Meditation Focus #40

Global Warming is Real

Web posted on June 9, 2001
for the 2 consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, June 10, 2001


What follows is the 40th Meditation Focus suggested for the two consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, June 10, 2001.


1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this Meditation Focus
4. Renewed Potential for Peace in Kashmir and a New Dialogue between India and Pakistan
5. Latest developments related to the ongoing Meditation Focus on the Middle East Crisis


According to a just released new study by the National Academy of Sciences global warming ``is real and particularly strong within the past 20 years''. A leading cause is emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. It also states that greenhouse gases are accumulating in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of ``human activities.'' The academy's report found that by the year 2100, temperatures are expected to increase between 2.5 degrees and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit above those of 1990. This warming process has intensified in the past 20 years, accompanied by retreating glaciers, thinning arctic ice, rising sea levels, lengthening of the growing season in many areas, and earlier arrival of migratory birds. Based on the levels of carbon dioxide and methane found in air bubbles trapped in ice cores drilled miles deep in Antarctica and Greenland, carbon dioxide did not rise much above 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) until the industrial revolution. By the end of the 20th century, it had reached 370 ppmv, with an average increase in the last two decades of 1.5 ppmv a year. Both carbon dioxide and methane are more abundant in the atmosphere now than at any time during the 400,000-year ice core record. The resulting current climate change has the potential to radically damage entire ecosystems and render entire countries uninhabitable, and has been described as a ``full-blown planet-wide disaster of unprecedented proportions.''

The United States are responsible of 25% of carbon dioxide emissions, with only 5% of the world's population, and its government. which commissioned this study, is now faced with what has been described as ``a basis of sound science on which decisions can be made'' about global warming. This reality check is in direct conflict with its recent energy proposal, which relies heavily on increasing production of coal and oil refineries. Next week President Bush will have to spell out in Europe what measures its government intends to implement to counter the real and present danger of global warming. Most of the other governments of the world who have almost unanimously criticized the U.S. administration for refusing to sign the Kyoto Treaty -- which calls for limited greenhouse gases reductions but does not require developing countries to participate -- have not done much so far to actually begin reducing those emissions. The world therefore faces a runaway global warming and is in urgent need of a global mobilization to counter and alleviate a situation which can only make worse the equally critical problems engendered by global deforestation, biodiversity erosion, chemical and radioactive pollution, GMO-biocontamination, ozone layer depletion, coral reef bleaching and overfishing, as well as all the other life-threatening consequences of the encroachment and abuses inflicted by human beings upon the fragile Web of Life that sustains us all.

Please dedicate your prayers and meditation, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks to help create in the hearts and minds of everyone on Earth the unflinching will to do whatever it takes to combat global warming and assist in the healing of our threatened Web of Life. Of special concern is the attitude of those who, for short-term, often selfish interests, still choose to deny the reality of this global phenomenon, as well as the lack of awareness of the vast majority of consumers who simply continue wasting finite resources and refuse to consider themselves responsible for the consequences of their profligated lifestyle. Envision a global movement of awakening to our interconnected interdependency with each other and with all other lifeforms and to our infinite power to assist, through Love-filled compassion and conscious choices, to the healing of our living planet, for the Highest Good of All.

You may also review a previous Meditation Focus entitled "The Extremes in Global Weather: Famine, Floods and Wildfires" (Posted August 11, 2000) at


i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.

ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.

These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM

+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.

You may also check at to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.


This section is for those who wish to understand in more details the situation outlined in this Meditation Focus. For those who wish to read on, we would encourage you to view the following information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision you wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of healing. We provide the details below because we recognize that the knowledge of what needs healing can assist us to structure our awareness to maximise our healing effect.


Bush to Act on Global Warming (Thursday June 7)

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush now has ``a basis of sound science on which decisions can be made'' on global warming, his spokesman said Thursday, a day after the White House got a report concluding the phenomenon is a real problem and getting worse.

``The president is committed to reducing global warming,'' spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters.

Asked if the United States bears special responsibility as the world's largest producer of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, Fleischer said, ``The president believes that all nations have a responsibility.''

Bush, who asked for the study by the National Academy of Sciences to help the administration decide what steps to take to combat climate change, now faces mounting pressure from critics at home and abroad who want the United States to enter a global warming treaty.

