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James Greyson

Sep 30, 2011
02:02

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Many thanks Beach Babe for adding this! Great topic. If you get a chance it would be super to see some measure of the impacts of meat and where they come from. (Has the FAO's new work on the topic been published?) Could deforestation from livestock be stopped by starting to shrink meat demand? How much emissions is due to intensive rearing where the manure makes methane? Which kinds of meat should be particularly avoided? Any other tactics for cutting short-lived gases? Not many people know that piling up grass mowings makes methane, or how easy it is to compost them instead. Maybe the biochar proposal is allied, since this would phase out forest burning, bonfires and old-fashioned (GHG intensive) charcoal-making? The Fix the System proposal would make (methane intensive) landfills obsolete. If you fit your meat proposal into a wider picture of climate solutions (just mention what else you suggest should happen) then you could have a go at running the 'actions and impacts' model. Then go to the admin tab and mark your proposal as an entry. You can continue to edit afterwards right up to the deadline. Help pages on this is here, https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/resources/-/wiki/Main/Proposals+help Let me know if any help is needed. James

Viv Null

Oct 1, 2011
08:35

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endorsement by NASA climate scientist James Hansen http://youtu.be/zfbxeAFk8mY "most effective action an individual can take is to go vegetarian"

happyworld

Oct 4, 2011
10:15

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Veggie lifestyle is surely the most effective way to improve public health and curb global warming.

Viv Null

Oct 6, 2011
06:06

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Thanks to all the supporters of this proposal. There seems to be a glitch in the system which rejects support as I am getting many messages saying support, then non support, then support again etc.. If this happens when you click support just keep trying as eventually it seems to stick. Thanks again for your support of this simple, no cost solution to mitigate climate change.

Viv Null

Oct 6, 2011
03:29

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This is response to Chaowee who sent this to my email: Overall, livestock including cattle, sheep, pig, poultry, fish farms and dairy accounts for at least 51% of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. – Based on a new report released in October 2009 by Former lead environmental adviser at the World Bank Group Robert Goodland and World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation research officer and environmental specialist Jeff Anhang, which builds on the widely cited 2006 report by UN FAO report Livestock’s Long Shadow. - http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf ---------- Thanks Chaowee for your support and comment...Yes, I am familiar with this study which stresses that the FAO was conservative in it's assessment of 18% of global GHG being attributable to livestock production. The evidence is overwhelming that we can not mitigate climate change without reforming our livestock/agriculture practices and I encourage all to read this study. Thanks again http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change

Viv Null

Oct 9, 2011
12:14

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Some news that agriculture may have significant attention at the Rio+20. http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/sep/02/rio-20-summit-agriculture A much needed practical departure from the stalemated meetings of the past. In a year of famine and rising food prices, a no cost practical solution is much needed.

2011 Judges

Oct 11, 2011
06:45

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Overall assessment: This will be an important issue in the future, especially as people in the developing world seek to add meat to their diets, and the team may want to expand the proposal’s reach to take that reality into account. Be careful about claiming too much about the impact the proposed actions on short-lived greenhouse gases. The team may also want to consider soot. A snappier and more directly descriptive title could help. Specific comments and suggestions for improvement: - Promotion of reduction of meat diet through a host of non-profit entities. Climate impact modest but discernible. It is concrete and well thought-through; however, it is clearly not comprehensive. - Not a new idea, but one that hasn't been pushed. I'm torn between thinking this is something we need to do, and wondering whether it's utterly unrealistic and taking an approach to meat-eating that's largely symbolic. And it doesn't acknowledge that as other nations get wealthier, folks will want more meat.

