November 30, 2011

Rallying for climate justice for all

As unusually heavy thunderstorms claimed eight lives in Durban, South Africa on the evening of Sunday, November 27, delegates gathered for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17) were reminded of the real human costs of global warming.

Also held on the summit’s eve was a climate justice rally that hoped to bring home the message of our moral responsibility to preserve the Earth. Supreme Master Television brings us this report.

Correspondent (M): Coinciding with the start of the COP 17 summit in Durban, South Africa, the multi-faith rally, “We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice,” was held at Kings Park stadium.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Nobel Peace Prize laureate (M): What we can’t see are the angels who are surrounding us.

Christiana Figueres - Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (F): We take the energy that you have here today, and we take it into the negotiations.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane – COP 17 president, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (F): As incoming COP president, I make a commitment that your petition will be taken seriously and that it will receive the attention it deserves.

Christiana Figueres - Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (F): Do not give up, save your energies, and continue your prayers. Thank you.

Presiding at the rally was South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who emphasized that humanity must now unite to stop the biggest threat ever of greenhouse gas pollution.

The rally was attended by leaders and members of faiths that included Anglican, Jewish, Buddhist, traditional African, and others, including COP 17 president Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane – COP 17 president, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (F): We are hoping that parties will come together and be guided in the spirit of saving multilateralism in saving the planet. So we are all here to work together to provide global leadership so as we make sure that we come up with an outcome that’s balanced, that’s realistic.

Correspondent (M):Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres, who was also present, made a statement acknowledging that the participants' voices were being heard. Lending their support as well were celebrity artists such as South Africa’s Grammy-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka who performed in a concert.

The petition titled “We Have Faith,” signed by some 200,000 concerned citizens, calling on world leaders to commit to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding agreement to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol, as well as funding to help Africa adapt to climate change, was then delivered to COP 17 leaders.

The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association also participated with materials to promote the organic vegan solution to climate change, which many agreed is a crucial way to honor the Earth.

Rabbi Hillel Avidan – Durban, South Africa (M): The methane gas from cattle and other domestic animals are a primary cause of the greenhouse effect. It is so costly to produce beef, mutton. Much cheaper to produce crops. So people really should consider giving up the eating of meat.

Correspondent (M): Supreme Master Television, reporting from Durban, South Africa.

VOICE: Bravo and our appreciation, Your Eminence Archbishop Tutu, and all leaders and participants of this energizing rally for coming together toward the noble goal of protecting lives. May the concerted efforts of government leaders and citizens alike help to save and restore the beauty of our shared planet.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka (F): Hi, my name is Yvonne Chaka Chaka and you’re watching Supreme Master Television. And we’re here in Durban at COP 17. Healthy living, good environment, let’s make it with our own two hands. It can be done.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Grammy-winning artists, South Africa (M): For COP 17 Durban: Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

VOICE: Speaking in an August 2011 videoconference in Chicago, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged leaders of all faiths and beliefs to join in inspiring humanity toward a safer future for the Earth.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: This care for the Earth and our fellow inhabitants can be expressed in terms of the Golden Rules, the five principles of peace, universal principles, that are logical, harmonious principles for everybody.

It doesn’t have to be religious. Everyone, be they Buddhist, Muslim or even atheist, if they follow the five Golden Rules, universal peace principles, then life would be paradise on Earth.

I also agree that religious and spiritual leaders should work together and let people know that it’s time to change, that the planet is in urgent danger now, and we must be more loving in our actions, whatever religion we belong to; and be vegan to save it, whatever religion we belong to, or non-religion we belong to.

Be our compassionate vegan role models and thereby demonstrate the most powerful way to love all and protect all on this planet.

Sources: Trust.org

November 29, 2011

Unseasonably warm weather leaves Scandinavia snow free

In Scandinavia, scientists report unseasonably warm weather as of November 25, 2011, with Sweden's average temperatures 7 degrees Celsius above average and lack of snow in countries like Finland resulting in the cancelation of this year's international World Cup skiing event.

Sources: Mainichi, Washington Post

Himalayan glacier, Thorthormi, is shrinking by up to 35 meters a year

As one of many Himalayan glaciers that are retreating due to warming temperatures, Bhutan’s 4,450-meter high Thorthormi is noted as of November 28, 2011 to be shrinking by up to 35 meters a year, while scientists report that the lake at its base has tripled in size since 2001 and is in danger of bursting.

Sources: Kuensel Online, New York Times

November 28, 2011

United Nations Climate Change Conference begins

Starting Monday, November 28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 17) is opening in Durban, South Africa to convene for two weeks with a goal of an international agreement on alleviating climate change.

Supreme Master Television reports on location.

Correspondent: Hallo, Supreme Master Television viewers! We are here in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa, where over 20,000 delegates from 194 countries are gathering for the 17th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

After a year of preparation since COP 16 in Cancún, Mexico, the representatives will work toward an agreement on how to effectively alleviate climate change on a global level.

Mayor James Nxumalo – Durban, South Africa (M): We are facing a huge problem, not only in one country but all over the world – the issue of climate change. And therefore, everybody, individuals, governments, municipalities, must make sure that we begin to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. We must be able to save our future from today.

Nomusa Dube – Minister of Dept. of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, South Africa (F): More than anything else, we want to see decisions being taken by the delegates that are going to be arriving in our city and in our country.

Because for us, the climate change is real. For us, the changes that we’ve seen in the weather have made people to lose their lives. So we want to really see the decisions that are going to save our people, that are going to save our country and the world.

Mayor James Nxumalo – Durban, South Africa (M): May name is James Nxumalo, the mayor of eThekwini municipality in the city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

Held from November 28 to December 9, COP 17 seeks to build on the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Roadmap of 2007, and the Cancún Agreements reached in December 2010.

Reporting from Durban, South Africa for Supreme Master Television.

