US President Barack Obama is expected to allow states to set their own stricter standards for vehicle exhaust emissions, overturning a Bush administration decision which favoured a national standard for vehicle pollution.
We can see that implicit in all five precepts is the age-old Indian principle of ahimsa: not harming – either others or oneself. We can safely extend this to the environment, the world as a whole and even to outer space. Nothing in fact falls outside the sphere of our moral responsibility. For instance, according to the Huayen school of Buddhist philosophy, which developed in medieval China, our every action affects the whole of the Universe.
The grave environmental problems we now face on Planet Earth stem directly from our ignorance of this fact. Yet, perplexingly, even as we begin to see what we are doing and what suffering it will bring down on both ourselves and our descendents, we find it very difficult to change our ways. Everyone is aware that it would be a good thing if there were fewer cars, but no one wants to give up their own!
In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack.....
And that's led the university professor who spotted the wounds in the massive Petermann glacier to predict disintegration of a major portion of the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier within the year.
When we throw a banana peel into the garbage, if we are mindful we know that the peel will become compost and be reborn as a tomato or a lettuce salad in just a few months. But when we throw a plastic bag into the garbage, thanks to our awareness, we know that a plastic bag will not become a tomato or a salad very quickly. Some kinds of garbage need four or five hundred years to decompose. Nuclear waste needs a quarter of a million years before it stops being harmful and returns to the soil. Living in the present moment in an awakened way, looking after the present moment with all our heart, we will not do things which destroy the future. That is the most concrete way to do what is constructive for the future.
Pope Benedict called on Thursday for the earth to be protected for future generations, saying the world had been "scarred" with erosion and deforestation and its oceans squandered to fuel an insatiable consumption.
Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities, and so on. When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. And there are ways in which we can consciously work to develop feelings of love and kindness. For some of us, the most effective way to do so is through religious practice. For others it may be non-religious practices. What is important is that we each make a sincere effort to take seriously our responsibility for each other and for the natural environment.
~His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “Nobel Peace Prize Lecture,” in The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness, edited by Sidney Piburn
A dream well worth actualising, California and the rest of the world:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California on Thursday took a major step forward on its global warming fight by unveiling an ambitious plan for clean cars, renewable energy and stringent caps on big polluting industries.
The plan, which aims to reduce pollutants by 10 percent from current levels by 2020 while driving investment in new energy technologies that will benefit the state's economy, is the most comprehensive yet by any U.S. state.
While the rising cost of oil has the price of gasoline skyrocketing faster than global warming is melting glaciers, people everywhere are preparing for cross-country road trips to Grand Canyon National Park and summer camps in Maine. We can't really argue with that innate desire to get closer to nature and out on the open road, and whether you're a die-hard cyclist or a still driving an SUV, chances are you plan to get in a car to go somewhere this summer. So whether you're packing up the Prius for some close-to-home camping, towing the boat to far-away shores, or merely fighting the crosstown traffic, these money- and gas-saving tips are designed to help you squeeze every last bit of power out of that precious petrol--and cause fewer CO2 emissions, too. It's a comprehensive list--several tasks should be done before even starting your car; others require minor adjustments to your driving style. All of them aim to help you drive a little greener.
Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama has won our admiration before, thanks to his support of cycling and his support of public transportation, as well as his eagerness to address climate change, as exemplified by the fact that he would want Al Gore to help him on climate issues... Now, after a protracted, difficult campaign, Obama has finally won the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. So how did he celebrate? According to the Associated Press, the Senator took the weekend off and "joined family and neighbors for a bicycle ride along the shores of Lake Michigan on Sunday."
VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2008 (VIS) - Made public today was the annual Message to Buddhists for the Feast of Vesakh, issued by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, respectively president and secretary of the council.
Vesakh, the main Buddhist festivity, marks three fundamental moments in the life of Gautama Buddha. It is held during the full moon of the month of May because, according to tradition, Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment and passed away in that period.
This year's message - published in English, French and Italian - is entitled "Christians and Buddhists: Caring for the Planet Earth". It indicates that:
"Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for everyone. Many governments, NGOs, multi-national companies
Cars and cows both emit noxious gases that deplete the ozone layer. Cars, we now know, can be fuelled by plants, just like cows. The trouble is, there are billions of people on this planet who are rather fond of eating. An acre of land can grow up to 20,000 pounds of potatoes but, when that same acre is used to grow cattle feed, it produces just 165 pounds of "edible cow flesh". Cows and cars both put pressure on the planet's scant resources.
High in the Himalayas, above this peaceful valley (in Bhutan) where farmers till a patchwork of emerald-green fields, an icy lake fed by melting glaciers waits to become a "tsunami from the sky."
The lake is swollen dangerously past normal levels, thanks to the global warming that is causing the glaciers to retreat at record speed. But no one knows when the tipping point will come and the lake can take no more, bursting its banks and sending torrents of water crashing into the valley below.
Such floods from above have hit Punakha before, most recently in 1994, a calamity that killed about two dozen people and wiped out livelihoods and homes without warning. But scientists say a new flood could unleash more than twice as much water and be far more catastrophic.
A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said Tuesday.
Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 160-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica, which started Feb. 28. It was the edge of the Wilkins ice shelf and has been there for hundreds, maybe 1,500 years.
This is the result of global warming, said British Antarctic Survey scientist David Vaughan.::link
Here are instructions on making your own cotton shopping bags which you can then label. Make lots and give them to your family and friends. Create a group (pod) with your family and friends.
Save our planet from plastic!
Thanks to the February edition of Good Housekeeping
-- "a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at home," according to Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht; in essence, it's pining for a lost environment. It's the mashup of the roots solacium (comfort) and algia (pain), which, when combined, forms a term (and an idea) reminiscent of nostalgia.