You are watching Words of Wisdom Rebroadcast of Live Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” Hong Kong - October 3, 2009
Ben (m): Good afternoon, distinguished guests, worldwide viewers of Supreme Master Television, ladies and gentlemen. A heartfelt welcome to this SOS climate change action conference entitled “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” in Hong Kong - Fragrant Harbor.
Ben(m): We're very pleased to announce that this conference is broadcast live through Supreme Master Television via 14 satellite platforms, IPTV, as well as internet at www.SupremeMasterTV.com.
Sylvia(f): Happy Moon Festival! Moon Festival in some Asian cultures is a day of family reunion and community unity, and enjoying moon cakes to signify the wish for perfection. So glad to have you all here today as a family on this very, very special day.
Ben (m): We are very honored to be your hosts this afternoon.
Sylvia (f): According to many prophecies, in this challenging era the Rainbow Warriors will appear. They are both guardians and pioneers of the Earth. By following an animal-free diet, protecting the environment, and using God-given power derived from spiritual practice, they aspire to build a new era of peace, freedom, and harmony. Some of us remember our sacred mission as Rainbow Warriors; while some are yet to be awakened. We must be united irrespective of race and religion to bring the divine power to the world. This is the spirit of our climate change conference today: “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives.” Now, let's enjoy a performance entitled “The Rainbow Warriors,” brought to you by members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association.
The prophecy Rainbow brings us here messengers of God, Tender_loving_care Is the Golden Rule of our lives. Rainbow Lady unites us here with Celestial Music and Light Beyond color, race or religion In prayer and solitude We find wisdom and courage.
We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend Safeguarding the planet with veganism, with going green We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend In justice, in peace and in freedom a harmonious new world.
We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend Safeguarding the planet with veganism, with going green We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend In justice, in peace and in freedom, a harmonious new world.
Together we make the dream come true Rivers run clear Forests be abundant.
Together we make the dream come true Animals and birds are replenished Mother Earth restored to her natural beauty We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend.
Safeguarding the planet with veganism, with going green. We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend In justice, in peace and in freedom, a harmonious new world. We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend
Safeguarding the planet with veganism, with going green. We are the Rainbow Warriors in the legend In justice, in peace and in freedom, a harmonious new world A harmonious new world.
Sylvia (f): Beautiful song, beautiful voice and beautiful dance! Thank you very much! Let's give them another round of applause! Thank you!
Ben (m): Our beautiful planet is now experiencing a planetary emergency with natural disasters such as heat waves, world hunger, food crisis, occurring frequently as never seen before. This is the time of urgency. Based on the higher awareness, immediate action must be taken in time to save all our co-inhabitants on the Earth. How much do we know about Mother Earth and the impact of global warming? Here is a short film unveiling the truth.
Fungi were the first organisms that came to land. 1.3 billion years ago, fungi marched onto land from the oceans; plants followed several hundred million years later. They were the gateway species and they led the way, and in the trail of mycelium that they created, plant and animal communities then marched forward upon the mantel of mycelium. Every day up to 270 species are erased from existence. One-third of all animal species have been lost since the 1970s.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: It is our behavior that caused so much the loss of our planetary species; scientists have proved it. So we all know that fishing, hunting, polluting the environment are the causes of global warming and the decrease of animals on the planet. And many of the advices to stop often have gone unheeded. And it's a pity. We should protect the species because when we protect them, we protect the ecology. And the ecology links with our health, the health of the planet and the people.
According to the World Health Organization, the 2009 swine flu pandemic is the fastest ever spreading pandemic in history, with millions today likely to be infected. Canadian agencies have seen a 99% correlation between the number of pig factory farms and the total number of human swine flu cases per province. When we cram tens of thousands of animals in these cramped, filthy football-field-size sheds to lie snout to snout on top of their own waste, it's just a breeding ground for disease. Pig and other animal factory farms also create antibiotic resistant bacteria.
In the US, where 70% of all antibiotics are fed to farm animals, bacterial infections claim 18,000 human lives each year, which is more than all the AIDS fatalities in the country. Ocean dead zones are increasing. Satellite data from a recent study published in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters, showed that barren zones in the world's oceans increased in one decade by around 5 million square kilometers - an area equivalent to about half the size of the United States.
These so-called “ocean deserts” appear very dark as they lack green chlorophyll from plankton. As with their land counterparts, the deserts are also hotter than the surrounding areas. Animal agriculture is largely responsible for these regions that support no life, as fertilizers and manure make their way to the oceans, ultimately robbing it of oxygen and killing marine animals and plants in increasingly larger areas.
Dr Pachauri(m): Since people found out about this talk that I was going to give here today, I've received a number of emails from people that I respect saying that the 18% figure is an underestimate; it's a low estimate and, in actual fact, it's much higher.
(m): I had some information just recently that the new figures now indicate that at least half of the greenhouse gases that are up there now - not that 15 or 20%, at least half, and maybe considerably more, are due to livestock production. Greenhouse gases are emitted during virtually every step of the meat producing process. Of the three major greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide - methane is up to 72 times more potent than CO2, while nitrous oxide is up to 300 times more potent. Sure, we have to deal with CO2 in the long run, but if you want to make an impact on climate in the next 20 years, the place to do it is with the shorter-lived greenhouse gases, most important of which is methane.
(m): We have a critical environmental crisis now happening with effects that we're seeing around the world, and if we want to address the warming we're seeing now, the best bang for our buck comes in addressing the other gases, mostly methane, and its #1 source - animal agriculture.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: The migrating birds have to fly farther and farther to find a place to nest, and the polar bears swim longer and longer now because there is no more ice, until sometimes they drown of exhaustion, or why the neighboring country has so many floods in recent years, so many disasters, etc. Tell them how climate change is affecting real lives, real animals, real people, and their own lives as well. But it's also important to show the young people that there is still hope; we can still save the planet. It's a chance to be true heroes, by being vegan and spread the news of this solution. Together we can save lives.
Ben (m): Now, we all know how seriously global warming is affecting our life. Today, we are very honored to have distinguished guest speakers from Beijing, Formosa (Taiwan), and Hong Kong to share their views on the impact and solution for global warming. Please accept our sincere gratitude for your attendance and support.
Sylvia (f): It is also a privilege that our special Guest of Honor, Supreme Master Ching Hai - a world-renowned humanitarian, artist and spiritual teacher - will join us in the Q & A session to discuss the most constructive means of addressing the impending problems of climate change, in order to ensure that we do not pass the point of no return.
Ben (m): Before starting the speeches by our distinguished guests, let's share an interview with Professor Lin Pay-Liam regarding global warming and climate change. Professor Lin is Chairman of the Department of Atmosphere Sciences Graduate Institute of Atmosphere Physics National Central University, Formosa (Taiwan). Professor Lin Pay-Liam has some advice for us on global warming.
Greetings to all the viewers. Today, I am going to talk about the greenhouse effect and global warming. Global warming has been the focus of worldwide discussion and is now the biggest problem humans are facing. Although global warming is unavoidable, we can mitigate it. If we choose a frugal lifestyle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we may be able to maintain a relatively good environment.
But if we keep releasing so much greenhouse gases, we will be facing a very horrible environment in 100 years. Greenhouse gases cause warming through two processes. First, with the development of human society after the industrial revolution, a lot of greenhouse gases were released, including methane - which we've just mentioned - carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, etc.
Next, greenhouse gases trap longwave radiation and keep part of the energy in the atmosphere, thus causing warming. The greenhouse effect and global warming have a huge impact. In Formosa (Taiwan), many researchers have discovered a change in diurnal temperature variation, and the temperature increase is particularly obvious. Some researchers even found a close relationship between global warming and extreme precipitation.
In particular, some people believe there is a close connection between the amplified typhoon intensity and global warming. Of course, this is to be proven by more research; but we should in no way neglect the relationship between those phenomena. I think, since the planet as a whole is facing such a dilemma, humans worldwide should join hands and find a solution together to save the Earth.
We should try our best to live a frugal lifestyle and reduce our desires. With a more frugal lifestyle and less desires, we can reduce our need for resources. In this way, together we may be able to save the Earth. I think today's event is very meaningful. We do need everyone to join efforts to save the Earth, to prevent the greenhouse effect from getting worse. I hope this conference, “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” held in Hong Kong, is a great success. And I wish you all a healthy, peaceful and joyful life. Everyone should take part in dealing with the phenomena of global warming.
We want to especially thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for leading so many people to contribute their efforts towards the solution of global warming, and enabling everyone to be united at heart. Thank you.
Ben (m): Thank you, Professor Lin, for your advice on leading a more simple life.
Sylvia (f): Now, we have our distinguished speakers who will describe the kinds of problems that our planet is facing, as well as the possible solution. We have our first distinguished guest, Professor Geng Shu who will share his view on “Climate Change and Fundamental Combat Strategy.”