VOICE: Our appreciation and best wishes, all decision makers, experts and other concerned participants at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. May your time together be productive in advancing humanity toward the restoration of a safe and abundant planet for all inhabitants.

During a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with concern of the urgent need to address climate change, as well as the measures that world leaders and members of the public must take to secure the stability of the Earth.

Even though some of the signs of the global warming are more subtle, like species becoming extinct in places you and I cannot see, there are other signs, many that are really very real and, sadly, much easier to measure. Some that have been predicted with certainty by scientists, including increased heat waves, drought, storms, and the spread of human illness – all of these are occurring to different degrees across the globe.

And I’m praying to all heavenly beings to help awaken the leaders, the media, the influential and ordinary citizens alike so that our planet won’t look like Mars in the near future.

So, prayer, combined with the efforts of citizens, and the governments and media’s powerful support, this formula could bring the fastest and smoothest transition to a stable planet.

We just have to turn away from the animal products. We stop eating meat, dairy, eggs, fish. If everyone does this, we will have a transformed world in no time.

Sources: South Africa, Reconnect Africa, UNFCC

November 27, 2011

Scientists unanimous on pending biodiversity collapse

In a new survey of nearly 600 published researchers, 99.5% forecast serious losses in biodiversity. An overwhelming majority of 80% also agreed that human activities are causing the decline, with tropical coral reefs that are vulnerable to ocean acidification due to greenhouse gases being ranked most likely to see extinctions first.

Lead author Dr. Murray Rudd with the University of York in the UK stated, "The extremely high level of consensus demonstrated by these results underlines the urgency of preventing further damage to the natural world."

Dr. Rudd, we thank you and your colleagues for this study that alerts us further to the dangers of human-caused climate change and the fragile state of our Earth. May humanity act without delay to restore our balance with nature so that all beings on the planet may flourish once more.

In a November 2010 video message presented during a climate change conference in the United Kingdom, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of an effective way to halt threats to global biodiversity.

Supreme Master Ching Hai’s video message “Leaders Preserving Our Future: Pace and Priorities on Climate Change” Westminster, London, UK – November 3, 2010

A recent study by the United Nations found that plants and animals are now disappearing at up to 1,000 times the natural background rate of extinction, with vital life-supporting ecosystems that could soon be irreversibly damaged.

The livestock industry is the leading cause of an alarming decline in wild species. In an October 2010 study, Dutch researchers found that protecting natural areas is not sufficient to stop these fast extinctions of flora and fauna; rather, one of the most effective policies is changing to a no-animal diet, meaning plant-based food.

So if we stop all animal products – fish, egg, meat, and dairy – we will save the oceans, save the climate; and we could halt also biodiversity loss.

Sources: Mongabay, The Conservation

November 26, 2011

South Africa prepares to host United Nations climate change summit

From Monday, November 28 to December 9, government delegates from nearly 200 nations will convene in Durban, South Africa for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Supreme Master Television spoke with His Excellency Dr. Zweli Mkhize, prime minister of KwaZulu-Natal, the summit's hosting province.

His Excellency Dr. Zweli Mkhize – Premier, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (M): We would like to see Durban with COP17 as being a very, very memorable event wherein the different parties were able to agree to balance the imperatives of economic development and growth with the mitigation strategies and taxation issues, and therefore, at the end of the day, take the world to a situation where we could have the deference of all these anticipated disastrous consequences that the conference is all about.

VOICE: A newly released report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed that global warming is indeed responsible for the mounting frequency of extreme weather events being seen worldwide such as severe storms and flooding. This year, a main decision is anticipated on whether to renew the legally binding Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, given the updated scientific evidence of increasing climate-related damage to homes and crops as well as disruption to human lives, some among the delegates and thousands of others joining to observe the meeting are calling for even stronger measures.

As stated by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the emission reduction goals discussed at the summits both in Denmark in 2009 and in Cancún, Mexico in 2010 are insufficient to keep global warming from reaching the extremely dangerous levels of going above a 2-degree Celsius average temperature rise.

With thanks to Premier Dr. Zweli Mkhize and all other organizers, we appreciate South Africa's gracious hosting as well as the efforts of all nations to reach a consensus on climate change in the upcoming meeting that serves best interest of humanity. May this new round of discussions be productive in leading to effective solutions that protect all life on our planet.

Sources: VOA News, COP17, Forbes

Bangladesh and Bhutan agree to work together on a comprehensive climate adaptation plan

During the Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas in Bhutan on November 19, 2011, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan agree to work together on a comprehensive climate adaptation plan.

Sources: PhysOrg, Bhutan Climate Summit

St. Paul, Minneapolis a approaching a drought record

Climatologists in Minnesota, USA report that the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is approaching a drought record after seeing the driest autumn in 141 years, with the region's international airport recording rainfall from September to November 2011 that was more than five inches below normal.

Sources: UPI

November 25, 2011

US company sees potential in kinetic energy capture

New Energy Technologies company in Maryland, USA, introduces prototypes in November 2011 of MotionPower strips, designed like speed bumps to receive kinetic energy transferred from rolling vehicles through pavement, which can then power street lights and even homes.

Sources: France24, Fuel Fix

Pumping of groundwater from high plains aquifers reducing stream flows

As published on November 19, 2011, US researchers find that the pumping of groundwater from the High Plains aquifer in the central part of the country has reduced stream flows, endangering native fish and their aquatic ecosystems as well as affecting entire land areas adjoining the waterways.

Sources: PhysOrg, Oregon State, Online Library

100 elephants die at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe

At least 100 elephants die at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, with thousands more threatened as record high temperatures in November 2011 and irregular rainfall patterns affect the country.

Sources: All Africa, Eye Witness News

November 24, 2011

Media report: Vegan diet is priority solution to climate change

In an article appearing in November 2011 for the website www.Freakonomics.com, titled afterthe internationally bestselling book on fascinating, lesser known topics, respected US author and history professor Dr. James McWilliams provided a thoughtful analysis of a report advocating a vegan solution to global warming.

