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Global Warming: Yes,There is a Solution! P2/4 September 12, 2009 Lima, Peru    
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MC (m): Now,we would like to present Mr. Gilberto Romero Zevallos, Director of the Center of Study for the Prevention of Disasters,PREDES. We welcome him with a warm applause.

Mr. Gilberto Romero Zevallos(m): I appreciate this opportunity that you have given me to say a few words and relay a message relating to climate change and disasters. The climate is changing rapidly as a result of air pollution from gases produced by human and industrial activities. Changes in the weather Means changes in the environmental temperature and in rainfall. The future scenario shows that on average, temperatures will increase on the planet and precipitation will be altered. Currently, these climate changes have already had negative impacts on vulnerable communities and their livelihoods in Peru,one of the countries most affected by climate change.

As a result of global climate change, an increasing number of climatic and meteorological events are occurring, as well as changes in the intensity and frequency of the events. Due to climate change, disasters are increasing, as people have not been able to adapt to this process that has been accelerated and that has sudden and unexpected changes on the climate,with different manifestations which are not yet predictable. In the case of Peru, the climatic events are occurring with more and more frequency and intensity, creating disasters and many kinds of damage to vulnerable populations - mainly freezing, snowfalls,waves of intense cold,droughts, which means a lack of or complete absence of rains.

Also landslides and floods are increasing because of intense and unexpected rainfalls. The country is undergoing a process of melting; we are losing glaciers and periodically enormous glaciers collapse, causing floods in many towns and in the Andean valleys. But the disasters that occur due to climatic events are not natural. It is a fallacy to say that disasters are natural, because disasters only occur when there are vulnerable communities exposed to events that can harm them. And that's happening in our country. The level of exposure, sensitivity and fragility of our people to climatic events has increased.

At the same time, if we look from the perspective of the causes, we will admit that there is human action, industrial activity that is accelerating climate change in a dramatic way. Disasters in small communities that they suffer every year with ever greater intensity do not appear in the media, and therefore they don't attract the attention of the aid organizations. Most of them are small disasters, and because of the continuous damage that poor rural communities suffer, poverty is becoming worse with no chance of stopping the cycle.

Rural communities in the Peruvian Andes are suffering climate impacts,such as more irregular rainfall, long periods without rains, sudden temperature changes, greater solar radiation, which damage crops and impede food production and security - so important in these communities that produce just enough for their own consumption. As a result, the dried food reserves that they use throughout the year are increasingly reduced, causing migration of the highland Andean communities to the cities.

So people leave their traditional homes, whereupon the ecosystems are placed at risk, due to the absence of communities that have knowledge and wisdom to maintain those ecosystems. It is important to take action on all levels of society in order to affect the causes that are generating climate change and global warming but also to reduce the vulnerabilities of the poor communities in our country. Thank you very much.

MC (f): Many thanks, Mr. Gilberto Romero Zevallos.

MC (m): Our final guest speaker is Miss Wendy Lau Cordero, a student of chemistry at the National University Mayor de San Marcos. She has participated in the Tunza Program, 』Treating our Planet with Care and Affection,』 from the United Nations for the Environment. Please give her a round of applause.

Miss Wendy Lau Cordero(f): Good evening,everyone. First of all, it is a pleasure for me. Thank you for the invitation. I am a volunteer for an environmental group, Acapu Peru, and I also participate in an organization with a group of chemistry faculty. Every two years,the United Nations Program for the Environment, UNEP in English, or PNUMA, organizes conferences. As there are world events every two years - for countries to sign agreements, to take measures to stop climate change, to continue solving this - so young people convene from all over the world for this kind of conference.

This year we had a conference of children and youth in South Korea. I was invited to this conference in August. It was a conference held from August 16 to 24. In this conference there were over 200 guests from 100 different countries where we tried to solve environmental problems in our countries. Among the many current topics that were discussed, the most important was climate change. We discussed several things - we had regional meetings - in our case for example, Peru with the countries in Latin America, Central America,Mexico and the Caribbean Islands, we all made up a region which is Latin America and the Caribbean. So we accepted the commitment of being regional youth representatives or delegates of our own countries.

Furthermore,we agreed to report on UNEPactivities for Peru and report activities that we,as young people, carry out. I would like you to think about such a strong organization, such as the UN that invites young people to help,it is because the environmental problems are really serious and climate change is hammering all of us, and if the temperature really does go up those two degrees, the first ones to be affected will be us, the Peruvian people, owing to our equatorial location and the great wealth of resources that we have, we will be very much affected. We are the third country most affected in this process.

