Are “ANY” prominent leaders taking global warming seriously?

Romney is making jokes and Obama never mentions the #1 cause.

Consecutive daily blog #579

In the biggest speech of his life, we heard Romney cracking jokes about global warming and while President Obama says that he sees it as a legitimate, human-driven threat to our way of life, I’ve never heard him or any other elected official (or challenger) mention the number one cause.

Why do our politicians not take this crucial topic seriously? How can they all ignore this kind of summary from the United Nations?

“A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change,” according to a UN report, June 2, 2010. “As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable,” says the report from United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management.

Why do political leaders and aspirants never mention the number one cause of global warming? A little background. It was actually the global warming topic that got me started down the road of activism in 2006. That was the year the United Nations produced a 400 page report entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow — a report on the vast amount of environmental damage that is caused by the raising of livestock.

Al Gore won the Nobel Prize for his “global warming” movie—even though he never mentioned the #1 cause.

The international scientists estimated that 18 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs, and poultry. Incredibly, according to the U.N. Report, the livestock sector produces about 35 percent more greenhouse gases than ALL of transportation combined — all cars, trucks, planes, ships, trains and motorcycles. So, what did Al Gore have to say about livestock in his Inconvenient Truth movie that same year? Absolutely nothing.

And I’m glad he didn’t, because it was that inconvenient “omission” that launched my new career. I knew at that moment that we simply could no longer trust our authorities in government to level with us about what is really happening in this world. One month after seeing that movie, I launched my Harmony Earth website, which later led to my writing a book and then launching this blog in February of 2011. Thank you Mr. Gore.

Mitt Romney, GOP candidate for President of the United States.

Now we have Mitt Romney cracking jokes about the topic. And his audience seems to think they’re so funny, that he’s incorporated them into his standard pitch. From an  article in (See link below):

In his acceptance speech on Thursday, Romney said, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans (pause for mocking laughter) and heal the planet. MY promise is to help you and your family.”

Romney apparently was so thrilled with the success of his new “joke” that he repeated it while on a post-convention campaign swing. In Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday, he elicited more laughs from the crowd when he claimed Obama “famously said he was going to slow the rise of the oceans.” Romney added, “Our promise to you is this: we’re going to help the American people.”

So Romney is going to help me and my family? By not mentioning that much of New York City and many other large cities from New England to Florida will be underwater by 2100? Does he think that none of my family will find that inconvenient? Does he not think that I care about my grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will have to deal with the chaos that will ensue? From the Mark Bittman article shown below, here’s the source of that statistic:

 “Climate Central’s projections show that the biggest cities in Florida, and a great deal of the Northeast coastline (including New York City), will be underwater by 2100.”

President Obama is reportedly pro-environment and Michelle is credited for reducing childhood obesity. But neither one ever mention the most powerful drivers of each. “WE’RE EATING THE WRONG FOOD.”

Back to President Obama. Lest anyone think that I’ve let politics take over this blog, I must report that I’m not real happy with the seriousness of the Obama administration’s effort to fight global warming either. How serious could they be if they’ve never mentioned the number one cause?

Worse than we thought. Two former World Bank scientists are now saying that livestock is more to blame for global warming than we’d previously thought. In an earlier blog (See link below), I reported that there is newer information by Dr. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang that suggests that the livestock sector is responsible for a much greater portion of those greenhouse gases than was reported by the U.N.

From the WorldWatch Institute website:

Dr. Goodland and Anhang report that livestock and their by-products actually account for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions. 

Robert Goodland, who earned his PhD in tropical ecology from McGill University, Montreal, retired as lead environmental adviser at the World Bank Group after serving there for 23 years. Jeff Anhang is a research officer and environmental specialist at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, which provides private-sector financing and advice in developing countries.

Buckeye country — Perhaps the most important swing state

The Bottom Line. Our political system is geared to the short-term interests of undecided voters in the swing states. So how can we ever expect to elect leaders who are truly focused on the “big picture” issues facing our country and our world?

How could anyone get elected president in this country if he/she implicated our wildly popular meat, dairy, egg and seafood industries in terms of our collective failure to maintain the long-term sustainability of the human race?

Two possible ways as I see it. (1) A first term president who doesn’t want a second term. (2) A second term president who doesn’t have to get elected again. In either case, they’d need to surround themselves with a cabinet that are not afraid of taking on the big meat, dairy and pharmaceutical lobbies.

We have very serious problems that few leaders are talking about. Problems stemming from our highly wasteful, incredibly harmful, and grossly unsustainable western diet. Which candidate will get my vote? Sometimes I wonder if it even matters. Neither of them are likely to seriously address the most important issues in the history of the human species.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

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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3 Responses to Are “ANY” prominent leaders taking global warming seriously?

  1. MikeR says:

    President Obama may not even be aware of the UN report. Afterall, he has lackeys to keep him up to day on what they think he needs to know. Think the secretary of agriculture is ever going to let Obama see such a report when the USDA squelches the idea of Meatless Monday’s in the USDA’s cafeteria? It would be nice if Obama or Romney or some other political leader told us to save the world we needed to stop the unsustainable meat industry, but the meat and dairy people donate too much money and have too many lobbyists. The change has to come from the grass roots (true grass roots, not the AstoTurf kind).

    • Silvana says:

      My opinion? The Meat and Dairy Board are far too powerful and I don’t think the Obama’s would want to take then on ‘politically speaking’. I think Bill Clinton would far better serve us teaching people about his new lifestyle and how it has saved his life, rather than spouting out the left wing agenda.

    He has been consistently right on the issues – including George’s ill-conceived wars.

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