The study found global warming ``is real and particularly strong within the past 20 years'' and said a leading cause is emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. It also said that greenhouse gases are accumulating in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of ``human activities.''

``There's no question that part of the cause is human activity,'' Fleischer said Thursday. ``The question is how much of the cause is human activity.''

The academy's report found that by the year 2100, temperatures are expected to increase between 2.5 degrees and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit above those of 1990.




In a Shift, White House Cites Global Warming as a Problem
(June 8, 2001)

WASHINGTON, June 7 — With a new scientific report in hand that reaffirms the reality of global warming, the Bush White House readily acknowledged today that climate change was a problem but gave little clue as to what it intended to do about it.

Ari Fleischer, the president's spokesman, told reporters that when President Bush heads for Europe next week: "He's going to tell the Europeans that he takes this issue very seriously, that global climate change is an issue that nations do need to deal with — all nations, industrialized nations, the United States, developing nations, as well. And that through technologies and through growth and through other measures, that the world has a responsibility to face up to this."

This is the strongest language the White House has used on the issue and a far cry from its earlier position that the science was too uncertain to proclaim global warming a problem.


Environmentalists say that the central argument in the White House is whether to require countries to live under mandatory emission limits or to allow them to comply voluntarily.

Mr. Fleischer declined today to specify what approaches the White House was considering but said that it was looking at a wide variety of proposals, "many with great specificity about what to do."

Another debate is over how much to rely on the framework of the Kyoto accord, with its market-based incentives, to draft a new proposal. Some administration officials contend that Kyoto, which required mandatory emission reductions, is something the president would never accept and that it would be bad for the American economy.

Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, which represents several multinational corporations that favor the Kyoto accord as a basis for some kind of agreement, said: "Our companies are convinced this is a serious problem, convinced there will be an international agreement, and want the rules flexible and market based. And Kyoto has that framework." The companies represented by Pew include DuPont, the Enron Corporation and Alcoa.

Ms. Claussen said the Bush administration was trying to figure out what approach to take on emissions in the United States before agreeing with other countries on limiting emissions. "They are weighing very heavily what they are prepared to do at home before deciding what to do abroad," she said.

But that inevitably leads to a conflict with the administration's energy proposal, which relies heavily on increasing production of coal and oil refineries, a difficult position for the administration to advocate at the same time it advocated reduced emissions. The problem of global warming was given only glancing attention in the energy report released last month.



A Closer Look at Global Warming

The warming of the Earth has been the subject of intense debate and concern for many scientists, policy-makers, and citizens for at least the past decade. Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, a new report by a committee of the National Research Council, characterizes the global warming trend over the last 100 years, and examines what may be in store for the 21st century and the extent to which warming may be attributable to human activity. The committee was made up of 11 of the nation's top climate scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, one of whom is a Nobel Prize winner.


Press Release


With regard to the basic question of whether climate change is occurring, the report notes that measurements show that temperatures at the Earth's surface rose by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (about .6 degrees Celsius) during the 20th century. This warming process has intensified in the past 20 years, accompanied by retreating glaciers, thinning arctic ice, rising sea levels, lengthening of the growing season in many areas, and earlier arrival of migratory birds.

The committee said the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the global warming that has occurred in the last 50 years is likely the result of increases in greenhouse gases accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community. However, it also cautioned that uncertainties about this conclusion remain because of the level of natural variability inherent in the climate on time scales from decades to centuries, the questionable ability of models to simulate natural variability on such long time scales, and the degree of confidence that can be placed on estimates of temperatures going back thousands of years based on evidence from tree rings or ice cores.

The greenhouse gas of most concern is carbon dioxide since the naturally occurring chemical also is generated by the continuing burning of fossil fuels, can last in the atmosphere for centuries, and "forces" more climate change than any other greenhouse gas, the committee said. Other significant greenhouse gases include methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, tropospheric ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which together have a "forcing" on climate change approximately equal to that of carbon dioxide. Man-made sources of methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone have resulted in substantially increased concentrations in the atmosphere in the 20th century, although each of these gases also has natural sources. CFCs are entirely synthetic compounds.

The best information about past climate variability comes from ice cores drilled miles deep in Antarctica and Greenland, which reveal that temperatures changed substantially over the past 400,000 years. Although most of these changes occurred over thousands of years, some rapid warmings took place over a period of decades.

