The Science and Solution to
“The scientific evidence is clear:
global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a
growing threat to society.”
- American Association for the
Advancement of Science
Thai farmer: Rains don’t fall, which makes the land
too dry. This causes the rice to be of not good quality, not very
UK citizen: Even in this country we’re seeing
changes in the weather that don’t really match what should be the weather in
this part of the world.
Âu Lạc (Vietnam): It’s been
freezing cold for over one month. Plants couldn’t survive, the same with
Julie Williamson, Animal caretaker, Tasmania,
Australia: This is our autumn and we would generally be getting a lot
of rain now. We’ve got drought conditions that have been declared officially,
and drought packages for farmers here in Tasmania. There’s water catchment areas
that are at their lowest levels.
Mr. Benjamin Karmorh, Jr.,
Assistant Professor, Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia: To the
viewers out there, climate change is a reality. Climate change is no more an
environmental issue. It’s development, it’s economic, it’s a global
Mr. Saley Hassane, Executive Secretary, Niger National Council for
Environment and Sustainable Development: The world is in danger. We
need to save the planet.
Chief Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs,
Professor-State University of New York: We’ve been getting these
reports from the north country, from Alaska, from northern Canada, from
Greenland, from Sweden, from the different traditional people up on the Polar
Cap. We’re aware of the changes that are occurring, the lack of snow, the
warming of the Earth and how it’s affecting the animals, how it’s affecting the
people who live there.
2007, scientists began evaluating the new satellite data gathered during the
summer melt season in the Arctic Ocean. It was a dramatic summer.
Dr. Marc Imhoff, Terra Project Scientist, NASA Goddard
Spaceflight Center, at UNESCO International Year of Planet Earth launch:
Many people have been reluctant to say we’ve reached a tipping point
because these things do go in cycles. But the consensus is that we may have
passed some point where we may not recover the sea ice.
Dr. David Archer, Professor of Geophysical Sciences at the
University of Chicago, USA: I personally think that we’ve already
passed a danger limit. The amount of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been
decreasing over the years but then in 2007 it just crumbled. And the earthquake
activity and the acceleration of the flowing ice in Greenland, I think these are
signs that we are already in dangerous territory.
Dr. Derek Mueller of Ontario, Canada
discovered a 16-km network of cracks in the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf. The largest
platform of floating ice in the northern hemisphere was
Dr. Derek Mueller, Northern and
Polar studies researcher, Trent University, Canada: Really what we’re
looking at is the end of these ice shelves after several thousands of years of
In the Western
Antarctic, Dr. Ted Scambos noticed that satellite images showed an ice block
disconnecting from Antarctica’s Wilkins ice shelf, which later led to the
alarming fall of 406 square kilometers of ice into the
Dr. Ted Scambos, head scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data
Center in Boulder, Colorado, USA: And this sudden breakup, not just in
one big piece, but crumbling, disintegrating, absolutely blowing itself up
within just a few weeks. The other thing is that the ice shelf doesn’t recover
from it. There’s no regrowth, there’s no new shelf that starts to push out in
the aftermath of one of these events.
Dr. Gregory M. Flato,
Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis: Now when you start
to warm up the climate, that bright surface, the ice and the snow begin to melt
away, and expose the dark underlying surface, either the ocean or the land. And
that dark surface absorbs more of the solar radiation, acts to warm the climate
more, which acts to melt more of the ice.
By the end of the summer, a growing number of scientists concluded
that the sea ice could be gone sometime between Fall 2008 and 2012, thirty years
earlier than previous estimates.
Scambos: In the poles, anybody who works in polar science, nobody
questions whether or not in a warming world, we’re in trouble, because we see it
in our fields every year. And ice plates that have been there for 10,000 years,
since the end of the last ice age, are gone, because the climate got that much
warmer, and just in the last 20 or 30 years it got that much
Top US climatologist, Dr. James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard
We have reached a point where we have a real
emergency. And the result is that we have in the pipeline much larger climate
changes than what we see so far.