Ben (m): Professor Geng Shu is currently Professor and Dean of the School of Environment and Energy of Peking University's Shenzhen Graduate School. Professor Geng is a renowned expert in environmental ecology, simulation models, especially risk assessment methodology of global environmental changes and water resource management. He is an elected Fellow of American Society of Agronomy and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Let's give a warm applause to welcome Professor Geng.
Professor Geng, Shu (m): Good afternoon. Thanks to the organizers' invitation that I have this opportunity to be here to meet so many distinguished guests and also individuals who have a common commitment, that is, to improve this world so we have a better place to live, not only for ourselves, for the generations to follow. So, let me start. I want to share with you a little bit our understanding about the problem and our approach. How do we solve this problem?
The IPCC who've become world-famous because they received the Nobel Prize in 2007, here's a copy from IPCC report indicating that all the fundamental gases are increasing and those gas increases cause climate changes. So, I am not going to go into detail, but the only thing I want to point out is - there are three pictures here: on the left is the simulation info. It only considers what natural changes could be and compared to the real numbers.
And the second one shows that if we are adding the anthropogenic effects and the last picture shows both effects from natural and also from human contribution and then the two graphs are almost coincident, one over the other. So, it shows the close relationship between the human contribution and the natural changes. Now, when we talk about change, this picture shows that it's not a simple change of temperature. The implication is that when temperature is increasing, extreme conditions can also be increasing. This can happen in all three possible scenarios.
If you just change absolute temperature, for example, how the tail probability is being affected, and if also, if you change the variation, then how the tail probabilities change. And lastly, when you have both average and also the variation change, the impact on extreme events can be enormous. Well, I'll give you an example. These are two pictures, and not related at all. On your left is a picture from the Himalayas. And on your right is a picture taken at Washington D.C. It happens these two pictures were taken on the same day, in January 2007.
The winter is cold, but this picture shows the contrary phenomena, that it's hot and warm on the same day and almost at the same temperature, 21 Celsius degrees. It's enormous. It's unheard of. It's a record broken. I mean, it's a coincidence of two unrelated, far apart in the world, in two different locations, that happens at the same time; an unlikely temperature and all happen at the same time. So, we have a lot of problems, all kinds of disasters. In Sichuan province, for example, Sichuan is known historically for rainfall and it's a “land of abundance.”
It's well known for agriculture because of a lot of water. But in recent years, even in those places where they used to have lot of water has become prone to drought. And here's a picture, it shows again a very serious drought happened in Sichuan in the last few years. I came from California. I've been in California for a little more than thirty-something years. I teach at the University of California at Davis, I am still a professor at Davis.
And in California, we already analyzed and concluded that in the 21st century, the most serious problem is global climate change. And the global climate change effect on California is in many, many different ways, but the most critical is water resource. California is running out of water and it has a severe impact on all ecological phenomena and human well-being. And this picture shows the economic impact. This actual number shows what happens over the last thirty-some years. As you can see, the extreme climatic conditions, how they impact the economic situation. And all you need to know from this picture is that it's not something that affects here and there. I mean, it's something happening to the economy.
That probably is of more concern to the larger population. We all worry about it. The bottom line is how it's affecting our economy. And extreme climate conditions have a tremendous toll on the cost on the economy. Everybody is paying a lot of money trying to remedy the problems. The changes are not small changes. The earthquake a year ago in Sichuan, maybe it's not directly related to the weather change; however, it is all an indication of an unstable world. Personally, I have researched on global climate change and how they impact various things that we are concerned with.
One, for example, the water resource. Here's the rice in Formosa (Taiwan). And this picture shows one condition, water demand, and the normal conditions. Another, the red dots and lines represents the water demand after global climate change. And here it shows you under the global climate change scenario and water demand is increasing. I mean for rice, if you are above 6 millimeters evapo-transpiration a day, after the global climate change will increase from 17% to 40% - three times more. And here is another example, in Taichung pear, and again, the water demand probably will increase from 8% to 49%. And here is another example of grape, an increase from 12% to 47%.
Now, those are the problems. Why does it happen? In my opinion, they largely have something to do with energy consumption. The thing is, what we've been mostly familiar with and largely consumed fossil fuel energies. Those energies are limited and therefore they are depleted. The depletion is quick, and we'll probably have exhausted those kinds of energies we are seeing - depends on how you estimate and depends on which report you're reading - in somewhere from 50 to 100 years.
So those are exhaustible and used up very quickly, and we are facing the challenge. And those are also the cause of the emissions of various kinds of gases which cause global climate change. So we worry about energy. People always want to live in the same way or better. They want to raise their living standards. The developing countries want to do same thing too - everybody wants the best for living style. However there are costs for that.
Now, when fossil fuels already cause problems, and also it's exhausting, we begin to think: Do we have enough energy? The answer is yes, there is plenty. Actually, the solar energy is plenty, because every year, Earth receives enough sunlight, 10 times more than all possible energy resources existing on Earth. On an annual basis, the solar energy can reach to the Earth at least 50,000 times more than the energy consumed by the whole world. So there's plenty. There's ways we can improve ourselves by using those energies, no pollution and also efficient, and it can maintain our living styles, or even improve our living styles at the same time improving the environment.
So, our school, therefore, is called “Environment and Energy.” We intend to integrate all of these problems in a new way to solve the environment energy problems through research and education. And we have many collaborators, and we want to establish a new platform, which is multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional and we will have science and we have management, we have economics, we have a policy to solve this problem. That's our goal, and I think we can make a contribution in the environmental energy areas with, of course, all your support. Thank you.
Sylvia (f): Thank you.
Ben (m): Thank you, Professor Geng, for giving us scientific analysis on the extreme weather events due to climate change, and also for presenting us with the recent green energy policy and a sustainable development plan to address climate change.
Guest (1): We did not understand the actual meaning of saving our planet. Now, we understand the real aim is reviving our innate kindness and Buddha Nature. When we are back in Shanghai, we will not only promote the vegetarian diet, but in various ways show the importance of being a vegan. We want them to know the real meaning of being a vegan, and how to regenerate our innate kindness and Buddha Nature. Thank you.
Mr. ChengHeadmasterTranscription of Middle School Headmaster(Mr. Cheng) Headmaster: Not only Hong Kong but the whole world need to educate the next generation on environmental protection, especially the pollution to the environment caused by meat eating. Thus, we need to educate our young the importance of eco-awareness and environmental protection. We totally agree to be veg, go green, and save the planet!
Lin ChiehAssociate professorInterview of Associate Professor Lin Chieh (speaker) in Putonghua_ after vc I think I've gained a deeper sight. I know what we can do, what we should do and what we must do.
We should strictly restrain the livestock industry's contribution to global warming. We should encourage people, the government, as well as tax payers, to try their best not to help the development of the livestock industry, especially on the issue of subsidies to the livestock industry. We should deliver this information to the public at large, and work together to prevent the livestock industry from destroying the Earth. After this conference, I will assert more efforts in switching to a more suitable diet. I will be more self-motivated to be veg, go green, and save the planet.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Whether people will become vegan or vegetarian, whether the world will save itself or not, it all depends on humans' actions. But the countdown is there to remind us that we have a very short time, just a little over 3 years, for every single person to be veg to save life on Earth.
Tune in to Supreme Master Television for part 4 of the rebroadcast of the live videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai in Hong Kong entitled “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” on Words of Wisdom this Tuesday, November 24.
Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for the rebroadcast of the live videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai in Hong Kong entitled “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” on Words of Wisdom.
You are watching Words of Wisdom Rebroadcast of Live Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” Hong Kong - October 3, 2009
Host(m): Recently, the outbreak of H1N1 is becoming serious everywhere. What is the relationship between disease and climate change? Today, our second distinguished speaker, Professor Lin Ruey Shiung will share his insight on “Climate Change: Catastrophe, Public Health.”
Sylvia (f): Professor Lin Ruey Shiung is a world famous epidemiologist. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the College of Public Health, National Taiwan University. Professor Lin is also an advisor in Min-Sheng Medical Care System, Taoyuan, Formosa (Taiwan), Board of Editors of Annals of Epidemiology. Let's welcome Professor Lin with a warm applause.
Professor Lin, Ruey Shiung's speech: Thank you very much for the introduction. Good afternoon. I feel very honored today to be invited by the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association to attend this “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” conference. I feel very honored. Because I specialize in public health and epidemiology, today I am going to discuss the impact of global warming on public health. Significant progress has been made in public health in the past 50 or 60 years. With the promotion of environmental hygiene, and the widespread adoption of vaccines, many epidemic diseases have been almost eradicated, such as smallpox and polio, which were major threats in the 1950s.
Therefore, the public health sector is very pleased as the infectious diseases are about to become extinct. What is replacing them are chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, which are related to our lifestyle and dietary habit. So we feel very lucky. However, in the past ten plus years, we have witnessed bird flu, SARS, and this year's swine flu.