The ice cores also trapped carbon dioxide and methane, which shows that the gases were present in the atmosphere at their lowest levels during cold eras and at higher levels during warm eras. Carbon dioxide did not rise much above 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) until the industrial revolution. By the end of the 20th century, it had reached 370 ppmv, with an average increase in the last two decades of 1.5 ppmv a year. Both carbon dioxide and methane are more abundant in the atmosphere now than at any time during the 400,000-year ice core record.


The Evidence for Warming
The scientific data that indicate the Earth's surface is getting significantly warmer.

Uncertainties in Climate Predictions
Why some of the big questions remain unanswered.

Are We Changing the Climate?
A look at how human activities might be contributing to global warming.

The Possible Consequences
How climate change may affect the United States and the rest ofthe world.

Back to Basics
Clearing up confusion over terminology and concepts.

Learn More About Global Warming and Climate Change
Explore a collection of related reports from the National Academies.



CAMPAIGNS: Climate Justice Initiative

Climate change has the potential to radically damage entire ecosystems and render entire countries uninhabitable. Changing the climate affects everyone and everything on Earth.

The ability of the individual consumer to influence climate is dwarfed by the impact of giant corporations, which explore for, extract, transport, refine and distribute oil, which is the primary source of carbon dioxide emissions -- by far the major greenhouse gas. Just 122 corporations account for 80% of all carbon dioxide emissions. And just five private global oil corporations -- Exxon Mobil, BP Amoco, Shell, Chevron and Texaco -- produce oil that contributes some ten percent of the world's carbon emissions.

While these five companies and their allies in Congress are busy blaming the American consumer for profligate energy consumption, or the "Developing World" for not taking adequate steps to curb global warming, the emissions from the fuel they produce exceed the total of all greenhouse gasses coming from Central America, South America and Africa combined.

Big Oil's profits depend upon the perpetuation of local environmental injustices along the global chain of production that reaches from extraction, to transportation, to refining, to distribution. These activities lead up to and contribute to climate change. In fact, the looming crisis of climate change represents the globalization of this chain of local ecological and human rights problems. In a sense, global warming is the explosion of these wide-ranging local problems into a full-blown planet-wide disaster of unprecedented proportions.

Since giant fossil fuel companies are the world's greatest contributors to global warming, communities hardest hit by the extraction, refining and distribution of fossil fuels are also some of the most severely impacted by climate change catastrophes. They are also some of the least capable of responding to them. A family displaced by Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, an elderly woman with breathing problems related to the air pollution from a nearby oil refinery in Richmond, California and a Nigerian man who lost a relative in the recent oil pipeline explosion share a common plight.

Within those communities, grassroots groups are battling the fossil fuel corporations almost exclusively on a local level. Gradually these communities are coming together to inject their voices into the larger framework of action countering climate change.



See also BBC News: Global Warming Summit at:


Full coverage on Global Warming

4) Renewed Potential for Peace in Kashmir and a New Dialogue between India and Pakistan

You are invited to also dedicate some attention during your meditations over the coming weeks to assist in fostering the detente that is growing between India and Pakistan.

To review our previous Meditation Foci on the situation in Kashmir:

Meditation Focus #14: Preparations for Peace Talks in Kashmir continue despite a wave of violence

Suggestion to extend for one more week the Meditation Focus on the situation in Kashmir

Meditation Focus #28: Potential for Peace in Kashmir



Kashmiri militant group welcomes Indo-Pak talks
(Monday June 4)

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Frontline Kashmiri separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen hailed on Monday the decision of India and Pakistan to hold bilateral talks as a "breakthrough" in resolving the Kashmir dispute.

"If both these leaders sit at a table and discuss the issue of Kashmir which has troubled the region for 53 years, then it really is a big breakthrough," Syed Salahuddin, supreme commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, told television news network CNN in an interview.

But Salahuddin, chief of one of the biggest militant groups fighting New Delhi's rule in the Himalayan region, said there would not be any let up in Hizbul's offensive against Indian security forces in Kashmir despite the decision for talks. "There is no connection between our fighting and the diplomatic dialogue," Salahuddin said.

Last month, India invited Pakistan for talks on all issues including disputed Kashmir while announcing an end to a six-month-old suspension of hostilities against militants in the region. Pakistan's chief executive Pervez Musharraf has accepted the offer.

Kashmir has been the trigger for two of three wars between India and Pakistan since 1947.

