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Insight: How Can You Help Stop The Climate Crisis? Eat Less Meat

Damage in Abaco in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. As the questions are asked as to how to deal with the prospect of future hurricanes, one solution can be acted upon by each of us - simply to eat less meat. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Damage in Abaco in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. As the questions are asked as to how to deal with the prospect of future hurricanes, one solution can be acted upon by each of us - simply to eat less meat. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune News Editor

tmthompson@tribunemedia.net

IT’S the stuff of apocalyptic movies.

Ocean waves wiping out entire cities and drowning families.

Mother Nature in all her fury flattening homes and buildings, as people scramble for shelter in stronger structures, some clinging to mangroves and tree branches in a desperate attempt not to be swept away by storm surge.

Desperate people barricading themselves inside their homes, fearful armed looters will storm in and steal precious food and resources – or worse.

Except this isn’t a scene from a Hollywood script, it was the fear and reality for many on Grand Bahama and Abaco who were subjected to Hurricane Dorian’s fury earlier this month.

And as thousands of people who were lucky to escape the storm with their lives struggle to pick up the pieces in the aftermath, one chilling fact remains.

Monster storms like Dorian are not an anomaly. They will become more commonplace as time runs out to save the world from climate change.

That might seem like an extreme, alarmist statement, but it’s the consensus of many scientists and climate change activists.

Mankind can no longer afford to be skeptical about the science. Human behaviour — our collective arrogance and abuse of the earth and its inhabitants – has come back to hit us in the face like a karma-filled boomerang.

While world leaders squabble about how to fix the issue, and the United States’ president pretends that the problem doesn’t exist, individuals will have to make extreme changes in their lives to save the planet – or risk not having one at all.

But can individuals really make a difference?

A recent United Nations report has found that adopting a plant-based diet could help stave off climate change.

Here’s how your slab of steak affects weather patterns. Massive amounts of food and water are given to farmed animals who are then killed and processed for human consumption. Vast swaths of valuable forest that land absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen for humans, such as the Amazon Rainforest, are then bulldozed for farmland and to grow crops for these animals to eat. These farmed animals also release a significant amount of greenhouse gases, which exacerbate the problem. The world over, animal agriculture is said to be responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s transportation systems.

The UN report, released in August, explores how land-use practices have impacted the planet and finds that reduced meat and dairy consumption can help save the world.

Produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the report argues that if people eat more plant-based foods and sustainably produced animal products, that will “present major opportunities for adaptation and mitigation while generating significant co-benefits in terms of human health”.

The report calls for people in Western countries to move away from a heavy reliance on factory farmed meat and animal products to a diet focused on whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables – things that have a lower carbon footprint than animal products.

By this point, you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “I can’t give up steak or bacon. Why can’t the world’s leaders just come up with a nice solution to climate change that doesn’t affect my plate?”

The fact is, we all have to make changes if we want to have a suitable planet to live on.

Threats

The ferocity of hurricanes is expected to continue. With The Bahamas being a small, low-lying coastal country, our vulnerability cannot be understated.

Adelle Thomas, senior researcher at the University of The Bahamas and Climate Analytics, recently told Insight that the impact of climate change is increasing at an alarming and rapid rate – threatening mankind’s existence.

“As a Bahamian, I am very concerned about the increased levels of impacts that we face as global temperatures warm. We are currently at about one degree Celsius of global warming and are already experiencing hurricanes that are breaking records in intensity and levels of damage,” Ms Thomas said.

“As the world continues to warm, the impacts will only get worse and we may be facing storms that threaten our very existence. Not only do we need to be aware of the increased intensity of hurricanes, things like sea level rise, salinization of our water tables, changes in rainfall patterns and increased temperature and acidity of our oceans are under threat from climate change. We face losing our coral reefs that protect us from storms, losing our fisheries industry, losing our appeal as a tourism destination and losing our residents as they relocate to more stable countries.”

She explained that climate change is fueling the increasing intensity of hurricanes.

“Greenhouse gas emissions have led to warmer oceans, sea level rise, and increased levels of moisture in the atmosphere. These changes then result in hurricanes with heavier rainfall, higher storm surges and stronger winds – all characteristics that were seen with Hurricane Dorian,” she said.

When asked about the UN report’s recommendation of reduced meat consumption as part of the solution to climate change, Ms Thomas stressed that individual habits can have a widespread effect when multiplied. She added that lower meat and dairy consumption would not only be better for the planet, but for Bahamians’ overall health.

