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Global Warming Crisis & Our Food Choices.

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For the last few years, we have been seeing damaging and even tragic impacts from global warming. While many think we still have time until consequences arrive, scientists and researchers say the time is already here. Rising seas have already caused more coastal flooding, and extremities in heat have caused more rampant forest fires and drought.

The EU claims that we have as little as 12 years until a climate crisis ensues. They say that if people don’t start to turn things around, the climate will increase by another 1.5C. Although the number sounds small, it will cause huge amounts of natural disasters.

Many actions have been started by nations and even people. Countries under the Kyoto Protocol, in the then-15 EU member states, signed on to reduce emissions by 8 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Places like China and India, are in fact some of the leading countries in emissions, due to their high usage of coal for their industries.

Many people have the perception that only developing and poorer countries allow heap-some amounts of greenhouse gasses to be produced due to their high usage of coal. However, among the top three emission emitting countries, United States ranks number two. So, how does this connect to our food choices?

Certain foods, like meat and dairy, are one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gas emissions. In a study done, scientists have claimed and predicted that by 2020, the United States alone will emit 230 tons of greenhouse gases, just from meat production alone. Meat production around the world could cause 1,200 tons of greenhouse gas to be emitted. On the other hand, the meat industry is a huge contributor to global warming, since it also causes deforestation. According to a study done by the Rain Forest Partnership, “The production of beef is without question the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, with figures ranging from 65 to 70 percent of all deforestation in the area from 2000 to 2005.”  Many scientists claim that it is not necessary to cut out meat completely from people’s diets, but that it wouldn’t hurt to reduce the amount they are consuming.

Another question that scientists are asking is, “How does global warming affect future generations and the way they farm their lands”? Many scientists fear the damage is being done to the food chain, since the population is expected to grow up to 10 billion by 2050. This means the world is going to have to provide food for 3.4 billion more people. However, according to another recent study of global vegetable and legume production, the scientists have concluded that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase like they are now, yields could fall by 35 percent by 2100 due to water scarcity and increased salinity as well as ozone.  We will be at serious risk of a crisis if there is more people than food and water being produced. 

For now, researchers are hoping that people start to take global warming issues and waste production seriously. Although avoiding steak for one night, or being vegan for a day doesn’t seem like it makes a huge impact, it does. A vegan saves 1,000 gallons of water, 45 Lbs. of grain,  30 sq ft. of forest and 20 Lbs. of Co2 per day. Are people willing change their diets for their environment?

 

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Global Warming Crisis & Our Food Choices.