Ecosystems Approximately 20 to 30%
of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk
of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5 to 2.5
degrees Celsius (medium confidence).- United Nations Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change Report, Nov. 2007Dr. Janice
Lough, Great Barrier Reef researcher, Australian Institute of Marine Science:
Instead of a very colored, colorful coral reef, we see sort of white
skeleton everywhere. And we’ve had major bleaching events on the Great Barrier
Reef in 1998, 2002 where about 50% of the reef was affected, and again in the
Southern Barrier Reef in 2006. These events are directly related to unusually
warm sea water temperatures. Dr. Gordon McBean, Chair for
Policy, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction:
As I have explained
to our federal government on the times I’ve been asked to brief them, and they
say, “Well what about the people who say nothing is going to happen?”
have said, “Well, Minister, what you hear from those people is, say, what 5
people might say, but what I’m telling you is what 90 people would say. And what
you also have to remember is there’s another 5 people, equally good scientists,
who are saying, what I’m saying is too conservative, that, in fact, it will be
even worse.Asher Minns, Communications Director, Tyndall
Research Center on Climate Change:
I’ve been involved with the Tyndall
Centre for five years and environmental communication for seven years, eight
years now. What strikes me about that time is the speed with which climate
change has progressed, the science of climate change has progressed considerably
and the interest from business and governments n climate change has progressed a
lot in that time.
Dr. Gerald Dickens: It’s a common misconception for the
average person. They think that all the carbon is in trees. But it turns out
that most of the carbon, about 93% of it is in the ocean. Not in trees or in the
atmosphere. So what’s happening right now is we’re adding a lot of carbon to the
atmosphere. It’s coming in much faster than it can go into the biosphere or into
the ocean. So that’s why the CO2 is going up very, very
Dr. David Archer, Professor of Geophysical Sciences at
the University of Chicago in the US: So carbon dioxide, CO2, is a
greenhouse gas and it will cause the surface of the Earth to warm. This is very
well understood. And eventually the warming at the surface can make the deep
ocean get warmer also. And then the warming has to get from the ocean down into
the sediment column where the hydrates are. So if the methane from the hydrates
were to escape and actually make it to the atmosphere, methane is actually a
much stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is, and so this could lead to
stronger warming than we would get just from the carbon
Dr. Gerald Dickens: We are very confident that
there are times in the past where large amounts of carbon dioxide go into the
ocean and or atmosphere very quickly. We think that the source of that carbon
dioxide is oxidized methane. So that methane has come into the system and either
by mixing with oxygen in the ocean or through various reactions in the
atmosphere, it converted to CO2.
Dr. Gerald Dickens:
Probably the best studied of these times is about 55 million years ago, right
after the Paleocene Eocene boundary. And we see things such as over 6, 7 degree
warming around the world including the high latitudes.
Master Ching Hai: Because if the ice all melt, if all the poles all
melt out, and then if the sea is warm, then the gas might be released from the
ocean, and we might all be poisoned, by the gas, from the ocean.
Dr. David Archer: This methane hydrate in the ocean, there
may also be thousands of billion metric tons. So there’s enough carbon there
that it could double the amount of carbon that could be released to the
atmosphere ultimately. It’s a huge amount. There’s so much of it that if that if
a fraction of it, say 10%, were somehow to get out to the atmosphere all at
once, it would be the same as changing the CO2 concentration by a factor of ten.
It would just be apocalyptic.
Massive amounts of methane are found not only on the ocean floor,
but also underneath permafrost layers of the Arctic soil. In addition, nearly
1,000 gigatons of carbon gas are trapped under permafrost layers of Arctic
lakes. With warmer temperatures, the permafrost is
Dr. Roy Hyndman:
We can see it bubbling up from the ocean.
Places like the Mackenzie Delta in the Arctic. Where you see a gas coming out of
the ground, out of the water channels, bubbling continuously.The UN Environmental Program (UNEP) called
for urgent research into the danger of methane gas being released from thawing
permafrost, which threatens to drive climate change faster than current
expectations. Indigenous residents of Canada and Alaska must now prepare to move
their villages. In past eras, the release of methane from melting permafrost and
destabilized sediments in shallow seas has probably been responsible for some of
the largest warmings in the Earth’s history.
If we want to find a climate that was warmer by 6-9
degrees Fahrenheit (3-5 degrees Celsius), we have to go all the way back to the
middle Pliocene, about 3 million years ago. And at that time sea level was about
25 to 35 meters higher than it is today. That’s about – 25 meters is about 80
feet. So, it is a huge sea level change. And that is something which, at all
costs, we need to try to avoid because more than half the people in the world
live within 50 miles of a coastline.
