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Avoiding Meat & Dairy Is 'Single Biggest Way' To Reduce Your Impact On Earth

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On 4/2/2019 at 5:03 PM, bludog said:

Given humankind's innate adaptability, it would only take one or two generations for the world to switch to a plant-based diet.

 

True, if there is the political will.

But half the country is conservative, and much of Europe is too.

 

We can't even get most conservatives to agree that there is a climate problem.

 

We can't even get most conservatives to agree that evolution is real and that the world is billions of years old.

 

And there are plenty of liberals that like meat too.

 

So there isn't a majority that's in favor of an exclusively plant-based diet.

 

I don't have any confidence that this is an issue that can be won before there are emergencies. And even then...

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1 hour ago, laripu said:

I don't have any confidence that this is an issue that can be won before there are emergencies. And even then...

 

Yes, even after unprecedented, record smashing weather events;  Even after the submergence of islands and low lying coasts and the dislocation of armies of refugees;  And even after massive crop failures due to drought and the die-off of pollinators ...  Ignorant, brainwashed deniers will still insist that nothing has happened that is not part of eons old cycles.  The fossil fuel industry will still employ scientists to make up data showing there is no cause for concern; and no need to take action.  And even the more moderate right wing media will continue to quote the frauds on an equal footing with the 97% of scientists who leave no doubt that anthropogenic global warming is real.

 

What is needed is a game-changer.  That is why a massive effort like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez "Green New Deal" is the way to go.  Once an all all-out war is started, and the enemy is identified as global warming, the American political equation will change, just as it does when a war commences.  One of the best things about such a national effort is, it will create many jobs over a long period of time, and boost the economy.  Meanwhile, the US will once again become a respected world-leader as we reduce our greenhouse gas footprint to nearly zero.

 

Today's political situation is not the time yet;  But the idea has been floated.  As a large segment of younger people worry for their future.

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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818109001416

 

 

hell, I'll just copy and paste.

 

  1. Abstract
  2. Keywords
  3. 1. Introduction
  4. 2. Data and methods
  5. 3. Results and discussion
  6. 4. Conclusions
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Appendix A. IGBP to potential vegetation conversion
  9. Appendix B. IGBP to soil and vegetation carbon conversion
  10. Appendix C. Average change in albedo
  11. Appendix D. Evapotranspiration and latent heat flux
  12. Appendix E. Changes to cloud cover
  13. References
Show full outline
 

Figures (7)

  1. Fig.1. Mean carbon densities over areas of realizable afforestation in kgm2
  2. Fig.2. Results for the average drawdown afforestation scenario
  3. Fig.3. Minimum, top and maximum, bottom, net afforestation carbon drawdown (kgm−2)
  4. Fig.4. Change in surface latent heat flux into the atmosphere due to afforestation
  5. Fig.5. Change in surface albedo caused by afforestation in the average scenario
  6. Fig.6. Maximum⁎ impact of changes in latent heat flux on net afforestation carbon…
Show all figures
 

Tables (2)

  1. Table 1
  2. Table 2
 
Elsevier

Global and Planetary Change

Volume 69, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 195-204
Global and Planetary Change

The net carbon drawdown of small scale afforestation from satellite observations

   

 

Abstract

Climate models indicate that warming due to increase in shortwave absorption from the lowering of albedo caused by afforestation reduces and can even overcome, particularly at high latitudes, the cooling caused by the carbon drawdown. We use high resolution (0.05 × 0.05° to 1 × 1°) global satellite observations to investigate the effects of afforestation. Results are markedly different from the coarser (~ 2.5 × ~ 2.5°) model-based studies. Between 40°S and 60°N afforestation always results in cooling. Many of the areas with the highest net carbon drawdown (drawdown after albedo effects) are at high latitudes. There is large zonal variability in drawdown and latitude is not a good indicator of afforestation efficiency. The overall efficiency of afforestation, defined as the net carbon drawdown divided by the total drawdown, is about 50%. By only considering the total drawdown and not considering albedo effects, the Kyoto Protocol carbon accounting rules grossly overestimate the cooling caused by afforestation drawdown.

 

 

People need to eat, stuff. They have taste buds. So does the pig and the chick, and the rabbit and the tortoise. What say, does the rabbit like to eat? What say does the pig or chick like to eat? What say the tortoise?

 

 

Well I guess, the tortoise likes hot dogs!

Peace!