His essay, titled, “Agnostic Carnivores and Global Warming: Why Enviros (Environmentalists) Go After Coal and Not Cows," asserts: … As a recent report from the World Preservation Foundation confirms, ignoring veganism in the fight against climate change is sort of like ignoring fast food in the fight against obesity.

Forget ending dirty coal or natural gas pipelines. As the WPF report shows, veganism offers the single most effective path to reducing global climate change.

The report referenced by Dr. McWilliams, himself a conscientious vegan, explained how the shorter-lived but potent global warming agents such as methane and black carbon are both generated in profuse amounts by the livestock industry.

Their production would be quickly halted by adoption of the animal-free diet. Not only that,these gases dissipate from the atmosphere quickly, whereas CO2 from fossil fuels remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years. As Dr. McWilliams stated, “A global vegan diet... would reduce dietary emissions by 87 percent, compared to a token 8 percent for “sustainable meat and dairy.”

His article goes on to discuss the fact that substituting other animal-based foods for beef fails to make a significant difference in lowering one’s carbon footprint.

In addition, research has found that the costs for mitigating climate change would be reduced by over 80% if the world shifted to a vegan diet. Dr. McWilliams concluded, “Overall, the point seems pretty strong: global veganism could do more than any other single action to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.”

We appreciate Dr. McWilliams and Freakonomics.com for your candid sharing of these views that emphasize the vegan diet as the optimal and indeed necessary way to halt climate change.

May we all do our part by being veg to ensure the survival of present and future generations. During a December 2010 videoconference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted the vital need to address meat consumption as the main cause of climate change.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We have to be honest and truthful about the main topic. We cannot run around the circle and avoid the meat industry question like we avoid a sore thumb or avoid a boil on our body, and “Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it!” We have to touch it in order to heal it.

Especially, we know that it is a very dangerous boil, which could affect our life, which could be fatal to our life, and even infect others, and even in this situation, infect the whole planet, could kill the whole world.

Then we have to touch that boil and let the doctor heal it. Or we heal it ourselves if we know how. And we do know how. We have technique, we have power. Each one of us can do this, just by being vegan.

I really do not understand, when the problem is as clear as the nose in front of me here. I do not understand why people don’t discuss and immediately get the solution going to save all lives on the planet, because we don’t even have time anymore to discuss much further, too long, or to be polite to each other until it’s too late.

Sources: Freakonomics, World Preservation Foundation

November 23, 2011

Arctic natives bear witness to climate change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources: PhysOrg, Organic AG Centre

November 22, 2011

Airdrop design pulls water from air to irrigate deserts

After studying how Namib beetles collect dew to survive in the desert, Australian university student Edward Linacre in November 2011 introduces a design for the “Airdrop,” a device powered by sunlight that condenses water even from extremely dry air, which can then be used to irrigate crops and alleviate drought conditions.

Sources: Treehugger, James Dyson Award

November 21, 2011

Refugees of climate change rising steadily

A report released by the Switzerland-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center on November 16, 2011 states that a full 90% of the world's disaster-related displacement, which forced more than 38 million people to leave their homes in 2010, was caused by climate change.

Sources: Trust.org, IPS News

November 20, 2011

Whales perish in two mass strandings

As of late Wednesday, November 16, despite persistent rescue efforts, a total of 91 whales perished in separate stranding incidents occurring on remote beaches in Australia's Tasmania and the northern tip of South Island in New Zealand. In New Zealand, 65 pilot whales that became beached earlier in the week all died, in part because their inaccessible location made rescue impossible.

Meanwhile in Australia, two whales were successfully guided back to deeper waters, but a third died on Wednesday, with 26 total that perished after they became stranded on a Tasmanian beach the previous Saturday.

Scientists believe that whales may beach in groups due to their strongly social nature, with many that respond to distress signals sent out by one or more ill or disorientedmembers of a pod.

With deep sorrow for the tragic passing of these beautiful wonders of the sea, we send our appreciation to the rescuers for their caring endeavors.

May human hearts be touched to live in such a manner that all Earth’s inhabitants can thrive.

Speaking with concern for the perilous conditions faced by many marine animals who face rising pollutants along with human-created climate change,
Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the stranding of whales and dolphins, and what must be done to protect all lives.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: As the ocean becomes warmer and warmer and more acidic, more toxins are present in the water. The whales and dolphins are thus being driven from the ocean as conditions worsen; it is suffocating them.

Sometimes hundreds at a time, they’re dying on the beach because they cannot tolerate this toxic condition in the seawater anymore. What do we think, why the dolphins and the whales beach on the sand?

They die hundreds at a time because they cannot suffer anymore the water in which they live.

Water means life to them but now the water becomes poison so they have to go out.
Anything God puts on Earth is for a purpose. We should not kill anything. We should not eat anything except plant-based diet.

Sources: News.com, Xinhua Net, Taiwan News, Japan Today, Boston.com

November 19, 2011

Coastal villages on the Fijian island of Kadavu threatened by rising sea level

The Fiji Times reports on November 11, 2011 that three coastal villages on the Fijian island of Kadavu are being threatened by rising sea levels, with government officials advising that all new structures be built on higher ground.

Sources: Fiji Times

Nearly 1,000 turtles and 170 dugongs perished in Australia

Nearly 1,000 turtles and 170 dugongs in Australia perished as of November 14, 2011, after extreme rain and floodwaters caused silt plumes to spread to the ocean, covering beds of sea grass, which are the marine animals' primary source of food.

Sources: ABC, Weather Zone

November 18, 2011

Greenest urban region being developed in Portugal

Switzerland-based Living PlanIT, which is developing what it says will be the greenest urban region in Portugal, announces on November 11, 2011 that it is partnering with Japanese electronics company Hitachi for the creation of a comprehensive clean energy system to manage the city's infrastructure, technology and buildings.