Coasts…many millions more people
than today are projected to experience floods every year due to sea level rise.
The numbers affected will be the largest in the densely populated and low-lying
megadeltas of Asia and Africa while small islands are especially vulnerable
(very high confidence). - United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change Report, Ms. Liz Thompson,
Environmental advocate of Small Island Developing States, former Minister of the
Environment of Barbados, United Nations 2008 Earth Champion:
believe it is important for us to explain to the globe that climate change is
not just a new mantra, some new language that has been used on the international
conference circuit, but that for some people it represents a threat to their
daily life.Mr. Wael Hmaidan, Head of Arab Climate Campaign,
Executive Director of the League of Independent Activists, Lebanon:
Nile Delta is one of the most important agricultural lands in the Middle East.
If the sea water level goes one meter up, up to 20% of the Egyptian Nile Delta
will be underwater, and they will lose a lot of agricultural land. From the Alps to the Andes, the world’s
glaciers are relentlessly shrinking. The Gangotri glacier is the main source
feeding the Ganges River, on which more than 1 billion people depend on daily
for drinking water and agriculture. In recent years it has been retreating at a
doubled annual rate of more than 100 feet. This is one example of how rapidly
melting ice cause floods which will then be followed by extreme
droughts.Dr. Mihir Deb, Director of School of
Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, India:
Most of these north
Indian rivers are glacier fed. So we are having lot of water being discharged
into the river. It does cause flooding at times. Also the huge flow of water
right up to the Bay of Bengal in the deltaic region many islands are getting
inundated. Some of the islands in the Sundarbans have vanished. Totally
vanished. United Nations
experts predict that in a matter of years, there will be tens of millions of
so-called environmental refugees. This could eventually affect many other
countries.Dr. James Hansen
: It's pretty
clear that business as usual will get us well into the range of dangerous
effects – dangerous effects on sea level, on plant and animal species, on
strengthening storms and stronger droughts – so we know that we don't want to
have warming of 5 or 10 degrees. But how damaging is 1 or 2 or 3 degrees? We
don't really know that. Pär Holmgren, Swedish Television
Global warming is not only about the atmosphere getting
warmer. It’s also about the oceans that are becoming warmer. Dr.
Mark Serreze, Climate scientist, US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC),
University of Colorado:
We will probably see, for example, an
accelerated hydrologic cycle, because we were talking earlier that you warm it
up, you put more water vapor into the atmosphere. Well water vapor fuels storms.
Pär Holmgren, Swedish Television meteorologist:
(tropical storms) get their energy from the oceans we could see that the seasons
of these tropical hurricanes become longer, and also that more of them become
very, very intensive hurricanes.Within the past decade, the Earth has witnessed some of the most
destructive storms in recorded history. Some of the most devastating were:
Hurricane Katrina which affected the US Gulf Coast, Super-cyclone Gonu in the
Arabian peninsula, Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh. In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis
pushed a wall of water 12 feet high 25 miles in to Myanmar, completely flooding
the Irrawaddy Delta region. Unprecedented casualties gave way to longer term
problems as millions of survivors face homelessness, loss of livelihoods,
injuries and disease.Dr. Jonathan Patz, Lead
author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, Professor of
Environment and Health:
Infectious diseases. Especially vector-borne,
meaning insect or rodent-borne diseases are highly sensitive to subtle changes
in climate. Mosquitoes are cold blooded so whatever the air temperature is,
that's the body temperature of a mosquito. And mosquitoes carry lots of diseases
like malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus… Japanese encephalitis. All of these
are vector-borne diseases and are very much dependent on temperature effects.
María Julia Muñoz, Public Health Minister of Uruguay: We
have had floods in places of the country where they hadn’t ocurred before. That
also entails, in health terms, big problems.
Patz: People talk about extreme storms and these disastrous storms, and
that’s another health issue: post-traumatic stress. People die in hurricanes and
typhoons and floods. But then also they have no housing. So the mental health
burden of extreme climate is quite significant. This is the expectation with
In many places
that already have drought conditions and are at risk of food insecurity and
malnutrition, adaptation to climate change is already the focus of national
Mr. Benjamin Karmorh, Jr., Assistant
Professor, Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia: Liberia happens
to be a least developed country. Our level of emission is not significant. But
we, among other countries, among other least developed countries, we are
classified as the most vulnerable people that receive the impact of climate
Mr. Pa Ousman Jarju, Director of Water Resources in
Gambia: We are experiencing shorter raining season, and the dry spell
is also increasing over the years. So we are feeling the impact and this is also
leading to food insecurity.