We experienced many new and some re-emerging infectious diseases. These infectious diseases seem to have a very big impact on humankind. So, today, I would like to discuss how global warming and climate change affects public health and the spread of these infectious diseases. Before the introduction, I would like to talk about the ecological model of some diseases. In between the agent and the host of a disease, there is the ecological environment. Changes in the ecological environment affect both the host and the agent.
Today I particularly want to talk about which type of agents can be affected by the ecological environment, especially by global warming. For individuals, the question is how to improve your immunity, how to enhance your ability to resist diseases. For the entire public health system, the question is how to change the ecological environment, how to cut off the transmission channel, and how to remove the infectious agents. These are what the public health community is concerned about. So next, I will talk about how those infectious diseases are transmitted to humans.
Generally, there are three transmission channels for infectious diseases. The first is through inhalation; the second is through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract; and the third is through direct contact. SARS and smallpox are both transmitted via inhalation. That's why they are very infectious. It is almost impossible for humans to avoid them. I will talk about this subject in more detail later.
Next, the most successful accomplishment of public health is to have reduced GI tract diseases over the years, because once environmental hygiene is improved, the fecal-oral route of transmission will be cut off and GI tract diseases can then be reduced. The greatest achievement of public health in the past is to have reduced GI tract diseases. In today's world, only in some undeveloped countries are GI tract diseases still common, but they are very rare in the developed countries.
However, climate change has caused many disasters such as floods, which might completely destroy the whole public health system, bringing the previous diseases back. Therefore, this is what the public health sector must pay attention to in time of big disasters. The third channel is through direct contact of skin and mucosa. There are roughly three different routes under this category.
The first is direct contamination through direct contact with soil, mud and dirt. These include endemic diseases caused by big floods such as leptospirosis found recently in Formosa (Taiwan), and melioidosis in Southeast Asia, India, and many places in northern Australia. But recently, it seems that melioidosis has been reported in many more places.
The second route is transmission through vectors such as disease-bearing mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. These infectious diseases are definitely affected by global warming since these vectors are themselves living organisms. It's unavoidable that they are affected by the whole ecological environment. As a result, global warming may cause more and more vector-transmitted diseases in the future.
I'll discuss more about this point again later. The third route is sexual transmission. The AIDS virus appeared just 20 some years ago. But it has already infected at least 30 or 40 million people, and killed 10 or 20 million. Fortunately, the AIDS virus is transmitted through bodily fluids. The AIDS pathogen can hardly survive in the outside environment. It requires similar temperature and humidity as our body fluids for its survival and transmission.
Since it is transmitted through bodily fluids, as long as we keep ourselves pure and virtuous, we can avoid it and it is relatively easy to control. Next, I'm going to talk about two transmission routes in detail: transmissions through inhalation and through vectors, because global warming may have the biggest impact on these two routes. And they will have the biggest impact on human health and public health.
Airborne diseases are perhaps the most dangerous and most difficult to prevent in public health. Why airborne diseases? I just said that we cannot stop breathing for more than five minutes, so airborne infection is very difficult to avoid. Although we have adopted certain ways to contain airborne diseases, such as isolation and quarantine, we cannot control their spread. Especially during a pandemic, most people will be infected. That's why when H1N1 virus appeared in April or May, the WHO and all the countries in the world were very nervous. Hong Kong also responded with extreme measures, including quarantining some tourists in a hotel for 10 days.
The Spanish flu in 1918 was very dangerous. The most effective way to prevent these airborne diseases is through developing vaccines. But not every disease can be prevented by vaccines. In public health history, we can say that the smallpox vaccine is the most effective vaccine. Smallpox was the number one killer of infants and toddlers in the past. But since 1969, WHO started to use vaccines and successfully suppressed smallpox.
Now, it has been almost eradicated worldwide. Measles is also one of the most threatening diseases for infants and toddlers. Since some people are measle virus carriers, it's very hard for it to be completely eliminated. We ourselves are carriers for many kinds of diseases, including bacterial infections such as diphtheria and whooping cough. Since many healthy people are carriers, these diseases can break out any time, so we have no choice but to use vaccines. Since they are transmitted through the air, we have to use vaccines. With the concern that many people are still carriers of polio, everyone has to be vaccinated.
Another one is tetanus. We must start receiving tetanus vaccines when we are little, because Clostridium tetani exists everywhere, including the soil. Once we have a wound, it may get into our body, so we have to use toxoid to prevent it. We have to get a tetanus shot about every ten years. Recently, besides the rapid development of vaccines, a surveillance system is another modern approach. Surveillance systems have been developed by many infectious diseases epidemiologists.
I feel that for influenzas, we need to use surveillance systems to monitor the animal farming industry, such as pig, chicken, and duck farms, which can be the source of influenzas. More importantly, we need to monitor those migratory birds which fly back and forth carrying a lot of viruses, particularly those related to influenza. The droppings, feces and saliva of these birds can cause avian and swine infections. Moreover, because of the current large-scale pig and chicken farming, the chance for these viruses to mutate is amplified, so this is a big potential threat.
In the future, we probably need to use surveillance systems to closely monitor these animal farms, such as pig, chicken, and duck farms to check early if there is viral mutation, so we can achieve effective prevention. That's why a surveillance system is very important. In the future, public health systems should not only guard against human infections, but also animal infections as well.
These are emerging and re-emerging diseases we are talking about, which are mostly transmitted though insects, especially the vector of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes alone can be classified into several classes: anopheles, which transmits malaria; aedes aegypti, which transmits dengue fever; and culex quinquefasciatus, which transmits Japanese encephalitis. Each kind of mosquito is different. Mosquitoes are very sensitive to temperature change.
When temperatures rise, subtropical mosquitoes can spread to temperate zones, and tropical mosquitoes can spread to subtropical zones. A lot of viruses can be carried around by these vectors. Vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks are affected by climate change. Malaria is not supposed to be found on mountains higher than 1000 meters in Kenya. Recently, malaria has been reported at altitudes above 1500 meters. Since temperatures have risen, mosquitoes can now fly higher and survive there.
Recently, dengue fever is prevalent in many areas because there are more mosquitoes. Also recently, there is a Chikungunya epidemic in India. This disease was present in Kenya 50 years ago. After 50 years, it has started to spread to Southeast Asian countries and India. From this it's evident that as the mosquitoes move northwards to the temperate areas, these diseases may spread to other places where they were never seen before, and these endemic diseases will thus become epidemic. In the field of public health, we've been emphasizing prevention and knowing the spread of these vectors ahead of time. Entomologists should also join the research so we can have a better prediction for the future.
Among all the pathogens, the human body is the most vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, and parasite-borne diseases, including tropical diseases such as malaria, Leishmaniasis and Kala-azar. These parasites still exist. With them in existence, we should learn how to predict their mutations in the future, because global warming will affect these viruses which mutate with changes in ecology. These are probably the pathogens that most concern humans due to their reproductive ability.
Their rate of reproduction is much faster than that of humans. It takes about 20 years for humans to produce the next generation. Many kinds of bacteria can divide every minute or every five minutes. You see how fast they divide. They multiply geometrically. Human reproduction is very slow. These bacteria are living organisms, so are humans. Living organisms may compete with each other. The reproduction rate of bacteria is so fast. How can we deal with them? Fortunately, humans have immunity, and the many mechanisms of the immune system.
Recent research all focuses on the immune system, how to increase our immunity, and how to improve our resistance to diseases. To improve our resistance to diseases, we should have regular exercise and eat a regular diet. What we should do in these aspects is what public health emphasizes. So in the public health sector, if we can predict the migrating route of insects as a result of climate change, we will be able to prevent the diseases from spreading.
However, climate change is very difficult to predict. This is reflected by the well-known “butterfly effect.” Since there are many unknown factors, it's very difficult to predict. Since it's very difficult to predict, we must take precautions and respond quickly. If we predict that diseases will appear, then we have to be well-prepared to deal with them, including organizing a response team which is always ready to take quick rescue actions and enter the disaster area in the event of a catastrophe. This is something for which we need to be well-prepared.
To adapt to climate change, and global warming, we need to train more epidemiologists and increase our investment in tropical medicine because many tropical diseases will spread to subtropical regions. Also, we hope to have more biologists, entomologists studying mosquito vectors, veterinarians with a focus on public diseases, as well as ornithologists specialized in migratory birds. The most important thing within the field of bio-ecology is biodiversity. We should study how to restore the balance when a new species enters a niche and causes ecological changes. We have to try our best to reverse the effect of global warming, then we can reduce the threats from these infectious diseases to us humans. Thank you for your attention.
