Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

October 16, 2018 by  
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While the meat industry’s negative impacts on the environment have proved troublesome for some time, an assembly of scientists from various European research institutes have released a thorough analysis of the Earth’s food system that shows if farming practices and food trends continue unchecked, the planet’s capabilities of feeding the global population will be decimated within the coming decades, and global warming will not be able to stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Greenhouse gas emissions, land and water consumption, deforestation , biodiversity loss and aquatic dead zones are the central burdens of agriculture evaluated by experts. However, this year’s research study determined a new problem — food supply — to be the most concerning of all. With a booming population that is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the environmental damages are enough that widespread food insecurity is knocking on our door. Related: Look out, meat industry – flexitarianism is on the rise “It is pretty shocking,” said Marco Springmann, lead researcher from the University of Oxford. “We are really risking the sustainability of the whole system.” The team examined precise data from every country to assemble the most comprehensive assessment of food production and global environment to date. Their diagnosis? Surviving within environmental limits requires a drastic reduction in meat consumption. “Feeding a world population of 10 billion is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and the way we produce food,” explained Professor Johan Rockström from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today.” While the problem requires multi-dimensional confrontation from technological , governmental and social standpoints, the experts are encouraging dietary changes on an individual level. The study recommends an astounding 90 percent reduction in meat consumption and a 60 percent cut in milk consumption for people in countries such as the U.S. and U.K., as well as the adoption of more sustainable farming practices, in order to keep temperature rise under control. “There is no magic bullet, but dietary and technological [farming] change are the two essential things, and hopefully they can be complemented by reduction in food loss and waste,” Springmann said. Calling it the “flexitarian” diet, the researchers recommended a surge in bean , pulse, nut and seed consumption to replace the standard meat intake. Taking the average world citizen, the diet stresses a 75 percent cut in beef, a 90 percent cut in pork and a 50 percent cut in egg consumption to halve livestock emissions and help the planet return to sustainable levels. “Ultimately, we live on a finite planet, with finite resources,” said University of Leeds professor Tim Benton on the study, in which he did not take part. “It is a fiction to imagine there is a technological solution allowing us to produce as much food as we might ever want, allowing us to overeat and throw food away.” + Nature Via The Guardian Images via Andrik Langfield and Deryn Macey

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Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

October 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

While the meat industry’s negative impacts on the environment have proved troublesome for some time, an assembly of scientists from various European research institutes have released a thorough analysis of the Earth’s food system that shows if farming practices and food trends continue unchecked, the planet’s capabilities of feeding the global population will be decimated within the coming decades, and global warming will not be able to stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Greenhouse gas emissions, land and water consumption, deforestation , biodiversity loss and aquatic dead zones are the central burdens of agriculture evaluated by experts. However, this year’s research study determined a new problem — food supply — to be the most concerning of all. With a booming population that is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the environmental damages are enough that widespread food insecurity is knocking on our door. Related: Look out, meat industry – flexitarianism is on the rise “It is pretty shocking,” said Marco Springmann, lead researcher from the University of Oxford. “We are really risking the sustainability of the whole system.” The team examined precise data from every country to assemble the most comprehensive assessment of food production and global environment to date. Their diagnosis? Surviving within environmental limits requires a drastic reduction in meat consumption. “Feeding a world population of 10 billion is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and the way we produce food,” explained Professor Johan Rockström from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today.” While the problem requires multi-dimensional confrontation from technological , governmental and social standpoints, the experts are encouraging dietary changes on an individual level. The study recommends an astounding 90 percent reduction in meat consumption and a 60 percent cut in milk consumption for people in countries such as the U.S. and U.K., as well as the adoption of more sustainable farming practices, in order to keep temperature rise under control. “There is no magic bullet, but dietary and technological [farming] change are the two essential things, and hopefully they can be complemented by reduction in food loss and waste,” Springmann said. Calling it the “flexitarian” diet, the researchers recommended a surge in bean , pulse, nut and seed consumption to replace the standard meat intake. Taking the average world citizen, the diet stresses a 75 percent cut in beef, a 90 percent cut in pork and a 50 percent cut in egg consumption to halve livestock emissions and help the planet return to sustainable levels. “Ultimately, we live on a finite planet, with finite resources,” said University of Leeds professor Tim Benton on the study, in which he did not take part. “It is a fiction to imagine there is a technological solution allowing us to produce as much food as we might ever want, allowing us to overeat and throw food away.” + Nature Via The Guardian Images via Andrik Langfield and Deryn Macey

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Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

