We Face a Climate Emergency
“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump's actions could push the earth over the brink to become like Venus with a temperature of 250 degrees, and raining sulfuric acid."
“Our house is on fire. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.”
Animal agriculture and fossil fuels are devastating our planet. We need to take drastic and immediate action. This year and decade are crucial if we are going to stop runaway climate chaos. There are more frequent and severe extreme weather events from hurricanes, floods, forest fires to droughts and sea level rise. Increasingly there will be areas of the world too hot to live in. Disease vectors are spreading with rising temperatures. Ecological and agricultural systems could break down and possibly lead to mass starvation.
Animal agriculture is a leading source of climate chaos, generating more greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) than all cars, trucks, planes, ships and other transportation modes combined. The Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that animal agriculture contributes 14% of greenhouse gases. However this low estimate includes assumptions such as a long half life for methane and doesn’t account for the negative opportunity cost of removing forests, which acted as carbon sinks, for grazing and for producing animal feed. According to WorldWatch Institute, animal agriculture generates 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. This figure includes all aspects of animal agriculture in a full life cycle analysis.
Methane comes from cows, and is 70 times more damaging than carbon dioxide emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions arise from the huge amounts of fertilizer used to grow the genetically engineered corn and soy which are fed to animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Nitrous oxide pollution is even worse than methane—200 times more damaging per ton than carbon dioxide.
Animal agriculture is a leading cause of deforestation and species extinction. Nearly 80% of agricultural land is used for animal feed and grazing. The Earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the natural or background rate. It is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65 million years ago.
We must end animal agriculture and reforest the Earth to bring down the atmospheric carbon content.
Animal agriculture is also the number one source of ocean dead zones as fertilizers eventually find their way into our waterways, further damaging the environment.
In 2018, The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that we have 12 years left to make major dietary changes. The time for looking away from the animal victims and climate chaos is over. The time to act is now.