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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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RE: Stop wasting space
By beerhound on 9/17/2008 1:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that Michael doesn't exactly come across as a pillar of unbiased reporting, but neither does his arch rival, Jason Mick. I often read both their posts just to find opposing views on a topic (usually climate change). Neither of them has satisfied me that they are going to tell me all of the arguments for/against, but they sometimes inspire me to dig a little deeper on my own to form an opinion. Isn't that a good thing? As to blocking him, I have this guestion, then some advice. Why bother to block anyone's post? Every blog post on DT has the author's name included, if you disagree with an author's view points that strongly, JUST DON'T FOLLOW THE LINK! Now wasn't that easy?

RE: Stop wasting space
By Tanclearas on 9/19/2008 8:26:07 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a matter of "easy". The following is a very extreme example, but I'm trying to make a point.

If I work at the same place that employs O.J. Simpson, then the entire value of the whole workplace is lessened, even if it really is a good place to work.

That is how I look at DT. I think it is a worthwhile place to visit, but it's overall quality is lessened by the presence of Michael Asher.

As for the whole Jason Mick/Michael Asher situation, you need only look at their individual histories. Click on each of their blogs and compare how many tech vs climate/oil entries there are. You will notice that hardly any of Michael's entries are tech related. Also, I suspect that if DT drops Michael, Jason would likely further reduce the number of climate related entries.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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