Monday, August 14, 2017

Beans for Beef:  The Climate Change Initiative that Anyone Can Do

Soy beans fight climate change.  Click to Enlarge.
Our #FakePresident has removed the United States for the Paris climate accords, leading some Americans to experience ecoanxiety.  That’s a relatively new term that American Psychological Association used to describe the feelings of dread and helplessness the follow from “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and later generations.”  As it turns out, there is something anyone of us can do and it involves no marches on Washington or angry letters to elected officials.  All we have to do is eat beans instead of beef.

Beans, Not Beef
That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers from Oregon State University, Bard College, and Loma Linda University.  They say that if every American simply substituted beans for beef in their diet, the U.S. could come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse gas emission goals pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.  Even if nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changed — and even if people kept eating chicken, pork, eggs, and cheese — this one dietary change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target.

Of course, if people elected to reduce or eliminate their intake of chicken, pork, eggs, and cheese, the would be all the better and would allow the country to come close to hitting 100% of the goals set by Obama.

Eat Beans, Fight Climate Change
“I think there’s genuinely a lack of awareness about how much impact this sort of change can have,” Harwatt tells reporter James Hamblin of The Atlantic.  She says this relatively small, single-food substitution could be the most powerful change a person makes in terms of their lifetime environmental impact — more than downsizing one’s car, switching to LED light bulbs, or taking fewer showers.  In the new book Drawdown, eating a plant rich diet is number 4 on the list of 100 things humanity can do to slow or reverse global warming.

According to the United Nations, 26% of the ice-free terrestrial surface of Earth is used for grazing livestock.  In all, almost a third of the land on Earth is used to produce meat and animal products.  Clear cutting of forests for grazing or growing crops is a major source of carbon emissions.

Read more at Beans for Beef:  The Climate Change Initiative that Anyone Can Do

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