September 30, 2011

Massive floods in Thailand, Cambodia threaten both health and food security

Flooding since mid-July 2011 in Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporter, has submerged two million acres of farmland as of the end of September 2011, while floods in neighboring Cambodia have left 407,000 acres of rice under water, raising concerns for both health and food security.

Sources: Trust.org, IBN Live

Study estimates up to 320,000 seabirds globally die each year due to fishing

A study presented at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Scotland, UK on Sep 27, 2011 estimates that up to 320,000 seabirds globally die each year as they are caught in lines off fishing boats, with some albatross, petrel and shearwater species nearing extinction.

Sources: Guardian, Int-Res, Herald Scotland

Student creates house-hold sized solar powered water desalination system

Using primarily recycled materials, Aulacese (Vietnamese) university students Nguyễn Ngọc Anh and Phạm Duy Linh create a household-sized water desalination system powered by sunlight that has won a top university prize, which is designed to provide sufficient fresh water for daily use.

Sources: VOV Online, Vietnam Plus, Group Travel Vietnam

September 29, 2011

Greenpeace calls on the Indonesian government to stop deforestation

On September 26, 2011, environmental organization Greenpeace calls on the Indonesian government to halt the devastating loss to clear-cutting of one million hectares of forest every year, to save the remaining habitat of an estimated 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.

Sources: China.org, Philstar, GreenPeace

Rare plaited door snail rediscovered for the first time in 110 years

Fife Nature Records Center in Scotland announced on September 23, 2011 that the tiny and rare land animal known as the plaited door snail, with a unique shell containing up to 11 spirals, or whorls, has been rediscovered for the first time in 110 years.

Sources: Uksafari, BBC

September 28, 2011

950,000 trees could succumb due to this year’s flooding along the Missouri River

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources stated on September 20, 2011 that 950,000 trees could eventually succumb, due to oxygen deprivation of their root systems during this year’s flooding along the Missouri River, with soil erosion from the loss of the trees also increasing vulnerability to future floods.

Sources: KETV, Eco in the Know

More conservation efforts needed in Britain as populations of animals continue to drop

In the 2011 State of Britain’s Mammals, published on September 25, 2011, experts at Oxford University report that more conservation efforts are needed as populations of animals such as hedgehogs continue to drop, while red squirrels have become nearly extinct.

Sources: BBC, Independent

Protests against opening the Delaware River to the process of 'Fracking' for natural gas

CNN reports on September 20, 2011 that protesters gathered in Pennsylvania, USA, calling for a moratorium on opening the Delaware River region to the process of hydraulic fracturing for extracting natural gas, saying that its toxic chemicals pollute underground water sources, causing illnesses, gas leaks and even igniting tap water.

Source: CNN

3 million people face hunger in Afghanistan due to year-long drought

On September 20, 2011, British aid agency OXFAM stated that 3 million people face hunger in Afghanistan due to a year-long drought as it called on donors to be able to deliver food and water before winter conditions prohibit travel.

Sources: Relief Web, Tear Fund, Trust.org

September 27, 2011

Scientists make hydrogen fuel from bacteria and water

According to a study published in the September 20, 2011 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, hydrogen can be produced as a plentiful, clean energy source from saltwater, riverwater and bacteria in a process that metabolizes organic waste matter and needs no external electricity.

Sources: ABC.net, Fast Company, IB Times

Prolonged drought in Paraguay is worrying villagers and farmers

Paraguay-based ABC Color reports that prolonged drought in the nation's northern state of Bajo Chaco is worrying villagers and farmers, who note that harvests are now in jeopardy as the region enters its third year without major precipitation.

Sources: ABC, Wikipedia, Nearural

September 26, 2011

Jordan government decided not to allow the uprooting of trees for the construction of a military academy in Bergesh Forest

Following calls from environmental organizations and members of Parliament for a halt to the construction of a military academy in Jordan's Bergesh Forest, the government has decided as of mid-September 2011 to maintain the region as a recreation area, thus preserving the forest and its century-old trees.

Sources: Jordan Times, Mideast Environment, Jordan Times

Thousands of white bass found lifeless in the Little Maumelle River of Arkansas, USA

Just months after thousands of yellow and drum bass were found perished in the region, thousands of white bass on September 20, 2011 were discovered similarly lifeless in the Little Maumelle River of Arkansas, USA, where officials state that the cause was likely suffocation due to reduced oxygen levels from temperature change.

Sources: Sott.net, Reuters

September 25, 2011

Warming ocean waters linked to higher bacterial contamination

A compilation of data evaluated by European and US researchers has revealed that as climate change raises ocean temperatures, it has also increased the spread of harmful bacteria. The paper, which was authored by scientists in 17 European marine research institutes who evaluated over 100 studies, found in particular that the Vibrio bacteria has been proliferating in marine environments.

This is one of the most dangerous known pathogens, with a 50 percent fatality rate for those infected. The researchers thus cautioned against consuming seafood and other potential exposure to the bacteria, stating, “Millions of euros in health costs may result from human consumption of contaminated seafood, ingestion of waterborne pathogens, and, to a lesser degree, through direct occupational or recreational exposure to marine disease.”

We appreciate this informative research, international scientists. May we act now to protect life both on land and in the sea by refraining from the consumption of all animal products as one of the most effective actions in halting climate change.

During a May 2009 videoconference in Togo, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about how to minimize global warming and its intricately related health risks.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The marine ecosystem is in big trouble right now from global warming already. Also, mercury poisoning causes problems to aquatic life even before it gets to the humans. These are things we need to address in trying to save our planet, not to talk about our health also. Eating fish will definitely not help this.

So, if we wish to live healthily, happily ourselves, we should let others live, likewise, meaning we don’t try to make them our food, we don’t make them suffer, then we will never worry about disease, and our life and the planet will be quickly like that of Heaven.