In 2007 twenty-two African nations experienced the worst wet
seasons and consequently flash floods witnessed in many decades. The flooding
affected 1.5 million people and washed away entire fields of crops.
Mr. Benjamin Karmorh, Jr., Assistant Professor,
Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia: It is important we all work
together to build the capacity of those vulnerable nations like mine, so that at
the end of the day we can be resilient to the climate change, so that we can be
able to adapt to climate change. Because as we speak, lives have been destroyed,
infrastructures are being destroyed, the agriculture system is being disrupted.
The transport system is being disrupted. Nearly every sector is being affected
by climate change. The consequences are enormous.
Patz, Lead author of multiple IPCC reports: The heat wave of 2003 that
hit Europe killed over 70,000 people in less than two weeks. That's a public
health disaster. And that heat wave was unprecedented. It was so far above the
normal distribution of summertime temperatures in Europe that even though you
can't blame one heat wave or storm or hurricane on global warming, the
climatologists that looked at how extreme that event really was, they've said
that the warming, greenhouse gases that we've pumped into the air causing global
warming doubled the likelihood of having an event that extreme.
The many different types of health effects, heart related, air
pollution related, infectious disease related, these are all very concerning to
us who study public health because climate change cuts across all of these
different hazardous exposure pathways to affect your
Supreme Master Ching Hai: People who live
in the city and who live in the far away area, they think nothing happen to
them. But it’s happening. It just happens more to the people who near the gas.
You see, the gasses are fuming from the ocean and from the land that’s been
deforested. It’s fuming everywhere.
It’s just that at the moment, it’s
not so intense, yeah? And then you probably have a headache when you pass by
some place. You don’t know why suddenly the headache come and you don’t know
suddenly your heart hurt, burnt. You don’t know why today your liver is no good,
and then you take medicine and you forget about it, you know what I mean? But
it’ll be more and more intense if we don’t do something.
María Julia Muñoz, Public Health Minister of Uruguay: And
we’re thinking that if we don’t take any collective measures not only in our
country but worldwide as well, these phenomena can become bigger and causing
more and more damages.
Dr. Ted Scambos: There is a problem to the discussion of
greenhouse gases, especially to the public, because all the forecasts tend to go
to the year 2100. As if it’s some magic time that all the events come to a halt.
That’s not the case. There is no limit to how warm the world will get, unless we
set a limit. It’s paramount that people everywhere understand: eventually it’s
up to us to stop this. It won’t stop until we do it.
I live in Switzerland, and there
all the glaciers come down and the climate change and it gets very, very dry in
the summer. And it’s really terrible. It’s really a minute till midnight, so we
have to do something. Chief Oren Lyons:
We don’t have a
lot of time for reflection.Mr. Saley Hassane, Executive
Secretary, Niger National Council for Environment and Sustainable
We need to find the paths and means to save the planet,
now! Immediately. The world has become a single village. We must save the
village. Dr. James Hansen, top US climatologist:
think we could get to this big tipping point which business and the government
and the public all begin to work in the right direction.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
You have only two years to change. Two years. Because four years when
it happen but two years, within two years we have to do something, otherwise, it
will happen, do you understand me? Short, short, short, ha? When you say two
years, it might sound long. No! Only seven hundred days. A hundred and four
weeks. That’s a very scary number. Do you understand me? Yeah? Okay. We have to
do it, okay? We have to take matters into our hands. We do what we can, okay?
And okay, if we die, we die, but we have to do something.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I’m
glad the governments are doing something and all the celebrities, all the
distinguished people and organizations, just like you are today, are concerned
and trying to push with all the vital actions to save the planet, to stop global
warming. I’m very happy about that, but maybe we should move faster and take
Vegetarian diet number one,
green energy number
everybody work together to be frugal, and protect the environment
and the animals. It’s not that difficult. It’s just the habit that we have to
change, that’s all.
