Thursday, November 26, 2009
FOOD ANIMALS: The neglected holocaust
RALPH Waldo Emerson once commented that one reason a person can enjoy meat is that the dining table is concealed "a graceful distance of miles" from the slaughterhouse. He was right.
Most of us are so conditioned to a diet consisting of meat that we ignore the process involved in getting it to our plates. As we chomp merrily away at our steak, our eyes and taste-buds are shielded from the violence that is making graveyards of our stomachs.
For the sight of systematic breeding and slaughter of millions of animals would be like a vision of Hell. Live chickens dipped in scalding water, lambs cramped in small crates, cows with cracked spines hanging on conveyor belts; these are but some of the ruthless conditions millions of innocent animals endure everyday because we create the demand for them to undergo such lives.
Now, in an effort to stir some awareness towards the plight of food animals, a group of concerned people, moved by the debauchery behind the food and livestock industries, have put together an unusual crusade – a Meatless Day campaign – where individuals are encouraged to pledge to be vegetarian for one day on Nov 25.
Considering that most people eat meat, this campaign may seem bizarre or way against the odds. But the initiative is propelled by a deeper profound thrust, one that appeals to a nation’s collective conscience and reasoning.
It is the brute reality of our natural universe that to survive, one life form must devour another; that to persevere physically, one must ingest and absorb the organic remains of the other. Certainly, if one lives in the wild, the need for survival would demand that one partakes in the struggle for survival. But how many of us actually live in the wild, genuinely taking part in the food chain of nature? Few, if any.
The fact of our modern lifestyle is this – the animals we eat are bred specially for us. Each year, trillions of mammals and many more birds are butchered for food all across the world, many in unimaginable circumstances. Yet, few of us make any conscious connection between the bloody treatment these animals get and the meat products that have become part of our diet.
Most animals bred for the table are hardly allowed outdoors. In many abattoirs, calves spend their whole lives chained in wooden boxes that are so small that they cannot move or turn around, and are made to lie in their own excrement, forced to inhale the ammonia gases instead of the fresh air outdoors. Pigs in factory farms receive a battery of injections soon after birth and many have their teeth pulled out with pliers. No pain relief is given, not even when their tails are cut off.
There have been reports that livestock, poultry and fish are often force-fed with massive doses of antibiotics and growth hormones to be bred and raised for maximising profits.
An American cattleman, Herb Silverman, once narrated the experience of castrating a calf to John Robbins, the author of Diet for a New America: "I hate castrating them. It’s really horrible. After you put a ring on its scrotum the calf will lie down and kick and wring its tail for half an hour or more, before the scrotum finally goes numb. It’s obviously in agony. Then it takes about a month before its balls fall off. You can do it faster with a special kind of pliers, but I can’t bear to use those because I can’t take how they carry on."
The savagery of beasts is not for us. The human race has transcended other life-forms in intellectual perception and, possibly, in philosophical understanding. It is precisely in view of this that, in Mahatma Gandhi’s words, "we err in copying the lower world when we are superior to it."
Evolved in their culture, in their collective wisdom, humans, of all living beings, have developed an understanding of pain and suffering to be sympathetic towards the plight and existence of other creatures within the environment.
And the abundant varieties of vegetables, fruit, grains and nuts that the Earth has supplied us with can easily provide, under ordinary circumstances, for the nutritional needs of a person in a humane and ecologically benign way.
Yet, it baffles the mind how such an intelligent, progressive race as ours can continue to sit idle, allowing billions of sentient beings to be killed regularly, making death pits of our stomachs, when there is a more non-violent alternative?
Indeed, the systematic slaughter of trillions of lives over the thousands of years has been the single most neglected holocaust to be perpetrated in the history of human civilisation.
Himanshu, a lifelong vegetarian, is theSun’s Penang bureau chief.
BLOGGER'S NOTE: Kudos to all all who campaign on animal rights! Not only it is unethical and unhealthy to consume meat, it also help rid more than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere! So, BE VEG, GO GREEN AND SAVE THE PLANET!
Source of article: http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=40405
Read on for the latest update:
'Stop eating meat to save the planet from global warming', Britons warned( By Daniel Martin ... MAIL ONLINE dated 25/11/2009)
Cutting a sausage a day from the average British diet is necessary to save the planet, scientists claim.
Their controversial report, which partly blames meat-eaters for climate change, was backed by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn's department last night.
The scientists called for a 30 per cent reduction in the number of farm animals bred
The average meat intake in men is 970g a week and in women 550g a week. A 30 per cent reduction in men is equivalent to seven 40g sausages, two 130g chicken breasts, four 70g lamb chops or 12 bacon rashers of 25g.
Such a reduction would also bring significant health benefits, the scientists said, by reducing premature deaths from heart disease in Britain by 17 per cent - equivalent to 18,000 lives a year.
They claimed food production from animals was a major source of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, and that by 2030, rising demand for meat was expected to drive up livestock production globally by 85 per cent from 2000 levels, leading to substantial emission increases.
