December 31, 2011

France has had hottest year since 1900

Reporting on December 27, 2011, the French national meteorological service Météo-France states that the average daily temperature over the past year was 13.6 degrees Celsius, which is the warmest ever on record, while the Russian capital city Moscow also noted the highest ever December temperatures in history.

Sources: Telegraph, France24 link 1, France24 link 2

Hundreds of dead magpies found in Chin'a Hebei province

On December 25, 2011, hundreds of dead magpies were found throughout the woods near Hengshui Lake in China's Hebei province, with experts saying that the cause of the birds' death was thus far unknown.

Sources: Sohu.com, Pandemic Information News

December 30, 2011

Studies highlight growing urgency of preserving biodiversity

A review of eight studies conducted by 30 scientists from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, published in the scientific journal Pacific Conservation Biology, has found that climate change is worsening the situation for flora and fauna in the Oceanian region, which is already severely impacted by intensive agriculture, habitat loss, and other problems.

Land, marine, and freshwater environments are all affected. Recently, US scientists at the University of Miami in Florida also drew attention to the danger of ever-enlarging dead zones in the ocean, which are shrinking the habitat of all marine species, including fish. Their study evaluated the survival of blue marlin, billfish,
and tropical tuna, whose size and active movements necessitate large amounts of dissolved oxygen.

The researchers found that not only are the fish being deprived by dead zones of habitable regions, they are also being forced into waters closer to the surface where they are more vulnerable to fishing.

University of Miami researcher Dr. Jiangang Luo noted, (PhD) “In human terms, you might describe it as if you were in a house on fire with ... only one exit, then discovering you have a robber inside the house at the same time.” Despite a commitment made in 2002 by governments across the globe to protect 10% of the world's oceans and their inhabitants by 2012, the agreements created so far cover only a little more than 1%.

Lead author of the Oceania study, Australian Professor Richard Kingsford of the University of New South Wales, spoke of the urgency of addressing these issues as he stated, "There are opportunities to mitigate some of these impacts but it requires planning now, not when future generations inherit the problem."

Many thanks, international scientists, for your efforts to inform the public of this alarming imbalance on our planet.

May we join in acting now to implement Earth-saving practices that protect and preserve all lives. Speaking with deep concern for the alarming loss of biodiversity, Supreme Master Ching Hai during an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand reminded of what humanity must do in order to ensure the continuation
of life on Earth.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It’s a very sad thing because our animal friends are suffering terribly due to the effects of global warming. Many of the animals are dying or at the brink of extinction or already gone due to unbearable temperatures or they are being forced out of their habitats, just like human climate refugees, except they are not nearly as equipped as we are at adapting to new environments.

To ensure the peace and comfort of all our animal co-inhabitants, we really should first cease to consume them, any animals at all. Then, the wild areas and habitats will be restored as will be the animals’ natural lives. That’s the best way to protect them, to show our love to them.

Sources: PBL, UPI, Straits Times, ABC.net

60 ringed seals perished in the Arctic and Bering Strait due to unknown cause

The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated on December 20, 2011 that 60 Ringed seals in the Arctic and Bering Strait regions of Alaska had perished, with 75 found still alive but suffering from skin lesions, and the cause still unknown.

Sources: ENS Newswire, The Republic, Alaska Dispatch

December 29, 2011

Temperatures in December 2011 were a full six degrees Celsius warmer than usual in Finland

As meteorologists in Finland noted temperatures at the beginning of December 2011 that were a full six degrees Celsius warmer than usual, two major ski events were canceled due to lack of snow, and a majority of the country was still without the traditional white ground cover as of Christmas Day.

Sources: France, NaharNet, YLE

December 28, 2011

Increased chance of runaway Arctic global warming due to permafrost melt

A report by the US-based New York Times describes the growing concern of scientists over the threat that the frozen layer of soil known as permafrost, which runs beneath the entire Arctic tundra region, is melting.

Although the ancient plant matter from which permafrost was formed has been frozen for the past tens of thousands of years, climate change is causing it to thaw and decompose.

If this process continues at its current rate, sufficient methane would be released at some point to set off irreversible global warming. In addition, some Arctic regions such as northern Alaska, USA are showing an increase in a phenomenon called thermokarsts, in which the melting permafrost layer has caused the ground
above it to collapse into hollows.

In the low-lying areas that are created, wetlands and lakes are forming, whose dark water surfaces absorb the sun’s heat and cause still further thawing of the permafrost in and around the lake, with often forceful methane plumes up being seen bubbling up through the waters.

Dr. Katey Walter Anthony and colleague Dr. Guido Gross from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA have been mapping the thermokarst lakes, saying that these could strongly accelerate the Arctic permafrost melt and methane production.

Yet another newer factor being studied as the region warms is a potential increase in tundra fires. Scientists warn that these combined factors could turn the Arctic from a vast carbon sink into a potentially lethal source of methane in less than a decade.

Dr. Walter Anthony, Dr. Gross, and all scientists involved, we appreciate your research and fieldwork that is helping us understand the growing threat of melting permafrost in the crucial Arctic region.

May we act promptly to avoid further catastrophic warming and stabilize the planet on which all lives depend. Supreme Master Ching Hai has often mentioned permafrost melt as a potential source of runaway global warming, as in this interview published in the September 2009 edition of The House Magazine.

Interview with Supreme Master Ching Hai Published in The House Magazine September 2009 edition

Supreme Master Ching Hai: According to Dr. Hansen, our planet is on a dangerous course to passing irreversible tipping points with disastrous consequences. These you know already, like the melting of permafrost which in turn releases toxic methane gas, resulting in more warming of the atmosphere.

The reason scientists are now turning their attention to methane is that research has shown this gas has a heating capacity 100 times greater than CO2 within the first 5 years.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization states that livestock is the single largest human-caused source of methane and accounts for 37% of total greenhouse gases. Thus, if meat eating were to be halted, methane production from livestock would be minimized, and then, consequently all the methane from the permafrost will also be stopped, then we will still have time to handle the CO2.

It’s very logical, scientifically speaking and otherwise. So, being veg means saving our planet.

Sources: NY Times, Smart Planet

More protection pledged for Europe's last remaining primary forests

Signing a memorandum of understanding with the World Wildlife Fund on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, Environment Minister Laszlo Borbely of Romania pledges to enhance protection of the country’s biodiversity-rich beech tree forests in the Carpathian Mountains, some of Europe’s last remaining primary forests.

Sources: France24, Yahoo News

India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company warns of impending water shortages

A December 2011 report from India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company warns of impending water shortages, with 14 of 20 major river basins currently strained as it calls for a focus on reusing, recycling, and conserving limited resources.

Sources: Terra Daily, UPI

December 27, 2011

Mass perishing of aquatic birds in Utah, USA

As the most recent in a series of incidents this past year where tens of thousands of birds and other animals such as fish suddenly and often mysteriously died, more than 3,500 of the duck-like aquatic birds known as eared grebes recently crash-landed onto a retail store parking lot and adjacent areas in southern Utah, USA.

Although approximately 2,000 were rescued, some 1,500 of the birds lost their lives as they collided with the pavement.

Teresa Griffin, wildlife program manager for the Utah Department of Wildlife Resource said that scientists thought that the weather may have created light conditions that caused the pavement to look like water, thus disorienting the birds as they were migrating south toward Mexico's coastal waters.

Our sincere thanks, Ms. Griffin, Utah Department of Wildlife Resource colleagues and volunteers for your efforts to save the lives of thousands of eared grebes amidst this distressing event. May these and all cherished feathered friends be graced with conditions that allow them to travel in safety and ease.

