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Climate ChangegRound-Up

Dalai Lama Says to Focus on Climate Change, not Politics in Tibet in Leaked U.S. Cable

In August 2009, the Dalai Lama told the US Ambassador to India that the political goals surrounding Tibet should be put on hold for 10 years and instead be refocused on addressing climate change.

The leaked cable states:

The Dalai Lama argued that the political agenda should be sidelined for five to ten years and the international community should shift its focus to climate change on the Tibetan plateau. Melting glaciers, deforestation, and increasingly polluted water from mining projects were problems that “cannot wait.” The Dalai Lama criticized China’s energy policy, alleging that dam construction in Kham and Amdo have displaced thousands of Tibetans and left temples and monasteries underwater.

Mt. Everest (Photo by Flickr user twiga269 ॐ FreeTIBET)

Known as the “third pole” because it contains so many glaciers, Tibet and the Himalayas are one of the regions of the world where the effects of climate change are the most apparent. Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, imperiling the water supplies for 1/5 of the world’s population. Contributing to the problem is black carbon or soot from industrial activity, fires, and inefficient wood-burning stoves.

Photographic evidence of melting ice is striking and speaks for itself.

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S. Neil Larsen

Neil is a freelance environmental consultant based in Seattle.

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