The authors, led by Dr Alan Dangour, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Dr Sharon Friel, from the Australian National University in Canberra, wrote in the medical journal The Lancet that improvements in agricultural efficiency were 'necessary but not sufficient to meet targets to reduce emissions'.
Although the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it would not comment on the 30 per cent figure, it released a statement to say: 'There are lots of ways people can cut their carbon footprint and impact on the environment - and reducing the the amount of meat in our diets is one option.'
But the backing of vegetarian Mr Benn's department, which is specifically responsible for promoting farming, drew strong criticism from farmers and scientists who said cutting meat consumption was not the way to combat climate change.
Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers' Union, said: 'Farmers will be angry that yet again we have an ill-informed and simplistic report which appears to completely misunderstand agriculture's emissions and its role in climate change.
'This report advocates a 30 per cent reduction in livestock numbers in countries that have the most efficient production systems and hence the lowest emissions.
'What we need to do is look at doing things more efficiently rather than simply cutting livestock numbers.
'The car industry is praised for producing more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles rather than being told to cut production.
'Other governments that value their livestock production are looking at exciting and innovative ways to reduce agriculture's environmental impacts while understanding the need to produce more food for an expanding global population.'
Professor Ian Crute, chief scientist at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, which advises the meat industry, said: 'A large fall in meat eating or turning vegetarian is not the solution to climate change - it would make only a marginal difference to greenhouse gas emissions.
'The challenge is to produce meat more sustainably - which is already happening in countries such as the UK, which is leading global thinking in this area.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1230781/Decade-soaring-temperatures-ahead-Health-Secretary-warns-real-present-danger-posed-climate-change.html#ixzz0Xv6XacE8
The supported report / Lancet medical journal by the team of British and Australian scientists can be read here
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
If sea levels continue to rise due to the melting of icecaps, as many as 136 port cities around the globe will suffer major financial damages. Read about this from a recent report by the WWF :
GENEVA (AFP) – Flooding in the world's major port cities caused by melting icecaps could cause up to 28 trillion dollars (18 trillion euros) in damage in 2050, environmental group WWF said in a report Monday.
"If the temperature rises between 0.5 and 2 degrees (Celsius) between now and 2050, it's possible that the sea level would progress by half a metre (nearly two feet) bringing major financial damage," Ulrike Saul, in charge of climate and energy for WWF Switzerland, told AFP.
Such a rise in the sea level would cause up to 28 trillion dollars in damage in the world's 136 biggest port cities, according to the study in which German insurance company Allianz took part.
Saul warned: "If the current climate protection policies do not change, it is more probable that we will register a rise of 2 degrees in 2050."
The northeast coast of the United States could see a rise in sea levels 15 centimetres higher than the world average, the study said.
"Nothing will benefit human health or increase the chances for survival of life on earth as the evolution to a vegetarain diet."
India's Environment Minister suggests the world adopt vegetarianism if it is to tackle the greenhouse emission problem, writes Matt Wade in Delhi.
AS THE international community struggles to come up with a climate change deal, India's Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, has come up with a solution: don't eat beef.
He challenged the world to follow the example of millions in his country and eschew beef in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Ramesh, a vegetarian, said: ''The single most important measure that can be taken in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to stop eating beef.''
He has strong support in his campaign against beef-eating from R. K. Pachauri, the leading Indian climate change scientist who headed the UN's influential panel on climate change.
''I'm happy that the minister is agreeing with me on this,'' Dr Pachauri said
''If you look at the beef cycle today, you first clear forests, which increases emissions, then you feed cattle all kinds of food grain, which is energy intensive, and then you kill and refrigerate these animals, and then they are transported long distances. Then you buy it and refrigerate it. If you count all the emissions associated with this entire cycle, it is huge.''
Last year, a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation study found that meat production accounted for about a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Ramesh's comments come days before the Copenhagen summit on climate change, where the positions of India and China will be crucial to any international deal.
India has argued consistently that the main responsibility for reducing greenhouse gases must be taken by wealthy Western countries with high per capita emissions. It has resisted pressure to adopt binding targets for limiting its own greenhouse emissions. Indian officials say any climate change treaty must be equitable.
Dr Pachauri said the Indian Government was well within its rights to expect more from rich countries. ''The developed world has just not lived up to its obligations or responsibilities,'' he said.
''The concentration of these gases in the atmosphere is entirely the result of 150 years of industrialisation and so-called economic development in the developed world, as a result of which we have the problem we have today.''
But he also said India needed to do more to project what it was doing domestically to mitigate emissions.
India's position on climate change is liable to come under fresh scrutiny this week when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Washington for talks with US President Barack Obama.
The Age TheAge.com.au
Monday, November 23, 2009
With the way things are going, there won't be too many 'good mornings' soon. and here's why....
An informative yet alarming article from today's ASSOCIATED PRESS focusing on the worsening impacts of climate change since the international agreement,KYOTO PROTOCOL was initiated in 1997 to address rising greenhouse gas emissions, shows that the warming impacts have more than doubled since then...