Viv Null

Oct 11, 2011
07:16

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Thank you for your assessment. I agree about the importance of this issue in the future especially given the massive amounts of water and land resources that go into the growing of meat. Even the current level of consumption can only be achieved with an industrialized factory farm culture and that has given way to extreme pollution of both water http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fertilizer-runoff-overwhelms-streams and air near the farm areas. And animals kept in such close confinement must be fed huge amounts of antibiotics to keep them from becoming sick and that has led to a massive public health problem of human antibiotic resistance http://www.jhu.edu/jhumag/0609web/farm.html. True, as nations get wealthier they want more meat and that is beginning to be a problem with China as it is looking to import pork and feed from the US http://www.grist.org/article/food-with-the-global-climate-pact-dead-China-gets-hungry-for-corn-fed-fact. At the same time US farms are losing their topsoil because of the monoculture growth of corn and soy which is mainly used to feed animals.http://www.ewg.org/losingground/. More than half the corn and soy grown in the US goes to feed animals not people http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/04/can-the-planet-support-10-billion-people/how-10-billion-can-survive and yet this year we have had famine in Africa. These problems are being exacerbated by the effects of climate change which is making agriculture less predictable due to droughts and floods. In order to prepare for the future our agriculture system must be reformed and a move away from meat production is a practical solution. Definitely needs a better title. Would like more input from your group Thank you

Jaswant Singh

Oct 13, 2011
06:21

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Meat eating is not a sustainable option anymore. How much longer can we continue to grow crops to intensively feed over 60billion livestock to feed the omnivores when there are millions starving in third world countries. Much better solution is forthe 6billion humans to gain healthful benefits by consuming the crops firsthand rather than through a secondary source which not only contributes to many of the worlds major diseases but impacts hugely on the environment in a destructive way. The other connection we are failing to make is the karmic one, by causing mass suffering and extinction of our innocent animal species, we are in fact advancing the onset of human extinction. Have we forgotten the very valuable commandment 'do unto others as you would do unto yourselves'. Vegan option is the the way forward in every aspect.

carolina

Oct 13, 2011
02:06

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Be VEGAN - now, TODAY to SAVE this planet.

Dennis Peterson

Oct 13, 2011
03:29

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From the link in #5: "Today, tens of billions more livestock are exhaling CO2 than in preindustrial days, while Earth’s photosynthetic capacity (its capacity to keep carbon out of the atmosphere by absorbing it in plant mass) has declined sharply as forest has been cleared." Let's not go overboard here...all the carbon that farm animals breathe out was recently pulled from the atmosphere by the plants they ate. I do agree that agriculture is a big issue, due to deforestation, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and topsoil depeletion. Also, if you're arguing that we should collect the plants and convert them to biochar, that changes the equation.

Pat

Oct 13, 2011
03:39

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The World Preservation Foundation have been focused on this topic for the past few years and have some excellent reports dedicated to short-lived gases causes and solutions. They even organized a conference in Westminster, London last year inviting some of the World's leading experts to speak on short lived gases and how reducing these could cool the planet faster and cheaper than by focusing only on carbon dioxide. They also made an excellent short video showing the sources of the short-lived gases, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Black Carbon. Please see this video: http://vimeo.com/16555970 And for more info visit the website www.worldpreservationfoundation.org As it turns out diet change (eating plant-based) is the most effective way to offset short lived gasses.

Viv Null

Oct 13, 2011
04:13

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Yes, I agree re the effectiveness of reducing short-lived climate forcers. Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, senior scientist for The World Preservation Foundation will be part of our team as will Nancy A. Heitzeg. I will shortly be updating our proposal with the paper from WPF which has been submitted to The International Journal of Climate Change. Thank you all for your interest. We are all on the same team trying to mitigate the urgent problem of climate change.

Nancy Heitzeg

Oct 14, 2011
12:29

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Thanks for this excellent proposal! Reducing meat production/consumption and/or going vegetarian/vegan is the best approach for achieving an immediate impact on climate change. It requires few costs, no new infra-structure and empowers consumers to exert choice in an area where they have direct results. I can personally attest to the power of public education as a participant in the Meatless Monday efforts by beachbabe on Daily Kos, and the related Meatless Advocates Group. Meatless Mondays and the plan set forth in this proposal offers an achievable goal for those who are not yet vegetarian/vegan, and often becomes the gateway to a meat-free diet. Increased awareness of the planetary impact of meat as well as the range of vegetarian options makes this a choice that most people will now entertain. This has also been my experience as a Professor of Sociology who teaches several classes that address the environmental impact of meat, the green movement and sustainable alternatives. Knowledge does change behaviors, especially when the range of harms (human, environmental and animal) related to factory farming are exposed and alternatives provided. Increased education about meat-free options is consistent with parallel efforts to address the issue of food deserts and loss of indigenous agriculture/bio-diversity. I see this project as highly compatible with the renewed interest in urban farming and the long standing opposition to GMOs and corporate of control of agriculture. If meatless campaigns could also offer information about how alternatives could support other Green efforts around food, then additional audiences and demographic groups might be reached. Growing Power (http://www.growingpower.org/) and Navdanya (http://www.navdanya.org/) are two grassroots efforts that come to mind here. I strongly support this proposal. Meat-free is a movement whose time has arrived.

