Solar street lamps help Nairobi see the light
In sustainable energy news, the Kenyan capital installs solar street lamps. The Kenyan Government has allocated US$10 million for the Nairobi City Council to install the new lamps. They will be deployed on at least 12 streets, as well as a major highway connecting the capital to several towns. When the lights are fully installed by the middle of 2012, they are projected to decrease the city’s overall electricity costs by US$2 million per month. In the future, the government plans to also install solar street lights outside Nairobi. A big green thumbs up, Kenyan Government and Nairobi, for embracing Earth-loving practices. May eco measures such as these, combined with humanity’s adoption of the plant-based diet, help us greet a flourishing future.
US gives $30m to fund Nepal’s wildlife project
In eco news, the United States donates US$30 million to mitigate the effects of climate change in Nepal. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding the five -year Hariyo Ban program, which has the goal of lessening carbon dioxide emissions by one million tons. Enhancing the protection of 50,000 hectares of forest and safeguarding endangered animals are other aspects of the project. Our sincere appreciation, the United States Agency for International Development, for your generosity. May the beautiful people and country of Nepal gain many benefits from this caring endeavor.
Yogi bends over backwards for Afghan peace
In peace news, yoga and meditation are advocated to support harmony in Afghanistan. According to France24 news agency, French author and yoga instructor Ms. Amandine Roche has been encouraging Afghan citizens and residents to adopt the practice. She stated, “Real peace starts within. We need to raise the level of consciousness; it's as simple as that.” Ms. Roche has been teaching the ancient discipline to youngsters at a school for street children in Kabul. One of the students, 11-year-old Roquia, said, “This (yoga and meditation) tends to calm me and helps me to be better and faster in my studies.” Kudos, Ms. Amandine Roche, on your devoted efforts to promote serenity. May inner tranquility and harmonious relations soon be enjoyed by all beings, with Heaven’s blessings.
The 10 most influential people in veganism
FN... Ten of the most influential people named for exemplary vegan lifestyles. An article on the "This Dish Is Veg" website by author Kasey Minnis features ten prominent individuals who are leading the way in showing how plant-based fare can transform lives. Among these are former US President Bill Clinton, who has attributed his healthy weight loss and improved heart health to a near-vegan diet. Vegan comedienne and Emmy Award-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was also named for her encouragement of the vegan diet on her show, along with her website, "Going Vegan with Ellen" and recently announced plans to launch a vegan dog food line. Lee Fulkerson, director of the documentary "Forks Over Knives," was named as several celebrities publically credited the film with their decision to go vegan, while Ingrid Newkirk received recognition for her co-founding of the now-international organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Actress, producer and vegan mother Alicia Silverstone was noted for her authoring of "The Kind Diet" as well as her website, TheKindLife.com that helps those interested in adopting plant-based eating. Other influential vegans included Neal Barnard, MD, president and founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, whose peer-reviewed science highlights the health benefits of the vegan diet, and nutrition expert T. Colin Campbell, who has shown the clear relationship between consuming animal products and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Many thanks, journalist Kasey Minnis for sharing these uplifting accomplishments as we applaud all those who have been recognized and many more for your exemplary and compassionate lifestyles. May we all soon make such caring vegan choices that bring both vibrant health and peace of mind.
'Christmas miracle' for endangered rhinos
FN… New hope for nearly extinct rhinos in Malaysia. On Saturday, December 24, conservationists and wildlife officials successfully airlifted a rare endangered Sumatran rhinoceros they had named Puntung, bringing her to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah state. With previous monitoring that showed Puntung had not even encountered another rhino in the wild for the past five years, her arrival at her new home is intended to increase the chance that she will meet a potential partner, including a rescued male named Tam already living in the sanctuary. Sabah Wildlife Department Director Laurentius Ambu said, “This is a fantastic gift for our uphill battle in ensuring the survival of this truly unique species and wonderful timing with Christmas, a time to give thanks for our blessings.” The herbivorous Sumatran rhino is considered one of the world's most endangered animals, with populations that have dwindled to less than 40 due to illegal hunting and loss of habitat. In an effort to save the species, Sabah state conservationists are hoping to find more solitary rhinos and move them to the protected area.