The lush rainforests of the world are home to
at least 50% of all the plant and animal species on the planet. The mature
tropical forests not only help to store carbon, they regulate temperatures and
weather patterns. More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon
Every year, 2 million hectares of rainforest (NFT: 5
million acres) are cleared in this region to create pasture for cattle. Rates of
deforestation are as high in other parts of the world. Due to the method of
burning the vegetation, the land once grazed loses its nutrients in just a few
years. The result is erosion, floods, and a long, very long path to the forest’s
INEFFICIENT or WASTEFUL
“If we lose the forests, we lose the fight
against climate change.” - Declaration signed by 300 climate experts at
the 2007 United Nation’s Climate Change conference in Bali
The livestock sector is by far humans’ single
largest user of land. 26% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface is used for
grazing. The cost is approximately 2.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide per
year.What’s more, one third of all arable land on the globe is used for crops
that feed farmed animals, rather than humans. According to Worldwatch Institute,
in the past 50 years the world’s demand for meat has more than
Feed consumption by farmed animals has quadrupled. Surendra
Shrestha, Director, Strategic Resource Mobilization, United Nations Environment
Programme: So as the population changes his lifestyle and diet, the focus on the
resource base is more. But we have one planet, we have only finite amount of
land, water, air and biodiversity. Because it is finite, we are having a
Dr. Richard Schwartz, President of Jewish Vegetarians of North
America: We’re feeding so much to animals, not just the 6.7 billion
people today that we’re trying to feed, but also well over 50 billion farmed
animals. So this means that over 70% of the grains produced in the US is fed to
animals destined to the slaughterhouse. Over 40% of the grains produced
worldwide is fed to farmed animals.
This is a typical feedlot, where tens of thousands of
cows are confined for the final months of their lives. They are there to gain
weight quickly by consuming grains. Feedlots are just one part of the
concentrated facilities called factory farms. Designed foremost to keep up with
high demands for meat, these intensive operations are found in both the
developed and developing worlds. They bring in profits to the few that run them,
while posing to the rest of society serious problems in public health, animal
welfare and the environment.
Gary L. Francione, Professor of Law, Rutgers University Law School,
USA, Author & vegan: Animal products are an environmental disaster.
It takes between six and twelve pounds of plant protein to produce one pound of
flesh. It takes about 1,000 times more water to produce flesh than it does to
produce potatoes or wheat. It takes two hectares of land to support one
omnivore. It takes 1/2 hectare to support 20 vegans. So it takes 80 times more
land, basically, to support that lifestyle of an omnivore than it does the
lifestyle of a vegan. We are feeding in the United States alone, enough grain,
wheat, soy beans etc. to animals every day, we could give two loaves of bread to
every human being on the planet.
Professor Al Gini of the School of Business Ethics, Loyola
University, Chicago, USA: When you look at it in the long run, it takes
more food to produce that food than we could get the protein from another
the face of global warming, a water crisis has begun in different parts of the
world. Households are being called upon to conserve this precious resource as
much as possible. According to the Stockholm International Water Institute, 70%
of all water goes to producing food, compared to 20% by industries and a mere
10% to households. Now consider: It takes 23 gallons of water to produce a pound
of lettuce;25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat;49 gallons to produce
a pound of apples;815 gallons to produce a pound of chicken; 1,630 gallons to
produce a pound of pork;and 5,214 gallons of water to produce just one pound of
beef. Scientists have calculated that we would actually save more water by not
eating one pound of beef, or four hamburgers, than by not showering for at least
Archer: It’s very clear that when you grow grain and then feed it to
animals and then eat the animals, you lose 90% of the energy from the original
grain, and so not only can you feed fewer people on the agriculture that you
have but as they discovered, it also requires a lot more fossil fuel energy to
make that happen.
To produce one pound of beef, it takes 2,500 gallons of
water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one
gallon of gasoline. If all these costs were reflected in the price of the
product, without subsidies, the least expensive hamburger in the US would cost
“Please eat less meat – meat is a very carbon-intensive
product.”- Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Head of United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Lionel Friedberg, Documentary Producer /Script-x-x Writer/
Cinematographer, Emmy-Award-winning Producer & vegan: The United
Nations in November 2006, issued one of the most frightening documents I have
ever seen, and it was the Food and Agriculture Organization based in Rome, which
is part of the United Nations. And they put out this document; it was called
“Livestock’s Long Shadow”. And what is it about? It’s about the role that
livestock and the agri-business plays in contributing to global warming.