During a February 2011 videoconference in the US, Supreme Master Ching Hai responded to a question on an alternative explanation for such tragic events andwhether they might be intended to convey a message to humanity.

Q (m): There has been mass dying of animals reported in the United States and other parts of the world (SM: Right.) during the past few months for reasons not completely explained, such as the two million dead fish in Maryland, USA; 4,000 to 5,000 birds falling from the sky in Arkansas, USA; hundreds of dead birds in Italy; and 40,000 crabs on the beaches of England.

A Chinese animal telepathic communicator spoke to one of the birds in Arkansas, USA, who said that day the animal had sought permission from God to sacrifice themselves in that way and that they were doing it to awaken humans to the sad state of the environment. Master, is this true? And has it been impactful?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, it's true, and it’s so sad, so sad. But the impact is not even enough; humans are still asleep in their habitual ways of life. That is the sad thing. Even if they cannot explain why the birds die, the fish die, they’re still thinking of something else instead of spiritual way, instead of asking themselves about their way of life, they will be blaming on something else.

I'm so sorry for these animals, but even then, they die like this, it’s still better than those who are raised in factory farming and die every day, slowly.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Or being harassed or being tortured all their life. I cannot believe that I am living in this kind of world, that humans are torturing, killing, harassing each other, and then torturing, killing, and harassing animals also.

It seems beyond imagination that we, as humans, the children of God, can be so blind, so blind to reality, and so… suppressing our own compassionate nature that we could even degrade ourselves into doing such kind of things and feeling okay about it. It's not okay at all. We are not civilized; not civilized enough.

Sources: SPA.gov, Huffington Post, USA Today, ABC News

China's largest desert lake, Hongjiannao, has shrunk by nearly %50

As a result of climate change and human activities such as dam building, China's largest desert lake, Hongjiannao, has shrunk by nearly 50% in the past 15 years, with experts saying as of December 23, 2011 that without intervention the lake could dry up within another decade.

Sources: China Daily

December 26, 2011

Fish threatened by acidic oceans

The higher acid levels in sea waters associated with increased absorption of climate change-related CO2 have long been understood by scientists. However, while it was also known that the survival of organisms with calcium-based shells can be threatened, there had been no known effect on fish.

However, researchers in two separate studies, one in the US and one in Europe, have found that increased CO2 concentrations of 1,000 parts per cubic meter, which are forecast by the end of this century, caused 70% of fish larvae to perish within a week due to organ damage, with those that did live being much smaller than
their normal counterparts.

The scientists concluded that although it had been assumed that the inborn acid-base regulation of fish would protect them from the effects of higher CO2 levels, the eggs and young larvae are extremely vulnerable to these conditions.

Although disturbed by the findings, we are grateful for this information, international scientists. May such insights motivate us all toward actions to preserve all life in the oceans and on Earth.

Speaking during an interview published in The Irish Dog Journal in December 2009, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the alarming dangers of climate change such as ocean acidification, as she also spoke of the surest way to restore the balance of the ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Other devastating effects of climate change have already been occurring: the heat-reflecting Arctic ice is on its way to completely vanishing in a very near summer; rising sea levels and dozens of submerged or threatened islands; oceanic regions that are lifeless with dead zones are becoming too acidic to be livable due to excessive levels of CO2. Very sad things.

All these situations are getting worse and worse and won't stop until we really change the way we live our life.

Sources: Earth Times

Film "eXtinction," has been announced for its worldwide debut in 2012

The film “eXtinction,” written by and featuring US model, television host and eco-activist Summer Rayne Oakes, has been announced for its worldwide debut in 2012 to present powerful imagery showing the vulnerable state of our planet, reports Ecorazzi on December 21, 2011.

Sources: Ecorazzi, Huffington Post

December 25, 2011

Lack of rain has led to a drastic reduction of water levels in the UK's River Kennet

Extended lack of rain for the past year has led to a drastic reduction of water levels in the UK's River Kennet as of December 17, 2011, with scientists conveying their concern for aquatic life as sections of the river bed become completely dry.

Sources: Guardian, Dail Mail

Climate change affecting the survival of the Frankincense tree

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology on December 20, 2011, scientists in Ethiopia warn that the survival of the Frankincense tree, whose resin is used for religious ceremonies and in perfume, is at risk due to factors that include overharvesting of the resin and climate change effects that have slowed regrowth of the trees.

Sources: BBC, Reuters

December 24, 2011

Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger urge green energy policies

In a mid-December 2011 climate change conference held in California, USA and attended by UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chair Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, Governor Jerry Brown calls for action to anticipate and mitigate the increasing effects of global warming.

Sources: Sacramento Bee, St. Louis Today

500 million trees have died in Texas, USA, due to extreme drought

Scientists with the Texas Forest Service in the USA reported on December 20, 2011, that up to 500 million trees have died in the state's extreme and extended drought, which has not yet shown signs of abating.

Sources: Huffington Post, Reuters

United Nations to implement new plan that saves animals and plant life from extinction

A statement released by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the December 18, 2011 official launch of the UN Decade on Biodiversity highlighted the urgent necessity of actions that match pledges already made by member nations to implement a strategic plan that saves animal and plant life from extinction and allows humans to co-exist in harmony with nature.

Sources: Click Green, United Nations

December 23, 2011

Lack of rain reduces levels of the Xijiang and Xiangjiang Rivers to historic lows

As lack of rain reduces levels of the Xijiang and Xiangjiang Rivers to historic lows in December 2011, over 900 ships are halted from operation in order to preserve drinking water in the reservoirs rather than allow it to flow into the drying rivers.

Sources: Sina.com, New Kerala

December 22, 2011

Unprecedented release of deadly methane in the Arctic

In an extensive field study of 10,000 square miles of sea floor near the East Siberian Arctic shelf, researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences measured the number and size of plumes or fountains of methane bubbling to the surface from the sea bed.

To their surprise, they found over 100 plumes, with some whose size exceeded one kilometer in diameter, representing a massive increase compared to visits a decade earlier when they had been less than 100 meters wide.

Scientists have already been expressing concern for the hundreds of millions of tons of methane locked in frozen permafrost beneath the Arctic, which could cause runaway global warming once a certain amount melts and is released into the atmosphere.

Lead author Dr. Igor Semiletov of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences said he had never witnessed methane being released on such a scale or with such force before, saying that the gas being measured was not only going directly into the atmosphere, it was doing so at concentrations 100 times higher than normal.

In appreciation for your work, Dr. Semiltov, we join in deep concern for these findings. May we step together in rapid efforts to restore planetary balance through humane and sustainable lifestyles.

During a December 2010 press conference in Cancún, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned the dangerous methane gas release from the Arctic as being just part of the reason why a faster solution is needed to stop rising temperatures.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Potent methane gas, once frozen beneath the Earth, has become a ticking time bomb due to rising temperatures in the Arctic and is now set to trigger runaway climate change.

We are living the worst-case scenario and the scientists are crying out for us to hit the emergency brake now, and hard. Scientists are now saying that we must take advantage of shorter-lived emissions like methane, which heats the atmosphere 100 times more than CO2 but disappears quickly, in 9 or 12 years, and black carbon (or soot), which generates 4,470 times more warming potential than CO2, but disappears within a few weeks.

So it’s the emergency brake that we need, and the place to start is the livestock industry. Because the livestock industry, animal raising, generates the largest human-made source of methane.

It is also a very large source of black carbon, or soot, and accounts for at least 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions that heat up our planet. So if we stop the livestock industry, then we will stop global warming – fast and simple.

Sources: Belfast Telegraph, NZ Herald

December 21, 2011

208 entirely new species of plant and animal life discover in Southeast Asia

In a recent summary report, global conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced that 208 entirely new species of plant and animal life were discovered in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region in 2010.

