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Climate Colab

Mar 28, 2012
06:11

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We are testing a new mode of collaborative work in the Climate CoLab during March and April, 2012. In this pilot, on Climate-friendly diet, there is only one proposal, and the community is invited to work together on it. You can use this comments section to brainstorm about ideas for the single community proposal. We also invite you give your feedback on this new way of working by adding a comment.

Yuejiao Ha

Apr 5, 2012
12:54

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There are several things I propose when talking about climate-friendly diet. 1) We should optimize the process of planting, such as reducing the use of pesticide, popularizing soilless culture, etc. 2) We should stop eating wild animals. 3) The improper actions, such as hunting the whales, should be forbidden and surpervised by all the people around the world. 4) We should try our best to stop wasting food. 5) We should buy more local vegetables and fruits, instead of the ones that are beautifully packaged in the supermarket.

Dennis Peterson

Apr 10, 2012
11:47

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Local foods are good, if they're foods that grow well in that area. They can actually be a detriment in some cases. If you're locally growing plants that don't actually grow well in your area, you're going to be using more land and more chemicals, and might be better off just shipping those foods from areas where they grow well. I saw a study on this a few months ago but I've lost track of it.

Sumit Vij

Apr 16, 2012
08:00

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I have mentioned in the article about the local poroduction and consumption model of diet. I think we cannot ask indigenous hunters and gatherers to stop hunting wild animals, but to understand how they have been able to maintain the ecological balance till date. I believe its not about stop eating, but about bring human needs to self productiona and consumption.

Vinay Kumar Singh

Apr 16, 2012
12:21

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the human’s dietary patterns are directly related to climate change and finally depend on agricultural products which are either grains, livestock or fisheries produce. Each types of food has its own carbon footprint which varies in intensity and when even slightly change in the diet pattern of human being ,change the carbon foot print and affect the natural environment. Livestock (meat) and fish are water intensive food product which requires 20 times more water to be produce and create extra pressure on our ground water resources. The current example like African countries facing the problems of water scarcity, only due to change in their diet pattern i.e. more dependent on water intensive diets; meat and fishes. Now a day’s an overwhelming proportion of GHG emission is produced by the raising of livestock for meat. In Sweden people take too much meat in their diets, which are neither environmentally nor nutritionally sustainable.

Vinay Kumar Singh

Apr 18, 2012
01:36

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Climate is changing no doubt and earth has its own carrying capacity,it can manage its tolerance level.The thing is that we should take precautionary measures to protect ourselves because we have created this situation so we have to worry about that and tackle the problems. When we talk about the climate change is due to green house gas emission ,the question is that who are emitting this GHG ,nothing to wonder we the human being,major emitter of this GHG.Day by day changing our diet pattern,nonscientific way of exploiting the natural resources has brought this suffocating environment in which we are living today.So its our duty to solve this problem if we really want to survive on this earth and make the sustainable environment and develop a model which are economically affordable,socially acceptable and environmentally bearable.

Viv Null

Apr 19, 2012
07:03

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Hi All, Yes, meat production and agriculture is one of the leading causes of our climate change problems. It contributes directly to deforestation, water and land depletion and degradation and is responsible for at least 20% of greenhouse gas emissions globally mainly in the form of the most potent and short lived GHG's; Black carbon, methane, and ground level ozone. And therein lies the opportunity. The solution can only be reducing meat consumption and thankfully that is something that does not have to be legislated (though hopefully that can be accomplished at some point) but it means that we can get started to greatly reduce the most potent and shortest lived GHGs immediately by taking individual action. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/4/planId/15201. I've been working on studying the issue of sustainable meat..does it exist? Everything points to no..I think the focus needs to be to reduce consumption of meat to perhaps a sustainable level. Also been working on resource depletion especially water, land and oil and wow things are changing here so fast! We know that we have passed the peak of easy oil and are now in the costly, high risk extraction phase. But the situation with water is coming upon us rapidly. There are already areas in the world that are experiencing extreme shortage. For a renewable resource that means that our extreme use does not give nature sufficient time to replenish. How to go about reducing meat consumption? Well first I think emphasis on individual action to eliminate or at the least reduce consumption. But, one of the major culprits in the unsustainable over production of livestock is the industrial farming of animals in factory farms which supply 97% of meat in US the greatest meat consumer globally. It's difficult to fight corporate agriculture but by trying to get them to clean up their act by banning prophylactic antibiotic in animal feed and eliminating growth hormones that will go a long way to preventing the over production we see now.