Brazil meets a major emissions goal two years ahead of schedule

August 13, 2018 by  
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Brazil has just announced that it has cut 2017 greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation to levels far below its 2020 goal. The country originally aimed to reduce emissions from this source by 564 million tons in the Amazon and by 170 million tons in the Cerrado savanna by 2020, in keeping with the 2009 Copenhagen Accord . However, this past Thursday, Brazil’s Environment Ministry reported that CO2 emissions from deforestation in these areas have already been reduced by 780 million tons, in a major win for Brazil and, of course, the Earth. Related: 73 million trees to be planted in largest reforestation project ever Brazil has even higher goals for emissions reduction under the 2015 Paris Agreement . According to Thiago Mendes, the Environment Ministry’s secretary of climate change, “The policy message is that we can and should remain in the Paris Agreement (because) it is possible to effectively implement the commitments that have been made.” The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet, and Brazil’s Cerrado is the biggest savanna in South America. As such, both absorb high amounts of CO2, making their preservation  paramount in the battle against climate change. Thankfully, Brazil is already exceeding expectations in this battle, and one can only hope it continues to do so as it strives to meet its Paris Agreement goals. Via Reuters

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Brazil meets a major emissions goal two years ahead of schedule

Can Germany’s map for all-electric cars drive up emissions?

April 12, 2017 by  
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Unless we up renewables, what sounds like an environmentalist’s dream actually can spike greenhouse gasses.

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New study shows fracking can leak methane into the atmosphere

October 29, 2015 by  
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It’s no secret that fracking is bad for the environment, but its full range of impacts is still being uncovered. A recent study shows the underground fractures can allow methane make to its way into abandoned oil or gas wells and seep out into the atmosphere. Phys.org reports that a new study out of the University of Vermont , funded by the National Science, Foundation reveals not only that methane can escape through the wells – but more importantly, those emissions aren’t currently being measured. Read the rest of New study shows fracking can leak methane into the atmosphere

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New study shows fracking can leak methane into the atmosphere

China abandons controversial one-child policy

October 29, 2015 by  
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The huge news out of China this week has little to do with the country’s environmental problems or its overcrowded roadways … or does it? China’s government announced the official end of the nation’s one-child policy , giving the sweeping go-ahead to parents who wish to have a second child. By moving away from the tight reproductive limitations, which have been in place since the late 1970s, China hopes to encourage families to have two children, thereby counteracting a rapidly aging population. What impact will this have on a nation already struggling with dense populations in overcrowded cities? Read the rest of China abandons controversial one-child policy

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China abandons controversial one-child policy

Steve Wintercroft’s Gorgeous DIY Paper Masks are the Perfect Last-Minute Halloween Costume

October 29, 2015 by  
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Air pollution causes more human deaths than other environmental causes

January 9, 2015 by  
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A new study from EurActiv France has found that over 400,000 deaths annually around the globe can be linked to air pollution. That’s more than any other singular environmental health concern. Cardiovascular disease and heart attacks kill more people than any other singular cause, and many of those deaths can be blamed directly on pollutants in the air we breathe. Read the rest of Air pollution causes more human deaths than other environmental causes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , Air quality , carbon emissions , cardiovascular disease , cars , Europe , Ey , fossil fuels , greenhouse gasses , heart attacks , heart disease , pollutants , smog , traffic

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Melting Permafrost Changes the Landscape and Way of Life in Alaska

March 28, 2014 by  
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At one point, permanently-frozen ground, or permafrost , covered nearly 1/4 of the land on Earth — but that’s changing as global warming is melting the ice and changing the landscape in places like Siberia , Arctic Canada, and Alaska. Generations of ice, some of it hundreds of thousands of years old or more, has started slowly softening over the past 30 years. Now, roads, houses, and entire towns constructed in years past are collapsing and being ripped apart by the shifting earth. Read the rest of Melting Permafrost Changes the Landscape and Way of Life in Alaska Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alaska , carbon , Climate Change , climate refugees , collapsed buildings , destroyed roads , Disaster Relief , greenhouse gasses , houses on stilts , melting permafrost , methane , natural disasters , permafrost , public infrastructure , Sustainable Building , thermal raft        

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Melting Permafrost Changes the Landscape and Way of Life in Alaska

CO2 Levels Pass 400 Parts Per Million for First Time in Human History

May 12, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock We broke a record this week — but not the good kind. On Thursday, scientists at a research facility on top of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii reported that average daily levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time. As the New York Times notes , CO2 levels haven’t been this high for at least 3 million years, meaning that we are likely to see changes to the climate never experienced by humans before. The 400 PPM milestone is symbolic, but it’s a reminder of how global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions are failing. Read the rest of CO2 Levels Pass 400 Parts Per Million for First Time in Human History Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 400 parts per million , 400 PPM , atmospheric CO2 , Bill McKibben , carbon dioxide , Climate Change , CO2 concentrations , CO2 emissions , global warming , greenhouse gasses , james hansen , NOAA , Pollution        

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