Question : Will the coming Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December see the consensus of an ultimate deal to reduce carbon emissions by the particpating nations?
ARTICLE : WARMING IMPACTS SPED UP, WORSENED SINCE KYOTO
SCIENCE WRITER : SETH BORENSTEIN (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
DATED : 22th Nov, 2009
Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then.
As the world has talked for a dozen years about what to do next, new ship passages opened through the once frozen summer sea ice of the Arctic. In Greenland and Antarctica, ice sheets have lost trillions of tons of ice. Mountain glaciers in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa are shrinking faster than before.
And it's not just the frozen parts of the world that have felt the heat in the dozen years leading up to next month's climate summit in Copenhagen:
_The world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half.
_Droughts and wildfires have turned more severe worldwide, from the U.S. West to Australia to the Sahel desert of North Africa.
_Species now in trouble because of changing climate include, not just the lumbering polar bear which has become a symbol of global warming, but also fragile butterflies, colorful frogs and entire stands of North American pine forests.
Temperatures over the past 12 years are 0.4 of a degree warmer than the dozen years leading up to 1997.
Even the gloomiest climate models back in the 1990s didn't forecast results quite this bad so fast.
"The latest science is telling us we are in more trouble than we thought," said Janos Pasztor, climate adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
And here's why: Since an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution was signed in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, the level of carbon dioxide in the air has increased 6.5 percent. Officials from across the world will convene in Copenhagen next month to seek a follow-up pact, one that President Barack Obama says "has immediate operational effect ... an important step forward in the effort to rally the world around a solution."
The last effort didn't quite get the anticipated results.
From 1997 to 2008, world carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have increased 31 percent; U.S. emissions of this greenhouse gas rose 3.7 percent. Emissions from China, now the biggest producer of this pollution, have more than doubled in that time period. When the U.S. Senate balked at the accord and President George W. Bush withdrew from it, that meant that the top three carbon polluters — the U.S., China and India — were not part of the pact's emission reductions. Developing countries were not covered by the Kyoto Protocol and that is a major issue in Copenhagen.
And the effects of greenhouse gases are more powerful and happening sooner than predicted, scientists said.
"Back in 1997, the impacts (of climate change) were underestimated; the rate of change has been faster," said Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey.
That last part alarms former Vice President Al Gore, who helped broker a last-minute deal in Kyoto.
"By far the most serious differences that we've had is an acceleration of the crisis itself," Gore said in an interview this month with The Associated Press.
In 1997, global warming was an issue for climate scientists, environmentalists and policy wonks. Now biologists, lawyers, economists, engineers, insurance analysts, risk managers, disaster professionals, commodity traders, nutritionists, ethicists and even psychologists are working on global warming.
"We've come from a time in 1997 where this was some abstract problem working its way around scientific circles to now when the problem is in everyone's face," said Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria climate scientist.
The changes in the last 12 years that have the scientists most alarmed are happening in the Arctic with melting summer sea ice and around the world with the loss of key land-based ice masses. It's all happening far faster than predicted.
Back in 1997 "nobody in their wildest expectations," would have forecast the dramatic sudden loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic that started about five years ago, Weaver said. From 1993 to 1997, sea ice would shrink on average in the summer to about 2.7 million square miles. The average for the last five years is less than 2 million square miles. What's been lost is the size of Alaska.
Antarctica had a slight increase in sea ice, mostly because of the cooling effect of the ozone hole, according to the British Antarctic Survey. At the same time, large chunks of ice shelves — adding up to the size of Delaware — came off the Antarctic peninsula.
While melting Arctic ocean ice doesn't raise sea levels, the melting of giant land-based ice sheets and glaciers that drain into the seas do. Those are shrinking dramatically at both poles.
Measurements show that since 2000, Greenland has lost more than 1.5 trillion tons of ice, while Antarctica has lost about 1 trillion tons since 2002, according to two scientific studies published this fall. In multiple reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, scientists didn't anticipate ice sheet loss in Antarctica, Weaver said. And the rate of those losses is accelerating, so that Greenland's ice sheets are melting twice as fast now as they were just seven years ago, increasing sea level rise.
Worldwide glaciers are shrinking three times faster than in the 1970s and the average glacier has lost 25 feet of ice since 1997, said Michael Zemp, a researcher at World Glacier Monitoring Service at the University of Zurich.
"Glaciers are a good climate indicator," Zemp said. "What we see is an accelerated loss of ice."
Also, permafrost — the frozen northern ground that oil pipelines are built upon and which traps the potent greenhouse gas methane — is thawing at an alarming rate, Burkett said.
Another new post-1997 impact of global warming has scientists very concerned. The oceans are getting more acidic because more of the carbon dioxide in the air is being absorbed into the water. That causes acidification, an issue that didn't even merit a name until the past few years.
More acidic water harms coral, oysters and plankton and ultimately threatens the ocean food chain, biologists say.
In 1997, "there was no interest in plants and animals" and how they are hampered by climate change, said Stanford University biologist Terry Root. Now scientists are talking about which species can be saved from extinction and which are goners. The polar bear became the first species put on the federal list of threatened species and the small rabbit-like American pika may be joining it.