Among them were a brightly colored gecko and a lizard that can self-clone, as well as a fish shaped like a cucumber, and a rare monkey with hair that has been compared to the legendary singer, Elvis Presley.

In fact, a new species is seen almost every other day in the Greater Mekong region spanning Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Âu Lạc (Vietnam), and southern China's Yunnan province.

At the same time, WWF Greater Mekong Conservation Director Stuart Chapman also highlighted the threats that both new and existing species face, such as human-caused habitat loss and climate change, with many of them already among the world's most endangered.

He warned, “The region's treasure trove... will be lost if governments fail to invest in the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity, which is so fundamental to ensuring long-term sustainability in the face of global environmental change.”

Many thanks, Mr. Chapman and World Wildlife Fund,for this encouraging information about new forms of life on our Earth and for your concern about its preservation. May we all engage in life-protecting actions that honor the wondrousness and balance of our natural world.

During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged humanity to cherish each animal species’ presence, as she reminded of their unique and irreplaceable qualities in the biosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It is almost too much to try to convey the importance of each and every inhabitant friend to the environment as a whole. Scientists find out new things every day about the intrinsic role of different animals and their contributions to the ecosphere.

Every single being in creation has a purpose that aids another being or assists in some way. Their help may even be invisible to us humans, but it is still very real. In the Bible, God gave the animals to be humans’ helpers, but this does not mean they are subservient for us to exploit. If we humans live in wonder of the animals’ existence, we also would stop thinking about eating them.

Because if we cherish their irreplaceable talents and manifold gifts, we also cherish their lives.

Let's all help the animals, so they can help us, so they can continue to help us and the whole planet.

Sources: Guardian, Saigon Giai Phong

Climate change could cause Canadian forests to reach a tipping point

In the December 2011 issue of American Naturalist, a study by US and German scientists concludes that continued climate change effects could cause regions of Canadian forests to reach a tipping point, after which the areas consumed by fires as well as the size of the blazes would become larger and larger.

Sources: PhysOrg, JStor.org

Facebook promotes sustainable energy

In response to a Greenpeace campaign calling on social media network Facebook to implement clean energy at its primarily coal-powered data centers, Facebook reported a partnership on December 15, 2011 to promote sustainable energy and to develop programs that encourage network users toward similar decisions locally.

Sources: Guardian, Wired, ZDNET

Africa's Sahel region experiencing the world's most severe long-term drought

Rainfall that has diminished by up as much as 48% in Africa's Sahel region, which is experiencing the world's most severe long-term drought, has resulted not only in significant tree losses but has led to the extinction of entire species, according to a study reported by US scientists on December 13, 2011.

Sources: Ecopolity, PhysOrg

December 20, 2011

Central American countries attempt to recover from intense rain

As Central American countries attempt to recover from intense rains that have cost at least US$2 billion in damages, El Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes inaugurates a climate change summit on December 16, 2011 to address these impacts while calling for collaborative efforts from the entire international community.

Sources: Plenglish

Oklahoma's pecan harvests could be reduced by 75%

A December 13, 2011 article in the daily Oklahoma, USA newspaper Tulsa World states that a late winter freeze combined with only two-thirds the normal amount of rain this year has led to forecasts that the state's pecan harvests could be reduced by 75% compared to last year.

Sources: Tulsaworld, The Fort Scott Tribune

December 19, 2011

Natural and man-made catastrophes cost the world economy $350 billion

Switzerland based reinsurer company, Swiss Re announced on December 15, 2011 that aside from the human cost of some 30,000 lives in the year 2011, natural disasters in places such as Japan and New Zealand rendered the highest ever catastrophe-related economic losses in history at US$350 billion.

Sources: France24, Vancouver Sun

Solar photovoltaic systems can produce energy for the same price as non-sustainable

A study by researchers at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, published in the December 2011 edition of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews shows that, thanks to recent technological advancements and cost reductions, solar photovoltaic systems can produce energy for the same price as non-sustainable
energy sources.

Sources: Solar Server, Green Tech Media

December 18, 2011

Coal ash threatens America’s groundwater resources at 19 more sites

A December 12, 2011 report from the US-based Environmental Integrity Project states that coal combustion waste has contaminated 19 new groundwater sites across the country with toxic substances like arsenic, lead, barium, cadmium and boron, at levels that are above the maximum set by the US Environmental Protection Agency for safety.

Sources: Environmental Integrity, France24

Greenland lost 100 billion tons more ice in 2010 than previous year

Findings of a study of Greenland presented by US scientists on December 9, 2011 have revealed that as the southern part of the island lost 100 billion tons more ice in 2010 than the previous year, the release of the weight has also caused underlying bedrock to rise by a full 20 millimeters in some locations.

Sources: Red Orbit, TG Daily, MS NBC

December 17, 2011

Overgrazing behind degradation of Mongolia’s grasslands

In a recent address to the nation's Parliament, cited in the online news provider China Network Television, Mongolia’s Deputy Minister for Food, Agriculture and Light Industry J. Saule stated that over 70% of the country’s grasslands had become degraded from illegal mining and overgrazing, with livestock numbers that had increased by more than 12 million since the 1990s.

At the same meeting, a Water Resource Department official said that due to extreme droughts caused by climate change, more than 1,000 of the country's rivers, lakes, and streams had disappeared.

The land condition known as desertification has also become a major problem for the Asian country, where the regions classified as being severely affected have increased by more than five times in the past ten years.

Our sincere thanks, Deputy Minister J. Saule and all officials who are raising awareness about these challenges of human-caused decline to our environment. May we hastily implement measures to protect Mongolia’s precious grasslands and renew the flourishing of our planet.

During an April 2011 videoconference in Mongolia, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged for the halting of livestock raising as a dual solution both to climate change and land degradation.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The Mongolian National Agency for Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment Monitoring have identified livestock overgrazing as the most prevalent cause of land degradation which worsens desertification in your country.

And 70% of Mongolia’s land has already been affected by desertification. Meanwhile, more than half of the Mongolian people don’t have access to clean water. This is partly due to climate change, which is also impacting Mongolia with extreme weather disasters such as droughts, floods and heavy snowfall – heavy snowfalls you have experienced, yes? The number one cause of climate change is livestock breeding; we all know that by now.

So in our urgent situation of climate change, I think it would be more effective also, apart from the proposal that you made, we should stop the damage-inflicting activities such as livestock breeding.

Sources: CNTV, Mongolia Economy link 1, http://www.mongoliaeconomy.com/?p=1022, Mongolia Economy link 2, FAO

2011 is Italy's 6th hottest year on record

The National Research Council's Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Sciences Institute in Italy states that 2011 ranks as the 6th hottest year since recordkeeping began some 200 years ago, reports the Italian news agency AGI.

Sources: AGI

Glaciers of Peru shrinking beyond the point of peak discharge

A report presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in the first week of December 2011 indicates that climate change has caused the glaciers of Peru's Rio Santa Valley to shrink beyond the point of peak discharge, with water supplies that are now forecast to diminish more rapidly in regions that have already experienced shortages.

Sources: Yahoo News, Live Science, Daily Climate

December 16, 2011

Historic drought grips Mexico

In an article published on December 13, 2011, Mexican officials state that more than one million hectares of crops have now been damaged by extreme dry conditions, with some farmers saying they have seen hardly any rain the entire year.

In mid-November, National Meteorological Service General Director Felipe Adrián Vázquez Gálvez reported that more than 70% of Mexico’s total area was drought stricken and experts now estimate that 80,000 families in the state of Chihuahua alone could be seriously impacted.

