With diverse flora and fauna, magnificent natural landscapes, and an ecological biosphere that supports life,this wondrous planet is our earthly home. From our animal co-inhabitants to the lush rainforests and life-giving soil,we cherish all these as gifts from the Creator.It is a common theme in the world’s major faiths that during our temporary stay here,we should be good stewards of Mother Earth.
Throughout the years,Supreme Master Ching Hai has shared the message of leading a balanced life while following a spiritual path.Not only must we nourish our spirits,but we share the responsibility to care for nature and our fellow beings.
In light of recent scientific evidence stressing the grave state of our planet caused by climate change,Supreme Master Ching Hai affirms the important message she has noted for over the past two decades: we must be vegetarian,meaning an animal-free diet, and practice sustainable living.
A NASA study in 2001 confirmed that a huge amount of frozen methane gas released from beneath the ocean floor had heated up the Earth by up to 13 degrees Fahrenheit and triggered the disastrous impact of global warming 55 million years ago.
According to scientific studies,atmospheric methane has more than double in the last 200 years and continues to rise. "Ten years of methane is a blip, but hundreds of years of atmospheric methane is enough to warm up the atmosphere, melt the ice in the oceans, and change the whole climate system," said Gavin Schmidt, researcher and lead author of the study at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, New York, USA.
The flatulence of livestock has been proven to be a major contributor of methane released in the air, a greenhouse gas that is 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a twenty years span.
Scientific studies have also indicated that the gas and manure from livestock also produce nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. According to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Hazard Administration (OSHA), prolonged exposure at different levels of concentration causes bone marrow depression, granulocytopenia (a blood disorder), numbness, and so on.
Another gas implicated in several mass extinctions in the Earth’s history is hydrogen sulfide. This colorless and highly toxic gas deadens our sense of smell, and at higher concentration, causes blindness and eventual death. Known as “sewer gas,” hydrogen sulfide is a byproduct of decomposing organic matter, especially human and animal waste. According to the Sierra Club’s Clean Water &Factory Farm Reports and Fact Sheets, the raising of livestock produces 500 million
tons of manure a year, the improper storage of which often results in leaks, spills, and runoffs that pollute rivers and oceans. Chemical fertilizer and nitrogen rich manure runoffs of livestock eventually cause dead zones in oceans all over the world. The hypoxic, or low oxygen, conditions of these dead zones lead to the formation of hydrogen sulfide.
Furthermore, low-oxygen manure pits, a feature of confined animal feeding operations on factory farms, are also prime environments for the production of this foul smelling and toxic gas.
According to paleontologist Peter Ward, “Hydrogen sulfide in the oceans and atmosphere turned the sky green and choked off oxygen for plants, animals and marine life.” He further warned that global warming caused by human activities “could reproduced the same hydrogen sulfide that killed more
than 90% of life during the Permian period.”
Today we present to you excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s discussions on climate change with our Association members and members of the media titled, Poisonous Gas in the Oceans and the Atmosphere.” Reference
Rising methane levels in Norwegian Arctic
(Msnbc - 10 Mar 2009)
Methane Bubbling Up From Undersea Permafrost?
(National Geographic - 19 Dec 2008)
Hundreds of methane 'plumes' discovered
(The Independent - 25 Sep 2008)
Exclusive: The methane time bomb
(The Independent - 23 Sep 2008)
Large tundra methane burst during onset of freezing
of Copenhagen - 4 Dec 2008)
Unexplained Rising methane levels are cause for concern
(guardian.co.uk - 10 Nov 2008)
Beyond Carbon: Scientists Worry About Nitrogen’s Effects
( The New York Times - 1 Sep 2008)Large Methane Release Could Cause Abrupt Climate Change As Happened 635 Million Years Ago
(ScienceDaily - 29 May 2008)
Scientist Measures an Overlooked Greenhouse Gas
( NPR - 10 Sep 2007)
Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming
(Nature - 7 Sep 2006)
Methane's Impacts on Climate Change May Be Twice Previous Estimates
(NASA - 18 07 2005)
Methane Explosion Warmed the Prehistoric Earth, Possible Again
(NASA - 10 Dec 2001)
Creeping Dead Zones
(NASA - 19 Feb 2009)America's Meat Habit Feeds Gulf Dead Zone
(Discovery News - 18 Dec 2008)America's Animal Factories :How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste
(Natural Resources Defense Council )One third of fish caught worldwide used as animal feed
(Telegraph - 29 Oct 2008)Half Of US Coral Reefs In 'Poor' Or 'Fair' Condition, NOAA Report States
(ScienceDaily - July 9, 2008)
Hydrogen Sulfide May Kill Us, Bring Us Back to Life
(Wired - 03 Mar 2008)
Massive release of hydrogen sulfide to the surface ocean and atmosphere during intervals of oceanic anoxia
(Geological Society of America - May 2005)
Hydrogen Sulfide Eruptions Along the Coast of Namibia
(NASA - May 2004)Hydrogen Sulfide, Not Carbon Dioxide, May Have Caused Largest Mass Extinction
(ScienceDaily - 5 Nov 2003)