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I've been doing the low waste to reduce my use of plastics.  I have been a little upset about not being able to get tofu and tempeh without plastic.  They do have the ability to use cornstarch plastic, so I don't understand why companies that are producing plant based food are creating mountains of plastic waste.  I can't even get vegetable broth without plastic lined containers.

 

 

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Would you accept 'solar geoengineering' as part of the answer?   Would you be willing to accept a 'solar shade' to lessen the impact of global warming and give humans more time to adopt a carbon-neutral economy?

 

Quote

New research from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), in collaboration with MIT and Princeton University, finds that if solar geoengineering is used to cut global temperature increases in half, there could be worldwide benefits without exacerbating change in any large geographic area.  Science Daily

 

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Excellent video about the morality issues of meat eating:

 

 

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On 4/2/2019 at 4:03 PM, bludog said:

 

As omnivores, we evolved the ability to live on either plants alone as 40% of subcontinental Indians do;  Or a diet of meat alone e.g. Eskimos.  There are no nutrients from animals that cannot be derived from plants. 

 

We have no inborn preference for certain foods.  Instead, we have been designed by evolution to be food-adaptable.  Everything depends on conditioning and habit.  Many vegans find meat repugnant.  And lots of meat eaters are repelled by plant based foods.

 

Given humankind's innate adaptability, it would only take one or two generations for the world to switch to a plant-based diet.

 

 

A sensible approach.  And part of any solution to combat anthropogenic climate change.  But livestock are far more demanding of space than crops.  The raising of livestock spurs habitat loss far more than cultivation of produce.

 

 

The population of the planet is approaching 8 billion and we must all be fed.

 

Raising livestock for slaughter is many times more destructive to the environment than plant agriculture.   Each steer, pig and chicken must be fed with crops, raised separately, just for them.  Beef comes from ruminants which produce methane.  Methane comprises 10% of greenhouse gases but is roughly 30 times more powerful in trapping the sun's heat.

 

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases

Pie chart that shows different types of gases. 81% from carbon dioxide fossil fuel use, deforestation, decay of biomass, etc., 10% from methane, 6% from nitrous oxide and 3% from fluorinated gases.

This makes methane a more dangerous greenhouse gas than CO2.  Eliminating hamburgers from the national diet alone, and replacing them with grains, beans/legumes, nuts/seeds and vegetables, would go far in controlling the runaway greenhouse effect.

 

 

Wheat or corn are low-glycemic and do not cause diabetes.  Over-processing of wheat by removing the bran and germ layers, turns it into it empty carbs. And the concentrated sugar derived from corn harms health.  But without modification, beef, bacon and milk are loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol.

 

Plant based agriculture has its own problems but is many times less destructive to the biosphere than the raising of livestock for slaughter.

 

People eating less overall on average would help. And actually, as far as livestock go, higher prices on red meat would be an economical solution to reducing our consumption of it. But there would be a lot of opposition to any effort to do that, of course.

 

As far as vegan nutrition is concerned, I've heard that it's harder to get everything we need from plants, but I suppose it's not that hard with today's wide selection of vegan foods and ingredients. Of course, it's also a widespread problem today that people on all sorts of diets are lacking vital nutrients to the point that it kills some of them. Saw an story about that just the other day.

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock - it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland

 

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

 

The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.

 

"A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.

 

One surprise from the work was the large impact of freshwater fish farming, which provides two-thirds of such fish in Asia and 96% in Europe, and was thought to be relatively environmentally friendly. “You get all these fish depositing excreta and unconsumed feed down to the bottom of the pond, where there is barely any oxygen, making it the perfect environment for methane production,” a potent greenhouse gas, Poore said.

 

Prof Tim Benton, at the University of Leeds, UK, said: “This is an immensely useful study. It brings together a huge amount of data and that makes its conclusions much more robust. The way we produce food, consume and waste food is unsustainable from a planetary perspective. Given the global obesity crisis, changing diets – eating less livestock produce and more vegetables and fruit – has the potential to make both us and the planet healthier.”

 

Dr Peter Alexander, at the University of Edinburgh, UK, was also impressed but noted: “There may be environmental benefits, eg for biodiversity, from sustainably managed grazing and increasing animal product consumption may improve nutrition for some of the poorest globally. My personal opinion is we should interpret these results not as the need to become vegan overnight, but rather to moderate our [meat] consumption.”

 

Poore said: “The reason I started this project was to understand if there were sustainable animal producers out there. But I have stopped consuming animal products over the last four years of this project. These impacts are not necessary to sustain our current way of life. The question is how much can we reduce them and the answer is a lot.”

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