“The UN report highlights that there are some activities that we can take as individuals to reduce global warming,” Ms Thomas said. “As Bahamians, we are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and so I do believe that we should be doing our part in reducing emissions. Although our contribution to global emissions is small, we can be examples of the change that everyone around the world needs to make. Our personal activities do make a difference when they are multiplied around the world. Reducing meat and dairy consumption is a simple way to not only mitigate against global warming but to also address the health concerns that we have as a nation.”

While the world’s focus is on the devastation Dorian brought to Grand Bahama and Abaco, Ms Thomas believes our country should harness that attention to highlight the need for international cooperation to limit emissions and keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. And on a local level, The Bahamas must focus on a shift towards renewable energy, protect natural resources and stop green-lighting projects that decimate mangroves and coral reefs - which are natural barriers to extreme storms.

“There must be increased ambition at the international scale to limit global temperatures and prevent impacts of climate change from becoming even worse as temperatures increase,” Ms Thomas said. “Locally, we need to develop and enforce policies on adapting to climate change, on more effectively responding to disasters when they do occur, and on more stringent planning for where infrastructure and communities are located. We must take the impacts of climate change into account as we develop and stop approving projects that make us more vulnerable to climate change. For instance, approving the development of projects that remove our natural defences such as coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass only makes us more vulnerable to impacts of climate change.

“We must stop treating our natural resources as expendable and enact effective policies that keep our residents and resources as safe as possible. We also need to urgently shift to renewable energy. Remaining dependent on inefficient and expensive fossil fuels not only contributes to emissions but also places our natural resources at risk due to spills and leakages. We should be a leader in the world in showing that we can be a carbon neutral country and that other countries need to follow suit to limit global warming.

“However, if global temperatures continue to warm, there will be limits to our ability to adapt. As impacts increase and intensify there is only so much that we can do to prepare for and recover from record-breaking storms or to account for increased sea levels due to our flat topography.”

On the weekend, millions of young people around the world took part in a climate strike to bring attention to the crisis. Led by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, they want the world to wake up to the threat on our doorstep.

Let’s hope it’s not too late.

Comments

paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

The liars at the UN are going all out, making their move to scare citizens into accepting global tyranny.

There are no 'rising seas.' Hurricanes have always been terrible. They're no worse today than in the past. They're more destructive because there's more homes, cars, and people in their way.

They UN's answer is to uproot people from their homes and shove them into 'compact urban areas' run by their leftist thug cronies.

Eating less meat is a good way to kick off malnutrition and then starvation, a weapon of war far more effective than nuclear tipped missiles. Just ask the people of Ukraine about the Holodmor, the holocaust in Ukraine which killed twenty million. Stalin did it deliberately to kill off his opponents.

Think before you panic.

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 6 days ago

um. When the world's climate scientists tell you there's a problem you accept, you do not run to Fox news to get the spin..

It is real and it is impacted by man. That is now scientific fact...

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Feel free to cite a fact or two to refute it.

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banker 3 weeks, 6 days ago

There is always at least one in every village.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Argumentum ad hominem, that's called. You can't factually refute a thing I've said, so you resort to insults, and by your second post, a blustery word salad of old and long disproved PC nonsense.

Obfuscation and factual refutation are not the same thing.

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 6 days ago

You're right, I was wrong. It's an incredibly stupid and ignorant argument. You righties are just like mushrooms, planed in sh-t and kept in the dark....

Come to the light, the right dove into stupid years ago and refuses to surface.....

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

More glib rhetoric signifying nothing. Thank you for exposing the destructive in-lieu 'reasoning' of the genocidal Left.

Go right ahead, drink the UN/eco-Elites' Kool-Aid. Follow Greta Thunberg over the cliff.

The goal is not to 'save the planet.' Their goal is to eliminate as many people as possible, by all necessary means.

On the way, they plan to humiliate humankind by forcing them to change from eating meat to eating bugs and human flesh. You think I'm joking? Read their own documents.

They insist we quit our homes to live is stacked sewer pipes, much more 'eco-friendly.' This is already the rage in L.A. and SanFranFeces, among other denizens of braindead leftist lemmings.

These people look at you and me as 'useless eaters', to be removed from 'their planet.'

As far as your experts, I just cited Michael Mann as one, a total fraud, so ruled by the courts who gave him his chance to prove what he says. He refused.

So-called 'experts' have been lying to get grants for decades, it's what they do.

Why be so naïve about these people? They're not at all naïve about us. They want us off 'their planet.'

