Vegetarian diets could help avert one-third of early deaths, new research finds

April 26, 2018 by  
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Vegetarians, rejoice! While scientists have long touted the health benefits of  plant-based diets , they may be even more effective than we thought. According to new calculations from Harvard University scientists, one-third of early deaths might be avoided if people switched to a  vegetarian diet. The scientists’ research suggests that we have underestimated the positive effects of a vegetarian diet. For example, while figures from the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics  suggested that 141,000 deaths a year in Britain were preventable, the new research from Harvard has produced a much higher figure: about 200,000 lives could potentially be saved each year if people removed meat  from their diets . Related: Here’s what could happen if America went 100% vegan Harvard Medical School epidemiology and nutrition professor Walter Willett, a speaker at the Unite to Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference , said, “We have just been doing some calculations looking at the question of how much could we reduce mortality shifting towards a healthy, more plant based diet, not necessarily totally vegan , and our estimates are about one third of early deaths could be prevented. That’s not even talking about physical activity or not smoking, and that’s all deaths, not just cancer deaths. That’s probably an underestimate as well as that doesn’t take into account the fact that obesity is important and we control for obesity.” Committee for Responsible Medicine president Neal Barnard, another speaker at the conference, agreed that people should be more aware of the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets. He said, “I think we’re underestimating the effect. I think people imagine that a healthy diet has only a modest effect and a vegetarian diet might help you lose a little bit of weight. But when these diets are properly constructed I think they are enormously powerful.” Via The Telegraph Images via Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash and James Sutton on Unsplash

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Vegetarian diets could help avert one-third of early deaths, new research finds

6 important steps we need to take to slow down climate change

June 28, 2016 by  
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While there is a scientific consensus that global warming is real and that it is caused by human activity, whether or not climate change can be slowed down or even reversed is hotly (no pun intended) debated in the scientific community. Some climate experts such as Guy McPherson say that near-term human extinction is inevitable while other climate scientists like Michael Mann believe that it isn’t too late to save human civilization from climate catastrophe. So what actions would we need to take in order to restore a safe and stable climate? We need to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible. But that won’t be enough to reverse global warming. We must also draw down excess atmospheric CO2 by increasing natural carbon sinks. Here are six important steps we need to take to slow down climate change. Image via Wikimedia 1. RESTORE ECOSYSTEMS According to Biodiversity for a Livable Climate , “a focus on fossil fuel emissions reduction as the primary solution to reversing climate change is misguided and futile.” The organization argues that atmospheric CO2 concentrations that have exceeded 400 parts per million in Antarctica for the first time in four million years “will not decline without a significant rise in the carbon sequestration mechanisms of the biosphere.” Restoring soils, grasslands, wetlands, forests, coastal and ocean ecosystems can sequester gigatons of atmospheric carbon and cool the biosphere. Related: Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges $7 Million Towards Ocean Conservation Projects Image via Wikipedia 2. PROMOTE REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE According to Dr. Rattan Lal, a soil scientist at Ohio State University, a two percent increase in carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. Industrial agriculture , or factory farming, is a major contributor to global warming, emitting six billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, or about 13 percent of total global emissions, according to the World Resources Institute. Transitioning from factory farming to carbon farming could play an important role in reversing global warming. Organically managed soils can remove carbon from the atmosphere and safely store the carbon in soil organic matter. Related: Soil Erosion Could Cause Food Crisis, Expert Warns Image via Wikimedia 3. ACHIEVE NET ZERO GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS Many countries, cities, companies and organizations around the world are committing to carbon neutrality in the coming decades. Vatican City has already achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions by installing solar panels and Bhutan impressively has gone beyond carbon neutral to become carbon negative . Countries pledging carbon neutrality include Costa Rica, Iceland, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Tuvalu, Sweden and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Our transportation sector is moving toward zero emissions technology. The era of affordable electric vehicles is about to begin with the introduction of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. And air travel could eventually become emissions-free with the Solar Impulse 2’s around-the-world flight powered entirely by solar energy demonstrating that a zero emissions future in aviation is possible. Related: Norway moves up zero emissions target to 2030 Image via Wikipedia 4. MAKE THE SWITCH TO 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES In addition to pledging to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, places around the world are working on scaling up renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind power, geothermal, hydropower, wave power, tidal power, biofuels and biomass to replace polluting fossil fuels from the production of oil, coal and gas. The Solutions Project , started by Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University, demonstrates how all 50 states can transition to 100 percent renewables by 2030 through a combination of wind, water and solar. Jacobson is currently mapping out a 139-country plan to power the world with clean, renewable energy. Places that have already achieved 100 percent renewable energy include the U.S. cities of Aspen and Burlington, the countries of Iceland and Norway and the Canadian province of Quebec. Cities pledging to shift to 100 percent renewable energy include San Diego, San Francisco, Vancouver, Copenhagen, Munich and Sydney. Related: San Diego to become largest U.S. city to run on 100% renewable energy Image via Wikimedia 5. IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY Energy efficiency investments have enormous potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the International Energy Agency’s  Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 , energy efficiency improvements since 1990 prevented more than 870 million tons of carbon emissions in 2014 and 10 billion tons over the last 25 years. The International Energy Agency says that energy efficiency is “the most effective tool to reduce energy sector carbon emissions, accounting for more than 40 percent of the required reductions to limit global warming to 2 degrees centigrade.” Examples of energy efficiency include LED lighting, natural lighting, ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, passive solar heating and turbochargers in cars and airplanes. Image via Pexels 6. SWITCH TO A PLANT-BASED DIET A new study  by Oxford University researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that transitioning to vegetarian diets could cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions 63 percent by 2050 and that switching to vegan diets could reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent. Currently, the food system is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and a recent report from think tank Chatham House found that eating less meat and adopting a plant-based diet is crucial to meeting the climate targets set forth in the Paris agreement and avoiding dangerous global warming. Lead image via Wikimedia