The government is offering subsidies to small farmers in an attempt to compensate for their losses, as well as delivering water to remote areas in need.

However, meteorologists have also forecast that the dry weather is likely to continue throughout the winter. Scientists in Mexico have begun working to address the issue with fellow researchers in the southwestern United States, where unprecedented drought also continues to persist.

We appreciate the efforts of Mr. Gálvez and other experts in raising awareness of this urgent drought crisis. May governments and individuals alike strive to alleviate such 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 devastating drought in the nation, as well as what must be done to stop climate change.

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.

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 best is organic vegan.

Sources: France24, El Universal, Pulso

US researchers find link between 2010 Haiti earthquake and extreme tropical cyclones

US researchers report on December 8, 2011 that large Earth tremors such as the devastating 2010 quake in Haiti are linked to extreme tropical cyclone seasons, saying that the landslides and erosion associated with the wet weather set off greater movement along the fault lines.

Sources: France24, CBN News

Ben Addleman's "Kivalina v. Exxon" wins Best Documentary Award

At the December 2011 Whistler Film Festival in Vancouver, Canada, Best Documentary Award went to Canadian director Ben Addelman for "Kivalina v. Exxon," which depicts the challenges faced by indigenous Inuit island dwellers off the coast of Alaska, USA as they cope with being forced from their homeland due to the realities of climate change.

Sources: Straight

December 15, 2011

Global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 49 per cent in the last two decades

A new report by international researchers published in the December 2011 journal, Nature Climate Change, states that global carbon emissions from fossil fuels saw their largest ever annual increase in 2010, also representing a 49% rise since 1990, with the authors urging for action to reverse this direction.

Sources: PhysOrg, NY Times

Himalayas glacier loss up to 8 times more than previous studies

Measurements from a recent satellite imaging survey of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, as reported in the December 12, 2011 Science and Development Network, have shown that the actual glacier ice loss is up to eight times more than what was estimated in prior studies.

Sources: Scidev, Icimod.org

Climate change may occur over 100 times faster than species can adapt

A December 10, 2011 article in the US-based Huffington Post, describeing a study by US researchers of climate records from the past 300,000 years, states that if global warming continues at its current rate, climate change will occur over 100 times faster than the speed at which species can adapt.

Sources: Huffington Post, Plosone

December 14, 2011

Leading climate scientist warns of disaster with 2 degree Celsius temperature rise

As the 2011 climate summit concluded on Sunday, December 11 in Durban, South Africa, participants agreed to work toward a legally binding agreement, which would be written by 2015 and come into effect after 2020.

Meanwhile, however, some scientists and environmental organizations have cautioned that current government pledges to reduce emissions would not be enough to prevent even a 2-degree global temperature rise, and that more urgent actions would be needed.

Moreover, a new study by Dr. James Hansen and colleagues states that the 2-degree goal, which is equivalent to around 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide concentration, is a "prescription for long term disaster" as it points out that a current concentration of nearly 389 parts per million is already causing climate feedbacks to occur.

In a recent presentation to the American Society of Geophysicists in California, Dr. Hansen, who is the director of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies, stated, "We should be aiming to keep CO2 no higher than about 350 parts per million and possibly somewhat less.

That is probably necessary if we want to maintain stable ice sheets and shorelines and avoid many other issues." He went on to warn against allowing emissions to continue to increase, citing paleoclimate records showing that 50 million years ago, when CO2 reached 560 parts per million, the ice at both poles disappeared and the Earth's sea levels were 70 meters higher than they are today.

Dr. Hansen stated, “If we want to maintain a planet that looks like the one humanity has known, then we're basically out of time. We have got to start reducing emissions.”

Thank you, Dr. James Hansen, for your insightful research indicating a more realistic threshold of climate safety. May such calls inspire leaders and individuals alike toward rapid changes to preserve our planet.

In a December 2010 interview in Cancún, Mexico with Encadena TV, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed her concern about scientific projections on rising temperatures, while indicating humanity's most urgently needed countermeasures.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The root is we have to stop the global warming, first of all, before we even think of anything else. Because if we don’t have the planet, because if global warming reaches more than two degrees, then we’re in trouble.

They say they are going to increase to five degrees now. They predict like that. Can you imagine?

You’ll be burning! We can never get out of the house, you understand me? (Yes.)
And then all the crops will die. Too hot.

Journalist(f): And people will die too.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: People die, animals die – not to talk about anything else. Yes?

And then disease will spread because of the heat. Yes. When everything is so depleted like that, I don’t think it’s a very good idea. First, have to stop the animal industry to cool the planet and then everything else we can have time to take care.

Sources: Independent, Scientific American, Guardian, RT.com, Seattle PI

French Alps glaciers have receded by 25% due to global warming

Results of a study by researchers at the University of Savoie in France, presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting on December 9, 2011 in California, USA, show that the glaciers in the French Alps have receded by a full 25% due to global warming over the past 40 years.

Sources: Treehugger, Telegraph, BBC

December 13, 2011

Sea levels may rise much faster than previously anticipated

A study by international researchers published in the December 2011 issue of the journal Science has revealed that Antarctica, which contains most of the world's fresh water frozen in its glaciers, could be melting at a rate very similar to the Arctic.

Although scientists have known that the Antarctic is also affected by climate change, it was previously thought that the magnitude and rates of change were much less.

Through the use of ice core samples, however, the research team for this study found that at the end of the last Ice Age, both the Arctic and Antarctica were disappearing nearly simultaneously.

This suggests that deepwater circulation changes had carried warm waters to the edge of the Antarctic, creating instabilities in the southern ice cap that could also be occurring today.

Lead author Dr. Michael Weber of the Geological Institute in Germany's University of Cologne concluded by warning of the current likelihood of ever more rapid sea level rise, saying that based on these findings, future forecasts would need to be adjusted accordingly.

Although disturbing in its implications, we are grateful for your work, Dr. Weber and colleagues. May we all be motivated toward the swift adoption of lifestyles that restore the fragile balance of our Earth.

During a March 2009 videoconference in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the urgency of warming ice caps, while offering a crucial way to respond.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Before, the United Nations predicted that one meter sea level rise would be very catastrophic already and causing a lot of people to lose their homes.

But scientists have learned that Greenland and western Antarctica and eastern Antarctica are all melting now, which had not been a factor before. Based on these findings, one scientist said: If all Antarctica were to melt, then the sea level could rise up to 70 meters!

So, there’s no way we can run away from this except we turn to a virtuous way of life; then we are connected with Heaven because Heaven is virtuous and love and blessing. I see no other way we can protect ourselves at all.

Sources: Treehugger, Medical Daily

Thailand's recent catastrophic flooding maybe due in part by extreme deforestation

The Bangkok Post reports that Thai physician and respected social activist Dr. Prawase Wasi, speaking in early December 2011, stated that the country's recent catastrophic flooding is due in part to extreme deforestation as he called for a more harmonious balance to be restored between humans and nature.

Sources: Bangkok Post

Nearly 75% of all butterfly species in the UK have declined

A study released on December 6, 2011, conducted by the UK-based Butterfly Conservation and the British Center for Ecology & Hydrology, found that many of the country's butterflies are disappearing, with the populations of nearly 75% of all species having declined over the past decade.

Sources: Nile International, BBC, CEH

December 12, 2011

Nissan Leaf electric wins Japan car of the year

Held during the first week of December 2011, Japan's Tokyo Motor Show recognizes motor giant Nissan with "Car of the Year Japan" award for its electric vehicle Leaf, marking the first time in history that a zero-emission vehicle has been chosen as the winner.