Emily Strange

Oct 18, 2011
11:14

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Reducing Methane is just the only quick solution we have. Green technologies are just to costly and to slow to put in place to be quickly effective. And yes, it also improves public health and reduces health related costs.

Viv Null

Oct 18, 2011
04:23

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Thanks All for these affirming comments. Nancy, In particular I like the suggestion of adding corporate control of agriculture as a culprit to our broken agriculture system. After all, the government subsidies which keep our broken agri-system alive are there because agri-corporations paid the lobbyists to communicate their needs to our politicians. They are particularly strong in the livestock and agriculture industry where four corporations control 84% of beef packing, 66% of pork production and one company (Monsanto) controls more than 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the U.S. We need to reduce/eliminate those subsidies. I also would like to pursue the issue of population control as our planet hits the 7 billion number this month and there are 64 billion livestock bred each year for human consumption. Reducing meat consumption is a natural, humane way of reducing population.

Dennis Peterson

Oct 20, 2011
11:32

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A sad bit of news, if correct: France is now requiring meat in all meals served by hospitals, schools, and nursing homes: http://oneworldday.blogspot.com/2011/10/french-ban-vegetarian-and-vegan-meals.html

Viv Null

Oct 20, 2011
11:48

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Thanks for that Dennis, they are trying to hold on to their food culture as they are still defending the horrific practice of producing foie gras http://youtu.be/8K3iHizTe_Y. The conservative government there will have to change with the times. Meanwhile, I recommend that all go to one of my favorite french restaurants "La Zucca Magica" in Nice for wonderful vegetarian food..wonder if they will try to close down the reataurant?

Viv Null

Oct 20, 2011
11:07

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The news from France does show that they are threatened by the success of meat reducing campaigns.

Helder Pérez

Oct 20, 2011
07:34

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Hi everyone. I agree that cattle ranching boosts the greenhouse effect by first setting off emissions from the burning the original forests and later the old grasses(because of the lignified cell walls), then by the methane found in the manure and so on. It's all true. To me what is really -if not equally- important is to conserve the original forest to allow carbon and methane sequestration! Could the campaign address this issue as well? Finally, going vegan is highly unrealistic. I was vegetarian 10 years and then quit because it was too difficult to continue doing it where I live (there are no Boca burgers here). People hate to be told what they can't do. So, forbidding them meat just won't work. Instead, we should push for "ecological" beef and a healthier food pyramide.

Viv Null

Oct 20, 2011
08:05

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Thanks for your comment constantino, Unfortunately 70% of deforestation in the Amazon is tied to livestock production; either for grazing or to grow soy for livestock feed. The only way to reduce that is to reduce demand for meat. Again, unfortunately there is no ecological way to raise beef. Just addressing the water use shows raising meat is unsustainable as nearly half of all water in the US goes to raising livestock for consumption whether as water for drinking by the animals or as water for irrigation for the immense amount of food they eat. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months! A totally vegan diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day, while a typical meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/meat-wastes-natural-resources.aspx Clearly, there is no ecological way to raise livestock for human consumption. A healthier food pyramide would be one without meat and no or very little dairy.

James Greyson

Oct 21, 2011
03:25

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Loss of nature and rainforests in particular is a major global problem that needs to be not just reduced but also reversed. Decades of campaigns have sadly not even established the scale of ambition that is needed. Reducing demand for meat is a definite tactic to help and I would propose two others as well that are compatible. Firstly we need a non-exploitive economic model so that profits come not from converting natural resources into waste and problems but rather from the reverse. This is the 'Fix the system' proposal offered in the CoLab. In practical terms this would mean a premium on fossil fuel prices that makes intensive farming and long distance transports more expensive so encouraging local food production with closed-loop nutrient flows. Secondly we need a non-exploitive relationship between people and nature. The western cultural paradigm of the Earth belonging to us must be reversed to build our sense of belonging to the Earth. This can be implemented by suitable international treaty, as described here http://bit.ly/switch5 In practical terms land and seas would be managed to extract only the renewable harvest not the natural capital. Hope this helps :-)