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James Cameron asks us to fight climate change by eating less meat and dairy

November 20, 2015 by  
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James Cameron, most notable for his direction of award-winning films and deep-sea diving endeavors, is wearing a new hat in the public arena as an avid environmentalist. Not only does he have plans to ensure the production of the Avatar sequels is entirely net energy neutral , he recently spoke at the Greenbuild conference about replacing conventional building construction with more environmentally responsible methods as the world’s population grows. Yet, Cameron’s latest mission is to educate the public on how something most folks do every day is contributing to global warming: eating meat and dairy . Read the rest of James Cameron asks us to fight climate change by eating less meat and dairy

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USDA may finally recommend eating less beef to save the environment

January 8, 2015 by  
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture could finally add environmental concerns to their list of dietary recommendations. According to the Associated Press, the advisory panel in charge of dietary guidelines admits that a sustainable diet is key to protecting food access now and in the future. That means they could include it in the USDA’s new dietary guidelines when they’re updated later this year and start calling on Americans to add more plant-based foods to their diets while reducing meat consumption. Read the rest of USDA may finally recommend eating less beef to save the environment Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , department of agriculture , dietary guidelines , dietary recommendations , eating less meat , emissions , Environment , environmental concerns , government , greenhouse gases , Health , plant-based , plant-based diet , usda , vegan , vegetarian , water issues

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USDA may finally recommend eating less beef to save the environment

Study confirms Ohio experienced the largest fracking-related earthquake ever

January 8, 2015 by  
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A  new study has confirmed that recent earthquakes in Poland Township , Ohio in March of 2014 were caused by hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. According to the study, the fracking has caused “scores” of small earthquakes including one, a magnitude 3.0, that was the largest fracking-related earthquake ever recorded. The oil and gas wells operated by Hilcorp Energy that caused the earthquake were shut down two days after the earthquakes were felt. Read the rest of Study confirms Ohio experienced the largest fracking-related earthquake ever Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: earthquake , earthquakes caused by fracking , fracking , fracking regulations in ohio , hydraulic fracking , hydraulic fracturing , OHIO , ohio earthquakes , ohio fracking , Ohio fracking earthquakes , Ohio hydraulic fracking , oil and gas , petroleum , poland township

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Study confirms Ohio experienced the largest fracking-related earthquake ever

Jay Z and Beyoncé Go Vegan with the 22 Day Challenge

December 5, 2013 by  
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When Al Gore went vegan , no one was particularly surprised that the long-time environmentalist aligned his diet with his convictions. But Jay Z and Beyoncé’s decision to switch to plant-based meals has gotten the world listening to more than their tunes. The famous couple began the “ 22 Days Challenge ” this Tuesday, pledging to cut out all animal products from their diet for “a spiritual and physical cleanse.” Read the rest of Jay Z and Beyoncé Go Vegan with the 22 Day Challenge Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 22 days challenge , Al Gore , beyonce , celebrity couple , Christmas , Food Chain , global climate change , greenhouse gas emissions , jay z , livestock , marco borges , plant-based diet , spiritual cleanse , trophic level , vegan diet , vegan recipes        

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SHoP Architects to Design Mixed-Use Complex on Former Hudson’s Site in Downtown Detroit

December 5, 2013 by  
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SHoP Architects to Design Mixed-Use Complex on Former Hudson’s Site in Downtown Detroit

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