Sources: France24

Sabah Wildlife Department calls on the palm oil industry to halt deforestation

On December 5, 2011, the Sabah Wildlife Department on Malaysia's island of Borneo calls on the palm oil industry to halt deforestation near rivers to protect the water for human consumption as well as the proboscis monkey, whose populations have declined so steeply that it is now one of the world’s most endangered species.

Sources: Mongabay, Bernama, Mongabay

New report shows that 24 countries have warmer overall climate since 1960

Assessing climate change across 24 countries, the UK's Met Office Hadley Center on December 5, 2011 stated that, without exception, all have warmed overall since the 1960s, with extreme heat occurring more frequently, while very cold temperatures are being seen less often.

Sources: Guardian, Met Office

December 11, 2011

Urgent action still needed on climate change

Leading up to the conclusion of this year’s United Nations climate change talks in South Africa, Supreme Master Television spoke with meeting participants. Especially highlighted was awareness of the most urgent and effective planet-cooling solution, the organic vegan diet.

Correspondent (M): It has been an intense two weeks of discussions for the United Nations delegates here in Durban, South Africa. Delegates now returning home know clearly that there is still a lot more to be done.
And world citizens pray that climate change will stay high on the agenda. Climate change impacts are real and dangerous.

Dr. Andries Kruger – Chief Scientist, South African Weather Service (M): You will have a vast amount of melting of the permafrost which will release a lot of methane and carbon dioxide. And the methane is actually the biggest concern because of its powerful ability to retain heat, and absorb heat. And that has the ability to cause rapid climate change and runaway climate change, at the end.

Correspondent (M): It's also been encouraging to find that delegates are supportive of the organic vegan diet solution, given the research that warns of meat’s detrimental effects on health and the environment.
The issue was even discussed by experts in several events.

Prof. Sir Andrew Haines – former Director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (M): We often forget the food and agriculture sector – major contributor to global warming. The main driver is increasing demand for animal products, for meat and dairy. And we’ve estimated that if you could reduce animal source saturated fats in countries like the UK and Brazil, we could reduce heart disease deaths by about 15% in those two countries.

Parks Tau - Executive Mayor of Johannesburg (M): A healthy lifestyle means more vegetables. And of course, we need to encourage that.

Miracle Samuel Lekuku – South Africa activist (M): We don’t have much time! And the more we do to promote our good vegetarian lifestyle, the better it will be for our future generations.

Julie Clark – Manager, Drylands Funds, South Africa; vegetarian (F): If you’re going to revere God’s creation, you’re going to look after your own health, your family’s health, your friends’ health, do the right thing to save the Earth. You’re going to have to go vegetarian, you actually have no choice.

Correspondent (M): Meanwhile, members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association distributed, in total, over 20,000 SOS flyers, 26,000 DVDs, 24,000 copies of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s book, “From Crisis to Peace,” and more than 40,000 servings of tasty vegan fare.

Dhashen Moodley – Radio producer/presenter, South African Broadcasting Corporation; vegetarian (M): It’s an organization that obviously has realized that there’s a change that we can make on a very small level, just changing what’s in your plate, can have a big impact on climate change. I think that’s very commendable.

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

Our thanks, participating governments, organizations, scientists and individuals for your sincere endeavors toward protecting humanity from climate change. May we soon see more and more informed actions on the organic vegan way to halt global warming disasters.

During a June 2011 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted the essential advocacy of the plant-based lifestyle for governments to be able to halt climate change.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: So just this one change, simple change, small change: changing our diet to an organic vegan diet. This will help all the governments of the world to afford climate change mitigation and preserve biodiversity.

It will also help us protect food security and conserve water. What is the use for us to satisfy our taste right now with meat when we know for certain that in the future our children will go hungry, our world will collapse? What is the use of that? However tasty the meat is, we have to consider this option and change it
so that the world can continue to survive and thrive in abundance and happiness and health.

Sources: Bloomberg, NPR

Human-caused ocean noise affecting the well-being of marine animals

In an interview on December 5, 2011, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society international director Mark Simmonds states that human-caused ocean noise such as ship propellers, oil and gas exploration and military actions have increased underwater sounds by at least 20 decibels since 1960, affecting the well-being and even resulting in death for marine animals.

Sources: France24

Dead Sea continues to diminish at an alarmingly rapid rate

In a December 8, 2011 report, scientists from Jerusalem University in Israel warn that the famed Dead Sea continues to diminish at an alarmingly rapid rate, saying that it may not survive another period of prolonged drought.

Sources: Economic Times, Times of India, Independent

December 10, 2011

Halting meat consumption to solve climate challenges

As the United Nations Climate Change Conference(COP 17) concluded in Durban, South Africa on Friday, December 9, delegates from the more than 190 convening nations had made progress on details of the US$100 billion Green Climate Fund intended to assist developing countries most vulnerable to climate change.

But for now, the many urgent challenges faced by such countries, including in the summit’s host continent of Africa, must be addressed through their own actions.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson – South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (M): Africa faces the twin challenge of poverty and climate change.

Mbareck Diop – Advisory Board chair, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (M): Ninety percent of Chad Lake has disappeared. You see the Kilamanjaro ice also, the majority of this ice has disappeared due to climate change effect. You see floods and also desertification effects.

VOICE: Supreme Master Television’s correspondent reports on some of the ways South Africa and others are approaching the climate change problem.

Correspondent (F): Coinciding with the COP 17 summit, the South African government unveiled the country’s first ever solar plant at Hazelmere-Verulam. Certainly, while sustainable energy is the way we all should go, some experts point out the need to prioritize measures that would help with more rapid cooling of the atmosphere.

Namely, they urge governments to focus on mitigating the potent greenhouse gas, methane, whose biggest human-made source is the meat industry. This was the message of Indian Member of Parliament and vegan the Honorable Maneka Gandhi, who spoke at a press conference just 3 blocks away from the COP 17 conference center.

Maneka Gandhi – Chair, Climate Change Committee, Indian Parliament; vegan (F): What needs to be done is not to concentrate on carbon dioxide. Do the things that can be done, which means that you go to the next and most important gas, which is methane. You can say, "All right, we will not eat meat. We will not grow meat for others to eat." Not only is it a real solution, but it’s an immediate solution.

Correspondent (F): Many others expressed support for the dietary solution to global warming.

Mbareck Diop – Advisory Board chair, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (M): We have the livestock which is polluting a lot with methane gas, which is more potent than CO2.

Dr. Jane Goodall – British primatologist; meat-free advocate (F): As more and more people eat more and more meat, it’s causing extra methane emissions, it’s cutting down the forest, in addition to being very, very cruel.

Correspondent (F): South African vegan cyclist Sven Fortley cycled thousands of miles from Cape Town to Durban over two weeks in his own inspiring campaign.

Sven Fortley - South African vegan cyclist, environmentalist (M): I’m basically highlighting the fact that climate change has a lot to do with individuals, individual choice, daily choice of what drives you, and it’s not only about the fuel that you put in your cars, it’s about the fuel that you put in your body.

Correspondent (F): Reporting for Supreme Master Television, from Durban South Africa.

VOICE: Meanwhile, countries like those in Africa must also quickly find ways to ensure food security for their populations as part of climate change adaptation – which global dietary changes could again significantly help.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson – South African Minister of Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries (M): Right now, Africa produces, and what it produces it doesn’t eat. And it eats what it doesn’t produce. So if you’re producing grains at a good and phenomenal capacity, but using that grain to feed your livestock, then you’ll never have food security.

Mbareck Diop – Advisory Board chair, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (M): We have to cut meat consumption, and not to give incentives to produce more food for the livestock in the developed countries.

VOICE: We thank the concerned delegates, activists and others for your calls to urgent, proper measures for both the effective reduction of global warming and food security. May nations everywhere delay no further in adopting life-protecting policies to save our planet.

