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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 LiveVegan on 10/8/2008 5:37:18 AM , Rating: 2
Parts of the following are taken and slightly changed for an Australian specific article about sheep and cattle emissions and the great contribution to climate change.

The real climate change culprit is methane gas from cows and sheep.

"Enteric fermentation" is what goes on in the digestive systems of ruminants, like cattle and sheep. It produces methane, the world's largest but also most under-appreciated contribution to climate change over the next few decades.

The second-largest current contribution is coal.

Methane is so under-appreciated because there's political reasons. The political reason is that if telling the global community that they need to pay more for petrol and electricity is tough, telling them they need to consume or cease eating beef, lamb and dairy products is going to be tougher still.

Many people would rather turn off a light, ride a bike, participate in "Earth hour" rather than adopt a plant based diet. The thing is that adopting a plant based diet is an action EVERYONE can take and it is THE best personal action one can take to address global warming. Not everyone can afford to buy a Prius, but they can change their diet.

In the Amazon rain forest, most of the destruction is caused by cattle rearing and also soy production for cattle feed overseas. Thousands and thousands of miles are being cleared each month for cattle rearing. The Amazon rain forest is the lungs of the planet.

Let us also not forget the animal aspect of meat consumption and global warming. 60 billion plus animals are suffering and being killed for "food" each year and spend their whole lives confined, unable to move in factory farms. . Let us also remind ourselves of the increasing number of animal to human diseases eg Avian flu, "Mad Cow" disease etc. The many serious negative health effects of meat consumption are becoming apparent. Flooding and famine from global warming is on the increase. Species extinction is escalating and its predicted that 40% of animal species will be extinct in coming years. Human poverty is increasing "developing" countries because they are being encouraged to start factory farms a WSPA report revealed. The list goes on. The ecological insanity of overfishing, creating dead areas in the ocean, species extinction and the "by products" of billions of other sea animals being killed by line fishing and the possibility of the oceans being emptied by 2048.

The truth is that meat and dairy consumption and its great contribution to climate change is undeniable and it must seriously be addressed to save the planet.

The public needs to do their research on this, because green groups and governments are not going to educate the public, nor are they going encourage the public to adopt a plant based diet to address global warming because it is the other "inconvenient truth". They know about the connection because animal rights groups have been talking about it for years now, but they refuse to act on it.

Maybe people will start listening to Dr Pachauri, but the simple truth is, we ignore this issue at our own peril. Adopting a plant based diet is easier than people think. If you google "vegan" or "vegan health" or "vegan recipes" you will find vast amounts of resources.

Check out
You can't be a meat eating environmentalist

World Food Crisis: Is Meat Consumption a Major Cause

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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