Welcome Calls for a Climate Change New Deal

Time for a Climate Change New DealA new report entitled A New Green Deal, issued by the New Economics Foundation, calls for sufficient and long-overdue policies [ark] to truly address related climate change, food and energy prices, and economic and financial crises. They recommend every home generate its own power, taxing oil and gas firms' windfall profits to pay for massive renewable energy investments and other green transformations, and pricing of carbon including through taxes. We have already noted Al Gore's proposal (albeit somewhat belated) to transition to 100% renewable energy in ten years [search]. At last think tanks and public intellectuals are starting to think in terms of bold, ambitious policies adequate to sufficiently address the looming civilization breakers.
After these various proposals are harmonized by a global group of elders, we need to carry out truthful persuasive communication campaigns to get the public and governments onboard. Such doable and clearly widely beneficial proposals (except perhaps to certain sectors of the elite) are welcome and must be pursued with all haste. However, the New Economics Foundation does themselves a disservice with their carefully hedged dire warning that “new analysis suggests that from the end of July 2008 there is only 100 months, or less, to stabilise concentrations of greenhouse gases [ark] in the atmosphere before we hit a potential point of no return.” In fact this is a prediction, and no one knows for sure. We are just as likely to have already passed that point — and this looming climate tipping point is an actual point, with nothing potential about it.

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4 Responses

  1. TMR says:

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has said that animal “food” production is one of the greatest contributors to global climate change, a bigger contributor than the transport sector.
    In the past few years, it seems that virtually every major green group has ignored this great contribution by the meat and dairy industry. This connection has been brought to Mr Al Gore's attention and yet it was not mentioned in Mr Gore's acclaimed documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.
    The contribution of meat consumption to global warming has been brought to the attention of every green group, yet they continue to ignore this important issue.
    Greenpeace told us recently that they “prioritise (their) campaigns based on what will have the biggest environmental impact on a global scale,” and this is why they are not mentioning the role of meat-eating. Greenpeace's decision is in spite of scientific views that indicate becoming a vegan would do more for reducing greenhouse gas emissions than discontinuing the use of all mechanised transport.
    In the same letter, Greenpeace said, “you probably have noticed that we are not actively campaigning on this issue. The main reason for this is the other organizations that have been set up to deal solely with this issue such as the vegan society (www.vegsoc.org/), and of course your organization.” (grammatical error) This seems odd. There are certainly many other groups that tell people to turn off the bathroom light when you leave the room, check your fridge seals, and to buy a new less-polluting car. Greenpeace feels no hesitation suggesting these actions to people, but feels the issue of meat & dairy is best handled by someone else.
    Greenpeace is not alone in this attitude. Almost all environment groups ignore the UN's statements that discontinuing meat production would be one of the most positive environmental changes that society could make, and adopting a plant based (vegan) diet is probably the biggest single action an individual could take to reduce their personal contribution to climate change.
    One would imagine it should be embarrassing that even meat industries, the UN FAO, UK DEFRA and a number of other mainstream groups are acknowledging this issue.
    The UN FAO in 2006 released a report revealing that cattle rearing is worse for global warming than all automotive industries combined.
    Please view this recent report:
    “Researchers at the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan have carried out a life-cycle analysis of beef production which shows that 'a kilogram of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent of 36.4 kilograms of CO2' (New Scientist, 21.7.07). To help you get your head around this, that's equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted by the average car over a distance of 250 kilometres.”
    “Researchers at the University of Chicago have calculated the relative carbon intensity of a standard vegan diet in comparison to a US-style carnivorous diet, all the way through from production to processing to distribution to cooking and consumption. An average burger man (that is, not the outsize variety) emits the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes more CO2 every year than the standard vegan. By comparison, were you to trade in your conventional gas-guzzler for a state of the art Prius hybrid, your CO2 savings would amount to little more than one tonne per year.”
    It is the other “Inconvenient Truth” and we ignore it at our peril.

  2. PeterW says:

    Hi TMR,
    I somewhat agree with your comments, I don't eat beef myself, but I feel your argument is a little misleading.
    You use beef for most of your examples and I'm guessing it's industrial feed-lot beef as well. You have chosen the most extreme case to argue your point.
    Why not discuss eating free-range, locally raised chicken and eggs, reducing meat portions and/or eating vegan two or three days a week? If a meat eater switched to these approaches for his or her meals, I'm guessing they could accomplish 80% to 90% of your goal, maybe even more.
    I guess I'm asking you about your all or nothing approach. If we're really talking about global warming emissions and environmental damage wouldn't this approach be almost as good and much more likely to succeed?
    I always get the feeling that there is an ulterior motive when vegans make comments like yours.

  3. Jackie says:

    I definitely believe in the comments so far, have also for myself given up beef for the past 30 years feel better also and now just would love to see allthe animals wild and domestic left alone to a point, so maybe we can once again view our planet in all it's beauty, thanks.

  4. Brieg says:

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    I am from Lebanon and learning to write in English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Headache depakote, imitrex, buy online depakote, imitrex all rights reserved, buyonlinemedicines.”
    Best regards :-(, Brieg.

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