Salahuddin said he was happy that India had departed from its stand of agreeing to talks only after Pakistan stopped aiding Kashmiri militants. But he said it was a trilateral issue and could not be solved by discussions between just India and Pakistan and that the Kashmiris should be involved.

"If only two parties such as India and Pakistan talk, then the problem will remain unsolved," Salahuddin said.

Pakistan denies it provides material support to militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it provides only moral backing.

Nearly a dozen militant groups have been fighting New Delhi's rule in Jammu and Kashmir where officials say more than 30,000 people have been killed since the revolt began in late 1989.




An Opportunity for Peace in the Valley of Kashmir?

by Faisal Majeed Shah

The recent announcement of General Musharraf that he would accept the invitation by Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee has brought renewed attention to the conflict in Kashmir. Many analysts around the world seemed almost elated that Pakistan and India were deciding to talk about their mutual differences. However, most people fail to realize that a just resolution the Kashmir conflict is not in the cards.

Conventional political and strategic doctrines work against the creation of new states. While in the international community eventually intervened in Kosovo, they have been failed to allow the Kosovar Albanians to form their own nation. In Macedonia, NATO has talked tough in public about protecting the territorial integrity of Macedonia and once again thwarting the ambitions of the local Albanians. While Azad Kashmir will never be relinquished by Pakistan (and almost no serious Indian wants it), the Indian occupied part could become a viable entity on its own.

If both countries were to fully demilitarize the borders and to jointly guarantee the integrity of an independent Kashmir, friendly to both nations, regional stability would be greatly enhanced. However, most architects of foreign policy around the world are loathe to cause even a partial dismemberment of any nations.

Domestic concerns play a large role in dictating the limits that any Indian prime minister would have to abide by when debating the future of Kashmir. It is hard to envision any politician risking the potential negative backlash of Hindu extremists if Kashmir was allowed to become an independent state. The political risks would be enormous and the politics of anti-Muslim hatred have helped the BJP gain and maintain power.

The people of India are too concerned about their own states problems to worry about Kashmir. Most have a knee jerk reaction to Kashmir and it would take a massive effort to try and explain the positive benefits of a full Indian pullout from the Vale of Kashmir. This would require politicians to admit that the thousands of Indian soldiers and the billions of rupees that have been spent on policing Kashmir were wasted by people worried about their next election instead of their electorate. Sadly, courage of this sort is sorely lacking in India.



India's Vajpayee Welcomes Pakistan Ruler's Remarks
(Wednesday June 6)

BOMBAY (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee (news - web sites) said on Wednesday he was encouraged by comments from Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf on their July summit and said his remarks boded well for friendship. Musharraf, who has accepted an invitation from Vajpayee for talks in New Delhi early next month, said in a Pakistani magazine interview published this week he would go into the meeting with a flexible and open mind on the key issue of disputed Kashmir.


See also from,9754,128176,00.html

Subcontinental Drift: The Peace Pipe's Empty
New Delhi's invitation to Musharraf is a false promise

Full Coverage on the Kashmir Dispute

5. Latest developments related to the ongoing Meditation Focus on the Middle East Crisis

For more information, you may also review our 9 previous Meditation Focus on the Middle East Crisis archived at


U.S. Steps Up Middle East Peace Drive Amid Violence
(Friday June 8 )

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - A U.S. special envoy met Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Friday as part of Washington's two-pronged effort to strengthen a fragile cease-fire plagued by fresh violence.

The nearly week-old cease-fire was punctured by Palestinian gunmen who shot and seriously wounded an Israeli motorist near Ramallah, two hours before Assistant Secretary of State William Burns met Arafat in the West Bank city.

Burns told reporters his meeting with the Palestinian leader was ``constructive'' and that U.S. Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet's talks with top security officials in Ramallah on Friday was aimed at cementing the cease-fire.

``The parties are trying to stabilize the security situation and ensure that words are accompanied by deeds and we are able to translate our calls from an immediate and unconditional cease-fire into a more secure situation on the ground,'' he said.

Despite occasional bursts of gun and mortar fire and stone-throwing confrontations, the truce has led to a drop in violence and offered a potential breakthrough after eight months of fighting in which more than 570 people have been killed.

``Things are better than they used to be, but not good enough, (not as good) as they should be. We still have a great deal of work to be done,'' Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told reporters after meeting Burns in Tel Aviv.

``I believe there is a chance. There are many difficulties and this week will be a week of great importance.''