Sources: Daily Mail, ENS Newswire, MS NBC

September 24, 2011

Rare meeting and wisdom with Koko the Gorilla

Journalist Alex Hannaford of UK-based newspaper, The Telegraph, was recently granted an unprecedented encounter with Koko, the 40-year-old lowland gorilla who has made international headlines over the past decades with her demonstrated ability to communicate with sign language that has opened new understanding about the intelligence and emotions of animals.

Mr. Hannaford arrived at Koko’s home in the hills of California, USA, where he was introduced by Dr. Penny Patterson, a researcher who has been with Koko almost her entire life.

In greeting Mr. Hannaford, the 300-pound primate gently embraced him and led him around her room. As Mr. Hannaford showed Koko a photo of his newborn baby, she responded by kissing the picture in affection, and later, in sensing that he was still nervous, Koko signaled for Mr. Hannaford to lay down beside her.

Dr. Patterson explained that among the things learned about great apes through studying Koko is that they have a great capacity for empathy. She went on to say that these great animals are well aware of their often-horrific treatment by humans, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature notes has rendered all gorilla subspecies as either endangered or critically endangered.

Both Michael, a silverback gorilla who was Koko's mate until he passed away, and Koko herself have communicated their understanding of witnessing gorilla slaughter.
In Coco's case, Dr. Patterson said that she had neglected to preview a DVD before Koko had seen it. When she looked up, she saw that Koko was watching a gruesome bushmeat scene.

The next day, as she was going through some mail, Koko picked up an insert from a newspaper. Holding up a section full of pictures of meat, she said in sign language, "Shame there.”

Mr. Alex Hannaford, many thanks for sharing your touching meeting with Koko as we also send our gratitude to Koko and Dr. Penny Patterson for continuing to expand our understanding of the kindhearted gorillas. Blessed be such efforts in fostering our love for all beings toward a world where compassion and respect prevails.

During a March 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the deep wisdom and sensitivity of our gentle animal co-inhabitants, who only wish to assist humanity in being kinder stewards of the ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: When you love an animal truly, he or she will communicate with you in one way or another because that is the trust that you build through your mutual love.

But more important is that we don’t eat the flesh of any animal. Some persons who have experience with animals say that they are very sensitive to people. They would know who is good, who is not good for them.

By not consuming animal products anymore, all the animals know that we consider their existence to be as important as our own and for the survival of the planet.

They will bless us to protect our lives and the planet. They came here with the blessing to help us, to bless us; but it’s a pity that we kill our helpers and friends.

If we have respect for their lives, then we will have the best chance to show them that we are worthy to be their friend and the inner connection and communication will begin from here. Very simple.

And Heaven will bless us also, beyond our imagination.

Source: Telegraph

September 23, 2011

Australian scientists call for conservation of pristine forests

Noting the massive loss of biodiversity in Southeast Asia over the past 50 years, a new study led by Australian scientists finds that original tropical forests, once felled, never fully recover, as it calls for conservation of pristine forests to maintain their diverse and irreplaceable life forms.

Sources: Science Alert, ABC.net

Elwa river restoration project in Washington, USA, will recover river ecosystems

A ceremony on September 17, 2011 officially launched the Elwha River Restoration Project in Washington, USA, where the removal of the 100-year-old Glines Canyon and Elwha dams will enable river ecosystems to recover as well as five species of salmon to return to their natural migration routes.

Sources: Sott.net, Huffington Post

Drought in Indonesia's Java province speads to 29 districts

As announced by regional officials on September 18, 2011, drought in Indonesia's East Java province has spread to 29 districts, with fires that have ignited from mere friction between dry shrubs and many villages facing critical water shortages.

Sources: MCOT.net, The Jakarta Globe

September 22, 2011

The Fijian government announces the relocation of Navunidogoloa village for rising sea levels

The Fijian government announces the relocation of Navunidogoloa village, the second such community on the island of Vanua Levu needing to move inland in the past decade, as residents strive to mitigate the tolls of rising sea levels and climate change on the low-lying island nation.

Sources: Fiji Times link 1, Fiji Times link 2

Rare shiner fish species saved from drying river

In an effort to save rare shiner fish species from the drying Brazos River in Texas, USA, state Parks and Wildlife Department biologists rescue more than 3,000 on September 15 and 16, 2011, bringing the aquatic animals to live in a safer location until the weather conditions improve.

Sources: PhysOrg, MS NBC, AJC.com

Wildfires scorch millions of acres of farmland in South Africa

With wildfires having scorched millions of acres of farmland, farmers in September 2011 struggle in central South Africa to harvest their crops as fields of maize wither under the sun in severe drought conditions.

Sources: Trust.org

September 21, 2011

Report shows 2011 as having the fifth warmest summer ever recorded

Scientists from the US National Climatic Data Center report on September 15, 2011 that this was the fifth warmest summer in the northern hemisphere since record-keeping began 132 years ago, with the National Snow and Ice Data Center also announcing that Arctic sea ice had shrunk to its second lowest extent on record.

Sources: USA Today, American Scientist, NSIDC

Water evaporating from trees and lakes contributes in the cooling of the entire Earth

Research by the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, USA, published in the September 14, 2011 issue of Environmental Research Letters revealed that water evaporating from trees and lakes contributes not just to the immediate region, as was previously understood, but aid in the cooling of the entire Earth.

Sources: PhysOrg, Bio Scholar

September 20, 2011

King crabs migrate to the Antarctic due to climate change

A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B by researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the USA has found that King crabs have been moving constantly in response to underwater temperature increases, driving them toward the previously uninhabitable Antarctic.

Unfortunately, the arrival of these marine animals has disrupted their new ecosystems, creating imbalance in other organisms there.

With the new crab population estimated at 1.6 million in the Antarctic's Palmer Deep Basin alone, researcher and oceanography Professor Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii at Manoa stated, “It looks like a pretty negative consequence of climate warming in the Antarctic.”

