Global warming is something that we’ve been contributing to for longer than you've been alive. All around us, people are seeing that it isn't just about folks in Guam. It's an issue that will hurt rich people who take private jets, middle-class people who like to go skiing, poor people who don’t drive a monster truck, and basically everyone else.
So whether you’re into fishing, coffee, hiking, music, basketball, etc. there's no question that the changes to our planet will make things more difficult.
Aw hell, everything’s so bad, and there’s nothing that little old me can do. Screw it, I’m just gonna go get drunk
Well, this here is the most important part.
There IS something you can do about it. Each and every one of us has the power to pull us back from the edge. The thing to recognize, is that it’s going to take a united effort by every one of us to turn things around. Our future can’t be about white vs. black, or fútbol vs. football. We all have to work together to make radical transformations. The planet is depending on us.
“An effective response to climate change must involve every single person on Earth.”
So buckle up my friends, and let’s take a deep dive into exploring what is currently damaging our future and what we can do to halt the descent.
In this site we will look at two areas of our lives - transportation and the food we eat. I will share with you not only the impacts on our warming planet, but also the impacts to our health and the many benefits we can enjoy from creating a powerful personal revolution.
This work all began with a simple question: If we were all to make one change in our lives in order to live in harmony with the Earth, would it be better to not use cars, or to eat plant-based?
At first it seemed silly. What did cows have to do with global warming? But with a few years of study, and a thesis paper I learned that there's a ton of little-known sources that influence our planet.
(Spoiler alert: they BOTH have a really big impact.)
The question of which one has a higher impact was originally raised in 2006 when the UN commissioned a report, titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” The report claimed that breeding animals for food was the bigger issue for global warming.
But the UN claimed that the animals raised for food were more destructive than all the world’s transportation combined.
Well, for someone like me who has studied transportation for over a dozen years; this claim was, no pun intended, tough to swallow.
I looked into the people who criticized and there was no shortage. For example Dr. Frank Mitloehner challenged their findings in a presentation titled ‘Clearing the Air: Livestock’s Contributions to Climate Change.’ He claimed that the UN’s report looked at the embodied energy of animals but not for transportation. However it’s important to recognize that his research was supported by a $26,000 grant from the Beef Checkoff Program which finances consumer education in the U.S.
Like Dr. Mitloehner, my own bias caused me to view these conclusions as poorly investigated or even outlandish. It all caused me to wonder if the folks at the UN might be mistaken. After all, if international research couldn’t get to the truth, then who could?
With every human being’s (and animal’s) lives at stake, this controversy was far too important to remain unanswered.
One way or another I was going to get to the bottom of things.
But then again without funding, or a giant laboratory how could little me bring more clarity then the UN? I needed a large pool of resources to draw from in order to figure out this incredibly complicated issue.
Thanks to the magic of the internet (and my hoard of devoted minions), there are in fact millions of documents and many kind researchers willing to help out
It actually took months of delving into untold numbers of scientific papers to wrap my head around all of it. I even wrote a full scientific research paper comparing just the greenhouse gas impact of the two. But don’t worry, I’ll break it all down into user-friendly bites.
What exactly IS global warming? All over the world, people are scared. But plenty of others seem to be either dis-empowered, or confused about how to make a difference.
To put it simply, global warming is an increase in world temperatures caused by gases trapping the sun’s heat (like a greenhouse).
According to the UN, global warming is looking much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad since they originally predicted it would destroy the planet.
The term ‘Global Warming’ doesn’t really describe it well because what scientists predict isn’t simply a warming across the globe.
The radical changes in weather which has caused drought, heat waves, and more intense flooding would be better described as ‘Global Weirding,’ or ‘Climate Chaos.’
Before we can talk about what is contributing the most to global warming, we have to talk about another issue - denial.
Hello, 911, me again. I know you told me the spider is harmless, but now it's saying that climate change isn't real.
The United States has been one of the leaders in denying global warming as a real threat. (link) This is due to a hugely successful misinformation campaign funded by oil companies and corporations which exploit the natural world. (link) (link) (link)
Skip forward a few years to the current era of extreme weather, which makes denying our reality much more difficult. But the issue of whether someone believes or not, won't change the number of disasters that people are faced with.
We don’t have to agree on climate change, whether it’s human caused or not. That makes no difference. The planet doesn’t care, latest superstorm doesn't care, neither do wildfires, droughts or flood events.
The fact is that people are dying, and that should be enough for swift action.