Thursday, 11 October 2018

UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That.

quote [ But it is, actually, worse than that — considerably worse. That is because the new report’s worst-case scenario is, actually, a best case. In fact, it is a beyond-best-case scenario. What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future. The question is how much worse than that it will get. ]

At what point do we have permission to kill Republicans as a matter of self-defense?

(Not a repost, but I realized after posting it might have been better as a comment on steele's post than as a follow-up. I think it's pretty important, but feel free to downmod if it makes you feel less depressed.)
[SFW] [environment & nature] [+6 Informative]
[by hellboy@8:03amGMT]

Comments

ComposerNate said @ 8:31am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:2]
Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/10/huge-reduction-in-meat-eating-essential-to-avoid-climate-breakdown

Reveal
Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses.

The research also finds that enormous changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying the planet’s ability to feed the 10 billion people expected to be on the planet in a few decades.

Food production already causes great damage to the environment, via greenhouse gases from livestock, deforestation and water shortages from farming, and vast ocean dead zones from agricultural pollution. But without action, its impact will get far worse as the world population rises by 2.3 billion people by 2050 and global income triples, enabling more people to eat meat-rich western diets.


Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

This trajectory would smash critical environmental limits beyond which humanity will struggle to live, the new research indicates. “It is pretty shocking,” said Marco Springmann at the University of Oxford, who led the research team. “We are really risking the sustainability of the whole system. If we are interested in people being able to farm and eat, then we better not do that.”

“Feeding a world population of 10 billion is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and the way we produce food,” said Prof Johan Rockström at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who was part of the research team. “Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today.”


The new study follows the publication of a landmark UN report on Monday in which the world’s leading scientists warned there are just a dozen years in which to keep global warming under 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods and extreme heat. The report said eating less meat and dairy was important but said current trends were in the opposite direction.


The new research, published in the journal Nature, is the most thorough to date and combined data from every country to assess the impact of food production on the global environment. It then looked at what could be done to stop the looming food crisis.

“There is no magic bullet,” said Springmann. “But dietary and technological change [on farms] are the two essential things, and hopefully they can be complemented by reduction in food loss and waste.” About a third of food produced today never reaches the table.

The researchers found a global shift to a “flexitarian” diet was needed to keep climate change even under 2C, let alone 1.5C. This flexitarian diet means the average world citizen needs to eat 75% less beef, 90% less pork and half the number of eggs, while tripling consumption of beans and pulses and quadrupling nuts and seeds. This would halve emissions from livestock and better management of manure would enable further cuts.

In rich nations, the dietary changes required are ever more stark. UK and US citizens need to cut beef by 90% and milk by 60% while increasing beans and pulses between four and six times. However, the millions of people in poor nations who are undernourished need to eat a little more meat and dairy.

Reducing meat consumption might be achieved by a mix of education, taxes, subsidies for plant-based foods and changes to school and workplace menus, the scientists said.

To halt deforestation, water shortages and pollution from overuse of fertiliser, profound changes in farming practices are needed. These include increasing crop yields in poorer nations, more universal water storage and far more careful use of fertilisers.

“I was surprised by the fact we need a combination of very ambitious options,” Springmann said. “We really need to push it to the edge of what is possible.”

All the diet and farming options are already being implemented in somewhere in the world, said Springmann. In the Netherlands and Israel, fertilisers and water are being better used, while big cuts in meat consumption are being seen among young people in some cities.

But a global change is needed, he said: “I think we can do it, but we really need much more proactive governments to provide the right framework. People can make a personal difference by changing their diet, but also by knocking on the doors of their politicians and saying we need better environmental regulations – that is also very important. Do not let politicians off the hook.”

Prof Tim Benton at the University of Leeds, who was not part of the research team, said: “Ultimately, we live on a finite planet, with finite resources. It is a fiction to imagine there is a technological solution allowing us to produce as much food as we might ever want, allowing us to overeat and throw food away.” He said the environmental burden of the current food system “undermines the ability of future generations to live on a stable and ecologically rich planet”.

Prof Peter Smith at the University of Aberdeen, who was also not part of the research team, said: “We know food choices are very personal, and that behaviour change can be difficult to encourage, but the evidence is now unequivocal – we need to change our diets if we are to have a sustainable future. The fact that it will also make us healthier makes it a no-brainer.”


ComposerNate said @ 8:34am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:1 Underrated]
Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock - it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

Reveal
Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.


The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.


Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals – study
Read more
“Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems,” he said. “Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this. Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy.”

The analysis also revealed a huge variability between different ways of producing the same food. For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land result in 12 times more greenhouse gases and use 50 times more land than those grazing rich natural pasture. But the comparison of beef with plant protein such as peas is stark, with even the lowest impact beef responsible for six times more greenhouse gases and 36 times more land.