More than 37 million acres of Canadian and U.S. pine forests have been damaged by beetles that don't die in warmer winters. And in the U.S. West, the average number of acres burned per fire has more than doubled.
The Colorado River reservoirs, major water suppliers for the U.S. West, were nearly full in 1999, but by 2007 half the water was gone after the region endured the worst multiyear drought in 100 years of record-keeping.
Insurance losses and blackouts have soared and experts say global warming is partly to blame. The number of major U.S. weather-related blackouts from 2004-2008 were more than seven times higher than from 1993-1997, said Evan Mills, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
"The message on the science is that we know a lot more than we did in 1997 and it's all negative," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Things are much worse than the models predicted."
For more information,please visit the following :
U.S. government's 2009 report on climate change impacts: http://tinyurl.com/usimpacts
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 report on changes already observed:
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change: http://unfccc.int
Thursday, November 19, 2009
(Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/19/worldupdates/2009-11-19T000848Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-440602-1&sec=Worldupdates )
FACTBOX - Climate negotiating positions of top emitters
(The STAR, dated 19/11/2009)
REUTERS - Russia toughened on Wednesday its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, saying it would target a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020 compared with a 10-15 percent pledge previously.
Following are the negotiating positions of the top greenhouse gas emitters before a U.N. meeting in Copenhagen in December due to agree a new global climate deal.
1) CHINA (annual emissions of greenhouse gases: 6.8 billion tonnes, 5.5 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - President Hu Jintao promised that China would cut its carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of economic output by a "notable margin" by 2020 compared with 2005. The "carbon intensity" goal is the first measurable curb on national emissions in China. Hu reiterated a promise that China would try to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to 15 percent by 2020.
* Demands - China wants developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 and to promise far more aid and green technology.
2) UNITED STATES (6.4 billion tonnes, 21.2 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - President Barack Obama wants to cut U.S. emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020, a 17 percent cut from 2005 levels, and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
* Obama says he wants an accord in Copenhagen that covers all the issues and that has "immediate operational effect."
Legislation to cut emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels had been approved by a Senate Committee but people few think it can become law before the Copenhagen talks.
* Finance - The United States says a "dramatic increase" is needed in funds to help developing nations.
* Demands - "We cannot meet this challenge unless all the largest emitters of greenhouse gas pollution act together," Obama said.
3) EUROPEAN UNION (5.03 billion tonnes, 10.2 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - EU leaders agreed in December 2008 to cut emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 30 percent if other developed nations follow suit.
* Finance - EU leaders have agreed that developing nations will need about 100 billion euros ($147 billion) a year by 2020 to help them curb emissions and adapt to changes such as floods or heatwaves. As an advance payment, they suggest 5-7 billion a year between 2010 and 2012.
* Demands - The EU wants developing nations to curb the rise of their emissions by 15 to 30 percent below a trajectory of "business as usual" by 2020.
4) RUSSIA (1.7 billion tonnes, 11.9 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - Cut greenhouse gases by 22-25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. That means a rise from now -- emissions were 34 percent below 1990 levels in 2007.
5) INDIA (1.4 billion tonnes, 1.2 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - India is prepared to quantify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it could cut with domestic actions, but will not accept internationally binding targets, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said. India has said its per capita emissions will never rise to match those of developed nations.
* Demands - Like China, India wants rich nations to cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020. But Ramesh signalled room to compromise: "It's a negotiation. We've given a number of 40 percent but one has to be realistic."
6) JAPAN (1.4 billion tonnes, 11.0 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - Cut Japan's emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 if Copenhagen agrees an ambitious deal.
* Finance - Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told the United Nations that Tokyo would also step up aid.
7) SOUTH KOREA (142 million tonnes, 2.9 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - Cut emissions by 30 percent below "business as usual" levels by 2020, which is equivalent to a 4 percent cut from 2005 levels.
8) BRAZIL (111 million tonnes, 0.6 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - Will cut its emissions by between 36.1 percent and 38.9 percent from projected 2020 levels, representing a 20 percent cut below 2005 levels.
9) INDONESIA (100 million tonnes, 0.4 tonnes per capita)
* Emissions - Aims to cut emissions by 26 percent by 2020 below "business as usual" levels.