Viv Null

Oct 21, 2011
07:41

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Thanks for comment Blindspotter, Definitely agree we need a price on carbon should have done that 30 years ago and for the same reasons you cite. And I also have supported the non-exploitive relationship between people and nature..that is at the base of our problem. We need to do these things. Trouble is they will not address the worse effects of climate change unless they focus on reducing meat consumption because they mainly address C02 emissions which as stated in my proposal can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. We need to address the short lived climate forcers such as Black carbon(soot),Methane and ground level ozone if we are to gain some control over the worse effects of the warming. As livestock is the greatest contributor to all these forces and literally everyone on Earth can participate we need massive education. I think the education needs to be focused on industrialized countries and industrialized animal production until we can get enough reduction in production to be manageable. There are many ways to try to influence government reduction of subsidies etc. but we know how difficult this has been. We should work that angle of course but, a reduction of meat consumption due to massive education can influence the market perhaps more rapidly. We are running out of time.

Viv Null

Oct 21, 2011
09:28

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In addition, what we have to deal with politically is that the US is a msjor component to any international agreement. It is obvious that nothing can be achieved in the US until after the 2012 elections...and that depends on the outcome. There is a small possibility that China could come forward with some leadership but that is a very small possibility. Anything comprehensive seems a long way off and possibly too late. Trying to work within the US government to reduce the subsidies of corporations such as Monsanto can maybe yield some small concessions but probably not fast enough to make the radical difference we need. As someone who has worked for political solutions for a long time I would advise that in this case we need to mobilize grassroots to change consumption patterns with mass education. This has succeeded before and with meat reduction. During WWI and WWII Meatless Monday was used as a way to conserve rations for the troups and it was a great success. People were mobilized in the war effort. We have to have that type of mobilization again to combat the worse effects of climate change http://www.meatlessmonday.com/history/

James Greyson

Oct 27, 2011
02:18

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Carbon pricing hasn't taken off because policy people approached it directly rather than as part of a non-exploitive economic model (which would price carbon and other resource flows too). Such a model would shift culture as well as prices, so for example cruel livestock practices would no longer be tolerated. I wonder if culture can be used also in meat-issue education by for example associating big-meat-lump meals with lack of effort and skill in cooking?

Viv Null

Oct 29, 2011
05:02

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Thanks for your comment blindspotter..As someone who has advocated for vegetarianism and animal rights I would say that ethics as a reason for reducing meat consumption has not had strong support. I think the reason there is such wide spread interest in reduced meat consumption now is because there is research which recognizes livestock production as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions/climate change and also research which shows that meat consumption is a major factor in the chronic disease epidemic and obesity we are experiencing in developed countries. I do support for a more ethical and non-exploitive economic model and that would take us away from the capitalist model to a real paradigm shift. But we have this immediate problem of climate change and rapidly melting glaciers that must be dealt with and I think a paradigm shift would take more time than we have. So what I am trying to address are the immediate concerns because if they are not addressed and very soon the way our world is structured will be out of our control and will concern mainly adaptations. Regarding the economy of mitigating climate change by reducing meat consumption..there is evidence that vegetarian diet could cut climate change mitigation costs by 70%! http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/03/vegetarian-diet-could-cut-climate-change-mitigation-costs-by-70-percent.php Culture is always used in successful meat-issue education as it's recognized that changing a lifetime of eating habits can be difficult for some. So the success of campaigns such as Meatless Monday and Meat Free Monday is due to the fact that they provide alternatives to meat protein. There seems to be a point where people decide for practical/intellectual reasons to reduce meat and then start looking for new cooking methods and meatless recipes. So providing these alternatives in an interesting format is important for a successful transition.

Viv Null

Nov 4, 2011
11:21

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As we hear about the record high GHG emissions http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/04/greenhouse-gases-rise-record-levels?intcmp=122 much higher than the worse case scenario we need to realize that long term solutions will not apply. We need fast solutions now and this proposal to reduce short-lived warming gases addresses that problem.