Sources: Business Green, Asahi

Photographers exhibit their pictures in Britain to raise awareness of climate change

As part of a multi-national initiative sponsored by the British Council, the work of 26 professional and amateur photographers in Turkey has been selected for exhibit across the country through March 2012, to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and encourage people toward planet-restoring actions.

Sources: Treehugger, Crowd Sourcing

November 2011 weather in the UK is warmest ever in the country's record-keeping history of 353 years

With elevated temperatures that are causing wildlife in the UK to exhibit spring and summer behaviors in mid-November 2011, meteorologists state that this is likely to be the warmest such month in the country's record-keeping history of 353 years.

Sources: Telegraph, Daily Mail

Widening effects of climate change on human health

In an article published in the US-based The Atlantic newspaper, Dr. (MD) Paul Epstein, Harvard Medical School's associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, highlighted several key ways that humanity is already being harmed by climate change effects.

These include a rise in heat-related illnesses and deaths; increased incidence of other diseases such as asthma, allergies, and infectious conditions; impact to humans through increased diseases in crops, forests, and marine life; and food insecurity.

Dr. Epstein explained that in addition to overall global temperature rise, nighttimes are also far less cool, while the added water vapor in the warmer atmosphere has made recent heat waves even deadlier.

Regarding the spread of infectious diseases, the author pointed out that their ranges are expanding faster than modeled projections. Warming and extreme weather have also contributed to marine life disease. For instance, in 2004 cruise-ship travelers were sickened by eating Vibrio bacteria-infected oysters from warming Alaskan waters.

Similarly, harmful algal blooms, which are the source of many of the world’s 350-plus dead zones, have been spreading in coastal environments, causing direct human harm as well as contaminating shellfish with toxins.

Finally, Dr. Epstein described how demands for resource-intensive meat, along with adverse weather events such as the recent East African drought are causing food shortages, food price increases, and consequent malnutrition, leading to further disease vulnerability and even potential conflict.

Our appreciation, Dr. Paul Epstein for this summary alert of how our health is endangered by the combined impacts of climate change.

May we rapidly halt the onset of these threats to our well-being and the planet through the actions needed to cool our planet. During a June 2011 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained the best way to stop climate change and prevent its impacts to both our health and the Earth.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We should fuel the economy with the cleanest fuel to keep our air, our water and land clean and our health in good condition, because everything that is not good for the environment is not good for our health as well. All the chemicals of the agriculture, all the waste from the animal agriculture, run off into the river, into our stream, into the ocean, and we drink this water. We use the ocean. Everything will affect our health.

That’s why people are more sick nowadays despite all the new inventions, new discoveries of medicines and different fashions, more hospitals than ever before, when we say we were not so developed right now.

Also, we should not just fuel our system with the clean fuel, but we also should fuel ourselves with the best, most clean and efficient energy source as well.

Our best fuel is vegan food, the life-saving organic vegan food. It benefits the climate physically and also creates a benevolent atmosphere around us.

Sources: The Atlantic

November 17, 2011

Climate Vulnerable Forum held in Bangladesh

Officials from 24 nations throughout the Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, many of which are at the highest risk for climate change effects, convened for a third annual summit that concluded on Monday, November 14. With the inaugural meeting launched in 2009 by the island nation Maldives, participation has expanded and now includes many other small island states and countries with low-lying coastlines as well as drought-stricken East African nations.

Addressing the conference, hosting country Bangladesh's Environment Secretary Mesbah ul Alam stated, "Climate change is real and it is affecting us now – we live with floods, with climate refugees, with rising salinity in our coastal areas and with the impact of rising sea levels."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was also a keynote speaker, spoke with concern as he emphasized the responsibility of the global community in addressing the costs of climate change effects.

The meeting concluded with the creation of the Dhaka Declaration, which calls for a US$100 billion fund to be created to help with the climate change challenges faced by vulnerable countries, as well as calling for industrialized nations to reduce emissions 85% by 2050, and to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We thank Your Excellencies and all those participating for your concerned efforts to remind of the real impacts and urgency of climate change. May we act quickly together to protect the Earth we share, for the safety of all beings in your countries and throughout the world.

Sources: All Headline News, The Financial Express, All Headline News

November 16, 2011

Concerns raised as plastic bags litter the oceans

The first enforcement effort in the US to halt the spillage of pre-production plastic, or “nurdles” into the waters of California was recently launched by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Water Resources Control Board, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A government-ordered environmental cleanup has since begun in San Leandro, where thousands of fish and birds are believed to have perished or fallen ill after mistaking the tiny bits of plastic for food.

The UN estimates that 6.4 million metric tons of plastic debris are polluting the world’s oceans, spread across five major gyres, or swirling regions of plastic soup. As Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the EPA, explained, plastic can take between 500 to 1,000 years to break down completely, with tragic effects meanwhile, such as albatross and other sea bird chick deaths caused by their parents mistakenly feeding them bits of plastic.

Captain Charles Moore, who co-authored “Plastic Ocean,” a new book about his discovery of the gyre known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch, warned against the proliferation of plastic, saying, “It’s not hard to make the connection that fish are getting tangled up in this, that we’re turning the beaches into plastic sand;... that there are deleterious consequences of our trash.”

Our thankfulness, Captain Moore, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Water Resources Control Board, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Charles Moore, and environmentalists working to raise awareness and reduce plastic waste.

Let us strive to protect Earth’s waters and our precious animal co-inhabitants by leading more eco-conscious lifestyles. During a January 2011 videoconference with Supreme Master Television staff in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai responded to a question about the harmful effects of ocean litter, also addressing our responsibility to be kind stewards of the ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It’s very, very harmful. It’s very harmful. If we damage the ocean, we threaten our own lives, because we know that every second breath of our existence came from the ocean.