Taking CO2 from deforestation into account, Indonesia is the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
- 省下不少冤枉钱。虽然也没因此发达，但家里的垃圾确实少了许多。 由于鼻子敏感的毛病，当年用的纸巾量挺吓人的。很难於想象当年有多少棵大树就这样死在我的鼻子下。
这是一位懂得生活素质的富翁。一般人很容易受商业社会的价值观所影响，误以商场吹捧的物质来评估自己的价值，而忽略了简单永续性的生活其实是一种高素质，利人利己的生活方式。曾有朋友人批评我茹素是极端；拿自己的蓝子买东西是乡下人的作风； 用手帕？唉哟，怎么那么“lao beh呀”(过时)？让我啼笑皆非。可喜的是现在越来越多人茹素，自备购物袋等等。目前愿意摒弃方便而采用手帕的人数还不理想，可我现在蛮乐观的，感觉到人们醒觉的速度越来越快，爱惜大自然的心越来越多，可喜可贺！
美 国 富 翁 从 不 用 纸 巾 ~ 有 感 于 布 朗 的 手 帕
以经济条件而论，布朗绝不是买不起汽车、交不起电费。自从1974年创办从事全球环境问题分析的美国地球政策研究所以来，他就远离了现代的生活方式。在 华盛顿，他住的是一个单身公寓，不是买不起大房子，而是觉得没有必要。他认为好生活的标准是，让人感觉满足、幸福而安全。他用一种对自己近乎“苛刻”的生 活方式诠释着一个简单而执着的追求：不想用一次性的纸巾把森林变成垃圾，不想让自己的奢侈和浪费额外加重地球的负担，因为“地球已经不堪重负”。
在现实生活中，若非出于经济原因，像布朗那样“生活在30年前”的事例还是相当少见的。经济的发展、物质的丰富、快节奏的生活，几乎让人无法拒绝现代生 活的方便和舒适。于是，汽车越来越多，一次性用品纷纷进入了人们的生活。餐馆几乎都用一次性筷子，商店里几乎找不到手帕，很多人口袋里备着纸巾，去哪里买 东西都用不着准备购物袋———有塑料袋白送。细想起来，纸巾代替手帕，我们每人每年平均8．5千克的生活用纸，还有越来越多的汽车，似乎也就是近十来年的 事情。
地球不堪重负，这是人所共知的事实：水资源危机日益严重，全球森林面积每年减少1300多万公顷，但垃圾却以超过8％的速度在 增加；中国目前城市垃圾的累计堆存量已经达到70亿吨，而且还在以每年10％以上的幅度增长……尽管如此，在很多人看来，这又与自己的生活方式有什么直接 的关系呢？偌大的城市，哪里容不下“我的”几张废纸？偌大的地球，哪里又在乎“我”多用一升水、多用几包纸巾呢？
在生活中，没有法律 规定你一个月只能用多少电、多少吨水，纸巾只能用几张，一次性筷子可以用几双。是节约使用、自觉抵制不环保的行为，还是只要负担得起、想用多少就用多少， 这在很大程度上完全取决于个人的环保意识。记得几年前采访一个关于室内空气污染的学术讨论会，有一位美国著名大学的教授临时取消了行程。他的理由很简单： 这次有关室内污染的研讨会上居然不提倡禁烟！
我们经常外出就餐，知道一次性的筷子很不环保；我们也经常外出购物，很清楚一次性塑料袋 的危害……可是，又有多少人能够像那位教授一样，勇于对我们不应该接受的事情说“不”呢？我们感动于“布朗的手帕”，并不是要将他的这种生活方式绝对化， 而是感动于他的精神。在资源日益短缺的今天，如果每个“我”都拿出一点儿布朗的精神，能省则省，举众人之力，建设节约型的社会，并不是一件难事。
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
ON THE COPENHAGEN AGENDA : Saving Forests may still work
(By : Bryan Walsh)
This month, the journal Nature Geoscience published a study calculating that deforestation is responsible for about 15% of global carbon emissions, down from earlier estimates of 20% or more. Most of the world's deforestation is concentrated in a few tropical nations, like Brazil and Indonesia where trees are disappearing fast — when these trees die or are burned, they release into the atmosphere all the carbon they've sucked up while they were alive. According to the Nature Geoscience study, the problem of deforestation is becoming a lot less dire than previously thought.
Unfortunately, the study's findings couldn't be further from the truth. The authors' recalculation had less to do with a reduction in deforestation than with an unexpected increase in emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Indeed trees are still being lost at an alarming rate, at about 13 million hectares per year as of 2005, according to the U.N. Exacerbating the deforestation problem is that there is no global system in place to discourage it. (The global carbon market created by the Kyoto Protocol, by contrast, offers carbon cap and trading as a way to begin reducing carbon emissions from energy or transportation.) "Forests are worth more dead than alive," says Russell Mittermeier, the president of the green group Conservation International.
(Read "Is There Any Hope for Agreement at Copenhagen?")
There is some hope that valuation will shift, as the world stumbles toward the U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen next month. Negotiators are trying to include a system to protect forests — called Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) — in the international treaty that is meant to be hammered out at the summit. Broadly speaking, REDD would allow countries to trade on the carbon value of their forests. If successful, it could be a relatively inexpensive way to quickly reduce deforestation, cut emissions and preserve the habitats of some of the most endangered species on the planet. "Forests are a part of the climate problem, so they need to be part of the solution," says Kevin Conrad, the lead climate negotiator for Papua New Guinea and a major advocate of the REDD process.