Sven Fortley - South African vegan cyclist (M): Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

Speaking during a December 2010 videoconference in the United Arab Emirates, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the simple actions needed from world leaders to avoid global disaster for humanity.

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.

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.

Sources: Global Post

Warming Pacific waters causing accelerated melt of the Antarctic's glaciers

A study by British Antarctic Survey scientists culminating in December 2011 reveals that warming Pacific waters are resulting in the accelerated melt of the Antarctic's vast Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers, which could add precipitously to rising sea levels across the globe.

Sources: Our Amazing Planet, Hydro International, TheWorld.org, Hindustan Times

December 9, 2011

Supreme Master Ching Hai honored with sustainability award

Coinciding with the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, the World Pilot Hero Award was presented in recognition of the remarkable efforts of governments, organizations and individuals in advocating low-cost, convenient and highly beneficial solutions to reduce global warming.

In a ceremony co-hosted by the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia, the government of Guinea Bissau, and the Philippine Climate Change Commission, award presenters included European Parliament Member Sir Graham Watson and Philippine Climate Change Commissioner, Heherson Alvarez. Among the recipients were Mayor Patricia de Lille of Cape Town, South Africa for implementing a weekly citywide meat-free day, Vegan Day Platform Formosa for their volunteer movement in Formosa (Taiwan), and founder of the South African Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Mr. Brian Jones for his efforts in animal and nature conservation.

Sir Graham Watson – UK Member of European Parliament (M): We’re all trying to save the planet, but some people are coming up with particularly good ideas, or are devoting themselves entirely to that work. I think it is right that their efforts should be recognized and celebrated.

VOICE: Also honored with a sustainable development award was Supreme Master Ching Hai for her role as a “world leader in climate change actions,” in particular through inspiring Supreme Master Television as a global constructive media channel that provides information especially on the vegan solution to halting the effects
of global warming.

Cecile Guidote-Alvarez - President, International Theatre Institute, Director, UNESCO Dreams Center (F): I particularly know Master Ching Hai and I'm aware of her humanitarian activities and her concern to protect the environment, and to use media as a very important communications tool.

VOICE: Many attending the event also spoke about the award’s support of the organic vegan diet solution to climate change.

Dr. Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher Yohannes – Environmental Protection Ethiopia (M): In the context of climate change, vegan food would definitely mean both that the world would sustain many more of us, and two, those many more of us would still have less of an impact than the present smaller number meat-eating population.

Heherson Alvarez – Philippine Climate Change Commissioner (M): The answer seems to be simple, if we can awaken to the fact that we can change our diet and make our lives safe.

VOICE: Congratulations, laureates of the World Pilot Hero Award for your deserved distinctions. Our respectful gratitude also to Supreme Master Ching Hai, whose Earth-saving endeavors bring hope and inspiration to humanity. Let us unite to put into practice the comprehensively sustainable organic vegan ideal, for all lives to flourish.

Sources: UDN

Melting methane hydrates may have triggered runaway warming millions of years ago

Researchers from Rice University in the USA have been working to solve the mystery of the event known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which occurred 56 million years ago.

At that time, a sudden release of 2,500 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere led to an increase in global temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius on average, which in turn caused the extinction of many species.

In their study, the scientists found that methane hydrates similar to those that are now frozen beneath the sea floor could have melted and released the carbon. Although the oceans at that time were likely warmer, author Dr. George Hirasaki stated that this could have actually accelerated the methane formation.

These findings have implications for our current environment, where global warming is already raising the temperatures of both the atmosphere and the oceans, increasing the possibility of such a catastrophic release.

In addition, a recent study by international scientists has found that thawing permafrost in the Arctic represents a threat of methane release that is potentially 5 times greater than previously realized.

Our thanks, Dr. Hirasaki, colleagues and other researchers, for these findings that speak to the urgency of our current climate situation. May we swiftly adopt actions in harmony with nature to preserve all lives on Earth.

During a September 2008 radio interview with Bob Lebensold of Environmentally Sound Radio, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with concern of the toxic gases in the seabed as she reminded of our need to halt human-generated warming.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You look all that and you see already because the methane gas and hydrogen sulfide result from animal raising, and that produces a lot of toxic gas into the air and it warms the atmosphere.

Then the atmosphere melts the ice and the ocean will warm, and then more methane and other toxins will be released from the bottom of the ocean and permafrost and all that. And then it will be like a devil’s circle.

And we even might die from gas, not to talk about global warming yet. And right now, there’s so much methane already released into the atmosphere, many people have more mental illness or other physical suffering, according to scientists’ research. I hope we stop it quick.

Sources: Science Daily, PhysOrg link 1, PhysOrg link 2, France24

Cold wave hits Northern Mexico

A sudden cold wave on December 6, 2011 in northern Mexico, bringing temperatures of minus 17 degrees Celsius, is taking a further toll on regional crops that were already severely affected by prolonged drought.

Sources: Univision, Yucatan

Pakistan most affected by climate change related disasters

According to the Germanwatch "Global Climate Risk Index 2012" report, which evaluated climate change-related disasters between the years of 1991 and 2010, Pakistan was the most severely affected, with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras considered the most vulnerable to long-term extreme weather events.

Sources: Pakistan Today, UPI

December 8, 2011

Saving the oceans: a vital climate issue

Parallel to the main negotiations of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, non-governmental groups, scientists and others have been working to bring the newest information on certain aspects of global warming, such as marine ecosystem impact, to the participants' attention.

Supreme Master Television reports from the summit location in Durban, South Africa. Correspondent (F): As the COP 17 negotiations come to a close here in Durban, members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association have continued to raise awareness about the effective organic vegan diet solution to climate change.

Many of the summit participants have received SOS bags containing literature and DVDs to help inform their decision making. Over 700 bags were distributed in cooperation with 11 hotels, all of whom agreed to help deliver the bags to their guests attending the conference.

Also in Durban this past week, the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands held an event to raise awareness on the urgent need to address the state of the world’s oceans as part of the climate equation.

Ben Ngubane – Board Chair, South African Broadcasting Corporation (M): We always think of rainforests as the main source of carbon sinks, but the ocean is an even bigger sink.

Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright – Assistant Director-General, UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (F): However, what’s happening with this absorption of carbon dioxide is #1, the ocean is becoming saturated, and #2, the ocean is becoming more acid. This has an enormous impact.

Dr. Carol Turley – Senior Scientist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK (F): Sixty-five million years ago, there was a big carbon perturbation then, and the oceans became more acidic, they became warmer, they had less oxygen. Many, many species on Earth became extinct, including the dinosaurs. And we’re kind of going through something that’s even more rapid now.

Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright (F): The number of dead zones has increased tremendously even in the past few decades from 40 a number of years ago, and it’s up I believe globally over 500 dead zones.

Nick Nuttal – Spokesperson, United Nations Environment Program (M): This is in fact due to the discharge of fertilizer, sewage and animal wastes down the river systems.

Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright (F): The ocean is the lungs of the planet. It is also the heart of the planet, because it pumps the water around and it gives us our atmosphere, it gives us our weather, our climate.

Dr. Carol Turley (F): No, we won’t survive without the oceans.

Correspondent (F): Meanwhile, Supreme Master Television has spoken with many leading participants from governments, groups, and media who shared their thoughts about the necessity of eliminating animal product consumption, including meat and fish.

Dr. Ricardo Navarro – Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology (M): Among all the things that humans do, probably the one that has more impact is the way we eat.

Foster Dongozi – Secretary-General, Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (M): It’s best for the climate to go vegetarian. The consumption of animal products is one of the major contributors to global warming and climate change.