Deborah Phelan

Nov 4, 2011
09:11

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You will find some fabulous research @ CGIAR's WATERANDFOOD http://www.waterandfood.org/ifwf3/ specifically regarding the reallocation of watersources in major basins to help small scale farmers in implementing new agricultural practices (some agrophonics) .... Here is a link to CGIAR's Climate Ag Day Info @ COP127 http://www.agricultureday.org/ a link to blog entry on Climate Smart Agriculture Putting science into action for Climate-Smart Agriculture http://www.agricultureday.org/blog/?p=159

Brian Tetrud

Nov 8, 2011
04:01

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Im curious why this proposal got more votes than the sky trans proposal. This is not a plausible solution as cultures around the globe will not make this transition. We need a solution that mitigates our energy intensive lifestyles that has a possibility of being implemented.

Viv Null

Nov 8, 2011
05:11

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Those that are voting recognize that reduction of CO2 emissions is not enough to mitigate the worse effects of climate change we need a solution that will give a rapid reduction of short lived warming gases (read the proposal)and this is the fastest and most ccst effective solution available. They also recognize that international consensus of reduction of GHG may not occur until after valuable time is lost. If you read the proposal (the How section) you will see how it can be successful. It's a bottom up solution not top down as you are expecting.

Terry Floyd

Nov 8, 2011
05:20

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“Faustian Bargain” Legacy 2011:11:05 Terry Floyd “Faustian Bargain” Legacy Lets not wait for a nuclear cloud from another LWR Plant problem or a detonation of WNGN(Weapons Grade Nuclear Waste) by terrorist to convince us we desperately need to pursue the work Dr Weinberg started in the 1950s at Oak Ridge on LFTRs.Dr. Alvin Weinberg (patent holder on the LWR {TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima type}) spent 20 years prototyping LFTR at Oak Ridge as director. Earlier, he was involved with the Manhattan Project with Fermi in Chicago, he signed the petition requesting not to use the nuclear device without prior demonstration before Hiroshima. Dr Weinberg cautioned using LWR for civilian electrical power as a “Faustian Bargain” in 1972. At that time he knew molten salt reactors where viable. In 1973 Dr Weinberg was removed as director of Oak Ridge because of his concern with LWR safety issues. The uranium solid fueled LWR burns only 5% of the uranium leaving tons of radioactive toxic waste which needs storage for 1000s of years (Yucca Mnt.). Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor consumes 96% of several different fuels, natural thorium, LWR nuclear waste, and even Weapon Grade Nuclear Waste with a minuscule of waste requiring 500 years of storage while producing clean electric power with no CO2 or mercury(no Yucca Mnt.). The Earth Mother is sending a big giant hint and GIFT! REE (Rare Earth Elements) so necessary for all those wonderful Earth Friendly Technologies, wind mills, electric cars, etc., are buried in mounds of THORIUM! Thorium removal and separation is a high cost in REE mining. Thorium the fuel used in Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor(LFTR)s! LFTRs consume nuclear waste as fuel producing electric power with miniscule residue requiring three hundred years not thousands of years of storage. {NO YUCCA MOUNTAIN, THANK YOU}. Thorium is now green “Imagine an element that when used in a nuclear reactor is so safe that it may never lead to the possibility of the type of catastrophic meltdown that threatened the reactors in Japan. Picture one ton of such an element producing as much energy as 200 tons of uranium or 3,500,000 tons of coal. Imagine an element that right now is trapped in 3,200 metric tons of nuclear waste waiting for final disposition at the Nevada National Security Site.” http://www.lanl.gov/science/NSS/issue2_2011/story6full.shtml Read Dr. Hansen's letter to President Obama http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2008/20081121_Obama.pdf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOoBTufkEog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vzotsvvkw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9M__yYbsZ4 http://www.gardengirltv.com/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/newsinc/landing_page.html?vid=10555196&sitesection=huffingtonpost http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_321544&src_vid=0wTfQiGFAKE&v=SBONp01U7Fk Paul Stamets' TED 2008 talk, "6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/7970619/Obama-could-kill-fossil-fuels-overnight-with-a-nuclear-dash-for-thorium.html

Viv Null

Nov 9, 2011
04:30

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Now from the real Dr. James Hansen who states in this video that going veggie is most most effective action against climate change that an individual can take http://youtu.be/zfbxeAFk8mY

Dennis Peterson

Nov 9, 2011
05:50

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There's no conflict between comments 31 and 32. An individual can't build a thorium reactor. Hansen strongly advocates advocates nuclear power in his book, especially advanced designs.