Sylvia (f): Very clear, and in-depth explanation. Thank you. So, if we don't take actions now, more new emerging influenza and diseases will come one after the other. Thank you from our heart for Professor Lin's thought-provoking speech. Thank you. Global warming also causes changes in weather patterns. For example, the recent Morakot was the deadliest typhoon with resulting catastrophic damage in Formosa (Taiwan). Our next distinguished speaker, Professor Lin Chieh, will explain more in-depth on “Climate Change & Air Pollution-Bubble of Southern Taiwan.”
Ben(m): Professor Lin Chieh is Associate Professor of the Department of Environmental Engineering Science, National Pingtung University of Science & Technology. He is a committee member of the Evaluation Board of Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan; Technical Committee Member of National Environment Standard Board, Bureau of Standards, Metrology & Inspection, M.O.E.A, Formosa (Taiwan). Let's welcome Professor Lin Chieh.
Professor Lin Chieh (m): Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It's my pleasure to be here to present some information about climate change and air pollution control relationship. Once in 200 years rainfalls just come into Formosa (Taiwan), south of Formosa (Taiwan), and make thousands of peoples lose their home, and hundreds of people lose their lives. The people ask, this is a natural disaster or not? Actually, I always say “yes,” that's a natural disaster, but also the manmade disaster. Later in Copenhagen, they say we must move the world from an era of talk to an era of change.
I think that starts right now, take action, do something good for Earth and decrease climate change, decrease the temperature change in our planet Earth. Global warming actually comes from greenhouse gas. We always think that carbon dioxide is a major part of it, that's right. The global warming problem comes from carbon dioxide, but just a couple minutes ago you saw the film - methane also causes global warming problems.
The climate change and warming in Formosa (Taiwan) is so serious. The average temperature increase depends on the data from the UNFCC. They say it's around 0.8 degrees Celsius per year. I come from the southern of Formosa (Taiwan), Kaoshiung City. The average is 1.4 degrees difference. So that's almost two times above the Earth's average temperature increase.
In the past three years, I've represented the Kaoshiung City government to participate in science international activity, for example, like last year in Poland and then the following will be Copenhagen. Kaoshiung City is a very special city. We produce 28.6 tons carbon dioxide per capita per year. That's the worst number - only less than Qatar. So that's the warning, telling us we've got to take some action immediately. The 6 degrees difference tells us that in the following years, you happen to have one degree Celsius temperature difference on Earth… the percentage is real.
So, we will lose all of the ice cap and that's over heated increase global warming. If that happens we don't have any chance… zero percent chance to bring back the Earth's health. So, if that happens, that equals to something like 1.08 billion tons of TNT, more than ten thousand times all of the nuclear power in the world combined together, brought from the Earth's subsurface. So, what we should do, what we can do?
Meat consumption is the primary cause of global warming, especially from methane gas. I do believe that the methane gas is a strong global warming potential. That means that one methane gas molecule will equal to something like 20 to 70 carbon dioxide molecules. So, if we avoid eating the meat, we will get less methane. If all of the Earth's people be vegetarian, then we can save 70% of the Amazon forest's destruction. According the count - we counted the livestock industries - if we produce one kilogram of beef, we'll make something like 800 to 1000 liters of methane emitted to the atmosphere.
Also of concern, 100 million liters of water and the livestock's waste go to pollute our environment. Most of people will say vehicles make pollution and carbon dioxide; actually, if we count the livestock industry, even more than transportation, causes the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. What makes carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the world?
Everywhere uses fossil fuel. When you drive a car, you use gasoline. When you use plastic products, you need the fossil fuel industry to supply that product for you. Since Kaohsiung city is the number 2 serious carbon dioxide emission's city in the world, we take more serious action and a more real plan to avoid the condition getting worse and worse. We built one solar energy arena for the World Games.
That's the action plan. And we try to build a mass transportation system in the city combined with biking. We try to push the industrial sector emission reduction in a stabilized process; don't make more air pollution and the greenhouse gases. We try to expand and reorganize some industrial park energy resources. We push for more green mass transportation system. I just mentioned. And continue adjustments to contributing green, more energy efficient building for solar energy and nature, the pace of the wind.
The proposed R&D project was to suit the Kaohsiung greenhouse gas countries strategy in climate, biological habit, water, and the environment protection education. So, the global warming is a serious problem already. What we should do next? I will share 16 words that maybe we can do. We all did destroy the nature, so next step we need to respect nature. We need to feed back to the environment. We already waste a lot of resources so we need to appreciate what resources we have and don't waste resources. Thank you.
Ben (m): Thank you. Sylvia (f): Thank you, thank you.
Ben (m): Thank you very much, Professor Lin. It is really a time of urgency, right? And also it's clear now that meat consumption is the primary cause of the greenhouse effect. We are really grateful to have Professor Lin today to share his scientific analysis on global warming, and the recent control and reduction strategies from Kaohsiung. Thank you very much for your time.
Sylvia (f): Thank you. It would be fantastic if every one of us would lead a sustainable life. But how to go green in terms of science and technology?
Ben (m): Well, I think that our next speaker, Dr. Wu Enboa, will give us some recommendations on “Sustainability and Green Technology.”
Sylvia (f): Dr. Wu Enboa is the founding Group Director of the Material and Packaging Technologies Group and Vice President of Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), the largest research institute sponsored by the Hong Kong government. He is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and former Deputy General Director of ERSO/ITRI, Formosa (Taiwan). Under his lead, much research into innovative green technologies is underway, for example LED, the next generation of sustainable lighting industry in the world. Now, let's give a warm round of applause to welcome Dr. Wu.
Dr. Wu (m): Thank you. It is my pleasure to be invited and on behalf of the Science and Technology Society of Hong Kong to make this presentation. So the first question I'd like to ask is: Sustainability, how is it created? And before I do that I'd like to put a definition because scientists and engineers always like to put a definition on it. So, the definition is: the capacity to endure, or the capacity or the capability or the ability for a society, for a community, for a country or for the world to sustain. So that's the definition of sustainability.
So, once we know the definition, then we can just look back for 100 years. We see human economic activity actually increases 40 times, and this is a simple calculation from annual or GDP increase per year, which is 3.7%. On the other hand, if we look forward another 100 years, if the trend remains the same, that means we didn't do anything, then we're going to have another 40 times of the human economic activity expansion.
And if we look at the total 200 years time span, we're going to see 1600 times the economic expansion activity from year 1900. So then, we ask the question whether Mother Earth can sustain? And that's why it is so important to talk about sustainability. You see, actually from this curve if we didn't do anything the curve will just go straight, and the vertical axis of this curve is actually the carbon dioxide emission in terms of gigatons per year.
For sustainable energy, you can actually see that wind power and the solar power are two that majorly contribute to sustainable energy, and then followed by carbon capture and storage, which is probably more scientific, and then our nuclear power. And this is actually a different aspect of the sustainability and a different aspect of the energy conservation and a different aspect of the greenhouse efforts that we can do.
And I just use one example, which is actually from the United Nations report in 2006. Right now, we have about 1.3 billion population which is exactly the same as China's population. And then it contributes about 40% of the GDP of the total agriculture in the world, and 30% of the planet's surface, 70% of the agriculture land, of the grain produced in the world, is actually for farmed animals. And it generates 18% of the carbon dioxide and, at the same time, the output is that, it is the largest sector source for water pollution.
So, if we read all these numbers from official reports, then maybe instead of just scientists and engineers, we need to help the human beings. Everybody here can do it together to help the human being, to help us and to help our offspring. And so that's what I say here - low meat diet and promoting vegetarian, we can do now. That means now, not tomorrow so that we not only enhance energy efficiency but also to reduce the greenhouse gas effect, and that will benefit eventually to all Mother Earth and everyone here. Thank you.
Sylvia: Thank you, Dr. Wu. Thank you. We thank Dr. Wu wholeheartedly for his clear explanation on green technology and also his suggestion on a simple way to go green - a low-meat diet. Thank you very much.
Yan Kai Wing District Councilor Shamshuipo, Hong Kong (m): I am a District Councilor of Shamshuipo, Hong Kong. Our organization has been very concerned about the affairs of the local community.
Supreme Master TV (m): Could you please tell us how you feel after knowing that livestock raising is the major cause of global warming from the seminar?
(m): The amount of information that I've received really opened my eyes. I know so much more now. I will consider expressing more concerns about the livestock impact and environmental protection. After the conference, I am more determined than I was before. I brought my husband and son along with me, hoping that they could hear the message themselves and take action to save the planet. I will cut down my meat consumption. I've been eating less meat than the average Hong Kong citizen. I think I can make more veggie friends and go online to read their recipes. Slowly I will learn how to cook vegetarian food and make the change step-by-step.
You are watching Words of Wisdom Rebroadcast of Live Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” Hong Kong - October 3, 2009
Ben (m): Animals are always trying their best to adapt to the environment for survival; however, the current rate of climate change far exceeds their ability to adapt, resulting in fatal harm to many species, ecosystems, and humanity. We have now the last speech from our distinguished speaker, Ms. Judy Chen, for “Climate Change and Biodiversity.”