Mia MacDonald – Executive Director, Brighter Green; Senior fellow of Worldwatch Institute; vegetarian (F): Governments can certainly encourage people to eat a plant-based diet. It’s a natural state for many, many countries. So it shouldn’t be radical to say, Look, by and large, eat a plant-based diet, for human health, for the environment, for the climate. And to be more public about that.

Correspondent (F): Reporting from Durban, South Africa for Supreme Master Television.

VOICE: Our appreciation, all governments, organizations, scientists and activists working to understand and solve the crisis of our oceans and planet. May leaders and individuals like be compelled toward all efforts necessary to save the precious ecosphere that is essential for all beings' survival. As during an October 2009 videoconference

in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently addressed the need to restore the balance of both marine environments and the Earth.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You can see that the dead fish are covering the whole entire surface of water. You don’t see water. You only see dead fish floating on top. It’s a horrible sight to witness. As I have said before, if the world’s people all become vegans, nature will rebound almost before our eyes, almost overnight, and we may see the oceans healthy again.

Moreover, around the world, countless enormous ocean dead zones will have a chance to return to life.

Also, when we stop vacuuming all the poor fish out of the sea, they will have a chance to restore the balance in the oceans. We desperately need the fish in the sea to balance the ocean; otherwise our lives will be in danger. God puts them there for a reason. When the ocean is healthy again, even the dead coral reefs will revive themselves.

Imagine! Nature is miraculous and incredible. But in order to witness nature’s recovery, we must not let our current way of life continue.

December 7, 2011

South African legislative and traditional leader joins vegan advocacy to halt climate change

With increased intensity and frequency being noted in extreme weather events such as floods and droughts as well as rising sea levels across the globe, experts at the United Nations Climate Change Conference underway in Durban, South Africa have been raising concerns on the climate refugee issue.

Mika Andrew – Chief Land Use Officer, Department of Agriculture, Papua New Guinea (M): In the project that I’m working on, people had to be relocated, because of coastal erosion. They once had wells, water wells, that were near the beaches. Now they’ve been salinated.

Although delegates last year in Mexico agreed that adaptation plans must account and provide support for those who might become displaced, agencies like the UN Global Mitigation Group and others note that little has been done to prepare for the likelihood of large-scale migrations as people are forced by these conditions to leave their homes.

Fortunately, a solution has been found in scientific research indicating that such a crisis could be avoided through a worldwide halting of the livestock industry. Supreme Master Television reports on some of the attention being given to this remedy.

Correspondent (F): We’re here in Durban, South Africa, where members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association continue activities during COP 17. Children and adults alike have been attracted to our Association’s booth, where the visitors have been especially interested to learn that adopting the scrumptious plant-based diet can save the planet.

Following the inspiring “Veganism to Save the Planet” gala dinner on December 1, His Majesty King Thobejane of Bapedi expressed his sincere wish to become vegan and asked if our Association members would assist in his initial steps by preparing a plant-based meal for him.

His Majesty King Setlamorago Godfrey Thobejane of Bapedi in Limpopo; Member of Parliament, South Africa (M): For the first time in my life, I’ve been with such a huge number of people who are very focused, who are very serious about dealing with the issues of climate change, and in particular, promoting the veganism as something that can assist in stopping climate change and save the planet for the future.

Once we start taking this and understand the significance of shifting our way of life into this veganism, I think we can save the planet. The meat that we love so much, it’s a life threat; it threatens our lives. Leaders from all categories need to start taking serious this particular campaign without any waste of time.

Correspondent (F): Reporting for Supreme Master Television, from Durban South Africa.

VOICE: We thank His Majesty King Thobejane, who is also a member of the South African Parliament, along with all concerned participants of the climate change conference. As His Majesty stated, may governments everywhere adopt cost-efficient vegan measures to save their people’s lives and the planet.

During a 2009 interview with The House Magazine in the UK, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with urgent concern about the climate change refugees.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: A decade ago, there were 25 million climate change refugees - with the estimate now of 1 billion by 2050. Estimate. These are people forced from their homes and communities due to rising sea levels and a host of other natural disasters, so-called natural disasters, but in fact these are all man-made.

As a result, more and more countries may have to help cope with the swell of displaced people, hoping they can - if we even can cope with it. In this dire situation when all countries already have to cope with different problems – financial crisis, food crisis - and we have to cope with this sudden surge of immeasurable force of refugees.

These situations will only worsen, not improve, until we stop the cause. This means to halt the livestock production and meat consumption. I can never emphasize this enough. If humans switch to the vegan diet, the Earth will begin cooling immediately and many of these dilemmas can even be reversed. So please, be veg and do good, to save the planet and all the beings on it.

Sources: Parliement, Trust.org, Google News

December 6, 2011

Media report: Veganism halts climate change

Following the “Veganism to Save the Planet” gala hosted by the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association on Thursday, December 1, coinciding with the COP 17 meetings in Durban, South Africa, journalists Jocelyn Newmarch and Sue Blaine authored an article entitled “COP-17: A message from the Master.”

Published in the South Africa-based Business Day on December 2, the article begins, “The truth is out: veganism is not just for animal lovers, but also for anyone who cares about the effects climate change will have on the world.” The article covered the special gala dinner, in which Supreme Master Ching Hai shared an important video message on the devastating effects of climate change, explaining how eliminating meat consumption is a critical part of the solution, as well as the health benefits offered by a vegan diet, which is also key to a peaceful world in which all beings may live in harmony.

The article stated, “...Her message was echoed by other speakers, including Indian parliamentarian Maneka Gandhi, Kenyan scientist Daniel Maingi — also the executive director of Biowatch and the Animal Welfare Network of Africa — and American Stephan McGuire, who produced the climate change documentary The 11th Hour.”

The authors further commented on other notable highlights of the event, such as the 5-course vegan meal and a presentation from the Honorable Maneka Gandhi, in which she described the benefits of turning away from meat and choosing plant-based alternatives. In speaking of Ms. Gandhi's vision, the article stated that she wished to see a convenience-food restaurant chain based on "mock" meat, while it highlighted the international franchise of vegan restaurants already supported by Supreme Master Ching Hai, known as Loving Hut.

Meanwhile, Business Day also reported that Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, had announced in a Durban press conference that progress had been made during the first week of COP 17 talks toward options to be presented for global nations' commitment to a second period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Our appreciation, journalists Jocelyn Newmarch, Sue Blaine, and Business Day, for your efforts to raise awareness on climate change issues and actions for the protection of our planet.

May such informative coverage bring motivation for all to quickly adopt the most sustainable Earth-saving vegan diet.

Sources: Business Day link 1, Business Day link 2

Annual global deforestation accelerated significantly between 2000 and 2005

A new satellite technology analysis conducted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and presented on Nov 30, 2011 revealed that annual global deforestation accelerated significantly between 2000 and 2005 compared to the previous decade, with only 30% of the world’s landmass being currently covered by forests.

Sources: IPS News, France24

December 5, 2011

Organic vegan farming a part of climate justice

On Saturday, December 3, thousands of activists from around the world joined in a peaceful rally through the streets of Durban, South Africa, calling for decisive action from the United Nations Climate Change Conference as participants enter their second and final week of discussion. Supreme Master Television’s correspondent explores one promising solution for all stakeholders.

Correspondent (F): Greetings. Here in the African continent, the time-honored traditions of agriculture have been built on consistent rainfall patterns. However, farmers are now finding that, due to climate change, they can no longer count on the weather the way that previous generations had.

Paul Okongo – farmer, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (M): We farmers who are outside there, we are the feelers, we are the detectors of this. There is climate change, and something must be done, and it should be done now.