And physically speaking, the ocean is very important to our wellbeing,you know, supplying oxygen, neutralizing pollution, supporting marine lives, which in turn, also supporting our lives, because the animals support our lives as well. You know that. So, damaging the ocean is almost like damaging ourselves.

It’s just the effect that we don’t always see immediately. That’s why people do not stop doing what they do, and the oceans suffer greatly right now.

I hope they do know and practice and try to stop the destruction of the planet and ecosystems on this planet, including marine lives and the ocean life.

Very simple: do good, be good, be veg.

Sources: UPI, EPA, Algalita, CNN

November 15, 2011

Historic drought grips Mexico

Saying that the current dry conditions are unprecedentedin the country's history, National Meteorological Service General Director Felipe Adrián Vázquez Gálvez stated that more than 70% of Mexico’s total area is suffering from drought.

Mr. Vázquez Gálvez made the statement while attending the recent 21st Forum on Climate Prediction, held in the state of San Luis Potosí. Given current ocean temperatures and atmospheric circulation patterns, meteorologists have also forecast that the dry weather will likely continue throughout the winter.

To better understand and address the recent extreme weather, scientists in Mexico are working with their counterparts in the southwestern United States, which has also been devastated by drought.

Our thanks, Mr. Vázquez Gálvez and other experts, for your efforts to understand and raise awareness of the urgent drought crisis. Let us do our part to alleviate such severe conditions through our more conscientious stewardship of the ecosphere.

Speaking with concern of the planetary emergency during a June 2011 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the steep toll of drought in the nation, as well as what must be done to stop climate change.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: With all the droughts and wildfires Mexico is facing, food security is really at risk, and climate change – through droughts and floods that destroy crops is, of course, a major cause of high food price and food insecurity.

There is a solution. A few months ago, 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.

So we all should go vegan, and the bestis organic vegan.

Sources: El Universal, Pulsoslp

Hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas has contaminated groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming

A study released by the US Environmental Protection Agency on November 8, 2011 finds that regional hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from underground has contaminated groundwater supplies in the rural town of Pavillion, Wyoming with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, as well as 50 times the safe amount of benzene.

Sources: MSNBC, Smart Planet

Scientist forecast life-threatening heat waves in cities like Melbourne

In a report commissioned by the Australian government, scientists on November 11, 2011 forecast life-threatening heat waves that may triple in cities such as Melbourne as they state that more Australians now perish due to heat each year than to any other natural disasters.

Sources: Weekly Times Now, Telegraph, The Age

November 14, 2011

Students at the Jerudong International School are learning about protection of endangered orangutans

Local Malaysian news publication,the Borneo Bulletin, reports on November 10, 2011 that students at the Jerudong International School are learning about protection of endangered orangutans whose populations are threatened by deforestation and illegal trade as they also design a facility to care for young primates who have been orphaned.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

November 13, 2011

Rwandan officials announce a new plan that seek to plant 68 million trees within a year

Rwandan officials announce a new plan, to be launched November 19, 2011, that seeks to plant 68 million trees within a year, an effort that will help fulfill the country's commitment to becoming one of the most forested lands in the world.

Sources: All Africa, Examiner, NY Times

Extinction looms for the East African antelope

The National Geographic News reports on November 8, 2011 that with only 400 remaining in the wild due to drought, habitat loss and unrestricted hunting, extinction looms for the East African antelope known as the hirola, which would mean the end of not only its species but an entire genus of animals of this kind.

Sources: Treehugger, Nation Geographic

Experts warned that Bangkok, Thailand could sink entirely below sea level

On November 7, 2011, experts warned that Bangkok, Thailand, which is currently suffering from massive flooding, could sink entirely below sea level in coming decades owing to factors including climate change-induced ocean level rise as well as a shrinking groundwater table is causing the land to collapse.

Sources: France24, Thai Travel News

November 12, 2011

Scientists in India appeal for protection of stork populations, whose numbers are severely dwindling

In an effort to save stork populations, whose numbers are severely dwindling, scientists in India's Assam state appeal in November 2011 for protection of the less than 1,000 birds known to exist by asking citizens to save the trees they inhabit and regard them as they would their own children.

Sources: CNTV, News Track India

The Green Africa Foundation launches project to plant 5.6 million trees

To reverse an alarming rate of deforestation due to daily firewood use, the Green Africa Foundation launches Kenya's Wangari Green Corners project, with a goal of planting 5.6 million trees within one year of November 2011 in tribute to the late Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel laureate, Dr. Wangari Maathai.

Sources: All Africa, Green Africa Foundation

12,000 citizens rally in Washington DC to call for the halt on the Keystone XL oil pipeline

Some 12,000 citizens, including renowned activist Dick Gregory and climatologist Dr. James Hansen, rally the first weekend of November 2011 in Washington DC, USA as they call for the government to halt a pipeline that would transport oil from Canadian tar sands to southern US Gulf refineries, due to its harmful effect on people, animals and the environment.

Sources: Examiner, NY Times

November 11, 2011

New study suggests life on Mars existed underground

A new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) study published in the scientific journal “Nature” concludes that the longest-lasting habitats on Mars were underground. In the study, led by Dr. Bethany Ehlmann of the California Institute of Technology in the US, scientists re-examined mineral-mapping data that European and NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars collected from more than 350 sites over the past five years.

Although clay minerals had been previously discovered across the surface of Mars, indicating warm, wet conditions with the potential to harbor life, the scientists noted that a much thicker atmosphere would have been necessary for the water to persist there for more than short periods of time.

Saying that these findings give a different perspective to where life may have survived on the planet, Dr. Ehlmann stated, “If surface habitats were short-term... it says something about what type of environment we might want to look in. The most stable Mars habitats over long durations appear to have been in the subsurface.”

