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Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
We all knew it was coming...

Back in 2006, this column reported on the UN's conclusion that livestock farming created more greenhouse gas emissions than all planes, trucks, and automobiles combined. Predictably, the UN is now asking that we "shun meat" to fight climate change. While various lawmakers have proposed banning everything from plasmaTVs to sports cars, this call came from a substantially higher level.

Rajendra Pachauri, the Indian economist who chairs the UN IPCC, has proposed the changes. Pachauri, who is himself a vegetarian, believes the only solution to prevent global catastrophe is for us to cut down on our burgers, steaks, and BBQ chicken.

Despite his lack of any formal credentials in climatology or physical science, Pachauri has just been reelected to his second six-year term at the head of the world's most powerful climate organization.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization estimates 18% of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions come from meat production. By contrast, only 13% of emissions come from transport.

Pachauri's remarks were made at a Compassion in World Farming Meeting in London yesterday, a group which believes killing animals for food is morally wrong. CIWF Spokesperson Joyce D'Silva, who attended alongside Pachauri, enthused over the possibilities of reducing meat consumption, "The climate change angle could be quite persuasive.”

"Surveys show people are anxious about their personal carbon footprints and cutting back on car journeys and so on; but they may not realize that changing what's on their plate could have an even bigger effect", she said.

D'Silva called for a Kyoto-like International Treaty to regulate meat production and consumption. Pachauri himself favors a more indirect approach, the so-called "carbon tax" he has advocated on previous occasions:

If there were a (global) price on carbon perhaps the price of meat would go up and people would eat less. But if we're honest, less meat is also good for the health, and would also at the same time reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

In related news, an Australian researcher has proposed that we return to hand-washing of clothes to combat climate change. Hand washing clothes would be much friendlier to the environment, the study concludes

Even more exciting is his discovery that "smell-friendly" cotton can be worn without washing more times than a polyester blend, further reducing our energy consumption:

Mr. Navarro, who was commissioned to do a "cradle-to-grave" study of the energy costs of clothing manufacturers, said the use of "smell-friendly" fibers would assist in increasing the number of times a shirt is worn between washes.

"Research shows that polyester is related to more intense sweat odor than cotton," he said.

"This means it is easier to wear a cotton t-shirt more than once before washing than a polyester t-shirt.

Critics of the environmentalist movement have often claimed they're "trying to turn us all into stinky, unwashed vegetarians". With these technology advances in "smell friendly fibers", it's a relief to see at least we don't have to worry about the stink.



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By hellokeith on 9/11/2008 6:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
Wow you guys really are uninformed. A well-balanced vegan diet has *everything* the human body needs to be healthy, active, and even gain muscle mass if necessary. There are prominent world-class athletes who are vegan.

And no, a well-balanced vegan diet does not have a person eating 18 potatoes or 6 cans of beans or any other ridiculous number of a single food type every day.

You want to be meat-eaters, that is fine because I grew up a meat-eater. But stop espousing non-factual talking points for the purpose of being sarcastic or combative.

My phone rings off the hook from the local blood donation organization due to my blood being high in iron and free of contaminants that >98% of the general population has.

My doctor has given me a clean bill of health and even said he might try a strict vegetarian diet for a while.


By Dove2Three on 9/11/2008 10:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My phone rings off the hook from the local blood donation organization due to my blood being high in iron and free of contaminants that >98% of the general population has.
Do you really have to lie to make a point? Do you think we're idiots? Blood centers don't test for "contaminants" except for things like AIDs and the like. And the only people ever called are those with rare blood types, not because your blood is somehow "cleaner".


By hellokeith on 9/11/2008 10:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
No lie, and yes they do. Only very pure blood can be transfused to infants, and therefore my blood is in high demand. Has nothing to do with blood type, Rh, or antigen. Look it up on your local blood donation organization's website or your state's health & human services division website.

It's funny (in a sad way) when people who think they know something about a process argue with someone who actually does the process.


By Flunk on 9/13/2008 4:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
You have to admit that eating properly as a vegan is a lot more work. Not only do you have to be more careful of what you eat but it is also harder to find foods you can eat. It's not like you can stop in at the local McDonalds and eat what they call "food" if you don't feel like cooking.


By hellokeith on 9/13/2008 6:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
No doubt at all. Anyone considering a Vegan diet needs to be prepared for constant food/cooking planning. After a month or two, it becomes easier. One of the outcomes is that you learn for the most part to completely avoid junk food, fast food, and even restaurants. You will lose weight.

For meat-eaters, I wouldn't recommend doing vegan for a short-term diet. A vegetarian diet would be better/easier for a meat-eater to adapt, if only doing it for a short while. Also, a vegetarian diet is a good segway to a vegan diet.


By masher2 (blog) on 9/13/2008 11:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
That's 'segue'. And veganism involves more than dietary restrictions; it also involves neo-religous shunning of all animal products, including things like leather and fur, and even silliness such as avoiding zoos and circuses.


By hellokeith on 9/14/2008 12:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
Ah thanks for the diction correction. :)

I'm a diet-only vegan. Most of the vegetarians and the one vegan I know are mainly focused on the diet restrictions.

Interestingly enough, one could argue that non-food products made from animals are more "green" than synthetic products which might not biodegrade as fast.


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