Professor Smith and colleagues, we appreciate your work in revealing the dire effects of climate change on even the most remote marine ecosystems. May we act in unison to reverse this damaging process and restore lives of balance for ourselves and all fellow beings.

During a May 2009 videoconference in Togo, as Supreme Master Ching Hai described how to explain global warming to young people, she mentioned the loss of precious animals and their habitats due to climate change as she suggested a way for everyone to be able to halt it.

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.

Sources: Huffington Post, MS NBC, College News

September 19, 2011

International effort launched to curb shorter-lived climate forcers (SLCF)

Ministers and representatives from 22 countries met this past week in Mexico to discuss the importance of reducing non-CO2 causes of limate change as a way to halt the process more quickly. Addressing the meeting, UN Environment Program (UNEP) chief Achim Steiner stated that while experts have warned that temperature increases by 2050 could reach a dangerous level of 4 degrees Celsius, his agency's esearch indicates clearly that even with more diligent efforts, reductions in CO2 would not be sufficient to avoid such a temperature increase.

This is due in part to the fact that CO2 can persist in the atmosphere for centuries, with its heat-trapping effect also persisting. Scientists are thus recommending reductions in the potent SLCF pollutants ozone, black carbon and methane, all of which dissipate from the atmosphere very quickly.

He stated, "(This) fast action might help keep a temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius and perhaps 1.5 degrees." UNEP chief Steiner went on to also point that decreasing methane emissions would also result in a corresponding reduction of ozone.

Our appreciation, UNEP chief Steiner and other representatives, for your efforts to promote faster actions in halting climate change. May we act quickly and in greater harmony with nature to sustain all life on our shared planetary home.

During a June 2011 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted the common source of the major short-lived climate forcers and thus the simplest way to apply the scientists' recommended solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The best way to bring about cooling, rather than focusing on carbon dioxide, would be to reduce the shorter-lived global warming agents. These include methane, black carbon, and ground-level ozone.

This is our best chance for quickly reversing the climate change – cut it off, the danger. For example, whereas CO2 can take hundreds, if not thousands, of years to dissipate from the atmosphere, most methane is gone in about 12 years. And methane’s number one source from human activity is? Livestock raising.

A significant cause of black carbon release is also livestock raising – everything points to livestock raising – because the burning of forest or fields to create grazing pasture or crops to feed the livestock causes black soot to be carried by wind currents all the way to glaciers and ice caps, where it speeds their melting, thus warming up the planet even more.

Ozone is a component of smog, and we usually think that it is caused from car exhausts, but a major building block is also methane.

And ozone dissipates from the atmosphere in the period of a few hours or weeks. So the fastest way to reverse climate change is quickly reduce methane, ozone and black carbon. And how? Again, the fastest, cheapest way to do this is to stop raising animals for human consumption.

Regeringin, Salade Prensa, Flickr, UNEP

September 18, 2011

Ancient sea coral analysis reveals unstable sea levels in the past

A study of coral samples from the Bahamas indicates that sea levels during a period known as the Last Interglacial, around 120,000 years ago, fluctuated by as much as four to six meters.

This data was revealed through a more advanced coral dating method recently developed by a US research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI).

Scientists thus have a new understanding of the Last Interglacial, which is a time period that global average temperatures were as warm or warmer than they are today, with sea levels that could have been about six meters higher.

The researchers point out that currently increasing global temperatures could similarly lead to steep sea level rises, with WHOI geochronologist Dr. William G. Thompson saying that the volatility of this situation is a crucial matter that should be considered by the significant portion of the world's population that lives in coastal zones.

Many thanks, Dr. Thompson and colleagues, for your discoveries that provide us with a more comprehensive understanding of climate change effects. Let us quickly heed these lessons of the past and work to stabilize our planet for the safeguarding of all beings on Earth.

During a December 2010 interview by El Quintanarroense newspaper, Supreme Master Ching Hai warned of the devastating implications of rising sea levels and offered the single most effective way to restore the balance and protection of the ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hundreds of thousands of people have to relocate because of rising water or because no water. Either the flood destroys all their houses and harvest so that they cannot live anymore and after that is drought, because no trees, nothing, to keep the water to distribute regularly and evenly, so all the water flushed it all down at one time and nothing keeps it; it’s gone to the sea. And then the sea is warming because of methane and everything, and all the runoff chemicals, and then the sea warms more of the ice and the ice melts more and the sea keeps rising.

So, people have to run either because of sinking island or rising sea level or flood or drought. It’s all extreme.

You cannot just point finger at one or two organizations. It’s just all together because we are warming the climate by cutting the trees, by raising the animals who do produce methane.

According to the latest report, animals is responsible for 51%, at least, of all the greenhouse gas emissions that heat up the planet.

So if we stop animal industry, we cut out 51% of the heat.

Sources: Thaindian, Science Daily

September 17, 2011

Deforestation and land degradation have worsened climate change effects in regions like Somalia

Center for International Forestry Research Director-General, Frances Seymour, reports that deforestation and land degradation have worsened climate change effects in regions like Somalia, making it more difficult for the people and the land to adapt.

Sources: Treehugger, Cifor.org

Urgent measures needed to save the Black Sea

Stating that urgent measures are needed to save the Black Sea from the combined effects of pollution, climate change and fishing, the European Parliament passes a resolution on September 13, 2011 calling for coordinated efforts among coastal states toward long-term and lifesaving sustainability.

Sources: Neurope, Europa

September 16, 2011

Nissan develops new quick-charging station for EVs

Japan-based car manufacturer, Nissan, develops a new quick-charging station for electric vehicles which is half the size and price of the current model, with initial installations planned in popular electric car regions throughout the country.

Sources: Treehugger, Plugin Cars

Researchers find logged forests are far more prone to burning

A study by researchers at Australian National University published in the journal PNAS on Aug 29, 2011 combines decades of ecological data with direct field research as it concludes that logged forests are far more prone to burning and are thus at much higher risk of being consumed by catastrophic forest fires.