The 2006 Food and Agriculture Organization’s report
found that livestock accounted for more of the total greenhouse gas emissions
than the entire transportation sector, including all cars, planes, buses and
Lionel Friedberg: It’s not what you put in your gas tank,
but what you put on your plate, that really counts. And that’s where we can curb
and control global warming.
Andrew Revkin, The New York Times journalist: The
cheapest meats would come from industrial scale farming which has other
questions. There is a lot of water, there is a lot of pollution that results
from large scale farming. So eating down the food chain is something that many
scientists feel in a growing global population is something that would be
Dr. Kirk Smith: There are a number of reasons to think
that moving to low meat consumption is beneficial. One is greenhouse gases;
already livestock is 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Excuse me, the meat
system. It includes the animals, it includes growing the food for the animals,
it includes the transport of the meat, it includes the fertilizer to grow the
food, the feed, the meat.
Andrew Revkin, The New York Times journalist: When you
become more aware that food choices are also energy choices, land choices, water
choices, then you can start to change behavior.
Marley Tsongas, Climate Project presenter, trained by
world-renowned environmentalist Al Gore: In general, those that are
vegetarian or have a lower meat consumption level have a smaller carbon
footprint, just because they’re eating lower in the food chain. Less food has to
be produced for them to get all the energy and food they need.
Dr. Shaw C. Liu, Member of United Nations Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, Director of Research Center for Environmental Changes,
Formosa (Taiwan): In fact, eating less meat means we can release a lot
of good land from production of grains and return it to forestry. That would
really cut down the CO2 emissions.
The meat industry is also a leading generator of
methane and nitrous oxide. These two greenhouse gases are lower in quantity yet
respectively 23 and 300 times more potent than CO2.
Dr. Kirk Smith, Professor of global environmental health,
University of California at Berkeley & vegan: The biggest single
source of methane emissions, human-caused methane emissions, is livestock.
Dr. Richard Schwartz, President of Jewish Vegetarians of North
America: So what that means is that all the other good things that
people are talking about, all very necessary: we’ve got to get more
fuel-efficient cars, more efficient lightbulbs, less traveling by car, more by
mass transit. All of them are wonderful things to do but they’ll all be in
effect deleted, or negated, if we do not switch to plant-based
Maneka Gandhi, India Parliament Member, former Indian Environment
Minister & vegetarian: Unless we change our food choices, nothing
else matters because it is meat that is destroying most of our forests, it’s
meat that pollutes the waters, it is meat that is creating disease, which leads
to all our money being diverted to hospitals. So it’s a first choice for anybody
who wants to save the Earth.
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of
survival for life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
- Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel Prize 1921
For more than two decades, Supreme Master Ching Hai
has cautioned about the human meat habit and the wide toll that it takes on the
environment and ultimately on our lives.Our Earth is
collapsing because we eat too much meat, actually, or we have to put it that
way, roughly. So if we want to save the planet, if we want to preach
environmental care, we should be vegetarian.
There's no other thing to do, right? And that is just a
small thing compared to all the vaccination, and all the water, pure water used
for meat and things like that. You already read on newspapers and magazines and
television everyday. I just remind you just a small portion of it. But the
harmful effect of the meat diet is larger than life.
Mr. Wael Hmaidan, Head of Arab Climate Campaign, Executive Director
of the League of Independent Activists, Lebanon: The solution for
climate change is known globally. We need to stop our dependence on fossil
fuels. We can produce enough energy to power the whole planet by using a small
percentage of the energy given to us by the sun. Of course, also it is important
to highlight the type of food we eat.
Senator Andrew Bartlett, Queensland, Australia: Veganism
is becoming recognized as being something that people do and it is a totally
valid and healthy lifestyle. When you put it in the context of climate change,
then there is a lot more urgency about it. It's not just about gradually trying
to change the world for the better over the course of a few centuries. It's
about recognizing if we don't cut back greenhouse emissions enormously in a very
short space of time, then we are going to permanently damage, seriously damage
Dr. Jonathan Patz, Lead author of Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change reports, Environment and health professor: I would
advocate getting off of the meat diet, that it really is not sustainable, and
not only that, we know from the Western diet that too much meat is not good for
you and the issue of heart disease and cancer.
