We should all be concerned about climate change, future pandemics and the devastation that we see globally. Past climate changes led to extinction of many species, population migrations, and pronounced changes in the land surface and ocean circulation. The speed of the current climate change is faster than most of the past events, making it more difficult for human societies and the natural world to adapt. A new report from The Climate Healers reported that animal agriculture is responsible for at least 87 percent of greenhouse emissions. The report – written by Dr. Sailesh Rao was published in The Journal of Ecological Society, presenting a counterpoint to the currently accepted numbers.
The burning of fossil fuels is undoubtedly the leading source of human-made Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions today. CO2 is the most powerful human-made greenhouse gas in terms of its radiative forcing, which is the average energy trapped by the greenhouse gas per unit time per unit area of the Earth’s surface, typically measured relative to the base year 1750.
In the absence of active reforestation efforts, CO2 is a long-lived greenhouse gas as it persists in the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years. The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates the mean radiative forcing of human-made CO2 to be 1.68 Watts/square meter (W/m2). Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. It is often referred to by its formula CO2. It is present in the Earth's atmosphere at a low concentration and acts as a greenhouse gas. In its solid state, it is called dry ice. It is a major component of the carbon cycle.
The next most powerful human-made greenhouse gas, methane, with a mean radiative forcing of 0.97 W/m2, lingers in the atmosphere for an average of 8-10 years before it reacts with oxygen free radicals and also converts into CO2. As such, it is tempting to conclude that a single-minded focus on the reduction of fossil fuel burning to minimize future human-made CO2 emissions is the best strategy to address climate change.
The problems caused by rising global temperatures are predicted to include heatwaves, flooding, food and water shortages and blackouts by mid-century, if urgent action to curb greenhouse gases is not undertaken.
What to do?
We encourage everyone we connect with through our educational short movies, books and blogposts to Go Vegan. Humans do not require any form of animal food to live a long happy healthy life. We can turn over all grazing lands to growing trees, savannah and grasslands thereby lowering the carbon. We must continue to educate at every opportunity to promote the solution which is at hand. Around 25-30% of the planet is used for grazing animals. Therefore, connecting the dots showing the greatest source of methane and black carbon comes from animal agriculture along with the greatest source of tropospheric ozone, another of the short-lived climate forces is methane. To reiterate, the greatest source of methane is animal agriculture. We CAN control methane that in turn will reduce climate temperatures by adopting a wholefood plant-based vegan diet.
Whatever the future holds, our love affair with eating animals is, without a doubt, the single largest driver of human-induced climate change. And it's all about what lies at the end of our forks in the developed world. Up to 85% of diseases are non-communicable, meaning, humans are quite literally eating themselves to death and at the same time contributing to global warming.
It's important to note here that farmers are not the problem, consumers are. Farmers respond to consumer demand. This is not something that governments can legislate over, it is something each and every one us has the choice to make each time we eat. We have the power to create a vegan world. I like to remind all our students and clients, we are in this together, we each have our part to play.
Please join us in service for a healthy world for humans and nonhumans alike.The world needs you right now, thank you.