I would like to share with you some activities planned by UNEP which are very important. The summit meeting of the top leaders for UNEP is going to take place on September 22nd, so what we propose for this conference is for young people, as well as adults and children,to take action and strongly promote in our countries the signing of an agreement in December in Copenhagen where Peru has also been invited. And then we have an activity on September 19, which is planting trees.

What we want is for countries to plant trees on the same day to prevent the increase of CO2 which is affecting us tremendously with all these new events that are happening in our life. We also have the petition for climate change, which is the petition that has been sent through email, through the internet for all the young people, adults,all of us who want to support this campaign,to sign it. This website is www.pnuma.org/sellemos/index.php. We have as well the date for the assembly of climate change; we are going to present the petition there and we hope to get over 10,000 signatures from young people and people from all over the world.

Then,on September 22nd, the main day,the day when the delegates will meet… so what we are trying to do is something wonderful, something great,something to show the world that we want to have a change, and we want to do something to call attention. That day, wear green clothing, use a green nose, do activities in your neighborhood, in your communities, we want to show that we really want changes. We also have the occasion of the 23rd which is the promotional day for a neutral climate where we need to look for the ways to decrease our ecological footprints, which is something extremely important.

Then,on the 24th, we are going to have 『Climate Voices』 in which we are going to show those people who are making an effort to try to fight against climate change, and we also would like to recognize those people and victims of climate change. As we all now know very well from the news, we are informed about cases in the mountains with freezing temperatures and it's not fair that people die because of others' huge negligence. The last event we have is the Day of Climate Solutions,when we can look for solutions on the scientific level with volunteers, about how we can solve this problem.

Another commitment was that on October 24th, there's going to be a worldwide event. This is the day when we will demand that the amount of CO2 be reduced to 350 parts per million in the air. This is a worldwide campaign in which Peru is going to participate and make a very strong showing. I invite all of you to sign this agreement, which is something being done on the internet and which Peru is really supporting and promoting because we really need to take measures for change. Thank you.

MC(f): Many thanks, Ms. Cordero, for sharing your comments and experiences with us.

MC (m): Our next segment is a question-and-answer period. We would also like to introduce,at this time our Guest of Honor, Supreme Master Ching Hai, who will be joining us live via videoconference to answer some of the questions that we have.

MC(f): Supreme Master Ching Hai is a world-renowned humanitarian, spiritual Master, philanthropist and artist. Supreme Master Ching Hai has for more than 20 years been sharing her wisdom and deep understanding, traveling across the world and bringing her message of love for living a complete life. She continues to dedicate her time and energy to elevate and better the life of all beings.

MC (m): We are now very happy to announce that Supreme Master Ching Hai, our special guest, has honored us by joining this question-and-answer session. Please receive her with a round of applause.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo,everyone.

MC (m): Hi,Master. MC (f): Hallo,Master.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hi.

MC (f): You look wonderful today.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you! Thank you.

MC (m): How are you,Master?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I am fine,I am fine. How are you? MC (f): Fine. We are happy to see you, Master.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,I am happy too. It's a pleasure to be here for me,too. MC (f): Thank you,Master. Your Spanish is wonderful!

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you very much.

MC (m): Dear Master, welcome to Lima,Peru! It's so great to see you!

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you.

MC (m): We feel so honored that you can join us for this conference despite your busy schedule. Thank you so much, Master. Let's all give a big round of applause to welcome Supreme Master Ching Hai, our special Guest of Honor.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you. Let me say hallo to your people,first. MC (f): Yes,sure.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good afternoon, everyone. MC (f): Good afternoon. MC (m): Good afternoon,Master.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: How are you doing? Are you okay? Yes? Very well? All: (Yes.) Hallo,everyone.

Greetings to all the beautiful people of Peru: Esteemed government officials,dignitaries and speakers,members of the media,and all the caring participants. Thank you for coming today in our shared concern about global warming and the survival of our wonderful planet. Your country Peru is graced with diverse natural landscapes, with deserts, ocean coastline, you have everything - you have rainforests,tall, majestic mountain ranges. We all know that these places are worthy of protection, not only for themselves, not only for the Peruvian but for the sake of all the living beings who inhabit them, including all the people and all other beings in the world, our families and ourselves.

