It’s been a while since I mentioned the reality of the effects of our huge meat production line, but a story in this mornings papers has made me decide to bring it back into focus here.
The Guardians article “More Wealth, more meat. How China’s rise spells trouble.” highlights a very simple yet enlightening fact about our meat eating environmental economy.
To produce a kilogram of beef farmers need 8kg of feed; for pork about 6kg; for chicken 2kg. Worldwide, 700m tonnes of grain are needed to fatten animals each year.
When you think about that it raises many questions. Food prices are rising, many people around the world are starving. Now what would feed more people? 1kg of beef or 8kg of grain. The answer is self explanatory in my opinion and although I am simplifying using the above quote the facts are not much more complicated.
Our meat industry is hugely inefficient when it comes to the amount of food we get out of it compared to the amount of energy put in and the environmental impact created is also hugely underestimated and misunderstood.
The impact of the global meat industry with regards to green house gasses is larger than the worlds car or automobile footprint. Yes, that’s right. The meat industry contributes more green house gasses to our atmosphere than the total impact of cars, motorbikes and lorries.
It’s definitely something to think about.
And as the worlds population rises at an unprecedented rate, so does the impact of the meat industry.
On average Americans eat 129% more meat than the Chinese; Europeans consume 83% more. But in China’s case the fear is not of individual consumption, but of the multiples of scale and speed of 1.3 billion people growing richer at a rate of more than 10% a year.
I haven’t even touched on world food prices and the treatment of said animals, but I believe, pardon the pun, that there is enough food for thought above.
This myth has been doing the rounds since the first time global warming surfaced as a possibility. People who believe that the human race has nothing to do with the climate change or, even more unbelievably, that climate change is a myth altogether, can often spout an array of ‘facts’, ‘figures’ and studies to back up this insistence.
There are plenty of reasons why these misguided and misused facts and figures surface to be used by the naive. A huge reason these misguided people have this ammunition is companies with a vested interest in the further proliferation of fossil fuel usage plow cash into ‘scientific’ studies to protect their interests.
The oil giant ExxonMobil has admitted that its support for lobby groups that question the science of climate change may have hindered action to tackle global warming…
…shareholders including the Rockefeller family will urge ExxonMobil to take the problem of climate change more seriously. Green campaigners accuse the company of funding a “climate denial industry” over the last decade, with $23m (£11.5m) handed over to groups that play down the risks of burning fossil fuels…
…A survey carried out by the UK’s Royal Society found that in 2005 ExxonMobil distributed $2.9m to 39 groups that the society said “misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence”.
Source: The Guardian
The reality is crystal clear I think.
A cyclone in Burma and an earthquake in China.
Natural disasters are just that. Natural.
It doesn’t mean that we should be any less sympathetic or charitable. Luckily China has, in it’s own ways, the resources to deal with a disaster of this scale. However, with possibly hundreds of thousands dead or dying and damage to infrastructure beyond comprehension hopefully they will be more open to outside help than the dictatorship that is Burma.
I have been reading in newspapers, online and hearing over the radio how this secretive state is blocking foreign aid at almost every turn. Either simply not letting aid and aid workers in, or placing unreasonable conditions on the aid agencies involved. The ruling military power is taking the abuse of human rights to new levels and we as a civilised world should not take their ‘no’ for an answer. Forcing aid in via peaceful means should be considered.
The world is at a stage in it’s life, with us as the dominate species, where nobody should go hungry, nobodies human rights should be infringed on and we should be looking after our fragile planet. Even more so in a time where millions of litres of water has to be shipped in to Spain, just for people to be able to drink, due to never before seen levels of drought. Sceptics beware, global warming may just be rearing it’s head enough to bite.
Sadly, even in times of desperate need, lives that could be saved through the goodness and charity of others is refused and the human race suffers needlessly.
Our evolution stutters in the face of adversity and our right to call ourselves civilized should be called in to question more often than not.
We fail to act over atrocities like genocide in Africa. Yet fall over ourselves to initiate a wars over oil and imaginary WMD and terrorists, killing those we profess to save.
I hope with all my heart that the influential Super Powers of the world are subject to the political changes necessary to rip up the rotten foundations of our political morality and that grass roots voters open their eyes and minds to the reality of our existence.
We are one species, one human race on one small planet.
“One does not simply walk into Moscow”
Yes, this really is a recent picture of Moscow not Mordor.
Yes, global warming is a reality.
Yes, this is one of the reasons it is happening.