Greenhouse gases. “Obvious” solution still goes unnoticed.

We’re eating the wrong damn food!

Reuters reported on 11-20-12 that atmospheric volumes of greenhouse hit a new record in 2011. There were lots of numbers describing the problem but precious little describing the solution.

Although we now know that the raising of livestock is by far the leading cause of global warming—rarely do you ever hear that news in the mainstream media. From the article:

  • The volume of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activities, grew at a similar rate to the previous decade and reached 390.9 parts per million (ppm), 40 percent above the pre-industrial level, the survey said.
  • It has increased by an average of 2 ppm for the past 10 years.
  • WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said the billions of tonnes of extra carbon dioxide would stay in the atmosphere for centuries, causing the planet to warm further.
  • “We have already seen that the oceans are becoming more acidic as a result of the carbon dioxide uptake, with potential repercussions for the underwater food chain and coral reefs,” he said in a statement.
  • Levels of methane, another long-lived greenhouse gas, have risen steadily for the past three years after levelling off for about seven years. The reasons for that evening out are unclear.
  • Growth in volumes of a third gas, nitrous oxide, quickened in 2011. It has a long-term climate impact that is 298 times greater than carbon dioxide.

An example of “deforestation” and “intensive agriculture” in the same photo. Burning trees in the Amazon to grow soybeans to feed pigs in China.

So what is driving all of those issues and what can we do about it? The article offered the following: “The WMO, the United Nations’ weather agency, said the three gases, which are closely linked to human activities such as fossil fuel use, deforestation and intensive agriculture, had increased the warming effect on the climate by 30 percent between 1990 and 2011.”

The Bottom Line. Once again, they missed the main point. Deforestation and intensive agriculture are primarily driven by the raising of livestock. With a plant-based diet, we could easily feed the world on far less than half the farmland that we’re using today. We could then go from “deforestation” to “re-forestation.” —My 664th consecutive daily blog—

BUT. The scientists who do all these studies and report on the problems are among the vast majority of highly educated and well-meaing professionals who still believe that we “need” to eat animal protein to be healthy. Take a look at six of my earlier blogs on this subject. In the last one, here is a preview of what you will find:

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. in the 2006 study, Livestock’s Long Shadow.

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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5 Responses to Greenhouse gases. “Obvious” solution still goes unnoticed.

  1. CJ says:

    This is the topic that gets me the most these days, Jim. The USA needs to wake up, and it’s a long way from it. I’m a big fan of Bill Moyers and his recent interview with Naomi Klein is excellent:

    Naomi is an inspirational activist, and her support of Bill McKibben’s is what’s needed for everyone to learn how to “do the math” as it is a critical consideration for the future of civilization and our planet:

    Thanks as always for your work and raising awareness.

  2. I received this link today from the Clinton Foundation and have not reviewed the contents yet:
    The Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) was created to do just that – to help people change the course of their own health while simultaneously changing the systems and places that affect individual health. Over the course of the next few months, we’ll be sharing a variety of tools and solutions that are improving health outcomes for people, communities, and businesses across the U.S. – and providing more ways for you to get involved in activating wellness with your friends and neighbors.
    Here are some actions you can take to start:
    . . . . Etc. . .

  3. Pingback: 8-miles Friday | Car-free, meat-free runner

  4. Linda says:

    There was a segment on NBC news last night about the fact that global ice is melting and oceans are rising at a MUCH faster pace than scientists predicted only a few years ago. The report had a doomsday feel about it and no ideas for solutions were presented. I think it’s time we all write letters to the President, the First Lady, and our senators and representatives in congress to tell them about the relationship between climate change and livestock animals.

    • Joanne Irwin says:

      I support that, Linda. Time to take action for the sake of future generations. We listen to the bickering among Congressional leaders, and it’s sickening. A good majority have the emotional maturity of preteens. Perhaps another major March on Washington if they don’t resolve the fiscal cliff.

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