I am pleased to be here and I'm very grateful that this conference is being held today in your magnificent country. As many of you already know, the right actions are needed by each and every person in this world,so I wish everyone something new and beneficial from this event. Thank you again for being here. Thank you very much.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'm ready for your questions. MC(m): Thank you,Master.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I hope you have a very good time.

MC(f): Thank you,Master.

MC (m): Dear Master, the first two questions are from Wendy Lau, a UNEP participant.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,please go ahead.

Wendy Lau (f): The first question, what do you see as the weakness in science in solving climate change and diverse environmental problems? The second question, why do we have to solve environmental problems from the spiritual side?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,yes,yes.

Hallo,Ms. Wendy. I believe science is doing a good job already in diligently researching and informing the public about the critical stage on Earth that we are facing in terms of global warming. Without science, we probably, the majority of us, would not have known anything at all about our dire state of planetary crisis. So, after the United Nations' announcement of the tipping points that mark an irreversible trend, many scientists have stepped forward with detailed research on climate changes.

As a recent example, US and Canadian scientists travelling to the Arctic have noted increased methane gas being released from the Earth's melting permafrost, which is storing immense amounts of methane beneath the frozen surface. Other research has also highlighted how quickly the temperature is rising in the Arctic, much faster than in the rest of the world. This means a vast quantity of methane could be released from the previously frozen soil very quickly, which would be a complete disaster for life on Earth. So,we are truly in a grave ecological situation, and the scientists have done a fine job in raising awareness on the climate issues through their dedicated research and updated reports.

If you mean the technology to minimize the global warming effect, there are some minimums that have been invented and installed,but the benefit is also minimum! Even with all the scientific research and invention,even if we could have invented something more, it takes long time, it takes more than what we can afford right now to bring them into materialization,you see? All other technology takes a long,long, long time also to be in the market, to materialize, if we can make it till then!

In trying to minimize these dire effects, both scientific and spiritual approaches can be applied. Scientifically speaking, methane from livestock is a major contributor to global warming today. This has been documented by many different scientific bodies, the first of which of course, was the United Nations' report in 2006 - everybody knows by now - called 『Livestock's Long Shadow.』 Since then, much more research has been published about livestock, meat production and greenhouse gases.

One fact is clear: if we stop meat consumption and livestock raising, we will also eliminate one of the most heat-trapping gases, which is methane. And since this gas disappears more quickly from the atmosphere, the planet will cool almost immediately. This will also address problems like the melting permafrost, which will otherwise emit more methane if nothing is done to halt it. We cannot blame the scientists or any scientific technology for the problem of our planet today. They have done their best. Even the spiritual people or non spiritual people, we have to do our best as well. The fate of our planet is in our hands before the scientists can do anything to help us.

Professor John Schellnhuber, founding Director of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and also Chief Government Advisor on climate change to the German government, told Supreme Master Television in an interview that without changing course, our currently unsustainable practices will 『lead to a big crash,』 that's to quote him. And,to stop this crash from being many times bigger, we have to act now. Professor Schellnhuber said that the world's population cannot be sustained on the energy and land demands of a meat diet.

So,a switch to vegetarianism or veganism is needed to continue supporting our life on Earth. So this is the scientific perspective. But you are right also about approaching climate change from a spiritual standpoint. Every religion speaks in some way of the law of karma, or 』as you sow, so shall you reap.』 This is explained through science as a principle of physics, which says every action causes an equal consequence.

So the law of karma (retribution) and science are the same - meaning that whatever we do is returned to us. From this perspective, we would obviously wish to avoid killing; otherwise, we will reap the killing karma (retribution) in return. All the wise teachings of past and present Masters have thus espoused only love and kindness toward one another. 『Thou shall not kill』 is a basic precept of any faith. Therefore, we must return fully to our noble spiritual heritage. Only this can bring us permanent safety and protection by begetting the mercy of Heaven in which we can take refuge. Thank you very much.

MC(f): Thank you,Master,for your insightful thoughts. SM(f): Good question.

MC(f): The next question is for Mrs. Mendiola from Fernando Zabala, a social communicator. SM(f): Hallo.

Mr. Fernando Alejandro Zavala (m): Good afternoon. I have a question that affects us directly as citizens. When we talk about the global environmental crisis, all responsibility has been put on big enterprises, big mining companies, or governments or on the big NGOs, environmentalists,right? However,we also have a responsibility in this respect. In this regard, we as citizens, how can we contribute to mitigate the effects of global warming? From our home, how can we act to mitigate this? Thank you very much.