The United States is coordinating its peace drive with the European Union and the United Nations (news - web sites), and senior EU officials will arrive in the region on Saturday. A Russian envoy and an EU representative were holding talks in the region on Friday.

The catalyst for the peace drive was a Palestinian suicide bombing which killed 21 people in Tel Aviv last week, prompting Israel to threaten military retaliation and Arafat to announce a cease-fire. Sharon had declared a limited cease-fire on May 22.





Sharon ‘has a plan’ for new invasion of Palestinian territories

Massive operation could come ‘in three hours or three weeks’

Ariel Sharon has drawn up a contingency plan to reoccupy the Palestinian territories if Yasser Arafat fails to halt the eight-month-old intifada, including massive air strikes on Syrian missile bases if Hizbullah launches attacks in support of the Palestinians, according to the latest Foreign Report published by Jane’s Information Group. The military operation against the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which could be launched at any time, entails use of the full weight of Israel’s ground forces, up to two divisions, supported by the air force and helicopter gunships. Israeli military planners have estimated that the operation would take about one week, with likely casualties put at around 100 Israelis and as many as 1,000 Palestinians.

The report, obtained by The Daily Star, quotes a “well-placed Israeli source” as saying that the strikes could come “in three hours or three weeks.” The information provided by the source could well be little more than a deliberate leak by the Israelis in their psychological war against the Palestinians; it has been done before.

The Palestinians are off-balance now because of the unexpected and uncharacteristic restraint being shown by Sharon, clearly aimed at winning international support, and possibly at muting criticism if and when he decides to strike. Sharon declared a unilateral cease-fire on May 22 in response to the international outcry triggered when he dispatched F-16 fighter-bombers to attack Palestinian security installations four days earlier in response to a Hamas suicide bombing that killed five civilians.

Arafat, under intense international pressure himself, has gone some way to limit Palestinian attacks, but has not been very successful, as witness the June 2 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed 20 people, mostly Russian immigrants. It seems that, without the inducement of political concessions from Israel, he is seeking to reduce the level of violence, but not stamp it out entirely for fear of losing what control he has over the hard-liners. Sharon did not respond to that carnage, as he had been expected to. That gained him more international credit, particularly with the Bush administration, turning world opinion around to Israel’s favor. But if the Palestinian militants, including radicals in Arafat’s own Fatah movement, continue to provoke the Israelis, it seems inevitable that Sharon will unleash his army and air force. Whether it will be as Foreign Report predicted remains to be seen, but a firestorm is coming – and probably soon – if what has become a low-intensity war drags on with Israeli casualties mounting at an accelerating rate.

Even before the intifada erupted, the Israelis had been training for moving in force into the Palestinian territories. They have said they do not intend to reoccupy areas handed over to Palestinian control under the Oslo Accords, which would undoubtedly trigger global outrage and plunge the Middle East into upheaval, but the possibility cannot be ruled out. With Sharon showing the restraint that he has since May 22, when he grudgingly accepted the Mitchell report on ending the violence, and with international opinion recoiling at the horror of the Tel Aviv suicide bombing, any thrust into the Palestinian territories would probably be widely seen sympathetically as a justifiable response to terrorism. Foreign Report said that Sharon has ordered his forces to be prepared to take over those areas of the West Bank and Gaza that are under direct Palestinian control.


Foreign Report said that Sharon got the green light from for the proposed offensive operation – which, incidentally, would be the largest mounted by Israeli forces since the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 – from President Bush “on the assumption that Arafat had not kept his word by allowing attacks on Israel to continue. Germany and Britain were said to have agreed. But France did not do so.” The Israeli cease-fire has been far from total. On Tuesday, Fatah activist Ashraf Bardaweil, 27, was wounded when his car with hit by a missile near Tulkarem in what the Palestinians termed an Israeli assassination attempt. The Israeli Army denied involvement in the blast and branded the allegation “another example of Palestinian incitement.”

But the Israelis are the only ones who have missiles, or at least who have used them, as they have in previous attacks on suspected militants since September in a bid to decapitate the radical factions. Gissin warned on that day that Israel would continue its policy of tracking down wanted Palestinians in its “fight against terrorists.” Foreign Report said that, given the continuing violence, with or without another major bombing in Israeli cities, “do not rule out a massive reprisal in a week or two.”

Full Coverage on the Middle East Peace Process

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