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Supreme Master Ching Hai on the Environment: Change Our Diet to Save Water for the World - P4/4 Compilation of Supreme Master Ching Hai's lecctures    
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Sometimes it takes an impending catastrophe to make us change and become much greater than we were before. Is this what’s happening with climate change? Is it, in fact, an opportunity for us to make an unprecedented leap in evolution? Good question, sir, good question. You see, we should not have waited until we have a catastrophe like this, or impending catastrophe, to change. But, nevertheless, you’re right. It’s possible that when we’re faced with such a great upheaval, then we will change and we’ll make a leap into the next level. Especially now, we still have a little time to change. It’s just that we need to act now, you see, to profit from this so-called catastrophic future awaiting us.

We have to act now for all of humanity. Because along with our own survival and health, there is an entire planet that is in trouble, and everyone needs to be vegan to save it. It’s a very simple solution that we might overlook. Because if we all change to vegan, put down the animal products, then we would have a dream world – that I promise. Because like begets like. We forget that the Bible told us that “as we sow so shall we reap.” That means if we create peace, compassion and harmony, then that’s what we will get. Now, the impending catastrophe that you mention, it might be motivating us to change, the whole humanity. But to benefit from this opportunity, more people must act now. All of us must. We face a very dangerous future if global warming continues.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was just here in Washington D.C., making an historic address to the US Congress, and asked the United States to help to lead in halting climate change. I would ask the same even though I am not a Chancellor. I’m sure many of you are aware of the increasing number of global warming effects noted worldwide, so I will share just a few from the world and from the United States. 1. In the Arctic, North Pole, so much ice has already melted that scientists are forecasting an ice-free summer within as little as 3-6 years, which would be the first time in one million years – first time in one million years!

Meanwhile, Greenland is shedding 85 million tons of icebergs each day due to warming, and at a rate that is increasing by 7 percent each year. The West Antarctic Ice Shelf is also melting, with 3.3-meter sea level rises forecast that would threaten cities like your country, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. And if all of Antarctica and Greenland were to melt – meaning the ice – then the sea levels could rise to as much as 70 meters, which would be deadly or disastrous to most lives on Earth. 2. Glaciers across the globe are shrinking more quickly than researchers ever expected, leaving rivers and lakes gone, disappearing or drying, with no water for crops and billions who face food shortages due to water shortages, as well.

3. Due to rising sea levels, islands are sinking as we speak, with Tuvalu, Tonga and some 40 other island nations having to plan their whole country's migrations. They are being forced to join the already 20 million climate refugees today. The International Organization for Migration stated that there may be 200 million climate refugees by 2050. 4. According to researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America, worldwide the number of the most destructive Category 4 and 5 hurricanes doubled over the past 35 years.

Category 5 storms yield the highest level of destruction in major cities. Their intensity and duration also increased by 75 percent since the 1970s. One of these storms whose effects can still be seen and felt was the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, which devastated, especially, areas of New Orleans, with people who are still recovering their homes and their lives today. I am so sorry the American people have had to suffer through such tragedies.

Now, in the United States: 1. Close to a million acres of pine forest have been lost in the Rocky Mountains due to beetle infestation from global warming. Similar also in Canada but, due to the time limit, I cannot report to you everything, so now we just report about United States. 2. In the state of Montana, the famous glaciers of Glacier National Park are now expected to disappear within a decade. 3. According to a new study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Colorado River, which supplies water to seven Western states, is going dry. Famous river.

4. In fact, researchers say that the US West is facing a devastating drought crisis as snows from mountains are releasing vast reservoirs of water. 5. The sea level in North Carolina, USA, rose three times faster during the 20th century than during the previous 500 years. 6. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that for the first time on record, in 2008, six consecutive tropical cyclones made landfall on the US mainland. The North Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean are the two areas with the strongest hurricane trends.

You may ask, what is the main cause of this damage and destruction to the environment? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not the coal industry or cars or planes or trains or boats or ships. It’s methane, which is produced primarily by the livestock industry. A new and just-published report from the respected Worldwatch Institute states that livestock is the largest single contributor to greenhouse gases, responsible for more than 51% of the total emitted. This report factors in an atmospheric heat-trapping effect of methane that is 72 times - 72 times! – larger than CO2, when averaged over a 20-year period.