The large variability in environmental impact from different farms does present an opportunity for reducing the harm, Poore said, without needing the global population to become vegan. If the most harmful half of meat and dairy production was replaced by plant-based food, this still delivers about two-thirds of the benefits of getting rid of all meat and dairy production.

Cutting the environmental impact of farming is not easy, Poore warned: “There are over 570m farms all of which need slightly different ways to reduce their impact. It is an [environmental] challenge like no other sector of the economy.” But he said at least $500bn is spent every year on agricultural subsidies, and probably much more: “There is a lot of money there to do something really good with.”

Labels that reveal the impact of products would be a good start, so consumers could choose the least damaging options, he said, but subsidies for sustainable and healthy foods and taxes on meat and dairy will probably also be necessary.

One surprise from the work was the large impact of freshwater fish farming, which provides two-thirds of such fish in Asia and 96% in Europe, and was thought to be relatively environmentally friendly. “You get all these fish depositing excreta and unconsumed feed down to the bottom of the pond, where there is barely any oxygen, making it the perfect environment for methane production,” a potent greenhouse gas, Poore said.

The research also found grass-fed beef, thought to be relatively low impact, was still responsible for much higher impacts than plant-based food. “Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions,” Poore said.

The new research has received strong praise from other food experts. Prof Gidon Eshel, at Bard College, US, said: “I was awestruck. It is really important, sound, ambitious, revealing and beautifully done.”

He said previous work on quantifying farming’s impacts, including his own, had taken a top-down approach using national level data, but the new work used a bottom-up approach, with farm-by-farm data. “It is very reassuring to see they yield essentially the same results. But the new work has very many important details that are profoundly revealing.”


Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
Read more
Prof Tim Benton, at the University of Leeds, UK, said: “This is an immensely useful study. It brings together a huge amount of data and that makes its conclusions much more robust. The way we produce food, consume and waste food is unsustainable from a planetary perspective. Given the global obesity crisis, changing diets – eating less livestock produce and more vegetables and fruit – has the potential to make both us and the planet healthier.”

Dr Peter Alexander, at the University of Edinburgh, UK, was also impressed but noted: “There may be environmental benefits, eg for biodiversity, from sustainably managed grazing and increasing animal product consumption may improve nutrition for some of the poorest globally. My personal opinion is we should interpret these results not as the need to become vegan overnight, but rather to moderate our [meat] consumption.”

Poore said: “The reason I started this project was to understand if there were sustainable animal producers out there. But I have stopped consuming animal products over the last four years of this project. These impacts are not necessary to sustain our current way of life. The question is how much can we reduce them and the answer is a lot.”


Dienes said @ 9:11pm GMT on 12th Oct [Score:1 Underrated]
Stuff like this makes me hopeful for a lab-grown meat industry.
rylex said @ 10:32am GMT on 11th Oct
The world is becoming more like a phil dick story every day.

He has several where the Earth is experiencing overwarming due to man. IIRC "The Day Mr. Computer Fell Out Of Its Tree" references a future in 20xx where personal shielding is needed to go outside during the day time.
JWWargo said @ 3:31am GMT on 13th Oct
rylex said @ 5:13am GMT on 13th Oct
I believe you are correct. Mr. computer mentions the earths ozone layer being burned off at the start of the story but doesnt really expand upon this.
cb361 said @ 10:58am GMT on 11th Oct
Don't worry about it. The world is a physical paranoid projection of Mr Trump. When he dies, the world and everything in it will no longer exist either.
mechanical contrivance said[1] @ 1:15pm GMT on 11th Oct [Score:1 Underrated]
Trump is the Wind Fish.
cb361 said @ 5:26pm GMT on 11th Oct
That's a common misconception. The Windfish is really a mammal.
ComposerNate said[1] @ 11:41am GMT on 11th Oct
When Trump refers to the climate, I wonder if he's thinking of the climate control air conditioning of the room he is in.
https://www.businessinsider.de/trump-doubt-un-climate-change-report-2018-10?r=UK&IR=T
hellboy said @ 11:17am GMT on 12th Oct
Yeah, it's bad.

How Capitalism Torched the Planet and Left it a Smoking Fascist Greenhouse

Fucking bootlickers have ruined everything.
0123 said[2] @ 1:10pm GMT on 12th Oct [Score:-2]
filtered comment under your threshold
rylex said @ 5:47pm GMT on 13th Oct [Score:-2]
filtered comment under your threshold

Post a comment
[note: if you are replying to a specific comment, then click the reply link on that comment instead]

You must be logged in to comment on posts.



Posts of Import
4 More Years!
SE v2 Closed BETA
First Post
Subscriptions and Things
AskSE: What do you look like?

Karma Rankings
ScoobySnacks
arrowhen
HoZay
lilmookieesquire
XregnaR