Sumit Vij

Apr 20, 2012
11:38

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1. Introduction 1.1. More than 10 million children age less than 5 years die every year in low-income and middle-income countries. Since 1990–2001, the number of child deaths fell by 1.1% every year, compared with 2.5% per year during 1960–90. In the year 2000 about 34% of child deaths occur in south Asia. India is a hungry country, as more than 2.5 lakh children die in India every year. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Report on Hunger 2006 pegs the number of malnourished in India at 212 million and estimates that between 20 and 34 per cent of our population is malnourished. In India the 1998–99 national family health survey found that in Madhya Pradesh (an Indian state) the mortality rates for children younger than 5 years is 137•6 per 1000 births. Chronic Energy Deficiency (CED) among Adults is also found to be above 40 per cent in Madhya Pradesh. 2. Discourses of issues 2.1. Malnutrition does not exist in vacuum; it has multi-dimensional impacts on social and environmental aspects. Chronic poverty and malnutrition are interdependent. CED among mothers adversely affects the nutritional status of children, which, in turn, affects their educational attainment, human capital, morbidity and labor productivity. Development initiatives have experienced that income is the only instrument that can break the vicious circle of chronic poverty and malnutrition, however with low productivity of labor and weak human capital development process cannot be secured. 2.2. The demand of non-food items in India is on a rise, due to the increase in the per capita income of the population in the country and due to the change in the food habits of the increasing population. The cereal consumption has fallen from 15.35 to 12.7 kg/per capita/month during 1970-71 and 1999-00 and from 11.4 to 10.4 kg/per capita/month in rural & urban areas respectively. This is majorly due to the change in the food consumption pattern in the country and not because of the lack of the production. This has not only impacted the calorie intake but also the agricultural practices in the country. 2.3. Food tastes have shifted to higher meat consumption to meet the calorie demand. The estimated meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, leading to major environmental hazards. The irony is that these dismal facts and statistics coexist with record production of food grains. This increased food production is due to the pan India agriculture programme known as Green Revolution. But in the long run, the policies pursued under the Green Revolution greatly undermined Indian agriculture. 2.4. Rural communities lost control over indigenous seeds they were sowing in their lands, and became dependent on traders, moneylenders, and middlemen for most of the agricultural inputs; the progressively high doses of pesticides and fertilizers led to poisoned soils; agricultural bio-diversity was decimated, and nutritional deficiencies got further accentuated, especially in rural India. All these factors together precipitated an agrarian crisis that saw more than 200,000 farmers, mostly in arid and semi-arid regions, committing suicide. 3. Core Strategies for climate friendly diet 3.1. The world population is increasing at a very high rate. Moreover, the major contribution of population would come from the developing world especially Africa and Asia. As we are aware of the fact that the majority population of these developing countries live in the rural areas, thus strategic shift of diet patterns should also emphasize the rural communities of the world. Below are the two suggested strategies for improving the world diet pattern and fight environmental challenges like climate change. 3.2. Public Distribution System was created with an intention to provide food to the poor communities, especially needed to lead a dignified life. Analyses have indicated that rice, wheat and sugar account for 75 per cent of all items purchased from PDS outlets in rural areas. The nutritional needs could not be met from within their villages and lands, rural households were compelled to meet them from markets; with the result, more than 55 per cent of the monthly per capita expenditure incurred by rural households is towards food. This is where the current PDS has lost its edge. 3.3. In the light of these arguments and upcoming environmental challenges like climate change, there is a need for advocacy of decentralizing the PDS the developing world. The decentralized Public Distribution System is reimagined; one that is democratic can resolve the issues of ecological balance, meaningful consumption and emphasizes nutritional deficiencies. 3.4. The concept of decentralized PDS lays emphasis on the participation of people — especially the marginalized and women — and on a holistic approach that integrates biodiversity, natural resource management, rural livelihoods and empowerment. The inclusion of local indigenous knowledge and expertise at every stage would make such a PDS truly participatory. Such a PDS would focus on the food crops that are locally produced. In some locations this might be millets, while in others it might be endemic varieties of rice and wheat. The storage of these grains would also be undertaken by the local communities, at village or panchayat level, thus reducing storage and transport costs, and generating employment for a few rural households. Being transportation one of the major contributions of methane emission, this strategy of self-management and consumption would reduce the emission by a big factor. 3.5. The second important strategy would be the revival of traditional agricultural systems which would diversify the range of cereals, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables available to the rural communities. The combination of such crops would ensure that the nutritional needs of the communities are locally met at a reasonable price. This is likely to enable rural households to spend less on food and use the money thus saved for other purposes. Further, the in-built risk-mitigation properties of such agricultural systems enhance the capacities of rural households to cope with the phenomenon of climate change.