Here's how it would work in detail: developing nations would accept some kind of limit on deforestation rates, and in exchange for preserving those forests, they would receive compensation from developed countries, which would then be able to use the carbon they're saving to meet their own carbon caps. It's as simple as that, a recognition that rich nations will have to provide developing countries an economic rationale to stop cutting down trees. The benefits would be global (reducing climate change) and local (helping conservation efforts). Loss of habitat is the No. 1 cause of extinction, and the tropical rain forests that hold the most carbon are also home to the most diverse collection of species. "REDD is a new, exciting opportunity in conservation," says Brett Jenks, the CEO of RARE Conservation.
But it's not an easy opportunity. Tropical forests are vast, so it might be expensive and time-consuming to accurately track which trees are being cut down and which are being saved, although better satellite technology is making that easier. If REDD is implemented on a project-by-project basis, rather than across entire nations, there's a real risk of leakage; deforestation would be stopped in one area, only to bleed somewhere else, and carbon emissions wouldn't be reduced. Activists for indigenous groups — the native people who actually live in tropical forests — worry that they won't benefit financially from the REDD process, or even be forced to move off their land. If the preserved trees are burned or cut down later, the carbon would be lost. And it doesn't help that countries with high rates of deforestation aren't exactly well governed, which could make the implementation of REDD on the ground a real headache. "The cost is not going to be cheap to do," says Nigel Sizer, RARE's vice president for Pacific and Asia operations. "There is legal uncertainty at every level of this."
The upcoming Copenhagen summit is meant to clear up that uncertainty, and there is real hope that REDD could be a bright spot in a meeting that might otherwise be considered a failure. While the larger negotiations remain deadlocked between developed and developing countries over future carbon-emission cuts, both sides have an interest — environmentally and financially — in reducing forest loss. There's already progress being made: on Nov. 12 provincial governors from Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines agreed to back REDD. In Brazil, new statistics show the country has cut deforestation rates in half, signs that the government is finally taking the problem seriously. The South American nation stands to be a major beneficiary of REDD — the head of the Brazilian Carbon Markets Association estimated that the country could earn $16 billion a year from REDD.
For that to happen, some version of REDD must become a part of a new global climate deal — and, of course, there must actually be a new global carbon deal. Although preventing deforestation won't be the solution to climate change, it's a necessary start.
Blogger's note : Here's another top article on "THE RAPE OF THE RAINFOREST...and the man behind it"
Link : http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0520-06.htm
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Long time no hear from me..sorry as I have been rather tied up with work and all.
Was going through some online news on the environment and came across this very encouraging article from the Borneo Bulletin. Not only do we have kindergarten children taking up arms against global warming, now we have leaders in the religious sectors voicing their concern too.
Take a listen and see what the Imams in Brunei has to say.....
IMAMS LAMENT CLIMATE CHANGE
By Azlan Othman
The current climate change that threatens our existence which mankind must confront decisively was brought to the fore by the religious authorities yesterday.
Highlighting the cost of climate change, Imams in a Friday sermon said Ummah should be more aware of how to protect the environment and not to resort to destruct and pollute it.
The environment we live in is fragile and needs constant care instead of the heaps of abuse we, man pile on it.
The Imams stressed that Allah dislikes those who bring catastrophe to the world led by irresponsible people who needlessly chop down trees causing industrial pollution, widespread burning of fossil fuels, emission of greenhouse gases, encroachment, fish bombing, oil spillage and indiscriminate dumping of industrial waste.
The drastic rise in sea pollution through plastic dumping has reached an alarming level where marine life is threatened. Studies have shown that 30,000 marine animals were suffocated, trapped while entangled or stuck in fishing equipment that finally killed them.
At least 77 metric tonnes of plastic-based waste have been dumped annually by the shipping industry, while commercial fishing has left 135 million kilogrammes of plastic-based fishing gear and dumped 24 millions of plastic waste to the sea.
This means that the sea, which balances the global climate and protects mankind from change, has become a dumping ground and also experiencing a rise in earth temperature due to the modernisation process.
If such destruction to the earth continues, it would set off the alarm and bring changes to the world where the world temperature would rise from 1.1 degree Celsius to 6.4 degrees Celsius between 1990 to 2100.
If we allow this to happen, the world would become too hot within a century and pose danger and will be deemed unsafe for humans. Global climate change relates to many catastrophes like melting ice in the Antarctic, rise in sea levels, big floods and the disappearance of smaller islands.
Tropical countries would also experience extraordinary heavy rainfall with dry soil due to rapid water absorption. Plants and livestock will also be affected, threatening food security in some countries.
Those residing near the coastline and the supporting infrastructure like buildings, houses, roads, ports and treatment plants would also be affected. They might also experience floods or big storms.
On flat land, coastline would erode. Climate change would also affect the natural ecosystem, food supply, agriculture, transportation, and water and energy usage.
To tackle climate change, Brunei through the Marine Department has implemented the international maritime convention and continues to review regulations on the disposal of rubbish from ships and storage of oil from modified tankers.
We must note that humans perpetrate every catastrophe. Hence to mark the world maritime day, which will be celebrated on November 9, let us play a role in conserving the environment from destruction and pollution for us to enjoy healthy, cleaner earth in a prosperous life for years to come.