Sources: PhyOrg, Science Alert

Unusual phenomenon caused by heavy rain in Namibia

US geoscientists who have been studying Namibia's rock formations for a decade note as of September 2011 that this year's widespread, heavy rain has caused normally dry stream beds to flow from the desert all the way to the sea and is a phenomenon unlike any in the country's historic record.

Sources: PhysOrg, NSF.gov, Irish Weather Online

September 15, 2011

Reduction of soot released from diesel engines and wood fires would slow climate change

Having developed the first computer model to measure the presence of soot released by such sources as diesel engines and wood-burning fires, US-based Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson finds that it accounts for up to 20% percent of global warming, with its reduction being one of the fastest and most economical ways to slow climate change and protect human health.

Sources: VOA News, Bit of Science

Reduced visibility due to fires set by slash-and-burn farmers in Indonesia

Reduced visibility due to thick smoke from fires set by slash-and-burn farmers in Indonesia forces the closure of Sumatra Island's Sultan Taha airport on Tuesday, September 3, with parts of neighboring Singapore and Malaysia that are shrouded in smoke as well.

Sources: Saudi Press Agency, MS NBC

Recent studies reveal a growing link between climate change and migration of people

As reported by Reuters on September 9, 2011, several recent studies reveal a growing link between climate change and the migration of people from Mexico to countries like the USA as drought and other extreme weather conditions reduce crop yields and cause loss of livelihoods in their homeland.

Source: Trust.org

September 14, 2011

US climate and agricultural experts express concern over the effects of climate change on agriculture

In a report released on September 5, 2011 US climate and agricultural experts express concern over the effects of climate change on agriculture in a nation that accounts for 50% of the global corn, 40% of soybean, and 30% of the world's wheat exports.

Sources: Trust.org, Reuters

Desertification threatening 400 million African people with food scarcity and forced migration

With desertification threatening 400 million African people with food scarcity and forced migration, UN Convention to Combat Desertification chief Luc Gnacadja on September 9, 2011 urges for efforts to halt the process, saying that 750 million hectares of degraded land has the potential to be reclaimed for agricultural use.

Source: Google News

Drinking water shortages affect some 14 million people in China

China’s state news agency Xinhua on September 9, 2011 reported that relentless drought since the beginning of July this year in the nation's southwestern regions has required emergency response as drinking water shortages affect some 14 million people and cause damage to the region's crops.

Sources: Post Gazette, NY Times

September 13, 2011

Unsustainable development led to the collapse of the ancient Mayans

A major exhibit at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, France titled “Maya: From Dawn to Dusk” showcases the latest archeological findings of the Mayan culture from Guatemala's Mirador Basin. US archaeologist and research lead Dr. Richard Hansen stated that these provide additional evidence of the deforestation and environmental degradation that caused the collapse of the once-flourishing civilization.

With regions of Mexico and Central America that advanced culturally and scientifically for more than 3,000 years, the Mayan Mirador Basin was once a sophisticated urban area with structures that measured larger than the Egyptian pyramids.

During an interview with Inter Press Service, Dr. Hansen spoke of the intense deforestation that contributed to the demise of El Mirador, saying that the historical collapse of all civilizations can be traced to humanity's lack of respect for environmental balance.

Dr. Hansen and colleagues, many thanks for these insights into conditions from the past that also parallel our current situation on Earth. May we all benefit from the lessons offered by their examples by swiftly adopting lifestyles more in harmony with nature.

During a May 2009 videoconference in Togo, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of past civilizations as she highlighted the inner qualities needed to secure a stable future for our planet. At least 2 major times that our planet has undergone major destruction due to detrimental human activities.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It may be that past civilizations on Earth did not last also because their moral standard did not develop along with their technical power. Spiritual development and compassion are what ensures the safety and balance of every other endeavor.

I pray that our civilization will be different, will be wiser, and more advanced in many beneficial ways. So, let us not neglect to cultivate our virtues.

We all must be veg, go green, if we are to save the planet.

September 12, 2011

Prince Charles assumes presidency of UK's World Wildlife Fund

In his inaugural address as the new head of Britain's chapter of the international environmental organization, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales said that humans must radically change their relationship with nature, or risk becoming endangered as well.

Highlighting the urgent need for reversing climate change through greater protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, the Prince said that we are otherwise consuming what should rightfully be inherited by future generations.

He concluded by remarking on the notable successes of humanity in working together toward shared goals, saying that we must do so now as he stated, "...What is needed is robust leadership into the future.

For history will not judge us by how much economic growth we achieve in the immediate years ahead, nor by how much we expand material consumption, but by the legacy we leave for our grandchildren and their grandchildren."

Our heartfelt accolades and appreciation, Your Royal Highness, for your candidness and courage in conveying the dire state of our planet while maintaining the hope of attaining noble goals. Our best wishes for your leadership in inspiring many toward such Earth-restoring aspirations for the benefit of all beings in the world.

Sources: Prince of Wales, SMH.com, Mirror

September 11, 2011

APEC countries hold inaugural meeting for forest conservation

In the first such meeting of its kind, the Ministers Responsible for Forestry from the 21 countries comprising the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) came together in Beijing, China on Tuesday, September 6 to support environmental preservation as an important goal along with economic development.

With the opening meeting attended by hosting country China's President Hu Jintao, an address was given by co-host Mexico's Minister of the Environment Juan Rafael Elvira, who outlined programs being implemented to achieve his country's goal of zero deforestation within 10 years.

Formosa's (Taiwan) Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung also spoke, highlighting the importance of sustainable forestry development especially in light of climate change as he suggested coordination of APEC countries' efforts to monitor forest health.

This proposal was adopted in the final Beijing Forestry Declaration, approved at the meeting's conclusion by all member countries to deepen both their economic and technical cooperation in policies that prioritize sustainable forest development and preservation.