Our grateful thanks, all Sabah state conservationists and officials as we join in gladness for this gift that brings hope to the species. Blessed be such efforts in fostering greater respect toward the Sumatran rhino and all animals co-inhabitants so that they may continue to grace our planet with their irreplaceable presence.
Nicaragua prevents loss of life due to rupture of prey, is endangered
FN... Rains in Nicaragua leave thousands homeless. Persistent rains that began on Thursday December 22 and continued through the weekend, forcing thousands of families to be evacuated from their homes in the north Atlantic coastal region over the holidays. Communities such as the municipality of Bonanza were inundated when a wall of the Siempre Viva hydroelectric dam had broken, as was Siuna, where the Bambana River rose to dangerous levels. Five bridges also reportedly collapsed as 102 millimeters of rain fell in just an eight hour period. President Daniel Ortega dispatched military and other emergency personnel to assist in rescue and relief operations, with the government also sending food supplies and other humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, experts continue to monitor the dam, whose further damage could release seven million cubic meters of water at once.
With all her love and prayers, Supreme Master Ching Hai asked that our nearby Association members please see whether the local governments were in need of any help as she requested that they also go if possible to comfort the most vulnerable, adding that funds are available for emergency aid.
Our gratefulness, President Ortega, the Nicaraguan military and all others for your help to those in need, as we also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her wholehearted concern. May Heaven protect the storm-affected as we pray that humanity's gentler regard for all fellow beings may ease such distressing conditions as these.
Strong storm triggers massive power cuts in Finland during holiday
FN… Intense storms batter parts of Europe. Storms packed with strong winds swept Shetland in Scotland, UK, as well as Scandinavian countries, claiming at least one life and leaving tens of thousands of households without power. On Christmas Day, Sunday, hurricane force winds gusting at more than 160 kilometers per hour swept through the Shetland Islands, causing some 5,500 homes to lose electricity. A medical helicopter narrowly avoided disaster as it was thrown into a reverse direction by the gusts, and the roofs were torn from several homes as two unoccupied caravans were destroyed. Meanwhile, Scandinavia was also hit by storm Dagmar, described to be one of the most powerful in 30 years. Affecting travel in Norway, including cruise ships, the storm also swept across Sweden on Sunday, bringing rail traffic to a standstill and causing over 170,000 households to lose power as trees fell on homes and blocked roads. Finland was then hit on Monday, with at least one fatality reported as the blustering winds cut off power for nearly 300,000 households, disrupting cell phone and train service as well. Cleanup crews were out by Monday in efforts to restore regular function to the affected areas.
Our appreciation, officials and all those working to assist the storm-stricken. Let us join in efforts to renew and rebalance the environment through our greater benevolence as a vegan world.
Antarctic Ice Stream Makes Strange Starts and Stops
SAVE OUR PLANET... Increased chance of runaway Arctic global warming due to permafrost melt. A report by the US-based New York Times describes the growing concern of scientists over the threat that the frozen layer of soil known as permafrost, which runs beneath the entire Arctic tundra region, is melting. Although the ancient plant matter from which permafrost was formed has been frozen for the past tens of thousands of years, climate change is causing it to thaw and decompose. If this process continues at its current rate, sufficient methane would be released at some point to set off irreversible global warming. In addition, some Arctic regions such as northern Alaska, USA are showing an increase in a phenomenon called thermokarsts, in which the melting permafrost layer has caused the ground above it to collapse into hollows. In the low-lying areas that are created, wetlands and lakes are forming, whose dark water surfaces absorb the sun’s heat and cause still further thawing of the permafrost in and around the lake, with often forceful methane plumes being seen bubbling up through the waters. Dr. Katey Walter Anthony and colleague Dr. Guido Gross from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA have been mapping the thermokarst lakes, saying that these could strongly accelerate the Arctic permafrost melt and methane production. Yet another newer factor being studied as the region warms is a potential increase in tundra fires. Scientists warn that these combined factors could turn the Arctic from a vast carbon sink into a potentially lethal source of methane in less than a decade.