And they'll tell any lie to accomplish that end.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Yeah, what's that? Someone who'd rather go with the truth rather than follow a sixteen year old brat with mental issues over the cliff, just because a bunch of thugs at the UN tell you its good for you?

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 5 days ago

The UN? Try 99% of the world's climatologists.....

Seriously. Are you two from the hills of Kentucky? Inbred hillbillies?

You're first reaction is to attack a 13 year old little girl who's only guilty of discussing scientific fact?????

Damn....

Dumb aint strong enough.....

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banker 3 weeks, 6 days ago

In the interest of truth, which paul vincent zecchino is unacquainted with, there is no such thing as a climate scientist. Most of the climate change data has been collected by geologists, earth scientists and physicists (Academy of Physical Sciences). Zecchino shows his ignorance by confusing weather with climate. Weather is day to day conditions, climate is average weather over a long period of time. Since 1993, using satellite data, average temperatures in defined climate areas have been rising as has been the rise in sea level, and the rate is accelerating. These are indisputable empirical facts (sorry for the big words zecchino).
Zecchino makes up his own lies. One of the biggest whoppers is saying that scientists said the earth was flat. Erasthenes, who died in 194BC, is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which he did by comparing angles of the mid-day Sun at two places a known North-South distance apart. His calculation was remarkably accurate. Scientists knew the sphericity of the earth from observing the stars. Spewing invective like saying eco-frauds is the mechanism of ignorance and stupid people with no higher powers of logic who believe their own biases of their limited minds because they are not able to comprehend enlightenment from logic and reason. In this day and age in the era of fake news, you can get your alternative facts anywhere, and spew them out in a vomit of lies as if they truth. Look at Trump.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Temperatures have been constant and dropping since the entire Global Warming hoax began during the mid-1980s, after a few warm summers in mid-town Manhattan, home to many of these globaloney Elites.

Until Columbus, it was well understood that Earth was flat. Columbus set sail to discover a western trade route to Asia. He did so because muslims controlled the eastern routes and they killed or enslaved any who tried to pass thru.

Columbus was considered a fool, as the 'experts' knew Earth was flat, and at some point, Columbus' three ships would simply sail over Earth's edge.

To their chagrin, Columbus safely returned and prove the experts wrong.

Science is never 'settled', contrary to what the globaloney 'experts' falsely claim. Science is always being questioned and overturned as new knowledge is discovered.

Believe what you will. It's your right. But should this rotten crew gain its ends, you will believe what they tell you to believe, or else, as they see it.

Why do you think they attack 'climate deniers', as you're doing with me? Because their science is 'settled'? No, it's because as with any pack of criminals, they retaliate when citizens call BS on their pious lies.

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The_Oracle 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Agreed, pure spoon fed unmitigated garbage, completely unsubstantiated. Besides, The world is a living orb, always changing. Ice ages, floods and draughts. Utopia is always proposed by those who would rule it. Unobtainable by any imagination.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Bravo! The planet has endured far worse than us. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Phillipines almost thirty years ago, it blasted more pollutants into the air than all the bombs detonated in World War II.

In New England, the summer following the eruption, was cold and the sky perpetually grey not with normal water vapor clouds, but with clouds of debris. It was a couple years before this cleared.

This latest scare tactic is cynical desperation on part of the Elites who want to rule their idea of 'utopia', just as you say.

Should these lying psychopaths succeed, life as we know it will become a hell on earth.

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bahamianson 3 weeks, 6 days ago

What in tarnation is this garbage. Do we not consume fish , conch ,lobster etc , more than red meat? Also, our consumption pales in comparison to the consumption of America and China. If we totally gave up all red meat in the Bahamas, it would not have any significant result on the outcome of global warming. Spare me your liberal intellect.

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ohdrap4 3 weeks, 6 days ago

I will replace meat with corned beef.

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totherisingsun 3 weeks, 6 days ago

If we eat less meat how will we throw our kfc boxes out the window? We cant stop littering and we want to solve the earths CO2 problem? The biggest contributors to pollution are the candy cane towers on the western end of the isle along with their complimentary fossil fuel slick flowing past our national park Goulding Cay around the corner. Who is the biggest polluter again?

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 6 days ago

The world's climatologist all agree global warming is real and is impacted significantly by man. That said. I aint stopping eatin meat....

So les find a next way to combat the real threat of global climate change...

Leave my steak alone....

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Ashinnabash 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Can't the companies that process the meat be more efficient? Just thinking about no meat makes me hungry.