Current levels of meat consumption are a direct factor
to an array of modern-day health conditions. Yet, while meat production
continues to consume vast amounts of energy, land, water and food, over a
billion of the world’s population suffers from
According to a new report released by the United
Nations Children’s Fund, those who have contributed least to climate change, the
world’s poorest children, are suffering the most. The report stated that climate
change could cause an additional 40,000 to 160,000 children will lose their
lives per year in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa through increased poverty
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) has also warned that up to a billion people could lose their homes as a
result of climate change in the next several decades.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: By all scientific reasons we
should be vegetarian. And by all health reasons we should be, again,
vegetarian. And by all economical reasons we should be vegetarian. And by all
compassionate reasons we should be vegetarian. And by saving the world slogan
in spirit we should be vegetarian. It is stated in some research that if the
people in the West, would eat vegetarian once a week, we would save 60 million
people every year. So be a hero, be vegetarian. By all reasons.
Bonnie Swift, Vice President of Canada-based environment
engineering consulting firm & vegetarian: I’ve been a vegetarian
for over 10 years now, and one of my motivations was actually being a
consultant, being in the field, seeing some of the impact caused by the
agriculture industry; I’ve seen lakes, rivers and soil being destroyed by heavy
Rynn Berry: If we can all become vegetarians, we can
reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere and we can protect the
Earth from pollution, from slaughterhouse waste, as well as eliminating cruelty,
which is really the most important objective.
Dr. Eric Llewellyn, UK-based medical physician, Consultant of
Bristol Cancer Help Center: Certainly in terms of human health, we have
absolute evidence that with cancers, if you convert to a vegetarian diet; the
British Medical Journal said if you’re vegetarian, you’re your chances of being
alive at 5 years (with cancer) are 40% increased and my own view is that it’s
probably much more than that, but the vegetarian diet is certainly more
harmonious for human beings I believe.
“As you sow, so shall you
reap.”- Christian Bible
and spirituality describe one fundamental law: every action causes a reaction.
Over time, humans as a collective have imposed great suffering to our animal
co-inhabitants. A life taken unnaturally will be compensated with another. The
destruction of global warming on a planetary scale could only be the consequence
of accumulated harmful actions just as large in scale. Here lies the root cause
of global warming.
SOS conference Supreme Master Ching Hai: So we just have
to stop killing. We just have to stop killing animals and man. We have to stop
it. And then everything else will suddenly come clear. We will find better
technical means to tackle the climate problem, the sun might even stop
exploding. The ocean explosions might just stop. The typhoons might just stop.
The cyclones will be silent. The earthquakes will just be gone.
Everything else will just turn to peaceful way of life because we create
peace and then we will have peace. Peace not only among humans but among all
co-inhabitants. That’s why I keep emphasising the vegetarian diet. It’s the
moral code of being a human. It is the mark of being a great human.
You see the meat diet not only causes the greatest emission of poisonous
gas into the planet atmosphere but many other costs. Add them together, then we
will see the real answer.
There are many causes which breed negative energy into the atmosphere of
our planet and you know what I’m talking about. When you walk into a room and
somebody was hating each other or hating you, you feel the energy like cutting
edge of a knife. When you walk into a lovely, happy party you will feel the
lively energy and the happy energy. That is what causes the happiness or the
sorrow of our life, the energies; the negative energy or the positive energy.
Gary Fancione: I think we need to understand that violence
only begets violence. Violence is never the solution to a problem, never. It
never works; it just creates more problems. And as part of it, I don’t really in
many ways see the animal issue as a separate issue. I see it as all part of the
violence that has become the way of life that we all accept now.
Surendra Shrestha: The future belongs to the younger
generation. We need to teach them how to live in harmony inside, mind, body
soul, then how to live in harmony, with nature that we are one among many
species; we have no right to kill others. So once we live to learn or live in
harmony with ourselves, we live in harmony with others in society and nature,
then we will have achieved the sustainable development where we have the whole
planet to live together in.
Lionel Friedberg: So what can you do to make a difference?
Very simple, you can make a difference! By changing your diet and by being
peace-loving and by living a peaceful, compassionate lifestyle. And all it’s
about is what you put on that plate for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner.
That’s where you make a difference.
