Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Repent! The end of the world is at hand!

Global Warming is the new Apocalypse, and environmentalists the new preachers of gloom and doom urging us to adopt sackcloth and ashes. From the Food Climate Research Network (food climate?) we learn that only by strict rationing of meat and other foods of "low nutritional value" can we hope to avoid a runaway climate catastrophe.

People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.

The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.

It urges people to return to habits their mothers or grandmothers would have been familiar with: buying locally in-season products, cooking in bulk and in pots with lids or pressure cookers, avoiding waste and walking to the shops - alongside more modern tips such as using the microwave and internet shopping.

The report goes much further than any previous advice after mounting concern about the impact of the livestock industry on greenhouse gases and rising food prices. It follows a four-year study of the impact of food on climate change and is thought to be the most thorough study of its kind.

Tara Garnett, the report's author, warned that campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail and urged the government to use caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure changes were made. "Food is important to us in a great many cultural and symbolic ways, and our food choices are affected by cost, time, habit and other influences," the report says. "Study upon study has shown that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to work, particularly when it comes to more difficult changes."

The report's findings are in line with an investigation by the October edition of the Ecologist magazine, which found that arguments for people to go vegetarian or vegan to stop climate change and reduce pressure on rising food prices were exaggerated and would damage the developing world in particular, where many people depend on animals for essential food, other products such as leather and wool, and for manure and help in tilling fields to grow other crops.

Instead, it recommended cutting meat consumption by at least half and making sure animals were fed as much as possible on grass and food waste which could not be eaten by humans.

It still amazes me to realize that the same people who envision a world government that can control social and economic behavior by fiat are the same people who forswear any coercive use of military might. Also these people see no disconnect between globally integrated political action and populaces that have been converted to local and regional modes of economic production and consumption.

Only highly educated minds lose the ability to connect dots, it seems.

2 Comments:

Blogger Harry Eagar said...

U. of Surrey. Odd. I just posted a review of 'Stalin's Childen,' which features Mervyn Matthews, who for a variety of complicated reasons was exiled from St. Antony's Oxford to U. of S. back when it was housed in a disused warehouse.

His son Owen, who wrote the book, said his father considered the faculty and staff of U. of S. to have been wretched.

They sound it.

October 01, 2008 11:08 AM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.

I suppose one should be grateful for the dependable puritanism of these doomsdayers. Think of the havoc they might wreck if they promised to liberate us from beets and broccoli.

October 05, 2008 6:47 AM  

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