabinet-nod.html

June 1, 2011

Farmers in Texas, USA struggle to cope with the worst drought

Farmers in Texas, USA struggle to cope with the worst drought in the region since the 1930s, with more than 82% of the state affected by extreme drought and 75% of this year's wheat crop yields rated as poor or very poor.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-na-drought-texas-20110522,0,6424886.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+
latimes%2Fnews%2Fscience+%28L.A.+Times+-+Science%29

http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2011/may/21/drought-slams-farmers-with-woes/
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-drought-texas-20110522,0,675045.story

Significant droughts are affecting crops and food security for millions

In China's Hubei, Gansu, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces, as well as parts of the European Union and several south-central states in the USA, significant droughts are affecting crops and food security for millions.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/19/businesspro-us-eu-drought-idUSTRE74I22V20110519
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-20/expanded-drought-threatens-kansas-wheat-crop-climatologist-says.html
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43107859/ns/business-consumer_news/
http://www.iol.co.za/business/markets/commodities/drought-in-eu-us-stressing-crops-1.1071796

UK commits to climate change package

British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has revealed a plan for reducing the country's CO2 emissions 50% from 1990 levels by 2025 as well as changing energy sources.

The United Kingdom would thus become the first country to commit to legally-binding emissions-reduction goals beyond 2020. Secretary Huhne emphasized the plan's economic as well as ecological benefits as he stated, "It will generate jobs and export opportunities ... maintain energy security and protect our economy from oil price volatility. It's a framework... not just for action on climate but for growth and prosperity."

We applaud your eco-leadership, Your Excellency and United Kingdom. May such green initiatives encourage many others toward ones of similar benefit for our planet and all her inhabitants.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13417997