Sylvia (f) Ms. Chen is currently the Chairman of the Hong Kong Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Board Member of Hong Kong Ocean Park Corporation, Committee Member of UNICEF-Hong Kong. She is also an honorary Chairperson of Wolong Panda Club, China, and Member of the Civic Education Committee, HKSAR Government. Let's welcome Ms. Chen.
Ms. Chen (f): Thank you, thank you very much. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, pleasure to be here. I think before me, we've heard a lot of facts, crucial facts, and we have seen a lot of numbers that are really giving us a warning sign that the global warming is a very serious issue. Well, the world's climate's changing in a very extraordinary pace and scale that is not likely to be reversed by the nature process. Human activities are believed to be the main driving force behind it. And with the drastic increase in the production of greenhouse gas since the industrial revolution, animals are trying so hard to adapt to the environments, at their best, in order just to survive.
However, the current rate of climate change far exceeds the rate of animals adapting to environments, resulting in effects in our species, our ecosystems and finally to human beings. Well, the main focus of my talk today will be on the effects of climate change to the wildlife and also to humans and how humans, us, we can respond and react to this change. It has been documented that the global temperature has been increasing at a very fast rate since 1850.
The increase in the production of the greenhouse gas, including carbon dioxide and methane, etc., since the industrial revolution has significantly correlated to the boost of rising temperature, those in the air and also in the ocean. The current rate of warming in our planet is believed to be at least 10 times higher than the warming rate after the last ice age. Cold nights have been decreased in number, globally, and on the other hand heat waves have been becoming more and more common. We have noticed a lot of typhoons formed in the Atlantic regions.
And what happened to Hong Kong locally, in the past 118 years, in line with the global warming, according to the number, we have warming up at the rate of approximately about 0.6 degrees per decade. That's quite scary. It is predicted to rise from - the hot days, very hot days, I mean, temperature over 33 degrees - it's predicted from 11 days per year to 24 days per year. What happened? What happened and how does it affect our biodiversity? Climate affects just about every aspect of nature and human being, and there is now compelling evidence that the climate change is already impacting, and will continue to impact, the entire Earth system, including ecosystems, communities, population structures.
We've seen rising sea levels. Warming of our physical environment directly caused the ice caps to melt in the polar regions. And at the same time, thermal expansions of seawater in the ocean also significantly increased the volume of it. Lowland areas will be flooded easily. And valuable coastal habitats like mangroves and mudflats will be reduced in size, greatly. Global precipitation patterns change. A warmer world means that there will be more rainfall as a whole. Change in rainfall pattern also alters the freshwater stream flow pattern, of which less flow in the stream is affecting the diversity and abundance of animals.
Acidic ocean - the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolved in water, making the ocean more acidic than before. It affects the calcium carbonate formation in the marine organisms, such as our corals, shellfish, like lobsters, clams, scallops, sea urchins as well. And we have ranges of species shift. The climate reliability brings shifts in the distribution and abundance of fish, invertebrate and the plant species in marine communities. This makes the animals migrate to further north and further south. Further north, we will have the polar bears, and further south will have penguins. These are our very cute little friends. They have less and less land to play, less and less ice land to freely roam.
Climate change will be expected to lead an upward shift in species ranges. But what happens to our plants? Plants, they don't have wings, they don't have feet, they cannot move, they cannot fly. All they can do is just stay there and be left behind. And because our plants change, climate change, a lot of animals that are depending on the geographic range and habitats, they are facing a very challenging result, like our giant pandas. They depend on high mountain bamboo forests, and right now they have to move higher and higher elevations, but then they don't have certain species of bamboo to eat. Giant pandas are our cute little friends.
They are a great blessing to human beings. They walk from 9 million years ago to today and we don't want them to become extinct. Loss of our valuable lands, loss of our precious animals - what humans can do today. We talk about the carbon footprint. We talk about recycling. What we can do is, from my point of view, we try to spread out the message and encourage more people to join us. Plant a tree, plant a tree. The trees can help with the carbon dioxide.
Time is running out. We only have this much time to make a difference. I believe a lot of friends here share the same vision as I, that we share this and we always believe in an environment that humans can live in harmony with nature, and we believe in that and together we can make a difference. Thank you very much. Sylvia (f): Thank you, Ms. Chen.
Ben (m): We would like to express our sincere thankfulness to all our distinguished speakers who present us vital information on the dire threat of global warming and the sustainable solutions, available in terms of alternative living, particularly the vegan diet. Let's thank them once again with the warmest applause. Sylvia (f): Thank you.
Ben (m): Today, it is our honor to have also honorable guests here. So we would like to introduce our honorable guest Mr. Ying Kai Wing, member of District Council San Shui Bu. Let's give him a warm applause. Thank you for your time. Thank you for joining us. Our next honorable guest is famous great ballet dancer, Jim Wang.
Ben (m): Thank you for coming. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we are privileged and grateful to have our most Honorable Guest, Supreme Master Ching Hai, accept the invitation to join this conference. Supreme Master Ching Hai is a highly esteemed invited speaker at many climate change seminars and conferences around the world.
Ben (m): Let's give a warm round of applause to welcome our most Honorable Supreme Master Ching Hai! Sylvia (f): Hallo, hallo, Master! Ben (m): Hallo, Master.
Sylvia (f): How are you?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo, hallo. Hallo, everyone. Hallo, everyone.
Sylvia (f): Thank you, Master, for your time with us. And Master, first, we would like to wish you: Happy Moon Festival!
Ben (m): Happy Moon Festival! Sylvia (f): Happy Moon Festival!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you very much.
Sylvia (f): And a great welcome back to Hong Kong!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you, thank you. You're so beautiful.
Sylvia (f): Thank you, thank you, Master. You, you too, you are very beautiful.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Happy Moon Festival to everyone. Sylvia (f): Yes, thank you. Ben (m): Thank you, thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: And Happy China Day - two days late, but still Happy China Day, 60 years China Day. Happy China.
Sylvia (f): We are very happy and touched to have you here today with us. And Hong Kong misses you, we miss you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I miss Hong Kong, too. I used to like it very much because we have a beautiful mountain and we can do retreat there. Yes. Just about ten minutes from the city, but beautiful. I miss that time very much. Beautiful Hong Kong. Thanks for having me back. Sylvia (f): Thank you, Master.
Ben (m): Thank you. Supreme Master Ching Hai, thank you once again for your unconditional love and kindness for sharing your time. Master, our distinguished speakers have presented their knowledge and views on the current crisis of the planet. In addition, we have also a diverse group of distinguished guests representing many areas of society, including heads of government, experts from fields of medical science, science and technology, education, religion, journalism, arts and others. They are gathering here in a vital discussion about global warming and its solution.
Sylvia (f): Supreme Master Ching Hai,
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.
Sylvia (f): we would be very grateful if you can share with us your thoughts and views on global warming.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, thank you. I have been listening to our distinguished speakers and I was very, very impressed by all their wise knowledge and very educational and helpful advice to us and the global viewers. I thank them, very much, very much. And of course, I'm very honored also to be invited here with you in this conference with the many respected government leaders, media members, NGO representatives, wise professors and other distinguished speakers as mentioned today, and also as well as the caring audience members who spare their precious time in their busy life to come and to share their caring worry about our planet.
Now, we have listened to many important speeches about the current effects of climate change on wildlife, on human health and on the oceans even. So the sense of urgency can truly be felt from these eloquent presentations. While hearing them, the wish would grow stronger in our hearts for a saved planet, and for saved lives. Hong Kong has long enjoyed prosperity and peace, both as the pride of China and as an internationally admired city.
But, as with all cities and countries in the world, she is vulnerable to the effects of global warming, such as the threat of sea level rise and as we have learned from the experts today, diseases are intensifying as well. In such an increasingly frightening scenario, we are lucky and blessed to still have the time to save our lives, and the lives of our children and our co-inhabitants. So, I am still hopeful that this important conference today will motivate everyone to make the small changes needed to propel us all toward a beautiful future for ourselves and the planet. Thank you. Please be a hero - be veg, go green, do good deeds, and save the planet. Thank you so much. God bless Hong Kong. Sylvia (f): Thank you, thank you, Master. Ben (m): Thank you.
Sylvia (f): Now Master, we have our first honorable guest, Mr. Bobsy. Mr. Bobsy is a vegetarian, and is a Shining World Hero Laureate for being the founder of “Save the Human” campaign. And some of our guests would like to have your opinions and advice to their questions. And now, Mr. Bobsy is our first guest who would like to put one question to you. Thank you, Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Welcome, Bobsy.
Mr. Bobsy (m): Namaste Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Nice to know you, Bobsy.