Blogger's Note :
KUDOS to these Imams for pointing us to the right direction in our endeavor to help save Mother Earth. I hope they will go a step further and be aware that
adopting a plant-based diet is the most effective and fastest way to go about achieving our objective.
May God bless those of us who still love Planet Earth enough to care for her well-being.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
第三篇 : 甲烷排放对全球暖化有更大的影响
资料来源 ~ 农业信息网 ：
报告原文Livestock and Climate Change
一项新研究报告的主要作者辛戴尔（Drew Shindell）及其他美国航太总署（NASA US National Aeronautics and Space Administration）科学家表示，甲烷对全球暖化的影响，远超过先前的想像。他们断定在燃烧石化燃料时与二氧化碳同时释出的气溶胶，能抵消二氧化碳导致气候暖化的效应，有降温的效果。于是辛戴尔博士表示，由甲烷释出的热度比先前估算高出20％到40％，依20年数据平均结果，甲烷对暖化的影响比ＣＯ２高出百倍。世界观察研究所（World Watch Institute），发表另一份报告之后仅数日，航太总署公佈资料改正先前对蓄牧业產生温室气体的估计。那种计算方式，引用甲烷的热效应为72倍，于是保守地估算，畜牧业造成50％以上的暖化，而非2006年估算的18％。依航太总署的资料，现在此数值应会更高。
美国纽约大学（New York University）物理系兼任教授诺姆莫尔（Noam Mohr），在接受无上师电视台专访时解释更多有关气溶胶如何抵消二氧化碳的热效应。诺姆莫尔教授：「歷史上二氧化碳的所有来源都排放悬浮粒，也会產生这种微粒让地球降温。詹姆士韩森博士（Dr. James Hansen）被誉为全球暖化理论的始祖，他指出这两者几乎互相抵消。因此自古以来二氧化碳的来源几乎没有造成暖化。」
研究人员也指 出，畜牧业是地球上唯一最大的甲烷来源。正如联合国跨政府气候变迁小组（UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change）科学家，美国史丹佛大学（Stanford University）特里鲁特博士（Dr. Terry Root）所说，持素是降低甲烷排放最快速的方法。
第四篇 : 最新报告：世界观察研究所：畜牧业及其副产品的温室气体排放至少占51%
报告原文Livestock and Climate Change
世界观察研究所(WWI)在最近的一期《世界观察》杂志(11/12月刊)中刊登的一篇题为《畜牧业和气候变化》的报告中指出畜牧业及其副产品的温室气体排放至少占全球总排放的51%，远远超过粮农组织先前估计的数值18%。 该报告的作者罗伯特•古德兰(Robert Goodland)是一位在世界银行工作23年后退休的权威环境顾问。2008年他因对环保的突出贡献而获得过世界自然保护联盟(IUCN)授予的一级柯立芝勋章。杰夫•安航(Jeff Anhang)是世界银行国际金融公司的环境专家和研究员，为发展中国家提供私营部门的融资和咨询。
| ||年温室气体排放||占世界总 |
2005年英国物理学家Alan Calverd曾估计人为的动物呼吸产生的温室气体占世界总排放的21%，但主要由于将动物呼吸列入排放清单后，基数扩大了，所以所占份额也下降到了 13.7%。由于全球草地的短缺，当前饲养更多牲畜的唯一方法就是砍伐天然森林。通常每公顷的雨林可以贮存至少200吨的碳，将雨林砍伐改造成草地后，则只能存贮8 吨。 甲烷在大气层中的半衰期只有8年，而二氧化碳至少有100年。如果以FAO使用的100年为尺度计算的话，甲烷的温室效应是CO2的25倍，但如果以20年为尺度计算的话，则为72倍。作者认为，考虑到“在20年内甲烷减排的巨大效益，以及如果20年内温室气体的减排没有显著成果，气候系统将会严重破坏”，使用20年为尺度计算更为恰当。IPCC也支持使用20年为尺度来计算甲烷的温室效应。
第一篇 ： 畜牧业气体排放，完全低估？
资料来源 - 农业信息网 ：
（华盛顿DC讯）一篇刊登在最新一期《世界观察杂誌》，名为〈畜牧业与气候变迁〉的文章中，作者Robert Goodland与Jeff Anhang共同指出，我们完全低估为了肉食畜养动物的生命循环与供应链对环境所造成的衝击；事实上，养殖动物至少排放了全球一半以上人类行为所產生的温室气体。
第二篇 ： 粮农组织：牲畜比汽车产生更多温室气体
粮 农组织在这份题为《牲畜的巨大阴影：环境问题与选择》（Livestock’s Long Shadow-Environmental Issues and Options）的报告中说，由于人类对肉类和奶类的需求不断上升，牲畜饲养业快速发展，牲畜产生的温室气体已经超过了汽车。
报 告说，如果用二氧化碳的释放量衡量，牲畜比汽车排放多18%。如果用一氧化二氮（nitrous oxide）衡量，则人类活动（包括饲养牲畜）释放的一氧化二氮65%来自牲畜，而一氧化二氮的“全球变暖潜势”（Global Warming Potential，简称：GWP）是二氧化碳的296倍。
粮 农组织本周在泰国曼谷开会，寻求解决上述问题的办法。可供选择的方案包括：改进饲料从而减少牲畜肠道发酵（enteric fermentation）产生的甲烷、建立生物工厂加强对牲畜粪便的循环利用、提高牲畜饲养和饲料种植的效率、加强牧场合理化管理、利用定价和征税调节 畜牧业、加强植树造林、加强土地和水资源管理，等等。
1）买东西时采用布袋，或某些超市售卖可以循环再用的环保袋，谢绝塑胶袋。（然后算看每天少用了多少个塑胶袋，一个月下来少用了多少个，哇，蛮有成就感 的 ！）
2）不用电器时，随手关掉并拔出插头。试试改掉把整间屋的电灯都开着的习惯，需要用到那个角落就开那里的灯即可。有些人习惯把电脑日夜开着, 不但浪费电，对健康也不好。（实行后收到电费单时肯定会很高兴:) ）