Andrew Revkin, New York Times Journalist: It’s a values
question: How much do we value the future? How much are we willing to change our
behavior now to limit a future risk to our grandchildren, even if they’re not
born yet, people who are coming down the pike, and people in other countries,
where the vulnerability is greater.
Senator Andrew Bartlett, Queensland, Australia: It is such
a big easy thing that people can do individually. They don't have to sit back
and hope governments will fix everything. They don’t have to sit back and wait
until the public transport system improves; they can do it now. Even if people
significantly reduce and cut back and seek out vegan options or vegetarian
options, the more the public demand comes for it, the more options are provided
and it becomes a lot easier to do.
Debora Hart, Organizer of parents’ rally to save the climate, Australia:
My vision for the future is a more respectful world for us, all of us,
to consider that we are actually all connected and what we do matters, and the
energy we put out matters, and that if each and everyone of us considered that
and really went about all of our daily experiences with that in mind the world
would be a great place.
To date, nearly 7.5 million Americans describe
themselves as vegetarian, and trends can be found in many other
13-year-old girl in San Francisco-USA: Whenever I have the
option I’ll always eat vegetarian. I think it’s healthy for you and it’s also
good for the environment and for the world right now.
with young daughters: You don’t have to suffer to eat
Toronto Mayor David Miller: People that are
vegetarian do help the environment. I’m not a vegetarian but I do eat a lot of
vegetarian meals. I think that’s something we can all do.
Thanks to concerned media groups, filmmakers and
government leaders, the public is now better informed than ever about the
powerful links between global warming and their diet.
CTS, Formosan (Taiwan) Television station: The Campaign
Union of Go Veg for Anti-Global Warming urges everybody to halt warming and save
the Earth by taking a vegetarian diet. Eating meat is out of date; the rule for
today is to save the Earth.
Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung Bin:
Today, if we want to reduce CO2 emissions, the vegetarian lifestyle is
absolutely a very effective way. The difference between a vegetarian diet and a
meat diet is the reduction in CO2 emissions, which is almost 3 times as high
with a meat diet. Furthermore, the vegetarian diet is very good for our health.
Marianne Thieme, Member of Dutch Parliament, Chairwoman of Party
for the Animals & vegan: It's just the start of a world tour on
First New York Veggie Pride Parade, 2008 Little girl:
Let’s save the planet together.
SOS Conference Supreme Master Ching Hai: You see from all
the consideration, from all the concrete evidence that’s given to us by the
United Nations research and the scientific evidence from the scientists, not to
talk about moral obligation.
I think, number 1: we have to stop all
the killing, as I have mentioned before. We stop all the killing, stop
all the harming of humans and animals alike.
Number 2: stop all consumption of all animals’ products.
Number 3: encourage more virtuous life style, starting from the
top, means starting from the leaders themselves. I know I am asking for
the moon, but since you ask me, I have to tell you the only solutions we must
Number 4: turn people to more religious minded, meaning they should
remember more about God. The governments have to involve, do not say
politics is separate from religion. They must encourage people to go more to the
church, or to pray more at home together, to read the bibles. To study really
what Jesus said to them. To practice really what the Buddha told us. To practice
really what Guru Nanak told us, what Prophet Muhammad wants us to do. We have to
study truly our religious bibles and practice what is taught therein, not just
And number 5: we have to repent and pray for Heaven’s grace. We
have to ask for forgiveness from Heaven and from all beings for all the harm
that we have done to them. And the powerful collective,
positive and loving power of the whole world will repel darkness that are coming
towards us, that is facing us right now.
Even despite all the scientific development, despite all the means, the
physical means that we try to elevate, the farming technique or the adaptation
to the climate change, that will not do for long run if our spiritual value is
not up to the expectation of human’s value, that is, it’s not up to Heaven’s
We must turn our life around. We must. I don’t say anybody should follow
me, no, no, no need. Just study your bible and act accordingly. All the bibles
tell us, all the script-x-xures of religions in the world told us we have to love
one another, we have to be compassionate to all beings, including animals.
That’s all there is, compassion. Love one another and compassion. That’s
very simple, love. Love your neighbors, love everyone else, love the animals.
When we love we don’t harm, when we love we don’t kill. The only religion is
Love. One simple solution is Love, that’s it. We have to follow our heart.