Fatal blistering heat spreads misery in Myanmar, also known as Burma - 15 May 2010  
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As scorching weather recently gripped the city of Yangon, two taxi drivers succumbed to heat exposure. This year, the central part of the country has especially been hit with record high temperatures, some rising to an oppressive 45 degrees Celsius, a full 6 degrees above the average maximum for the time of year.

The population is responding by curtailing activities and remaining indoors whenever possible. Officials are also disseminating survival tips and have halted the export of rice to ensure food supplies in case the lack of rain leads to crop failure.

In rural areas, extreme temperatures are causing water shortages as wells dry up, with a higher incidence of diseases such as flu and skin allergies being noted. In one township alone, around 100,000 fish were estimated to perish in a single day from the heat and lack of rainfall.

We are deeply saddened at the loss of life and suffering caused by the extreme heat. Our prayers for the soon blessing of cool rain for the gentle Burmese people and that humanity unites in sustainable lifestyles to halt climate change and restore balance to the planet.

Speaking with concern as she has previously about our urgent situation, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed global warming during an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, describing the simple but meaningful action needed to counteract its dangers.

Supreme Master Ching Hai : Now, according to expert scientists, the atmospheric temperatures are rising so steeply that we do not have much time left to change. And that is just what they have predicted up to date.

The effects of climate change can be seen in so many ways, with increased flooding, droughts, fires and even earthquakes everywhere in the world.

How do we stop these alarming changes? The greenhouse gases released from the animals, from their waste, agricultural runoff, and the activities related to these massive operations have been identified as the primary, the number one cause of global warming.

We have to halt the meat consumption and the livestock raising.

Instead, we should choose to buy organic vegetable and fruit products to save our lives and those of our families, save the animals and the planet.