3）节省用水 – 洗东西时尽量用容器装水来洗，不要开着水喉让水不停流着；洗菜的水可以用来作清洗碗筷，浇花草；洗衣的水可以盛来洗地；洗车时用水桶等等。（在用水方面，马来西亚人算是幸运的，因此也特别不懂珍视水源。地球上有不少地方正缺着水；地球是圆的，每一片土地息息相关，发生在他国的天灾迟早会影响大马，如果此刻尚不珍惜水，保不定什么时候我们也要开始尝到严重缺水的苦果,要惜福哦。）
6）停止或减少吃肉。这是极重要的一点。超量的温室气体已导致气候变迁，引发世界各地天灾连连，而畜牧业是造成温室气体超量的主要原因。根据最新报告，畜牧业的温室气体是全球总排放量的51%， 够恐怖吧？各地政府代表虽然积极参与会议，但往往局限于各自的商业利益和短见，无法达至一致的方案。接踵而来的天灾不断的提醒我们不能再等这些会议的结果了，民间需要自救，因此停止或减少吃肉，是减少畜牧业继续破坏的最快方式。这个方案，还真是老少皆宜呢！算算看，每人每日三餐，祖父祖母，爸爸妈妈，哥哥姐姐弟弟妹妹，包括小小婴儿，每个家庭每天将减少多少肉食品，间接减少多少温室气体 ？
7）尚有许多环保招，可上网浏览， 跟有心者互相交流，参与有趣实用的环保活动等等。也欢迎大家在此分享，共勉之 ！
Monday, November 9, 2009
So ini dia, posting baru saya...
update diri saya: dah mula buat garbage enzyme (enzim sampah). Bapak saya ada buat dulu tapi tak berjaya sangat. My first garbage enzyme saya "reuse", pakai CD plastic holder yg membulat dan tinggi berbentuk silinder tu, sebagai bekas, (tengok contoh gambar bekas CD ni), terbalikkannya, letak gula merah, sisa buah-buahan dan air dalam nisbah, 1 (gula merah) :3 (sisa buah) :10 (air) dan tutup cover dia, balut kelilingnya dengan plastik ("reuse" plastik pakej tisu tandas) utk pastikan ia kedap udara. Memang mudah.
Kalo nak tahu lagi tentang enzim sampah, layari (ini saja yg lebih komprehensif tentangnya dalam bahasa Malaysia): http://kekalkankeindahanbumi.blogspot.com/2008/08/kebaikan-enzim-sampah-kuasa-untuk.html
Cubalah kalo boleh, enzim ini banyak sangat manfaatnya.
Laporan PBB 2006 http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html sebelum ini menyatakan bhw industri penternakan dan daging mengakibatkan 18% pengeluaran gas rumah hijau, lebih drpd semua jenis pengangkutan
di dunia tapi laporan terbaru oleh Goodhand & Anhang drpd World Watch Institute yg ternama dan berprestij mendapati bhw ternakan dan hasil sampingan mrk sebenarnya mengakibatkan 51% drpd jumlah pengeluaran gas rumah hijau dunia!!!
update tentang apa yg hangat di Supreme Master TV: banyak!
1) Al Gore sudah mengaku bahawa diet berasaskan tumbuhan akan membantu kurangkan pemanasan global dan beliau sendiri dah semakin banyak makan makanan vegetarian!!!! :D
2) Persidangan Perubahah Iklim Washington DC yg diadakan baru-baru ini (5 Nov) menonjolkan ramai VIP yang membentangkan pendapat dan laporan mereka tentang kepentingan mengamalkan diet berasaskan tumbuhan utk menangani masalah pemanasan global sebelum ia sampai ke tahap tak boleh patah balik, di mana walau apapun yg kita lakukan selepas tahap itu, planet tak akan dapat diselamatkan lagi. Masa tak banyak.
OK ada lagi... akan disambung tak lama lagi :)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
资料来源，请点击观看影片, please link to view the video
EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers." The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (GLADIATOR) and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby.