data gathered from 33 countries, the United Nations Environment Program
(UNEP) report, “Latin America and the Caribbean Atlas of our Changing
Environment,” outlines the many environmental tolls facing the region
due to climate change.
Described through more than 200 satellite
images, maps, tables, graphs and text, the atlas comprises three parts:
one that explores original diverse ecosystems and species, another
documenting current climate issues, and finally, an analysis of 65
Environmental impacts such as high levels of
deforestation can be seen in images of Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala,
and Bolivia. Of even greater concern is the fact that many of the lands
are not being cleared for human food but instead are being tilled for
crops used in animal feed, industry, and fuel.
climate effects across the continent include an increase in natural
disasters, accelerated glacier melt and land degradation such as soil
and coastal erosion, as well as desertification that currently affects
more than 600 million hectares in the region.
recommendations made by UNEP are sustainable programs to help halt the
adverse direction and restore ecosystems. We appreciate the United
Nations Environment Program for these comprehensive observations,
despite our alarm at their detrimental effect on the environment.
us quickly heed such meaningful scientific data and act now to restore
balance to our planet. Speaking with concern of climate change's
perilous consequences during a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico,
Supreme Master Ching Hai at the same time emphasized the best way to
safeguard the environment and all life therein.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
Some of the global warming effects that we hear about are a continued
rise in the Earth's atmospheric temperature, warming of the ocean, along
with acidification, more frequent and stronger storms, prolonged
droughts and intensified heat waves, soil desertification, plant and
animal extinctions, and even melting of permafrost, which could trigger
massive releases of more methane gas! That would be catastrophic beyond
an unthinkable scale. Mexico and your neighboring nations have already
suffered from some of these effects. http://news.mongabay.com/2010/1228-morgan_latin_atlas.html
“How is livestock
production connected to these damaging effects?” you will ask. There are
so many ways that I'm sure I don't have enough time to tell all of
These include deforestation; soil erosion and
desertification; excessive use of precious resources; land and water
waste and pollution; and animal, plant and human disease or
So, the solution is very simple. We just have to turn away from the animal products. We stop eating meat, dairy, eggs, fish.
everything will improve, life will be easier, and we can rest knowing
that our children will have a future to look forward to.