Correspondent (F): Feeling the threat of global warming to food security, growers from across Africa are here at COP 17 calling for what they say is climate justice, which includes commitments to greenhouse gas mitigation measures as well as adaptation support. Both farmers and governments in Africa support organic farming as important for a greener future.

Edna Molewa – Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa (F): Ways and means that can help us get organic farming into larger scales, I think, will actually respond to the current challenges that we have.

Paul Okongo – farmer (M): If you put a lot of organic matter in the soil, then the produce is safe from these chemicals, metallic things and all these, all free from sewages. So we advocate safe food – mainly organic farming.

VOICE: To ensure the most effective solution overall, experts have also pointed out the need to address the adverse climate effects of livestock raising. A report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that animal agriculture accounts for at least 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with more recent research by the World Watch Institute finding that the livestock industry alone is responsible for more than 51% of global emissions.

Dr. Patrick Bond (M): Meat is the main disastrous force for climate change, because of the methane that’s coming from cows, but also the transport. And the ways in which we treat animals are terrible and uncivilized. If you believe in climate justice, then you should become a vegetarian.

Correspondent (F): To raise awareness of the organic vegan farming and diet solution to climate change, the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association held a gala dinner for delegates featuring an urgent video message by Supreme Master Ching Hai and respected guest speakers.

Members have meanwhile been speaking daily with hundreds of people at two booths and offering free vegan food samples. Some 10,000 informative flyers have also been given out over the last several days in various parts of Durban, with people showing their eagerness to find out more about the state of the planet and the healthy, emissions-reducing vegan diet.

Romica Milupi – Zambian activist (F): I want to support to be vegetarian. No more meat. I want just to go on vegetables, so that I can keep the environment.

Edna Molewa (F): We need to push hard and push ourselves to save this planet. We need to really save this planet.

Correspondent (F): Reporting for Supreme Master Television from Durban, South Africa.

VOICE: We thank all climate summit delegates, concerned scientists and citizens who are helping advance us toward sustainable actions. May we move swiftly to develop the most humane and health-promoting agriculture and lifestyles to save our planet.

In an interview during the December 2010 climate change talks in Cancún, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed her urgent wish for leaders to adopt the organic vegan solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: If I were in the United Nations, I would advise all the countries, immediately start organic vegan. And all the subsidies that they use for the meat industry, the extra money that the governments give, just give them to turn to vegan, organic. Yes, it’s very easy.

I don’t know why they delay like this. Because the United Nationseven themselves know that the methane gas and nitrous oxide gas, and other gases from animal industry are warming the climate more than all the transportation together.

So why not eliminate that cost, you see? (MBC(m): All right. Yes.)
It’s so easy. And then they use the subsidies before, tell the farmers to change to organic. (MBC(m): Yes.) Yes.

Of course it’s cheaper, and healthier for everybody and healthier for the planet. I told you 51% is from the animals, gases, to warm the climate, it’s 51% from animal industry, (Q(m): Yes, of course.) so if we take out the animals, then we have less, 51% less, you see? (Q(m): I see.)

And then if we plant organic from the face of the Earth, all tillable land, then we absorb another 40%. Then, we have 51%, 40%, gone. The leftover, the trees can take care, the oceans can again take care – everything, no problem. I can’t believe they still say, “We’ll talk again next year.” – if we’re still alive! Yes? (MBC(m): Yes.)

Sources: All Africa, Huffington Post, News24, VOA News

The Earth may warm by 6 degrees by 2100

Coinciding with the Nov 28, 2011 opening day of the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, International Energy Agency chief economist Fatih Birol stated at current energy consumption rates, the Earth will warm by 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100, making it a dangerous place to live.

Sources: Washington Post

December 4, 2011

“Veganism to Save the Planet” offers inspiration at COP 17

On Thursday, December 1, coinciding with the COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association hosted the special gala at the Olive Convention Center.

Grant Nash, vegan radio presenter at 5fm, one of South Africa's largest radio stations, was on location.

Grant Nash, Radio presenter, 5fm, South Africa – Vegan (M): Hi, I'm Grant Nash, and I am a radio presenter here in South Africa for a nationwide radio station called 5fm. Welcome to our beautiful country! You’re in Durban, South Africa at the Olive Convention Centre. And we are here this evening for the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association “Veganism to Save the Planet” gala dinner.

And we have some incredible guests that are going to join us here this evening: our very own Director General of Kwa- Zulu Natal, Mr. Ngidi, we have His Majesty the King Thobejane of Bapedi joining us this evening, and we have IPCC scientist and vegetarian Dr. Kirk Smith. So the formalities are about to begin, the speeches, we’ve got some entertainment, and then a delicious vegan 5-course meal.

VOICE: With some 400 guests from across the globe attending, distinguished speakers for this unique event described the link from animal agriculture to climate change as they highlighted the necessity of adopting the Earth-saving plant-based diet, including a message from Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Grant Nash (M): So we’re ending the formal part of the this evening. And we started off by hearing from Supreme Master Ching Hai herself today. She spoke about the urgent crisis that is facing our planet and then the most effective solution, an organic vegan diet, that me and you can adopt.

Video Message from Supreme Master Ching Hai (Vegan)October 29, 2009
I can only honor you with the truth when I say that we must become vegan to save our planet. We cannot wait for the sustainable energy and green technology to be available and used by everyone.

It would be too late. I call upon the courage of all counsel present, with the authority and power vested in you, may you lead your co-citizens toward the noble, virtuous, life-saving, and planet-sustaining path.


Grant Nash (M): We also heard from Professor Harold Herman, who is the Secretary General of the UN Association of South Africa. We heard from the vegetarian movie producer Stephan McGuire, and then Indian Member of Parliament Ms. Maneka Gandhi spoke to us as well about the urgency that me and you face, and her shared vision for the world at this very critical part.

Maneka Gandhi (F): The good news is that methane, as the Supreme Master said, is a relatively short-lived gas. The answer to global warming lies beneath your nose. You can help reduce both methane and nitrous oxide simply by choosing from tonight not to eat animals and animal products.

Bando Gaven, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, North West Province, South Africa (F): Today it has completely changed my perspective in the effect that you know you can actually be healthy and live longer without harming the environment and harming yourself. Be a vegan and heal the world, and heal yourself.

Grant Nash (M): So, the audience of course enjoyed vibrant entertainment from Zulu singer Tu Nokwe, as well as the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir that is coming past me right now - fantastic evening. And it was also complemented by an incredible 5-course vegan meal. It was absolutely delicious. It’s a great, meaningful evening, shedding light on a truly vital solution on this planet.

Sastri Ramiah, CEO, Olive Convention Center, South Africa (M): My view is that this has been the most significant event of COP 17. It is by far the most effective event, and we are so proud to have hosted it with you. And I was quite amazed just listening to the video, and the entire atmosphere was so amazing. And I think there were many people converted tonight, including ourselves. 2012, I wish the World Vegan, World Peace.

Stephan McGuire, Film producer, “The 11th Hour” – Vegetarian (M): Well, the experience was multi-layered in the sense that it’s amazing and beautiful. Look, the energy, the vibration here is really high; they are singing in the hallways as they’re leaving.

Grant Nash (M): As COP 17 continues, let us wish that everybody – leaders and co-citizens – will do their part before it’s too late. This is Grant Nash, reporting from Durban, South Africa, for Supreme Master Television.

VOICE: Our appreciation for the insights of Supreme Master Ching Hai as well as the distinguished speakers, VIP guests, and all concerned participants of “Veganism to Save the Planet.” May such vital information and uplifting events motivate all people to quickly join the vegan circle for the protection of our unique Earth.

Sources: COP 17