Our appreciation, Dr. Ehlmann, fellow researchers and National Aeronautics and Space Administration colleagues, for sharing these intriguing findings. May such understanding of our planetary neighbor help us better appreciate the wonders of the cosmos, including our magnificent and life-supporting Earth.

During a January 2009 videoconference with Supreme Master Television staff in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai revealed insights about life on planets such as Mars and how their existence might relate to ours.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: They live underground, and they live very frugally, recycling-ly, and spiritually. The found the underground water, river, and they live nearby. Most of the people live near the underground water.

They produce oxygen by special techniques that they invented with time, from the underground water. And they recycle water a lot and they recycle the air also whenever possible.

And they pump up the methane and the other gasses onto the surface of Mars. They know what’s happening to our planet, almost like what happened to them.

They know they cannot help, but of course, they have a message. There were two messages. The first one is from the Council of the People and there are only two words from them: “Be Virtuous.” And the second message is from the Chairman of the People. He says: “Save your home before it’s too late.”

November 10, 2011

UN report links extreme weather to climate change

Culminating three years of research is a new report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which reveals an association of human-caused climate change with more frequent extreme weather events such as heat waves, wildfires, floods, and cyclones.

The draft copy of “Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” is now available, with the final report to be published in late November 2011.

The release of this information coincides with a series of unprecedented worldwide weather calamities such as severe October snowstorms on the East Coast of the USA, massive flooding in Bangkok, Thailand, and extreme droughts in the Horn of Africa, to name just a few.

The report also forecasts a future of continued volatile weather that could further endanger large populations in coming decades. Our sincere thanks, IPCC and all participating scientists for sharing these important observations.

Let us quickly heed such urgent findings and adopt eco-protective lifestyles to stabilize weather patterns and ensure the welfare of the Earth’s inhabitants.
During an August 2008 interview with Ireland’s East Coast Radio FM, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about the dire consequences of climate change, and what must be done to protect the ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It’s truly critical now, as we have witnessed increasing disaster worldwide, due to climate change. And yet, we still have time, we still have a little time to change the course of destiny, thanks to the vegetarian population, old and new members that reduce the most karmic retribution in the shortest span of time. Thus we have like an extended deadline before the no return point.

But it’s not much. We must change fast to avoid much more damage to the Earth as well as loss of more lives and resources.

The best solution for our urgent situation right now is a vegetarian diet, and it should be openly endorsed and even made into law if possible, to protect people, animals and our planet, the only one that we have.

Sources: WRI, Gulf Times, LA Times Blog

November 9, 2011

As oceans warm, marine species are more challenged by climate change

Australian scientists state on November 4, 2011 that as the oceans warm, marine species need to travel sometimes vast distances to reach waters in which they can survive and thus may be even more challenged by climate change than land species.

Sources: Physorg, CSIRO

United Nations unveil the Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability

In preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, UN agencies unveil the Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability, offering 10 proposals to protect marine ecosystems and halt further degradation.

Sources: Unesco, Plenglish

Aerosol pollutants linked to more severe cyclone activity

US researchers report on November 5, 2011 that aerosol pollutants emitted from countries such as India are reducing vertical shear winds, which in turn have caused increasingly severe cyclone activity in regions bordering the Arabian Sea.

Sources: Summit Country Voice, Bits of Science

November 8, 2011

Comprehensive study validates global temperature rise

In a study conducted over the course of a year, astrophysicist and Professor Richard Muller of the University of California, Berkeley in the USA, led an extremely detailed evaluation effort to determine whether concerns about the validity of global warming information were supported by data.

The two main areas of question were regarding a possible skewing of temperatures upward from data collected in cities, called the "heat island effect," as well as inaccuracies that could come from recording temperatures from outdated weather station equipment.

Dubbing the project the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature program, Dr. Muller and a team of physicists and other researchers collected data from around 40,000 weather stations around the world. They also created some new methods to analyze the information.

Their findings were consistent with those of previous studies conducted by organizations such as the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in concluding that global average temperatures are, in fact, rising.

As stated by Professor Muller, "We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups... This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions."

Professor Muller and international colleagues, many thanks for your diligent and detailed efforts that confirm the dire reality of global warming. Let us all heed such urgent information by acting swiftly to renew our harmony with nature to preserve the lives of all beings on Earth.

Sources: Greenpeace, Washington Post, Economist, BBC, CNN

November 7, 2011

Small fish also at risk of collapse

Reporting on two recent studies, US-based environmental science publication Mongabay described how human activities are placing the survival of smaller marine fish such as anchovies, sardines, mackerel, and herring at risk. The first research, conducted by Australian scientists, found that even so-called sustainable fishing practices are actually pushing many of these species toward extinction.

They also noted that smaller fish currently comprise about 30% of all that are caught for either human consumption or use in livestock and farmed fish feed. The second study, conducted by US scientists, revealed that despite a greater resiliency, small fish are as vulnerable as their larger counterparts to population declines, with severe impact to marine ecosystems along the way.

Researcher and study co-author Dr. Malin Pinsky of Stanford University in California, USA, stated, "The important lesson is that all species of fishes can collapse once humans decide to eat or use them, from sardines to swordfish. You hear the old adage, 'Don't sweat the small stuff,' but for fisheries, we do have to care about the little (ones). "

We appreciate these insights, international scientists, alerting us to the threats imposed by human consumption of smaller fish. May we all quickly adopt life-embracing practices that protect these and all fellow inhabitants on Earth.

During an April 2011 videoconference in Mongolia, Supreme Master Ching Hai discussed the vital role of every species, including fish.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The thousands of species of magnificent animals on our world, on our planet, are here, not to be consumed, not to be eaten, but to provide us and our Earth with a stabilizing, unconditional love, blessing and evolutionary help.

And as part of this love, they also maintain the delicate balance of all the ecosystems on land and in the seas, and in the atmosphere as well.