Our salute, all APEC members for your work together and fruitful meeting. May the people of your nations flourish in sustainable endeavors as many others are inspired to restore the Earth for ourselves and all beings through the preservation of life-giving verdant trees.

Sources: Focus Taiwan, People Daily, China Daily, Google News

Poyang Lake in China shrinks to less than half from previous year

China's largest inland water body, Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province, shrinks as of September 2011 to 1,340 square kilometers, which is less than half the average area measured during the same time in previous years.

Source: China Daily

Oil exploration in the Arctic could lead to uncontrollable environmental catastrophe

Leading polar scientist, Dr. Peter Wadhams of the UK's University of Cambridge, warns on September 5, 2011 that oil exploration in the Arctic could lead to an uncontrollable environmental catastrophe if a serious oil spill were to occur under the ice, saying that it would be almost impossible to halt.

Sources: Yahoo News, Independent

September 10, 2011

UN leaders call for urgent action on climate change

Addressing scientists at the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development in Nepal on Tuesday, September 6, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chair Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri warned that sea level rise is the most dire, irreversible, and abrupt change humans can expect to witness if actions are not taken to contain and mitigate climate change.

His talk came after a visit to the Indian coastal region of Rameshwaram, where he noted signs that people were already being forced to migrate due to rising seas. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon spoke similarly, having just visited several of the low-lying island nations most at risk.

These included Kiribati, where he said that some villagers have already had to relocate as their land is either contaminated with salt water or has disappeared beneath the encroaching waves.

Secretary-General Ban stated, "Climate change is not about tomorrow. It is lapping at our feet – quite literally in Kiribati and elsewhere. ... Climate change is a distinct threat to humanity, it is even a threat to international peace and stability.”

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations: We are running out of time. By 2050, the population will reach 9 billion. That is a 50% increase compared with 2000.

By that time, we will have to reduce, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent. This is what I call the 50-50-50 challenge.

We appreciate your deep concern, Your Excellencies, and your efforts to raise awareness about an increasingly perilous situation. May everyone realize the need to take rapid actions to preserve our beautiful earthly home.

Speaking at a December 2010 videoconference in the United Arab Emirates, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the devastating implications of climate change, as well as how to reverse its effects.

It’s not a very pleasant thing to inform your friends that their house is in danger, that their life is in danger.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It could break your heart. Now, scientists have already reported on sea level rise in Egypt, desertification and climate refugees in Syria, dust storms in Iraq, floods in Yemen, etc., etc.

Livestock farming is the major cause. It’s more than all the transportation combined, more than all the ships, the aeroplanes, the cars, the railway, whatever transportation, you name it, it’s nothing compared to livestock raising, in pollution rate.

You can log on to all kinds of scientific facts or the UN’s Livestock’s Long Shadow website to see all this.

So the people could accomplish the most effective green change by removing all animal products. you have the power to do it. You have to. You must. We all must. All countries must do this. Otherwise, we will suffer too much, too much. Very soon.

Sources: Thaindian News, India.com, MSN, Times Live, China Post

Campaign to halt the slaughter of pilot whales

Returning from a campaign to halt the slaughter of pilot whales, on September 1, 2011, marine conservation group Sea Shepherd stopped off in the Scottish Orkney Islands to post a sanctuary sign on the "Little Green Island Holm," a small isle Sea Shepherd purchased in 1985 to protect and create a safe haven for seals in the region.

Sources: Eco Razzi, Sea Shephard

Call for more sustainable initiatives to preserve natural resources in China

During an inspection of the nation's Ministry of Land and Resources on September 2, 2011, China's Premier Wen Jiabao called for more sustainable initiatives to preserve natural resources as well as protect arable lands for the benefit of future generations.

Sources: CNTV, GOV.cn

September 9, 2011

Drought causes food shortages for some 6,000 people on Papua New Guinea

The Humanitarian Support Unit of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on September 5, 2011 warned of drought that is threatening to cause food shortages for some 6,000 people on several islands near Papua New Guinea as critical harvests are lost.

Source: Irin News

US has endured a record 10 weather catastrophes in 2011

Presenting meteorological compiled data for the first three-quarters of the year, US-based Huffington Post reports on September 3, 2011 that the nation has already endured a record 10 weather catastrophes, costing more than US$1 billion each, including five tornadoes, massive fires following drought, and extreme flooding.

Sources: Huffington Post, NOAA.gov

Millions of fish perished in some 9,000 fish farms in China

As reported on September 6, 2011 in China, millions of fish were found perished in some 9,000 fish farm tanks along the Minjiang River in Fujian province, which officials said was due to suffocation from low oxygen levels following torrential rains during a recent typhoon.

Sources: China Daily link 1, China Daily link 2

September 8, 2011

Greenland ice melt shows evidence of accelerated warming

As part of a study led by Welsh glaciologist Dr. Alun Hubbard of Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom, data was recently collected from time-lapse cameras and global positioning system (GPS) masts that had been set up on Greenland's Petermann Glacier in July and August 2009.

To their immense surprise, the scientists found the ice had melted so quickly that several of the GPS masts were no longer in position. Dr. Hubbard also stated that although satellite imagery had prepared him for massive ice loss, he was shocked at what he actually saw, saying that it was nearly impossible to really comprehend something as large as a 20 kilometer ice shelf having disappeared.

Meanwhile, preliminary results from another new study by US researchers at the University of Washington found that last year's Arctic sea ice was actually the lowest ever, even less than a previous record minimum of 4.13 million square kilometers in 2007.

This represents a drastic loss over the past three decades, when compared to a minimum ice level in the early 1970s of about 7 million square kilometers.

While melting sea ice from the Arctic does not significantly raise sea levels, warmer temperatures at the North Pole does affect Greenland, where a melting of the massive volume of ice there could raise sea levels by a full 7 meters.