Bobsy (Vegetarian) Shinning World Hero Award Recipient, Founder of “Save the Human” Campaign Mr. Bobsy (m): Pleasure to be here. Thank you. Master, in your websites, you are urging us and telling us that we have 1,208 days left to save the planet. That is just over three years. Could you please explain why you have specifically stated this number or this number of years? Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, Bobsy. You see, since you ask, I have to tell you the truth. It's my inner knowledge, through meditation, but that I cannot prove to you. Nevertheless, all the scientific data as well as evidence all point to this approximate number. And the evidence is already there and available. As you said, today, more or less, there are only 1,208 days left to save the planet from run-away global warming, from destruction, by all the world's population becoming vegan.
That is a small change and a small sacrifice that we all could afford to make and should make for the sake of ourselves and the future generation. Very small change, I think, very affordable change, and very reasonable. But whether people will become vegan or vegetarian, like yourself or not; whether the world will save itself or not, it all depends on humans' actions. But the countdown is there to remind us that we have a very short time, just a little over 3 years, for every single person to be veg, to save life on Earth.
We have to save this planet for our children, they are too innocent to deserve the destruction that is awaiting them. They're too vulnerable, they're helpless, they depend on us, the adult, the wise grown up to lead them into the right direction, to protect them, and to save their lives. We have inherited a beautiful planet; it is our duty to keep it that way for our children and grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren later on. We have our duty to protect the home for the children; even if we don't care about our life on Earth, we have no right to destroy it for others.
I hope the countdown helps people to feel the urgency and join the solution. So I appreciate you, Mr. Bobsy, for your own veg-promoting efforts with your slogan “Save the Human” campaign. It is fittingly named. We must save the human and human compassionate heart - that is the most important. We have to save our noble quality. Again and again, I always mention, it's not just about the physical existence on this planet that we want to save, but we want to protect the children, and by doing that we protect our noble Self, our heroic compassionate Self, which is our true Nature.
If we lose them, it's worse than losing the planet. We have to keep our compassionate heart. We have to be noble and truthful, loving and protective of the weak and the feeble, like children and the helpless defenseless animals. We must protect our noble Nature, we must be living, walking, breathing children of God, or the disciples of the Buddhas. Thanks again for your efforts, Bobsy. Bobby (m): (Thank you.) And thanks for reminding us by your question. God bless.
Ben (m): Thank you very much, Master. Thank you for your important message. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: You're welcome.) We will keep your advice in our heart and work hard, try all our best to work hard to do together and to stop the global warming. Thank you. Thank you, Master, and thank you, Bobsy, for your good question.
Sylvia (f): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: You're welcome.
Sylvia (f): And now we have our next honorable guest, Dr. Laurence Lau. He is a healthcare consultant. [Dr. Laurence Lau] Dr. LO, Winglok (Vegetarian) Medical Doctor Former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong through medical sector functional constituency from 1998 to 2004. Former deputy chairman of League of Social Democrats.
Dr. Lau (m): Hallo, Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo, Dr. Lau.
Dr. Lau (m): I'm honored to be invited here and glad to see you in person. I appreciate the effort you've made and your organization leading at the head in helping the world dissolve global warming, which is becoming more and more serious. And in fact, there are more people who have died from meat eating, died from drug addictions, alcoholics, than people who die in war. Then, if most people become vegetarians, do you think there would be improvement? And also, if most people become vegetarians, how would that help economically, spiritually, culturally, and scientifically? I appreciate your answering these four aspects. Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good question, Dr. Lau. Thank you for your kind words about our humble group. If we have accomplished anything at all, I feel it's just a duty to contribute our part, as small as it may be, as concerned world citizens. In Âu Lạc (Vietnam), we have a saying that when your country is in trouble, even a fool has the responsibility to protect it.
Meaning even though we don't have all the knowledge, all the scientific means to help the planet in the way we would have liked to do, even though our group is not very significantly strong in numbers, we still have to do our best, just like everyone else, because if everybody does their part, then the power together is strong. It's like we say one tree cannot do much, but many trees make a forest.
So, we are doing our part and we are hoping and reminding and pleading with everyone to do their part because we are all here together. I am one of you. And it's still a very beautiful planet, and I wish it will still be there for the children, for future generations to come. Of course, if the majority of the world's people become vegetarian, or preferably vegan, organic vegan would be best for our world, then there would be a tremendous improvement in all aspects.
First, as you imply, Dr. Lau, millions of people who would otherwise be gone because of these killer substances that you mentioned, will be alive. Economically, that means hundreds of billions in healthcare costs are saved. Millions of family members and children will be secure and provided for, and be protected from the heartaches of losing their loved ones due to poisonous substances in meat, alcohol, drug, tobacco.
Billions of tax dollars and government time and energy to fight drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and to give meat subsidies are saved also. Billions of dollars in lost productivity for companies are saved, too. Productivity will go up, even much higher if people aren't crippled by these killers. Culturally, without meat, alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, of course we would be happier, healthier because our loved ones will be around longer, we will be around longer for them and they will be around longer for us as families. It would be better for the communities, for their countries.
Not only will we be healthier, we will feel different, more loving, more caring more alive, more carefree as well because we are no longer burdened physically and in our conscience and in our heart by these oppressive, addictive substances. We will also think differently as a society, more clarity and wisdom will be flowing into our minds so that we would know of better ways to run our society and live our lives. Ask anyone who has turned around to forsake meat, forsake drugs, forsake alcohol, forsake tobaccos, you ask any of them how they felt before, and how they feel after, they would tell you: a huge improvement in all aspects of their lives.
And they would tell you that they are so glad that they've quit the bad habit. And they will tell you how happier they feel, how lighthearted, how more intelligent, how more productive and constructive, to themselves, to their family, society, and the world at large. Spiritually, we will have more awareness, more love in abundance. In our heart, we will feel the world of difference. Ask anyone, who has quit these harmful substances, they will tell you the same.
Even without practicing any religious faith or any yoga, they feel a world of difference already. And of course, if we practice meditation or yoga, then of course we'll feel even much better than that - calmer, more loving, more attentive, more concentrated in whatever we do. And thus, our productivity will be enhanced and we will be contributing more to the society. Thus, if everyone forsakes these harmful substances, we will be creating a powerful, positive, loving and harmonious energy that is constructive and beneficial to all on Earth, in all aspects. And with this energy, we will be able to counter and defeat the dark, menacing, dangerous energy that is trying to suffocate us and trying to destroy our only home, for our children, that is our beloved planet.
If all become vegans, vegetarian - organic vegan would be better - we will be much more easily elevated inside, spiritually, without these toxins as obstacles in our lives.
And as a result, scientific changes will manifest as well, in the form of incredible fantastic new inventions that improve the quality of life for people on Earth. Our scientific and technological understanding will also go beyond Earth.
Because with an elevated, compassionate atmosphere, we can even communicate with other more advanced planet people, and learn from them, exchange with them our knowledge and their knowledge. And of course, the environment will be restored to a wholesome state. Once meat, alcohol, drugs, and tobacco are eliminated, the changes and improvements will be so far-reaching, and so wonderful, it will be like a great leap in our evolution. We should pray for this day to come soon, Dr. Lau. Thank you. God bless you.
Sylvia (f): Thank you, Master. (Ben(m): Thank you.) I am sure many more people will become vegan day by day. And thank you, Dr. Lau, for your great concern for others. Thank you very much.
Lin Ruey Shiung, M.D., Ph.D. Interview of Emeritus Professor Lin Ruey Shiung in Putonghua: If we all go vegetarian and stop raising pigs and cattle, I believe greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by at least 40%. I believe that if the majority of people can start being veg and drastically cut down the animal farming industry, global warming can definitely be mitigated.
I heard about Supreme Master Ching Hai and her greatness some 20 years ago in Formosa (Taiwan). Because of her virtue, many people have become her followers.
I believe if many people follow her advice and encouragement, it can surely be a great help to stop global warming. I respect her very much.
Dylan Burnstein Performer, Simple Truth Vegetarian I think it's amazing, I think it's really blissful and heavenly that there are so many people here who've made personal choices to help for a peaceful and healthy planet, and a healthy self. I think we're much more efficient and much more harmonious if we eat a vegetarian diet. What I've learnt here today and watching her (Supreme Master Ching Hai) converse with my good friend Bobsy, I've seen an amazing light from her, and it seems like she's leading people and the world into a much better place.
Save the human! Don't eat the planet! Be veg, go green, save the planet! Save yourself!
Ben(m): Our next honorable guest is Mr. Fung Chi Wood who is a Christian priest and is a vegetarian. Pastor Fung, please.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Welcome, Father.
Mr. Fung (m): Hallo, Supreme Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: How are you, Father?