Dr. Walter Anthony, Dr. Gross, and all scientists involved, we appreciate your research and fieldwork that is helping us understand the growing threat of melting permafrost in the crucial Arctic region. May we act promptly to avoid further catastrophic warming and stabilize the planet on which all lives depend.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often mentioned permafrost melt as a potential source of runaway global warming, as in this interview published in the September 2009 edition of The House Magazine.
Interview with Supreme Master Ching Hai
Published in The House Magazine
September 2009 edition
Supreme Master Ching Hai: According to Dr. Hansen, our planet is on a dangerous course to passing irreversible tipping points with disastrous consequences. These you know already, like the melting of permafrost which in turn releases toxic methane gas, resulting in more warming of the atmosphere.
The reason scientists are now turning their attention to methane is that research has shown this gas has a heating capacity 100 times greater than CO2 within the first 5 years.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization states that livestock is the single largest human caused source of methane and accounts for 37% of total greenhouse gases.
Thus, if meat eating were to be halted, methane production from livestock would be minimized, and then, consequently all the methane from the permafrost will also be stopped, then we will still have time to handle the CO2. It’s very logical, scientific, scientifically speaking and otherwise. So, being veg means saving our planet.
PERU WANTS TO LIVE IN HARMONY WITH NEIGHBOUR CHILE
In an effort to restore neighborly relations after tensions arose over a shared border matter, Peru's Prime Minister Oscar Valdes affirms his nation's wish to live in harmony with Chile as he also speaks of eliminating poverty as a goal they could achieve together.
In Romania, a pledge to shield Europe's forests
SAVE OUR PLANET… Signing a memorandum of understanding with the World Wildlife Fund on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, Environment Minister Laszlo Borbely of Romania pledges to enhance protection of the country’s biodiversity-rich beech tree forests in the Carpathian Mountains, some of Europe’s last remaining primary forests.
IDFC: India's water supply at risk by Staff Writers
SAVE OUR PLANET… A December 2011 report from India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company warns of impending water shortages, with 14 of 20 major river basins currently strained as it calls for a focus on reusing, recycling, and conserving limited resources.
Olympic athletes warned about eating lots of liver
WARNING NEWS … The World and British Anti-Doping Agencies issue a joint warning advising athletes to avoid organ meats such as liver in the upcoming 2012 Olympics as these may contain the drug clenbuterol, which is fed to livestock in some countries and is not only toxic but could disqualify them from competitions for as long as two years.
Chinese vice president, Thai princess discuss friendly ties
Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping meets with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Thai Princess Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, where he conveys appreciation for Thailand's steady solidarity as he speaks with optimism of opportunities for further cooperation as well as cultural exchange.
US teenager climbs highest peaks across world
Culminating six years of athletic effort as he climbed the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, 15-year-old Jordan Romero of the USA sets a world record in being the youngest ever to ascend the peaks known as the Seven Summits, culminating with the Vinson Massif in Antarctica.
Japan's PM reaches out to China on North Korea
Meeting in Beijing, China, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao agree to cooperate in assisting North Korea toward goals of long-term stability and in efforts to quicken the process of resuming six-party denuclearization talks.
She's having a ball! Anne the elephant beaten and stabbed by sadistic keeper, enjoys Christmas sanctuary paid for by big-hearted Daily Mail readers
Fifty-nine-year-old former circus elephant Anne enjoys her first Christmas in freedom at the UK's Longleat Safari Park after being rescued from mistreatment by Animal Defenders International and caring Daily Mail newspaper readers who together contributed £400,000 for her transfer.
Exclusive: Afghanistan sets ground rules for Taliban talks
Afghanistan's High Peace Council foreign affairs chief Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar offers terms for peaceful negotiation with Taliban members that include their establishment of a liaison office in Qatar, whose capital city Doha has previously served as a meeting place for diplomatic talks.
South Korean civilian delegation enters North to pay respects to Kim
Representing their South Korean fellow citizens, former First Lady Lee Hee-ho and Hyundai group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun visit the North Korean capital Pyongyang to offer condolences to the North Korean people as they pay respects for the passing of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il.
Freedom of Movement Begins Between Kosovo and Serbia
Based on an agreement reached in European Union-mediated talks, residents of Kosovo, which declared autonomy in 2008, may now travel freely to and from neighboring Serbia.