Maruf Orewole

Apr 21, 2012
05:06

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This proposal should critically look into cultivation of water efficient crops and methods of increasing water use efficiency of crops so that water could be saved for the growth of trees that will serve as carbon sink which will drastically reduces GHGs.

Sumit Vij

Apr 24, 2012
11:55

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I believe that we have ample technologies in the lab, thus process of lab to land should be focused and we need to understand that how we can make people believe in the importance of these technologies. It should basically be accepted by the community to really make changes. I believe more varities and more efficiency brings a very capitalist view, therefore the proposal should look into the existing advanced technologies and TEKs which are acceptable and practiced.

Viv Null

Apr 30, 2012
09:41

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sumit-vij, I like your suggestions re India and PDS. I think looking at the need to reform agriculture globally due to it's major contribution to GHG emissions and Climate change and it's unsustainable use of resources including water and land necessitates treating the developed world and the undeveloped differently in regards to goals. For the sake of this discussion I'm placing China into developed status as China has just surpassed the US in meat consumption..not per capita but total due to it's huge population which is increasing meat consumption In the developed world whose agricultural practices especially livestock production is one of the greatest contributors to climate change I think emphasis needs to be placed on reducing meat consumption. Reducing meat consumption in the developed world also helps to reduce the production of the grains used to feed the animals in their industrial factory farms. Those grains can then either be used to feed people directly or some land can be restored as a carbon sink for GHG reduction. The US has had a reduction in meat consumption in the last 5 years and looks like that trend will continue. China is a major problem even to it's self as it is going blindly into greater meat consumption while not having the water resources necessary for that consumption. Many Chinese cities are sinking due to extreme pumping of underground water. Re undeveloped countries there is an excellent opportunity to educate for sustainable farming practices especially adaptation to climate change. And to encourage production to plant protein such as legumes and protein rich grains. To environmental manager's comment above re water: Absolutely water has to be considered. Our extreme use of water is not giving time for natural replenishment. Just by a major shift away from the inefficiency of livestock production to a more plant based system we save enormous amounts of water. So by allocating different goals to developed and undeveloped nations we can then personalize the reformation of their agriculture systems. This must be done if we are to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and prepare for the feeding of several more billions in the years to come.

James Atkins

Aug 27, 2012
04:16

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The exciting thing about this area is that the behaviour which you want to achieve is more enjoyable than the behaviour which you want to move away from. How is this? The big sources of greenhouse gas emissions from food production are the farming of meat and dairy. So if people can substantially cut down on consuming meat and dairy, then emissions should also fall quite significantly. The great thing is that vegan eating is inspiring and delicious! So there is at least as much carrot as stick. Eating fresh, delicious vegan or vegetarian food, with clean conscience, and knowing that you will be much healthier as a result ... that's not a bad way to be green! The second thing is that the horror of animal cruelty practised across in the meat and dairy industry is a very powerful motivator for people to cut down on these products. Once people actually see what happens to a cow raised for milking, a pig raised for slaughter, a one-day old chick that was unlucky enough to be male ... when people see this, then it hits them in the gut and in the heart and creates a strong momentum. A big challenge in this matter is to help meat and dairy farmers find alternative incomes and not make them feel like pariahs or in denial. But there is tremendous opportunity across the gamut of technology: from high tech meat alternatives, to growing almonds for making almond milk, to creating delicious vegan sauces to make your veg dish a bit brighter. The commercial opportunity is immense.