Like the little sardine fish that we should not remove from the sea, because this little fish serves a vital role in maintaining oxygen and avoiding the conditions for dead zones.

Every single being on this planet has a noble job to fulfill. So if we kill any of them, we are killing a part of ourselves, slowly or quickly.

Animals are here to live out their natural lives in freedom and dignity and peace, just like the way we want.

They are here for us to love, respect, and be loved.

November 6, 2011

US scientist focuses on diet to stop climate change

Ahead of the December United Nations Climate Change Conference in South Africa, former World Bank senior environmental advisor Dr. Robert Goodland has been campaigning to convince nations everywhere that livestock raising should be the focus in halting global warming.

Dr. Goodland states that even starting with a 25% reduction in meat consumption would help achieve the goals of agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord set by the United Nations.

In 2009, Dr. Goodland co-authored a landmark report stating that the life cycle of livestock production is accountable for at least 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions, after factoring in new sources such as the carbon emitted through animal respiration.

Robert Goodland (M): Sixty billion livestock animals were raised, 60 billion were killed, and 60 billion were eaten by us. Sixty billion animals of livestock respiration emits 10 billion tons of carbon, whereas the transport sector only emits 6 billion. The carbon dioxide emitted by pigs, cows, chickens, is roughly the same per kilogram of body weight. It's about two watts per kilogram.

Therefore, switching from beef to pork, or beef to pork to chicken won't help solve climate risk. The only thing you can do is to reduce livestock intake yourselves.
Now, if you can reduce your intake by more, and Professor Choi this morning mentioned that people go vegetarian, that's even better. That would be absolutely brilliant.

VOICE: Dr. Goodland joins other scientists in pointing out that changing our lifestyles would also allow forest regeneration, which he states is the only way to sequester today’s atmospheric carbon dioxide on a large scale.

Robert Goodland (M): Saving the planet means preventing climate catastrophe, and it's much easier than people think. People think that you have to change from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

That is essential, but it's too long term. We haven't got the time to change totally from fossil fuels, coal, and oil to renewable energies.

But on the other hand, individuals, by a reduction in livestock production, can make a huge difference in preventing climate change. It's a very hopeful message.

VOICE: Our appreciation, Dr. Robert Goodland for raising awareness on the most crucial solution to climate change – to be veg. May we all join in efforts to avert a planetary crisis by shifting to vegan agriculture and diets today.

During a December 2010 press conference with members of the Mexican media, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained that dietary change is the priority in addressing climate change.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: That’s why we focus on the vegan diet because that cools the planet almost in the few years. And the green technology takes time to develop and install and to distribute.

Without cooling the planet, we don’t have time for even wind energy, solar energy, electric car, nothing!

The way we are going now, scientists predict that soon we will reach even 5 degrees-plus Celsius.

That means catastrophe for all lives on this planet. So even if we develop green technology, it’s too late. And so slow, you know that. And expensive, because it’s new and it’s not even tried and trusted.

So vegan is the answer.

First! Everything else second.

November 5, 2011

Hummingbirds are imperiled by primarily deforestation for plantations and livestock

Speaking on October 30, 2011 to Mexican news agency Notimex, Ecuadorian biologist and professor Mario Garcia warns that hummingbirds, whose colorful beauty was once abundant in great variety across the Latin American country, are now imperiled by primarily deforestation for plantations and livestock, with many species that face extinction.

Source: Informador

China plans to expand support for sustainable energy projects in Africa

At a first ever China-Africa Think Tank Forum on October 30, 2011, Chinese official Lu Shaye reported on efforts to assist Africa in addressing climate change, saying that his government has helped implement at least 100 sustainable energy projects throughout 11 African countries, with plans for expanded support.

Sources: Xinhua Net, China Daily

November 4, 2011

Bananas grown with coffee to combat climate change

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture announces on October 28, 2011 the introduction of an intercropping technique in Rwanda where farmers grow banana trees alongside coffee bushes to help fertilize the soil, in efforts to adapt and safeguard against the harms of climate change.

Sources: Yahoo News, VOA News

Eco-advocates in Africa journey across the country to raise support for the climate crisis

A group of eco-advocates in Africa are setting out on November 9, 2011 on a journey across 10 countries in an effort to raise support and collect signatures for the African People’s petition on climate change, to be presented to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma for the upcoming UN climate talks.

Sources: All Africa

November 3, 2011

Green Party leader highlights measures to curb climate change

As weather extremes and other disasters continue to escalate across the globe,the economic costs, in addition to the other devastating consequences of climate change, are becoming more apparent.

In a recent interview with Supreme Master Television, Adrian Ramsay, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, spoke of the need for specific government action.

Adrian Ramsay, Deputy Leader, Green Party, England and Wales, United Kingdom – Vegan (M): What the Green Party says is that if we are going to tackle the economic crisis, we need to tackle the climate crisis as well. For example, if we are going to invest in jobs that are going to last for the future, then that’s going to bein areas like renewable energy, home insulation, public transport, things that are actually going to recognize that
we need to be tackling climate change.

VOICE: An eco-conscious vegan himself, Mr. Ramsay emphasized the importance of individuals to not only do their part in leading green lifestyles, but also in encouraging their government toward Earth-protecting policies.

Adrian Ramsay (M): It's clear I have decided to be vegan myself, and I can see the benefits of that myself in terms of animal welfare, carbon emissions and in terms of feeding the world. So on a personal level, I’m convinced by that. But what I want to see as a politician is the government taking action to make it easier for people to do the right thing.

In terms of government policy, hat I think we need to be doing is promoting healthy eating, promoting eating fresh fruit and veg. And I would like to see a lot more of the money that's spent on farming subsidies, going into helping farmers to convert to organic.

VOICE: Our appreciation, Deputy Leader Adrian Ramsay and the Green Party of England and Wales, for your work in raising awareness toward action to restore economies and the safety of the planet.