Our appreciation, Welsh and US researchers for your work in documenting these increasingly rapid and serious effects of global warming.

May we all swiftly join in lifestyle choices that preserve the Earth for both humans and other beings.

Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the urgent issue of the heating planet at an interview by Novedades Newspaper in December 2010, and reminded of the quickest way to restore Earth’s stability.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yesterday, I listened to all the suffering of the people from Africa and those small, low-lying islands. They say, if the way things are going, it’s going to heat up 5 degrees Celsius more and they're going to die; they cannot do anything.

No technology can help them at that time. And the low-lying islands, many, 18 islands, are already gone, dead, underwater, 6 meters, and many more because the sea level keeps rising.

Because the planet heats up and the ice melts, the sea level keeps rising, many people, sometimes the whole population, have to move away.

According to scientists and United Nations reports, animal industry causes 51%-plus of the greenhouse gas of the planet.

Greenhouse gas is the one that heats up our planet. Okay, on top of that, we have carbon dioxide, of course.

So now, if we take this animal industry away, we will save 51% of the heat already.

And if we use the land, the animal land, and all the cultivating land on the whole planet, to grow organic vegetables, then we can take away 40% carbon dioxide.

So easy, why don't they do that?

Sources: PhysOrg, MSNBC, OSU.edu, BBC, Telegraph

Haikou municipal government in China adds over 200 green vehicles

The Haikou municipal government in China adds over 200 new green vehicles including electric and hybrid buses along with electric taxicabs to city’s public transport system in an effort to increase the number of environmentally vehicles in the city.

Sources: Xinhua Net, China Daily

Extreme oceanic weather occurring between New Zealand and Antarctica

An extreme weather system between New Zealand and Antarctica at the beginning of September 2011 generated a rare Pacific-wide swell that brought unexpected waves the size not seen in decades to several countries along the west coasts of South, Central and North America, with two surfers who perished in southern California, USA.

Sources: Surfline, The Extinct Protocol, Stuff New Zealand

September 7, 2011

Global forest restoration initiative launched in Germany

A select group of international ministers, business leaders and conservationists convened on Thursday, September 1 in the city of Bonn for a two-day meeting to discuss ways to restore some portion of the 2 billion hectares of the world's deforested lands.

At the meeting's conclusion, they announced the formation of an alliance called the Bonn Challenge and pledged, with the support of the environmental non-profit World Resources Institute (WRI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), to restore 150 million hectares of forests in different areas across the globe.

Commenting on the new initiative, former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson stated, "Restoring 150 million hectares of degraded lands represents an exciting and largely untapped opportunity to create more jobs and economic growth, while also protecting our climate."

Our sincere accolades, Bonn Challenge participants, for your commitment to this noble project that will benefit lives and the environment. Blessed be such endeavors in helping renew a balance with nature that brings peace to all beings on Earth.

Sources: Mongabay, WRI.org, Zee News India

124,000 fish suffocate in Lake Grapevine, Texas

Biologists with the Parks and Wildlife Department in Texas, USA report on September 1, 2011 that about 124,000 fish suffocated in Lake Grapevine due to a prolonged heat wave that caused oxygen levels to drop too low for their survival.

Sources: UPI.com, Chron.com

Iran's Lake Orūmīyeh in danger of drying out

As reported on September 3, 2011, residents near Iran's Lake Orūmīyeh, one of the largest inland salt water bodies in the world, express their concern and ask for help saving the lake, which is now in danger of drying out, with salt dust residues that are endangering the environment as well as placing 14 million people at risk of being displaced.

Sources: France 24, BBC

September 6, 2011

More evidence of a watery past for Mars

Scientists at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Thursday, September 1 that a first rock examined by the Mars exploratory rover Opportunity contained unexpectedly high levels of zinc and bromine, elements, which on Earth would suggest that the rock had been created by a process involving heat and water.

The following day, researchers stated that the European Space Agency's Express satellite orbiting Mars had discovered signs of water having once filled a 65-kilometer wide crater on the planet's surface known as the Eberswalde Satellite images revealed feeder channels where water entered the lake as well as the presence of a delta where water is believed to have deposited sediment in a characteristic fan shape.

Our appreciation, international space experts, for these glimpses into the history of our neighboring planet. May we benefit from such insights by acting swiftly to protect and preserve our life-giving Earthly home.

During an August 2009 videoconference with Supreme Master Television staff in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the similarities of Mars’ past to Earth, which serve as reminders for humanity to be kinder stewards of our own fragile planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Our neighboring planets like Venus, Mars, have similar landscape. Some are more strikingly exquisite, more beautiful. It was once a beautiful planet, and now it’s no more.

There’s no life up there at all, not life as we know of. It’s a pity. Within a few weeks’ time, the whole planet was destroyed.

Yes, destroyed because of the poisonous gases, yes from livestock.
Of course, it triggered other gases yeah? from the ocean, from the warm ocean as you know.

Sources: NY Times, MSNBC

New Zealand approves new wind farm project

While already receiving 79% of its power from clean energy, New Zealand on September 3, 2011 approves the construction of large wind farms near Wellington and Auckland, which will help the nation move closer to a 90% sustainable energy goal by 2025.

Sources: Clean Technica, Scientific American

Sustainability campaign in India calling for ban on plastic bags

The Times of India reports on September 4, 2011 that UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chair Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri joins Chief Minister Tarun Kumar Gogoi of India's Assam state in calling for a ban on plastic bags in favor of eco-friendly jute, as part of a larger sustainability campaign encouraging greater eco-awareness and action, especially among youths.

Source: Times of India

September 5, 2011

Melting permafrost to release billions of tons of CO2

A study conducted by Dr. Charles Koven of the University of California, Berkeley in the USA and an international team of researchers has concluded that as climate change causes tundra in the Arctic north to continue to melt, the vast stores of carbon being released from beneath the ground will not be contained by new vegetation that might emerge.