Furthermore, just days after the Worldwatch Institute report was released, NASA announced that methane actually contributes much more to global warming than previously understood and it traps 100 times the atmospheric heat over 20 years. And the largest source of methane is? You know - livestock. Now, facts such as these have caused people like esteemed climate expert Lord Stern of the United Kingdom to state in an interview that “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.” So I quote exactly what he said.

There is an advantage of time here, because one aspect of methane is that it dissipates in around 12 years’ time, whereas carbon dioxide, CO2, stays in the atmosphere for up to thousands of years. So, we remove the livestock-generated methane and the planet cools fast! You see the logic? Yes.

Therefore, only the vegan lifestyle is truly sustainable. Now, once we become vegan and urge others to join through grassroots seminars, flyer distribution, letters, email, whatever, we could practice sustainability in other ways. As I have suggested before, we could plant organic vegetables and trees. Better still are those fruit trees and nut trees, and those vegetables or legumes like beans and stuff that need little water.

That, we can do research to know which ones need less water, because right now we’re short of water as well. We’re short of everything right now. So we should be frugal not to waste precious energy and water. Use our own shopping bags even. We encourage sustainable energy development. And we can write or talk to the government and the media, and the farmers even, because we really do need all the help from the government, from the media, to accelerate the trend. Another good way to quicken our movement to a sustainable planet is to generate more positive energy: do good deeds and be loving and kind. Expand our loving quality.

This is what will create a shield, invincible, to protect us and the planet. Finally, we can pray that divine power manifests on Earth to awaken leaders, media, influential people, and all the world citizens to take the right steps to preserve our planet, and fast – fast before it’s too late, because at this point, we do need Heaven’s intervention to save our planet. Not to pray to them to protect us; just to pray so that they awaken everybody to the solution of the vegan diet, because that is the solution that will save our planet. If we can do these things, starting with being veg, we would realize not just a sustainable planet, but a real paradise of peace in our lifetime.

Respected Master, thanks to your blessings, we have the opportunity to gather here today in this house full of love to discuss these important issues. I would like to ask: What would you like to convey to the leaders of nations, organizations, individuals and all humankind in this urgent time? Thank you, Master. Thank you, sir.

Yes, Mr. Nguyễn, my message is the same as I have spoken all along during this time together. To sum up, to all the leaders, I call on them once more to put their love first for their countrymen and women, and for all the children, to accept with courage the deed that must be done, to use the mighty power in their hands entrusted by people to save the world. The global livestock industry is now contributing almost about as much to global warming as the energy sector, or even more; and I know it contributes at least 80% of it.

Meat production is depleting your people’s water, damaging their health, pushing them to war and breeding new deadly diseases each day. It’s killing your people. Only you can stop it. They need your shining heroic vegan example because they really look to their governments, to their leaders. They would be greatly facilitated by your laws for organic vegan farming and campaigns or laws to make the much needed lifestyle vegan change. Your co-citizens, your subjects, will appreciate you, praise you, love you, support you and they will remember you for saving the world for generations to come even, for saving their lives and the lives of their loved ones, as well as their future children. And Heaven will reward you greatly.

Lead the veg change. Promote forgiveness and peace and then even all other troubles, like poverty, conflict, even financial crisis, pandemics, will also subside. I thank you, leaders of nations, for all the efforts in this direction so far. But if you allow me, I honestly say that what we are doing and planning now is not enough, and not fast enough, and I bid you the courage and faith to do more and faster. To the organizations of the world, including the media who understand the strength of a social movement, thank you for your work to inform and encourage people to the exciting and humane, beneficial, chic, animal-free, the vegan way of life.

To the individuals, thank you for doing your part to save our planet, but please, to make it in time, we have more to do and we have little time. We have to continue to urge our leaders and our fellow human beings, neighbors to change, be vegan to save themselves and their families and children and the animals, and everything they feel is worth living for. We can get out of the danger but through the right direction. Our house is on fire but the water hose is right there in front of us. Just pick it up and use it. It’s as simple as that. Just be vegan. And please, be quick. Our days are numbered. To all humankind, Heaven loves you so much, so we have hope for the planet’s survival, more than ever before. We shall awaken to a new compassionate vegan planet that is full of loving energy, kindness and blessings no end from Heaven. I pray you all will continue towards this peace in our reach. Thank you so much, all of you. Thank you.
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