Mrs. Mendiola (f): Yes,of course. As citizens,we can make small changes that taken together can make a great change. One of the first things we have to do is to reduce solid waste - what we call 』rubbish,』 we can reduce it. We can use all the organic waste, we can make eco-silos, we can compost, and at the same time, create a by-product that we can use in our patio gardens, or in pot planting,etc.

Second,we can reduce our energy consumption by using energy saving bulbs, turning off lights and all the electrical appliances, unplugging things that are on stand-by, that many electrical appliances have,right? In this way,we can reduce energy greatly. Let me remind you that all energy generated is fossil fuel based, which generates CO2, right? Luckily our country has hydroelectric energy but we can reduce consumption.

Another very important thing is to change our consumption habits. For example, we,as an organization, are promoting organic agriculture and we have a campaign called 『Five a Day,』 which encourages families to eat five fruits or vegetables a day,which, besides benefiting your personal health,also benefits the environment. As Master said, try to be vegetarians, this is going to contribute greatly. We can,for example, if we live in a place where there is non potable water or sewage, we should consider some technology, for example, we are already building what is known as a dry toilet system, these toilets don't use any water and at the same time create by-products that could be useful for recycling in the environment, complying with the rules of nature.

We have to use the bicycle. If we have a car, we have to look after it, maintain it. Because if we don't maintain our car according to the manufacturer's recommendation,we are generating toxic gases, we are generating particles that are going into our lungs,creating health problems for us and contributing to global warming,and so we have a city like Lima that is completely polluted.

For example, we can refrain from eating or buying species of wild fauna that sometimes we see being sold here on the streets. The wild fauna have to live in their habitat, we cannot have them at home. We have to lower our energy consumption. We are an energy- dependent society, so by lowering our energy consumption, we can contribute greatly. Remember,we are all energy consumers and as consumers we have to learn to be responsible consumers. So,when we go to the market, we refuse plastic bags.

Because the plastic bags require a lot of energy to be produced,and let me remind you that they are made of fossil fuels. Let's use our cloth bags. When you go shopping, read the labels in order to know whether the company you are buying from is a responsible company in social and environmental aspects, whether they protect the ozone layer, and whether they fulfill all technical regulations that the country requires. We have to know the market more, because many times, the market,in which we are all involved, affects us and guides us.

Sometimes we are not aware and keep trying to acquire things. Let´s try to be responsible in the marketplace. Our consumption has changed our way of being. And we have to reflect on the manner in which we are consuming in order to generate different patterns of consumption that are more environmentally compatible with our world. In the market,even in the way we purchase, we can act responsibly toward the environment. Let me remind you that we have a great power as consumers in what to purchase and what not to purchase. With that, we can change our world.

MC (f): Thank you,Mrs. Mendiola for this precious answer and advice.

Mario Samanez YañezMayor of Villa Rica de OropesaCuzco,Peru: I'm going to take this message to Cuzco City to convey to the other mayors and I see the interest of so many people here that are so keen to know about the issue we're facing. The important message would be that we have to think what kind of future we are leaving to our children,grandchildren; because if we do not do anything now, what are we doing?

Aldo LazovazanBank analystVegetarian: The idea of being able to help to save the world by being a vegetarian - because I'm a vegetarian and it is a very positive thing,no?It is the best way to contribute to the welfare of everybody,no? But not only vegetarian, vegan is even better,no? If a person could do that, he would be contributing in the best possible way.

Juana FernándezConference participant J(f): And teach children to keep the place where they live clean. Master Ching Hai's conference is very good, very good. I applaud it.

Ester PachecoConference participant Supreme Master TV_2 (m): What did you learn this night?

E(f): A lot for my future quality of life.

Supreme Master TV_2 (m): Are you thinking of adopting a vegan diet?

E(f): Yes. For a long time I haven't eaten beef, \\ but now I am motivated to eat only vegetables.

Oscar Ruiz TelloMember of the National United Peoples Frontfrom the Amazon: We have come from a long distance to this conference, which is very important for all of us, also to be able to educate our people,our region of the Amazon.

Supreme Master TV (m): And,have learned you something tonight that you could use in your work?

O (m): Right,this is a job that, as leaders of organizations at the national level, we are going to start working with this. And although it is difficult but not impossible, and we will do it in our region of the Amazon and, as I said,to be vegetarian and by this way we can save our planet.
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