Using a supercomputer in France to calculate soil warming and climate change data, the scientists estimated that the thawing Arctic will instead release around 68 billion additional tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Such a massive amount of greenhouse gases would not only increase planetary warming, it would also accelerate the rate of further climate change.

Dr. Koven and colleagues, our thanks for this study that informs of the ever more urgent condition of our planet.

May we all be motivated toward caring efforts that stabilize the ecosphere for ourselves and future generations.

During an interview by El Quintanarroense in Mexico in December 2010, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed such dangerous tolls of climate change as permafrost melt, and the quickest way to halt these harmful effects.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We have to reverse. We warm up the planet, because…many reasons.
And fossil fuel and animals industry. But, you see, when we burn fossil fuel, it emits two types of gases: carbon dioxide, CO2, and aerosol.

Aerosol is not too good for our health, but at least it cancels CO2.

So the warming effect came from the methane It warms up the planet, and it warms also the permafrost, which is the frozen earth which stores a lot of carbon in there, so if it warms up the methane, carbon, anything, also come up together.

Because of animal agriculture, is number one producer of these gases that I’ve just mentioned that warm up our planet.

But the thing is methane is short, it can dissipate within 10 years, more or less.

So if we cut all this methane, nitrous oxide from the animals, we cut all that, then we cool the planet within a decade…within a few years.

So if we eliminate the most heated gas, and the most quickly-dissipated, then we cool it in a few years.

Sources: Alaska Dispatch, PhysOrg

Schools shut down to protect children from high temperatures in Illinois, USA

Due to unseasonably high temperatures in Illinois, USA, with heat indices reaching 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) during the first week of September 2011, elementary and secondary schools across the state shut down to protect children who are more vulnerable to excessive heat.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Daily Illini

Environment Working Group finds that meat most harmful concerning greenhouse gas emissions

In an August 2011 evaluation of the impact to the planet of different foods, US-based Environmental Working Group finds that lamb, beef, cheese, pork, and farmed salmon are the most harmful concerning greenhouse gas emissions, with all meat and dairy products considered highly damaging due to their requirements for large amounts of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, fuel, feed and water resources.

Sources: Audubon.org, CLTampa.com

September 4, 2011

Campaign to save Namibian seals supported by both economy and compassion

A new study jointly commissioned by animal welfare organizations Bont voor Dieren (BvD), Humane Society International (HSI), Respect for Animals (RFA), and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has found that even in terms of financial value, seals are worth much more alive than slaughtered.

Comparing the most recently available statistics from 2008, the report titled, “The economies of seal hunting and seal watching in Namibia,” states that seal watching generated US$2 million in direct tourism, while the cruel hunt and killing of some 85,000 animals produced only US$513,000.

Calling for a complete ban on the country's ruthless seal hunting industry, WSPA celebrity ambassador and vegetarian singer-songwriter Leona Lewis, said, “No price would ever be high enough to justify the killing of these harmless animals. This country has so much natural beauty to offer tourists. Why allow (such a) brutal practice to tarnish its reputation forever?”

Our heartfelt appreciation, World Society for the Protection of Animals, Ambassador Leona Lewis, othercaring organizations and individuals for your noble endeavors to safeguard the precious seal co-inhabitants.

With sorrow for the loss of innocent lives, we pray for an end to all slaughter as humans live in peaceful coexistence and respect for every fellow being on Earth. Speaking during a press conference in Cancún, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai offered additional spiritual insight into how the love from animals like the precious seals helps sustain human life on our planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: All the animals can talk to us, telepathically, inside. If we love them, they correspond with us. They are very lovely, very intelligent, very noble, and very, very forgiving. The birds can give us spiritual blessing. Same with dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, rabbits, horses, cows, elephants, whales, sharks, seals, etc.

The animals are here to help to bless and balance the planet with loving energy so that we still can have time to be awakened and save our world. So, the more we protect them, the more we protect ourselves.

Sources: Bikyamasr, Economist, Look to the Stars

September 3, 2011

Campaign to save Namibian seals supported by both economy and compassion

A new study jointly commissioned by animal welfare organizations Bont voor Dieren (BvD), Humane Society International (HSI), Respect for Animals (RFA), and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has found that even in terms of financial value, seals are worth much more alive than slaughtered.

Comparing the most recently available statistics from 2008, the report titled, “The economies of seal hunting and seal watching in Namibia,” states that seal watching generated US$2 million in direct tourism, while the cruel hunt and killing of some 85,000 animals produced only US$513,000.

Calling for a complete ban on the country's ruthless seal hunting industry, WSPA celebrity ambassador and vegetarian singer-songwriter Leona Lewis, said, “No price would ever be high enough to justify the killing of these harmless animals. This country has so much natural beauty to offer tourists. Why allow (such a) brutal practice to tarnish its reputation forever?”

Our heartfelt appreciation, World Society for the Protection of Animals, Ambassador Leona Lewis, othercaring organizations and individuals for your noble endeavors to safeguard the precious seal co-inhabitants.

With sorrow for the loss of innocent lives, we pray for an end to all slaughter as humans live in peaceful coexistence and respect for every fellow being on Earth. Speaking during a press conference in Cancún, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai offered additional spiritual insight into how the love from animals like the precious seals helps sustain human life on our planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: All the animals can talk to us, telepathically, inside. If we love them, they correspond with us. They are very lovely, very intelligent, very noble, and very, very forgiving. The birds can give us spiritual blessing. Same with dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, rabbits, horses, cows, elephants, whales, sharks, seals, etc.

The animals are here to help to bless and balance the planet with loving energy so that we still can have time to be awakened and save our world. So, the more we protect them, the more we protect ourselves.