Mr. Fung (m): Fine, thank you. Thank you very much! Your previous lectures on Mars and Venus revealed that these planets underwent similar global warming crises like those we are facing right now, but they did not react in time to save their planets, resulting in final destruction, hence made desolate and barren as such. We, Earth people, are now facing the same chaotic warming crisis. If we do not tackle it with concerted effort, would we end up being like Mars and Venus? Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you, Father, for this very, very important question. Thank you for being with us, and being such a loving, concerned reverend like you are. Yes, Reverend Fung, I'm afraid that is correct. According to planetary scientists, Mars and Venus were probably like planet Earth at an earlier time; they had a comfortable atmosphere, warmer temperatures, oceans and lots of water.
There is evidence that both of them experienced extreme climate changes. Thus today we see that Mars' surface looks like there had been oceans, mountains, and rivers carved into them, even though there is hardly any living atmosphere left. And Venus today looks like it accumulated too many destructive elements, due to a runaway greenhouse gas effect. The gases are still trapped on Venus at unbearable temperatures, that no being could possibly inhabit it. Well, no physical beings, but I do know that there are unpleasant invisible beings who live on Venus right now. We would not want to get there. We would not even want to know them.
They are very, very unpleasant beings. Their nature and behavior are far too vicious for us humans to feel comfortable in contact with them. So, even based on studies of other planets' cases of climate change - we talk about scientific evidence now - astronomers are worried that our planet Earth might become like either Mars or Venus. Dr. David Grinspoon, who is one of the scientists working on the Venus Express project with the European Space Agency, even said that we should learn from the examples of these other planets, to get smarter, and not to take it for granted that our Earth has had a stable, livable atmosphere in comparison, and that it will last forever, if we don't take care of it.
Now, the scientists also say it is possible that there was once life on Mars and Venus. Through meditation and inner knowledge, and also through the knowledge of higher planetary beings, I have been able to contact the people in Mars; their ancestors were the survivors of the global warming catastrophe. They kindly gave us permission to share their sad past experience and painful lesson with the Earth people, that it was their meat diet, their other unpleasant habits, their livestock production that emitted too much hot and poisonous gas, which triggered the release of other greenhouse gases from huge stores under the soil and ocean.
Venus experienced similar as well. The people killed animals for food, and lacked compassion, and so their extreme, unkind activities led to their climate crises, once the store of their good merit ran out. So tragically, the vast majority of people on Mars, and all the people on Venus perished within a short time, along with the animals and plant life. Very sad history.
Our planet is also facing a similar fate very soon. I'm afraid to say that, but I have to. If we don't stop the meat production and consumption, we will face a similar situation like Mars or Venus. At present, there is a risk that the current gases will trigger much more gases in massive quantities that we might not be able to stop anymore if we don't start now. Time is running out. There are massive quantities of gases, poisonous and explosive, such as under the permafrost.
Well, it already happened on many parts of the Earth, as you might be well aware through the media or scientific reports. Now, the gas released then causes more warming, which causes even more gas to be released. This is like a vicious circle. They even call this vicious feedback cycle a so-called “climate time bomb.” It happened on Mars and Venus; I pray it won't happen to Earth. I pray day and night to our Almighty Father, to the Buddhas in all directions, to all the divine beings to please help us to awaken all the people on the planet on time to realize the danger that we're in, to realize that we are truly running out of time.
We are running out of time, we must awake up soon; we must make a small sacrifice and changes. I am hopeful. I'm having a positive feeling that it won't happen to Earth, but we all must work; we cannot sit there and wait for a miracle to happen. God needs us to represent Hirm in compassion, in merciful heart, in the way we live a godly life, befitting the God children. If we all become vegan and live a virtuous, compassionate life, it won't happen. It's still not so too late. It's still hopeful. Our planet will not follow this fate of Mars and Venus and, instead, will be saved and thriving in every corner.
Please help us, Father. Please, Father Fung, you have the power also to know many people, and help us and all the people on the planet. Please pray with us and help us to spread the urgent message, to be vegan so that lives will be spared, and the precious Earth will regain her balance and our God-like Nature will be preserved forever and pleasing to Heaven. Thank you, Father, for being with us, thank you for your blessing. Father Fung(m): Thank you, thank you, Master. Thank you.
Ben (m): Thank you, Master. Thank you, Pastor. So, with our effort, we hope we will not see the climate time bomb on the Earth.
Sylvia (f): Master, we have now a seven-year-old little girl, Andrea Au, who would like to ask you some questions.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Welcome!
Ms. Andrea AU Age : 7 Student of Kingston International School Grade Two Multi-lingual Andrea(f): Hallo, Master Ching Hai,
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo.
Andrea(f): I am an environmental advocator, I always work with my mom to save electricity at home and like to do recycling in my daily life, as I know that the planet Earth was sick with too many human activities and I want to make my home the only home comfort so that we can continue to live happily and harmoniously day by day. Dear Master, some people say that the food which is good for the Earth is definitely good for human beings because human beings and Nature are one as a whole. Could you tell us more on this?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good girl. Good girl, Andrea, good girl. Good example. I'm counting on you to save the planet, you and your mom. Thanks a lot for helping. And by the way, you're so beautiful! You're beautiful. You are so smart and pretty. Thanks for your intelligent question. What you said is perfectly correct. The food we eat that is most harmonious with Mother Nature is also good for human's health and spirit, because all of us are one, are connected.
Being one with nature simply means that if we see a friend suffer, we would also feel sad. If we hurt our animal friends, we will feel sorry and suffer. Even sometimes we are not aware of the suffering, but it will come nevertheless. That's why all the wise teachers of the past told us not to hurt others if we don't want to be hurt. Like Confucius said, “Do not do to others what we do not wish to be done to ourselves.”
Supreme Master Ching Hai: What kind of food is best for the environment and best for humans? It's the organic vegan diet. Organic, because we don't want harmful chemicals to be sprayed everywhere, and running into our water, poisoning the river, the soil, and all living things, making humans sick as well. Similarly, we don't want to kill or harm our animal friends, so we should choose vegan food. This means no meat or dairy products so that no animal has to die or feel pain for us to live. It's not necessary at all.
We have abundant food and nutrition from the vegetable kingdom. Also organic because this practice will absorb huge amounts of CO2 already existing in the air, thus cooling our planet. Also, eating meat causes a lot of pollution to Mother Earth. This is from a United Nations report: “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” Recently, the scientists have reported that the meat diet contributes more than 50% of greenhouse gases, which is very dangerous for our planet survival. Now, if we multiply the animals so much and continuously, their waste alone creates huge mountains of pollution as well.
For example, one animal farm with 5,000 pigs produces the same amount of waste as one whole town of 20,000 people. Imagine that, Andrea. One dairy cow farm with 2,500 cows produces as much waste as an entire city of 411,000 people. So we may wonder: Where does all this waste go? The problem is, their bacteria-filled waste is almost never treated, and it's too much for the land to absorb, so it runs into our drinking water, it pollutes the air, and it contaminates food crops with deadly bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.
That's why you heard recently that even tomatoes, the harmless fruit that we make salad, it was even contaminated with bacteria. So this makes animal products a killer of life on our planet. The best food, therefore, is the cruelty-free, eco-friendly loving organic vegan diet. Thank you, Andrea, for caring about the Earth at your tender age, I am very proud of you. Now, if you add to that organic vegan diet, you would really be a heroine of the planet, saving lives and making a shining example and a best friend of the animals, which you love so much! Thank you. God bless you and your mom.
Sylvia (f): Thank you, thank you, Master. And thank you, our lovely Andrea. And in fact Andrea is a 7-year-old little girl, but she knows many, many languages, and she is a very smart little girl.
Sylvia (f): Yes. I think she knows Spanish. Is that so? (Andrea (f): Yes.) Yes, good. Very good, very smart little girl.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, she is so beautiful!
Ben (m): Our next honorable guest is Mrs.Rosina Maria Arquati. She is a vegetarian and animal communicator, and the founder of “Animal Talk”.
Mrs. Rosina (f): Good afternoon. I'm actually vegan.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good afternoon. Vegan, welcome. Welcome. Mrs. Rosina
Mrs. Rosina (f): You cannot talk to animals and kill them or make them suffer. So you have to be all round.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right, right.
Mrs. Rosina (f): My one question to you, Master, is very simple. Human slavery was abolished over 150 years ago. How can we end animal slavery now?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, Madam, I ask the same question time and again. By the way, for the audience there, just a little explanation; when Madam Maria said that she is a vegan instead of vegetarian, there is a little difference. I did not know the difference before. I thought vegetarian is vegetarian, but actually because many people made vegetarian into a non-pure vegetarian diet - like some people will say they are vegetarian, but they say they eat chicken, only chicken.
And some people say they are vegetarian but they eat eggs and some people say they are vegetarian but they eat other things, they drink milk, cheese, honey or something like that, and wear leather stuff. The vegan people are the purest vegetarian. They don't use any animal products. They don't even take honey. And they don't take milk, they don't have dairy products - any animal traces at all in their diet. And that is the difference. That's why Madam Maria said that “I am vegan instead of I'm vegetarian.” Understood now, the difference? (Yes.) Yes. So smart, so smart.
