Environmental horrors: hidden NEWS behind the headlines


Record Dead Zone Predicted in Gulf of Mexico (USA Today)

One of many "dead zones" in the oceans of the world -- driven by the raising of livestock

Almost every day there is a news story about some global problem that is related to our choice in the western world to consume meat and dairy three meals a day. Earlier this month it was E. coli and salmonella, yesterday it was a “record dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. (See USA Today link below my signature)

What you almost never see in any of these stories is the root cause of so many of the problems. To shed a little light on the “dead zone” issue, I want to provide you with an excerpt from Chapter 4 of our book. That chapter deals with a plethora of environmental problems that are driven by our livestock agriculture and is entitled — Running Roughshod.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN estimates that nearly two-thirds of ocean fisheries are exploited at or beyond capacity.  At the same time, our agricultural practices on land are beginning to foul the oceans as well.

Dr. Bruce Monger, who teaches Oceanography at Cornell University, has uncovered some alarming facts on that topic.  After plotting the explosive growth of human population, CO2 increase in the atmosphere, deforestation and the increase in the use of industrial nitrogen fertilizer—all on the same graph (1980 to present), he was “blown away” by what he saw.  In a 2009 online lecture, he exclaimed, “Boy, I’ve got to get interested in what’s going on with nitrogen, because it’s by far the most rapidly increasing item of this group.” That stems from the rapid increase of chemical fertilizer; some estimate that we’ve put more nitrogen-based fertilizer on the ground in the last 20 years than we’ve put on the ground since fertilizer was invented.  Remember all that livestock manure mentioned earlier?  That unprecedented increase in the use of chemical fertilizer has been driven in large part by the feed crops that were grown for those billions of animals.

So, just as the manure pollutes our rivers and streams, the fertilizer to grow the livestock feed is beginning to do a number on our oceans….this whole process leads to what oceanographers call dead zones, areas of very low or zero oxygen where nothing that uses oxygen for growth can live.  Dr. Monger goes on to explain that this is not just a problem for the Mississippi River, or for the U.S., but for the entire world.  The same blights we see along the gulf and east coasts of the U.S., we are also seeing in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia.  As he said, “They’re not just ours—they’re a global problem.”

Our book is available now on pre-order at Amazon -- shipping Oct. 1

Throughout our Chapter 4, we chronicled the vast environmental damage that is being driven by the steadily increasing amount of livestock production in the world. As China and India follow our lead, the number of animals grown and killed for our dinner tables gets larger every year — now standing at 60 billion. And since less than 20% of world’s population can afford to eat our “rich” western diet, we’re talking 60 billion animals to feed less than 2 billion people.As the world continues to embrace our harmful, wasteful and unsustainable diet-style, our problems will only get worse — far worse. How many animals will be needed when 5 or 6 billion people are eating the way we do? When is the end of this madness? 200 billion animals? 500 billion animals? Back to the “dead zone” issue, USA Today reported:
The “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico – a region of oxygen-depleted water off the Louisiana and Texas coasts that is harmful to sea life and the commercial fishing industry – is predicted to be the largest ever recorded this year, federal scientists announced Tuesday.

Scientists say the area could measure between 8,500 and 9,421 square miles, or an area about the size of New Hampshire. If it does reach those levels, it would be the largest since mapping of the Gulf Dead Zone began in 1985.

J. Morris Hicks, trying my best to bring your the real "NEWS" behind the headlines -- news that will help save our lives and our planet.

Unfortunately, the most important causative facts behind the headlines are rarely shared with the public. Just as the raising of livestock is fouling are oceans, it is also threatening biodiversity on both land and sea, it is a primary driver of global warming and is also the principal cause of land degradation and deforestation. In the 2009 movie HOME, they reported that humankind has inflicted more damage on the fragile harmony of nature on this planet in just the last fifty years — than all previous generations of humans for the past 200,000 years.

When does this madness end? When enough people learn about it? But how can we learn about it when our government and our media is not telling us exactly what is causing all these problems? By sharing books and blogs on this topic with everyone that you care about. Our current way of life is grossly unsustainable — please join this blog or periodic mailing list and help us spread the word… planting the seeds of change around the world.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

Record ‘Dead Zone’ predicted in Gulf of Mexico – Science Fair: Science and Space News – USATODAY.com.

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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