Sources: Bikyamasr, Economist, Look to the Stars

Devastating western corn rootworms spreading to GMO corn

In Iowa, USA, the devastating western corn rootworm has been spreading on Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, despite it having been specially engineered for resistance, thus prompting fears of a superbug and questions about the safety of GMO crops.

Sources: Fool.com, France 24

12 Tarpan horses reintroduced into the wild

In an effort to restore horses that had become extinct in the wild, 12 tarpans, whose origins date back to prehistoric times, are being reintroduced in Bulgaria's Rhodope mountains through a project supported by the Dutch organization New Thracian Gold.

Sources: France 24, Novinite

Droughts continue to spread east in Southern USA

As temperatures continue to surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) in parts of the southern US, climate experts reported on September 1, 2011 that the effects of prolonged drought are intensifying and moving east, with indications that the conditions could persist into next year or even longer.

Sources: Trust.org, MNN.com

September 2, 2011

Climate change also devastating to mental health

A report prepared for Australia’s Climate Institute reveals a link between increased extreme weather events and psychological problems such as depression, substance abuse and even suicide.

Titled "A Climate Of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change," the study notes that the repeated flooding and prolonged drought seen especially over the past decade in Australia has generated feelings of anxiety and insecurity, not just in adults but also for children.

These adverse psychological effects do not diminish quickly, often persisting for months and years, with higher rates of drug and alcohol addiction, violence, family separation and suicides more likely.

Australia's Climate Institute Chief Executive John Connor stated that these deeper effects on human health must thus be accounted for when calculating the true cost of climate change.

Our sincere thanks, Mr. Connor and Climate Institute of Australia for this study that reveals some of the additional tragedies of planetary imbalance.

May our wiser and more harmonious actions help restore our harmony with nature and foster peace of mind.

During an April 2011 videoconference in Mongolia, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed a question on how to counteract the detrimental tolls of climate change that include related disease.

MC (f): We are witnessing the destruction on the environment and a massive number of people suffering from diseases in every corner of the world. (Supreme Master Ching Hai : That’s right.) What would you like to say foremost to humanity right now, at this moment?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We have to be merciful and compassionate in order to beget the same quality. We have to be loving and kind to our own co-inhabitants so that we can attract loving and kind mercy from Heaven. The Buddha has taught always compassion; Jesus taught the same thing. All the masters
in the past taught the same things, that we have to return to our kindness and love, which is our own nature.
(Q (f): Yes, Master.)

Stop killing, stop oppression of all kinds. We can save ourselves and our loved ones. Stop killing, be loving, be compassionate, be kind. Thank you.

Extreme weather causing major damage to sugar cane crops in Brazil

Droughts in 2010 followed by freezing weather in 2011 have gravely damaged sugar cane crops in Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter of cane sugar, with the effect on harvests not yet known.

Source: Merco Press

Solar and wind panels to be used on ships to reduce fuel consumption

Japan-based Eco Marine Power announced on August 31, 2011 the development of solar and wind panels that can be placed as arrays on ships to function both as sails and sustainable energy generators, thus reducing fuel consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Sources: Care2, Discovery

More than 7 million people affected by severe drought in Sichuan, China

As of August 31, 2011 more than 7 million people are affected by severe drought in China’s Sichuan province, where 479 reservoirs and 349 rivers have dried up, with water trucks being dispatched by the government to try to help with the emergency.

Sources: ReliefWeb, EastDay

September 1, 2011

Record high temperatures already in 2011

Less than three-quarters into the year, six nations have seen record high temperatures including Kuwait, Iraq, Armenia, Iran and Republic of Congo. In noting this extreme weather, US-based meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground stated that no record lows have been recorded in any country thus far, only unprecedented heat.

On August 3, the city of Mitraba in Kuwait saw the thermometer register 53.3 degrees Celsius, an all-time high for the nation and a temperature never seen before in the world for the month of August.

The 2011 warming trend also repeats a theme of last year, when 20 countries reported all-time highs but none saw record lows. Extreme heat is known to be dangerous to both human and animal health, with many people who have perished to recent high temperatures in cities as well as tens of thousands of fish that have suffocated due to reduced oxygen in warming waters.

We appreciate your research and sharing of this factual information, Dr. Masters and associates, despite its alarming nature. Our prayers that humanity joins in lifestyles that restore balance to our planet and all cherished fellow inhabitants.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The heat is so intense nowadays that government officials are genuinely concerned about your health, so they have asked you to stay indoors even, in midday hours, or to put a hat on when going outdoors,and to drink plenty of water, and constantly. You see, climate change is very dangerous to our health, the health of our parents and our young children.

The extreme heat not only makes us feel hot, but as the glaciers melt, livelihoods, food, drinking water, etc., etc., also face a real meltdown.

How do we keep the global temperature at safe levels? There is a solution.

The United Nations proposed that the best way to bring about cooling, rather than focusing on carbon dioxide, would be to reduce the shorter-lived global warming agents. These include methane, black carbon, and ground-level ozone. The fastest, cheapest way to do this is to stop raising animals for human consumption.

Sources: Mongabay, Wunderground

United Nations report on Cambodia's climate change effects

A United Nations report on Cambodia identifies climate change effects such as loss of precipitation and temperature rise as a significant threat to her people, the overwhelming majority of whom live in rural areas and depend on agriculture as their primary livelihood.

Sources: Relief Web, Eco Business

Renowned agriculture scientist warns of increased pests, disease and weeds due to climate change

In a presentation on August 26, 2011, well-known agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan of India warned of increased pests, disease and weeds associated with climate change, with just a one degree Celsius temperature rise causing losses of 6 million tons of wheat per year as well as decreasing the quality of grains.

Source: Livemint.com

Severe drought continues in Texas, USA

As severe drought continues into September 2011 in the US state of Texas, scientists with the US Fish and Wildlife Service prepare to evacuate small numbers of endangered fish, amphibians and other aquatic animals in an effort to safeguard them from extinction.

Sources: SF Gate, AJC.com