Viv Null

Nov 9, 2011
05:58

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Certainly, I just think that with political and economical paralysis on climate change that a solution that would demand neither is more feasible at this time. Time is the major concern here.

Terry Floyd

Nov 9, 2011
05:27

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There is a symbiotic relationship here. To support dense populations a sustainable clean source of energy is required. Only LFTRs can deliver. Electrically powered Hydroponics are the only way to feed large populations and veggie food is the most productive. Paul Stamets' TED 2008 talk, "6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html

Dennis Peterson

Nov 9, 2011
07:15

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Stamets is awesome...how does his work relate? Here's some work on indoor farming that looks pretty interesting...since plants reflect green, give them light without green and double photosynthetic efficiency. http://singularityhub.com/2011/08/14/dutch-plantlab-revolutionizes-farming-no-sunlight-no-windows-less-water-better-food/ We'd definitely need a lot of cheap nonpolluting power to make something like this work. Incidentally I advocate LFTRs in my national proposal Cycling Carbon.

Viv Null

Nov 9, 2011
09:29

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Nuclear power would not be practical in a world experiencing the worse effects of climate change. The severe and unpredictable weather would make it too expensive and dangerous. There is a nuclear plant in my state which is vulnerable to hurricanes and rising water and there is serious discussion of 'improving' it. There would be more earthquakes and floods. I think we have to mitigate the worse effects of climate change before considering nuclear.

Dennis Peterson

Nov 9, 2011
10:04

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GenII reactors do have some issues, but LFTRs and some other advanced designs don't require external power to keep operating properly, and aren't even water-cooled. You can put them in the middle of a desert if you want. With a LFTR, if the power cuts out a frozen plug melts and all the fuel dumps into a cooling tank. If you want to talk about vulnerability to earthquakes and floods, what about hydro? A flood took out Banqaio Dam, which killed 26,000 people immediately and another 145,000 people in the aftermath.

Viv Null

Nov 10, 2011
08:02

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What I want to talk about is mitigating the worst effects of climate change. If we don't do that and soon we will be left with an unrecognizable landscape. Looks like we have about 5 years to do that http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/09/fossil-fuel-infrastructure-climate-change What I want to talk about is eliminating extreme earthquakes,rising water and hurricanes. That is where we need to concentrate our energies.

Dennis Peterson

Nov 10, 2011
09:13

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I think we're all on the same page there.

Terry Floyd

Nov 10, 2011
05:37

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Stamets is awesome...how does his work relate? Well mushrooms are veggies, and seems Mr. Stamets has pioneered these growing techniques that can make our lives healthy and richer????? Dali Lama recognize nuclear power's role in defeating climate change. http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2011/11/07/dalai-lama-a-role-for-nuclear-power-in-development-process/

Dennis Peterson

Nov 11, 2011
07:26

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Re: agricultural subsidies: my Cycling Carbon proposal also advocates changing them, to promote topsoil restoration. With better practices like no-till, we can absorb a lot of carbon. Add a carbon price with absorption credits, and biochar becomes a big moneymaker for farmers. So I'm thinking, make it a package deal...farmers lose meat-oriented subsidies, but gain the ability to double their income with biochar and other carbon retention methods. (For studies supporting that possibility see my proposal, search for "down on the farm" and "Robert Brown".) Re: black carbon, another major source is diesel vehicles. That's fixable with better pollution controls. Europe's ahead of the U.S. on this.

Maynard Clark

Nov 14, 2011
06:51

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I like this

fayrness

Nov 15, 2011
11:35

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"Changes in the Land" by William Cronon, Yale University Press, describes the effect that large numbers of hoofed farm animals have on micro-climate simply by tramping on the land, especially after forest removal. I would insert the word "informed" before "veggie lifestyle" in #2's comment: "Veggie lifestyle is surely the most effective way to improve public health and curb global warming." It is easy to be a junk food vegetarian or vegan. However, mounting evidence shows that human health is directly and dramatically improved by abstaining from animal products.

