Do you call yourself an environmentalist? Do you love the great outdoors and like to go to the beach? What about other natural places? Do you find peace and calm in the woods, or on top of a mountain overlooking a wide-open view? Do you ever ask yourself, what can I do today, right now, to combat climate change? Climate change is in the news almost every day. We have no concrete idea what is going to happen to US public policy around climate change. There are unsettling and alarming updates from the White House. Any reference to climate change is off the White House website. We can only guess that climate change is not going to be a priority. Nevertheless … take heart; we can do something about climate change right now!
Climate change is here to stay – and get worse – unless we do what is in our own personal power to combat it. Some people have policy influence due to their professional or academic position, great! Many people tirelessly work for non-profit organizations while others work in academia, the solar industry, or other non-petroleum energy industry. Many people are involved every day at work trying to combat climate change. What if you are not involved and want to do something besides sign petitions? What if you are already involved and want to DO MORE? What can you do? You can do plenty!
Simply Eat Less of These Foods: (in this order)
- Beef and Lamb
- Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc.)
- Chicken, Fish, and Pork
Simply Eat More of These Foods Instead:
- Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan
- Whole Grains
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Nuts & Seeds
Look at the Carbon footprint graph and ask yourself what kind of eater you want to be?
What does your home planet deserve and what kind of support are you willing to offer our one and only earth? Are you a meat eater despite hiking or biking every weekend in the great outdoors? Do you want to protect your slice of heaven? Then stop eating so much meat. Are you a busy family that eats a lot of gooey pizza while the children are making posters to save the rain forest? Use a non-dairy cheese. Are you retired and eat pretty well due to chronic health concerns but still eat eggs, chicken, and fish? Why not increase your efforts at better eating for life? Did you know wild fish stock is severely depleted? Even free-range chickens lead tortured lives. Think about it. Really, I ask that you dig deep. Use your logical vs. emotional brain.
Is Beef the new SUV?
If you are not sure about all this, do some research and learn more. To start, read John Sutter’s great article on CNN. He writes, “Globally, 14.5% of all greenhouse gas pollution can be attributed to livestock, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the most reputable authority on this topic. And a huge hunk of the livestock industry’s role — 65% — comes from raising beef and dairy cattle”. Click on that link and read the 139-page report from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
There is a lot of scientific research that strongly associates climate change and our diet. Read more here, here, here, and here for that real, scientific, peer reviewed, evidence based research. Here too! There is so much research, the connections between our diet and our planet are clear!
But wait … Some people say that climate change does not exist; it’s a hoax.
Have you heard of this massive study and book by Harvard Professor Naomi Oreskes, a science historian? Dr. Oreskes analyzed 928 peer reviewed, scientific articles (the gold standard of research) published between 1993 and 2003 with the key word “climate change”. None of these articles’ authors disagreed that (a) Yes, climate change does exist, and (b) Humans are causing it. That means there is widespread scientific consensus and evidence that human activity is heating the earth, thus greatly influencing global climate change.
To quote Dr. Oreskes, “Politicians, economists, journalists and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect.” In other words, the science is there. It’s like gravity; there is agreement among scientists. Sadly, others have corrupted that conversation for their own benefit.
“In the book Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway show how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era”.
Dr. Oreskes asks us, what if our grandchildren knew we knew, about climate change, and we failed to do anything about it. Good question. We can do something about it every day when we decide what to eat, and we can share this knowledge with our children and their children! Every bite counts. I ask that you think about your contribution to climate change due to your food choices. Learn more about how to transition to a plant based, non-animal diet, by viewing the videos and reading the materials on my website. Remember it is all about progress not perfection. There is hope!