Now, to answer your question, Madam, it is, you're right, a form of slavery, isn't it? Our treatment, our horrible treatment of our fellow beings, the harmless, defenseless innocent animals. It is heartbreaking to think about it. Today, we treat countless animal beings in much the same way and even worse, because they all face the cruelty of massacre and death. At least not all slaves have to be confined in such small cages, that the animals could not even turn around all their entire short, miserable, suffering, tormented life. So animal farming is beyond slavery, Madam, it's a death row sentence marked since birth.
Entire species of beings are seen as inferior, and labeled as objects for buying, selling, torturing, breeding, abusing, and murdering at the end, in such a cruel way that makes us humans the cruelest beings on the planet. And we should not be in that level because we are human beings. We are human beings. We should be humane. We should have compassion, love and feeling for others just as if it is ourselves. Put ourselves in that position of the animals, then we know what we are talking about.
Their God-given lives do not belong to themselves, but to the so-called owner, and ultimately, to the consumer. And we helped to create their misery. All of us. Or most of us. Until we awaken somehow by some good friend, some good situation, some urgent call somewhere. Then our merciful heart wakes up and saying to ourselves, “Oh no, this is not right. This is not correct, this is not the way I want it for our animals, for our co-inhabitants to be. It's not the way I want to treat the harmless, the innocent, the defenseless. They're even benefactors to humans.”
The similarities that you mentioned about slavery are shocking. But worse still, worse than slavery. This is the most cruel practice that we humans should never imagine, that exists on our planet, especially already 21st century. We had so many Masters that graced our planet; Jesus Christ, Shakyamuni Buddha, Prophet Muhammad, the Jain Master, Mahavira, etc., etc., Guru Nanak. You name whatever religious leader and founder, they all taught us compassion and love. They all taught us to respect all beings as the creation of God.
So how can we end animal slavery? Well, we can look at history and study how human slavery was abolished. All it took was a change of perception, a change of heart. It's the same with animals. We must see them as the noble, precious, nobly endowed, feeling beings as they really are, because they are. Some of their quality we humans should even learn from it. The loyalty of the dog, the selfless sacrifice of your pet when it comes to rescuing their family members, or so-called owners. They would not mind their life, they would lay down their life gladly, any time, for their loved one.
If you just remember, when you look on television, there's some rescue scene when we have disaster, earthquake or something that destroys our home and many people buried under the rubble, many dogs are sent from different countries or within the countries to go there to rescue the humans. They're walking, running barefooted. And they're running to every corner on broken glass, on heated stones, under dangerous conditions just to try to find the human who survived under the rubble. They did not even think for one second how dangerous the situation is, how their life could be terminated, every second. They just concentrate on their mission to rescue human beings.
Now, we humans sometimes, think twice about that. I'm sorry if I have offended any of you. I probably would think twice myself, in that situation if I wanted to rescue somebody, whether it is safe for me also to do it. But dogs, for example, they never think, they never. They lay down their life any time for us. Now, if we humans think animals are inferior to us, I beg you to think again. We should respect them, love them, protect them, instead of thinking of them as an inferior object. Now, just 150 years ago, as you mentioned, Madam, human slavery was the norm. At that time, people thought that slavery is normal, so almost everybody owned a slave or two and treated them the way they wanted. Even branded them with hot iron to make sure that everybody recognized that is a privately owned slave and not be taken away or stolen or sold again.
It was a normal thing to own a slave, and to treat the slave as such, like an inferior object. Today, we are more civilized - well, I hope, I think. Today, slavery is an atrocity, is recognized internationally as a heinous crime. And the day will come when the same is true for animal slavery and massacring. But until we get there, we must be like the abolitionists and try to show others that animals are not here for us to abuse or to eat; they are here for their own purpose, designed by God, and deserve freedom, respect, and life, just like we do.
Urge your government leaders to ban this cruel and harmful system as well. The famous vegan law professor in the US, Professor Gary Francione, calls this the “abolitionist approach.” He says that if we don't support slavery and want to get rid of it, we can start by getting rid of it in our own personal lives. If we don't support slavery, then we would choose no animal products at all. And we don't support cruelty, then we will abolish all animal products from our life.
And if each one of us makes this humane choice to end the slavery in our own lives, then together we can abolish the entire cruel system that makes us less than human, that likens us to the so-called… we call them wild beasts, like the lion and the tiger. But the lion and the tiger, they eat when they're hungry only. We even eat for pleasure, at the expense of the suffering, tortured, murdered animals. We call the lions and the tigers wild beasts because they are wild - they eat live animals, they chase, they hunt and eat live animals.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Well, then we have to be different, if we want to call ourselves human, the children of God. Can you imagine, would God do this? Would God come down here on Earth and kill everything in sight from the sky to the deep ocean just to feed Hirmself? Would God do that?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: If there is a God, would Hes do that? (Ben (m): No). Okay. No, thank you, thank you, thank you so much. So we are supposed to be the children of God. Like Father like son, no? If there is a God that we believe or there's a Buddha that we would believe that comes down here, they would never, God would never kill any animals to eat. God would protect them, feed them, love them. Is that not so? Audience: Yes.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. That is the God that we imagine that we would worship and trust! What kind of God who goes around and eats everything in sight? Then we would also run away because of fear and terror. Now, if we are the children of God, the disciples of the Buddha, then like Father, like son; like Master, like disciples, we must do the same. We must represent a God that is merciful, compassionate, loving, kind, protective to the weak and the innocent and the harmless.
Not only the animals are harmless, they are very, very useful to us. They are blessings to the planet. They give the planet more love than we could emit. That's why our planet is still holding balance. Without the loving animals, our planet would probably have gone long ago. The way we treat it, the way we treat ourselves, each other, other beings, and the environment, our planet would have been gone, gone, gone, gone.
But God is merciful. He sends more and more animals, different species to come here to help to balance the negative atmosphere of our planet to make it more loving, more bearable so that it still hangs in balance. But now, it's too much. It's too much for the animals to even help us with their loving, kind atmosphere. So please, we now have to stand up and help ourselves. It's high time that we should behave in a way that does not liken us to the animals that we call “wild beast,” like lions and tigers for example.
Now, the entire cruel system could be abolished for animals, just as we did 150 years ago, if we convince ourselves and others who are not informed yet. Because human beings are born noble, loving and kind. We have just been misled, we have just been misinformed, we have just been too busy to think. So if we inform them, inform ourselves of the cruel reality, very cruel reality and be a shining example of compassion, be a vegan, then I'm sure we can make this tragic, yet needless practice disappear for good. Abolished forever. And all beings will live in peace, harmony, happy, fearless of one another. Thank you so much, Madam.
Ben (m): Thank you, Master. Thank you for your benevolent answer. Thank you, Mrs. Rosina.
Professor Geng Shu Dean, School of Environment and Energy, Peking University's Shenzhen Graduate School Fellow of American Society of Agronomy & American Association for the Advancement of Science Dr Geng Shu(m): This is great. I think what you, your organization and Master Ching Hai has been doing is great. We need to mobilize all components and sectors from the society and in the world working together and trying to improve all environment, to save the lives. I think that this collaboration is great at different levels. Spirituality is also important. I think your organization and Master Ching Hai is trying to work at that level which I think is an essential move back to the fundamentals of humanity.
Wong Gar Foon Student & vegetarian Interview of Wong Gar Foon (Secondary School Student) in Cantonese After today's conference, I know more about global warming, different walks of life, as well as the meat industry. I'm already a vegetarian. I am trying my best to be vegan to contribute my bit to curbing global warming. She's (Supreme Master Ching Hai) very benevolent, and she is a real enlightened Master of our time. She cares a lot for the dogs. I call on everyone: Be veg! Go green and save the planet!
Dr. Wu Enboa, Ph.D. Vice President, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Dr. Wu(m): To be green and save the planet, there are three very important factors: sustainable operations, green technology and vegetarianism. I very much agree with the idea of saving the planet by being vegetarian. This is a very good method.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: For the majority of the workers in the meat business, it's not a safe working place either. It's one of the most dangerous jobs with some of the highest rates of injury and exposure to chemicals and diseases like influenza, swine flu, bird flu, etc., etc, and mad cow disease, which is always fatal, always deadly.
Now, we have to ask ourselves: Is it all worth it?
VOICE: Tune in to Supreme Master Television for part 6 of the rebroadcast of the live videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai in Hong Kong entitled “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” on Words of Wisdom this Friday, November 27.
VOICE: Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for the rebroadcast of the live videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai in Hong Kong entitled “Global Unity: Together in Saving Lives” on Words of Wisdom.