Vicki Chuang

Nov 15, 2011
07:01

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Hi Beach Babe, This is a great proposal, as food is indeed a considerable element of our individual carbon emission footprints. I'd like to know if your team has encountered any cultural issues surrounding reduction of meat consumption, namely in the up-and-coming economies your proposal mentions you'd like to target in your education scheme. Perhaps this is trivial, but it seems like there may be some negative push back from people who, even if educated regarding the social responsibility, etc of reducing meat consumption, would still find it culturally necessary to keep meat as a significant percentage of their diet. I guess what I am ultimately wondering is: what is the realistic feasibility of going "meatless"? Even with extensive education programs, the issue of meat consumption is inextricable from cultural context. Responsible sourcing of meat (grass-fed, local), reduction of meat consumption overall (meatless mondays, etc), or less carbon-heavy meat sources (poultry vs beef) is definitely a step in the right direction, though. I very much like your idea of lobbying for reduction of subsidies in the corn industry. I think that full-cost pricing--allowing the consumer to pay for the entire cost of the meat they are buying, including all the costs incurred in raising the meat, sans corn aka feed subsidies--would be a strongly motivating factor in reduction of meat consumption. Good luck, Vicki

Viv Null

Nov 16, 2011
07:22

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Thanks all for your comments. fayrness, appreciate your recommendation of Cronon's book. Deforestation is indeed one of the greatest causes of our current climate predicament. And with the major cause of deforestation being livestock production the solution should be simple. Thanks earthvika, to your question regarding negative feedback. I think you are referring to my emphasis on education in China and India. The major culprit in extreme meat consumption is the US with it's 100% factory farm animal culture. To a lesser degree there is the UK and other European countries and some South American countries including Brazil where deforestation of the Amazon for livestock production is a planetary crisis. Historically, the Chinese and Indian's have not had a diet heavy with meat protein but as their middle class is increasing they are wanting to emulate the western diet. As they are just developing a factory farm animal method I think it's a good time for them to recognize that they are being lead into an unsustainable food system. Particularly, they are already having some resource problems re water and as livestock production is water intensive it's a good time to educate before they compound that problem.

Viv Null

Dec 8, 2011
10:20

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Some good news as looks like there will be an opening for influencing of the 2012 Farm Bill in US. For a time the US senate agriculture committee has had closed door negotiations which was heavily influenced by Big Agriculture industry lobbyists but the result of those negotiations has been dropped. So looks like we will have open congressional debate over subsidies and issues relating to US food and agriculture. An excellent opportunity to influence our food supply, factory farms, and food assistance programs for the next 5 years.

Dennis Peterson

Dec 21, 2011
09:46

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I came across an interesting paper on the climate impact of reducing meat intake: http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/banr/AnimalProductionMaterials/StehfestClimate.pdf "Up to 2,700 Mha of pasture and 100 Mha of cropland could be abandoned, resulting in a large carbon uptake from regrowing vegetation. Additionally, methane and nitrous oxide emission would be reduced substantially. A global transition to a low meat diet as recommended for health reasons would reduce the mitigation costs to achieve a 450 ppm CO2-eq. stabilisation target by about 50% in 2050 compared to the reference case." This was linked from a series of articles on Barry Brook's bravenewclimate site, which will probably generate some good discussion: http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/12/21/feeding-billions-p3/ (Brook's site mainly promotes advanced nuclear power as a climate solution.)

Viv Null

Dec 21, 2011
01:50

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Thanks Dennis, I actually used that link in my proposal. And from team member Gerard Bisshop's video he stressed that the only practical and cost effective way to reduce legacy emissions is forest regrowth in areas that have previously been cleared for livestock grazing and feed production. http://youtu.be/HFkwdNxiQWU Reducing meat consumption is the only fast, low cost and safe way to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. In fact, I believe it's the only way to avoid the worst effects of climate change due to it's ability to reduce the short lived climate forces.

Prith David

Nov 6, 2017
10:55

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As someone who has been driven by ethical and environmental reasons to turn vegetarian, I can only say yes to the concept. Far too many resources are being spent in industrialised meat production. I have, at the same time, looked into a few papers that have documented positive environmental effects in non-industrial animal husbandry. As a small dairy and egg consumer, I could manage with a lot less in my weekly intake of these products.

I wish you continued success with your endeavours.

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