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Sickened 3 weeks, 6 days ago

In the same breath the U.N. should also mention all of the fruits and vegetables that use too many resources in comparison to the nutrition and amount of food produced. One cow can feed a family of 4 for a year. The average cow breaks down to the following: 185 pounds lean trim, or ground beef 85 pounds round roasts and steaks 90 pounds chuck roasts and steaks 80 pounds rib and loin steaks 50 pounds other cuts (brisket, flank, short ribs, skirt steak)

If you average an 8oz steak of portion that works out to be: 370 portions of lean trim, or ground beef 170 portions of round roasts and steaks 180 portions of chuck roasts and steaks 160 portions of rib and loin steaks 100 portions of other cuts (brisket, flank, short ribs, skirt steak) for a total of 980 portions of food. Divide that by 4 people and you get 245 meals each out of one cow.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Thank you for stating facts, for telling the truth. As reformed communist and author of '1984', George Orwell wrote, 'In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'

The UN and its globaloney Elites are trying everything to trick people into disbelieving the truth and believing lies.

The goal is not saving Earth. The goal is getting rid of 'unnecessary useless eaters.'

This is not new. Since no later than the 1960s, their own documents have explicitly laid out their genocidal schemes.

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joeblow 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Climate change is a part of a cycle that has been occurring for millennia, that is why we are not stuck in the first ice age! In fact, earth has had several major and minor ice ages with subsequent warming!!! The mass hysteria of climate change is a hoax that is not supported by a number of reputable scientists!

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Magnificent, thank you. How quickly people forget, or perhaps they were never taught about, 'The Little Ice Age' which ended during the mid 1800s. Lasting three hundred years, it was one of the factors which motivated people from Europe and other northern climes to flee in search of warmer places to live.

SUV's surely didn't cause its end one hundred sixty years ago. It was as you say, a natural climactic cycle.

One of the many lies of omission on part of the UN and the Elite globaloney hoaxers is that rather than global warming, we're heading into a period of natural cooling due to decreasing sunspot activity. This decline is expected to continue thru 2050.

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Ton_Heijnmans 2 weeks, 6 days ago

We never fled no where.

"Europeans" went south to rob, grab, steal, rape, loot, pillage and then torch the rest before sailing off into the sunset. With a centuries-long emphasis on knocking anyone they encountered back into the Stone Age (if they weren't already there). Most important was killing off as much of the competition as possible. By COMPETITION one refers specifically to all the other viking-raider blondes.... specially if they weren't either protestanten or roman katholieken depending. Non whites weren't seen as competition. Nor as human.

The term LIA was coined by Mathés, the Dutch east Indier, whose family grew considerably rich from importing lumber, hemp and rubber and all kinds of other spoils and booty traded with the southerns for a slap, a fart and a punch on the nose.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 weeks, 5 days ago

When it comes to climate change and the toxic build-up of pollutants just about everywhere in our environment today, the biggest non-natural culprits by far are likely the petroleum/plastics industry, the coal furnaces in Red China and the burn stacks of oil fields in the middle-east and elsewhere. One only has to look at the rather dramatic changes in global temperatures and climate patterns over the last four decades, as evidenced by the shrinking polar ice caps and disappearing glaciers, not to mention the rising sea levels, to understand and appreciate that climate change is the real deal.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Sea levels are not rising, climate has remained relatively constant for thirty plus years, showing only a slight tendency toward cooling.

The ice caps are not melting. Every expedition which travels to the Antarctic to 'prove' the ice is melting invariably gets stuck in unexpectedly thick ice and has to be rescued by ships from other nations.

Agree, ninety five percent of plastic pollution of the ocean exists in Asian and African countries because those nations traditionally are dirty, they don't care a whit about litter or pollution.

But it's so much easier for the Elites and leftists to blame America and the west for polluting the oceans, because our nations have always been the target.

No coincidence that articles such as this appear shortly after the Clintons made overtures to 'help' the Bahamas after Dorian, same as they 'helped' Haiti after the earthquake.

All of a piece with coming global tyranny.

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milesair 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Yes, be afraid, be very, very afraid! The liberals are coming to 'get' you! Even with proof, some people just don't get it! Have you seen the pictures of the glaciers melting? Oh, never mind, it's just "fake" news! There is no way that dumping million of pounds of carbon into the atmosphere on a daily basis will have any effect on the weather - NOT! The plastic in the oceans is made mostly by "western nations" but the plastic in the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere is coming from some planet in outer space - NOT! Some people are at best delusional and couldn't face real facts even of it bit them on their rear ends! Get F' ing real, that is if you have a brain to begin with!

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