May all corners of the world quickly join in fostering sustainable and humane vegan policies for the welfare of the Earth and all her inhabitants.

Speaking during a December 2010 videoconference in the United Arab Emirates, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted the urgency of our global climate change crisis, as well as what humans can do to protect the planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I hope, the government encourages the farmers to forgo the cattle and poultry raising, to be vegan, organic vegan. Because, for one, it is still much more costly in terms of food, energy, water uses to raise animals. Whereas, it costs less and less to have organic farming, especially the hydroponics that your government is progressing to promote.

We need every help right now in this emergency situation, urgent time, to save our planet.

I hope our government will guide the agriculture sector to the organic vegan path, and also use their knowledge and talents to share these good techniques with other countries, because the world is interdependent and can cooperate together for a sustainable future. Again and finally, we must change our lifestyle.
We should live more simply, sustaining ourselves on the best diet, and the economy, ecology diet that is organic vegan.

November 2, 2011

Glaciers and major rivers such as the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang in China shrinking rapidly with warming

As reported on October 27, 2011 attempts by the Mexican government to offset the effects of climate change are being hampered by further extreme weather events, with torrential rains in the southern state of Tabasco preventing reforestation activities while prolonged drought in the north has indefinitely delayed the planting of some two and a half million saplings.

Source: Contexto

Environmental news website EcoWatch.org launches

US activist and environmental law attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., announces a partnership with Ohio, USA-based EcoWatch Journal on October 27, 2011 to launch the environmental news website EcoWatch.org for up-to-date information on eco-issues and movements to motivate readers in calling for protection of human health and the environment.

Sources: Cleveland, World Wire

Significant annual temperature rise is causing glaciers in the southwest China to melt rapidly

Scientists in China report on October 25, 2011 that significant annual temperature rise is causing glaciers in the southwest to melt rapidly, with major rivers such as the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang also diminishing amidst concerns that they might disappear within a decade.

Sources: Xinhua Net, UPI.com, Science Daily

November 1, 2011

First US summit on ending factory farms

Held near Washington, DC from October 27 to 29, the animal protection group Farm Sanctuary hosted the first ever National Conference to End Factory Farming, supported by the Humane Society of the United States, the Treehugger media group, and food justice organization A Well Fed World, among others.

Noted speakers included meat-free advocate, US physician and bestselling author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and vegans such as Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine director of government affairs Elizabeth Kucinich, and leading vegan nutrition researcher and author of “The China Study,” Dr. T. Colin Campbell.

Addressing some of the major problems presented by factory farming, Farm Sanctuary co-founder and President Gene Baur spoke of its undeniable cruelty to animals as he also said, “It is inefficient, unhealthy and unsustainable, and costs our nation hundreds of billions of dollars every year.”

Gene Baur (Vegan) Farm Sanctuary co-founder and President (e): Most people that here about this factory farming think it is wrong and it is inhumane. And laws should reflect those social values. So this is a system that is about extraction not investment, it is about exploitation, and when it comes to animals it’s about callous cruelty. And we’re better than that.

Nathan Runkle (Vegan) Founder, Mercy for Animals (e): These cows spend the vast majority of their lives, nearly every single day indoors living on concrete and that comes at high expense to the welfare of these animals. They often times slip on the concrete that is coated in urine and feces. Some of these animals become injured. They have joint problems, they can’t get up, and they’re known as downers.

Wayne Pacelle (Vegan) HSUS President and CEO (e): We’ll never have a truly civil society, until we stop this needless violence against animals. Meanwhile, The New York Times contributing journalist Jim Motavalli pointed out the inefficiency of using the world's grains for livestock feed, and Professor John Ikerd of the University of Missouri, Columbia, USA spoke of a lack of respect for the sanctity life, which undermines the moral fabric of human society.

The relevance of such a gathering was further highlighted by the news of confined pens on factory farms that recently led to mass animal deaths in the US, as half the pigs on a 5,000-animal farm in Missouri perished in the heat during a summer power outage. In another facility, temperatures above 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) inside stifling pole barn-type structures led to the fatalities of more than 4,000 turkeys on a southern Kansas farm.

Furthermore, an estimated 10,000 cattle in crowded outdoor feedlot pens scorched to death during heat waves across several states. Also highlighted during the conference was the fact that the disturbing conditions of most intensive animal operations are deliberately hidden from public awareness, both within and outside the US.

Speaking with concern for societal well-being, Greenpeace Senior Legislative Representative Kyle Ash stated that factory farming makes every public health problem worse, as he warned that humans’ disregard toward other beings is destroying the planet even for ourselves.Our appreciation, Farm Sanctuary and all participants of the National Conference to End Factory Farming for your unified voice and actions toward ending an industry that harms both animals and ultimately humans.

With sorrow for the countless beings who suffer and perish through such practices, we pray that all people soon switch to the humane and life-giving plant-based lifestyle. During a December 2010 interview with a journalist for the Mexican newspaper, “El Quintanarroense,” Supreme Master Ching Hai discussed the problems surrounding factory farming, while suggesting the best and necessary solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: But the truths are kept away from people. That’s why they even know people are sensitive, they don’t like killing, so all the factory farms, the killing houses, for-animal killing houses, all very, far, far away from the city. Nobody can go in and look. Mostly hidden, big wall and gate.

So, people don’t know, and come home and tired and just grab a piece of meat and eat it – don’t even think. And then eat that and get sick. More tired, time for hospital – have to earn more money after for doctors and hospital. People are very pitiful. They’re really cheated from all sides, all sides.

In my opinion, all the newspapers, all the TV, all the radio must have at least one article every day, or one show, one program, to inform people about climate change and the solution of the vegan diet.

They have to inform themselves first and then inform the public every day. And the governments must disseminate all this information.

Sources: Kansas City, Info Shop, Green Muze, Factory Farming Conference