Earth We Need Quick Step, Please Go Veggie!

Friday, October 23, 2009
at 6:33 PM

Alarm of global warming sounds grew louder. The pattern of ice melting in the Arctic is one of the indicator. Change for change drove in a matter of months. Dated March 18, 2008, Jay Zwally, NASA climate expert, predicts ice in the Arctic will melt almost all at the end of summer 2012. In just two months to shift predictions. May 1, 2008, NASA launched the latest prediction: the melting of the ice in the Arctic could happen at the end of the year 2008. A series of danger signs that had happened before was the volume of ice in the Arctic in the summer of 2007 only a half of the previous four years. Ice in Greenland has melted reached 19 million tons. Another recent phenomenon, on March 8, 2008 Wilkins ice shelf in Antarctica in 1500 year-old broke and collapsed area of 414 square kilometers (almost 1.5 times the size of one-third of Surabaya or Jakarta area).

          What domino effect looming in the Arctic when the ice melts all? Melting of ice in the Arctic will not raise sea levels, but will accelerate the cycle of global warming itself. When the ice in the Arctic melts all, 80% of previous sunlight reflected 95% will be absorbed by sea water. Further consequence is the potential release of 400 billion tons of methane gas or 3000 times the amount of methane in the atmosphere. Methane gas can be released by the melting of methane gas clot is stable at temperatures below two degrees Celsius. As is known, methane has a greenhouse effect 25 times greater than CO2. One scenario that might happen is a repeat of the mass extinction disaster that ever happened to 55 million years ago known as the PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum). At that time, the methane gas released into the atmosphere result in the acceleration of global warming to cause mass extinctions. Other geological evidence indicates mass extinctions also occurred 251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period. As a result of the release of methane gas, more than 94% of species having a mass extinction. Sudden mass deaths occurred due to lower oxygen levels in the extreme.


Stay Deadline 18 Months

        Read the facts above, one thing worth highlighted is the deadline running out. Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman IPCC, emphasized that the next two years the deadline is important to inhibit the rate of global warming are moving very fast. James Hansen, NASA climate expert, say that we have is at ten percent above the threshold of Earth's ability to absorb CO2. This means that we have passed the turning point. At current levels, the action must be taken no longer reduced, but stopped.

We need speed and accuracy of reading problems that can choose effective solutions. Solutions that can race against time to slow global warming. In connection with this, in a press conference in Paris, January 15, 2008, Pachauri urged the world community to the individual level: first, do not eat meat. Second, riding a bike. Third, be frugal consumers.

Tenebrous Shadow Meat Consumption
         Why "do not eat meat" was in the first place? Facts speak, like a report released World Food Agency - FAO (2006) in Livestock's Long Shadow - Environmental Issues and Options, meat is a commodity producing the most intensive carbon emissions (18%), even more than the combined contribution of all the carbon emissions of motor vehicles (motorcycles, cars, trucks, planes, ships, trains, helicopters) in the world (13.5%). Livestock also are the main drivers of deforestation. An estimated 70% percent of former forests in the Amazon has been converted into field-enable livestock. Each year, deforestation for farm land clearing emissions contributed 2.4 billion tons of CO2.


         Cattle requires electrical energy for lights and farm support equipment, ranging from heating the room, cutting machines, refrigerators for the storage of meat. Engine coolant is at least the chain of electrical energy efficiently. Just count the cooler from the slaughterhouse, distributors, retailers, restaurants, markets up to the consumer. The next chain inefficiency is a means of transportation for transporting livestock, animal feed, up to the other supporting elements in the intensive animal husbandry such as drugs, hormones and vitamins.

         Another chain that is very inefficient but has been applied so chronic is the utilization of agricultural products to livestock. Two-thirds of agricultural land on Earth is used for livestock. For example, Europe imports 70% protein (soy, corn and wheat) from farm to farm. Indonesia alone in 2006 to import corn for animal feed 1.77 million tons. Predicted feed production rose from 7.2 million tons to 7.7 million tons, said Chairman of the Joint Poultry Breeding Company-Paul Setiabudi (Kompas, 8 November 2007). Meanwhile, according to data Indonesian Nutrition Network (INN), half of the population of Indonesia has hidden hunger (16 Sept 2005), as proposed by the Minister of Health DR. dr. Fadillah Supari, SpJP (K).

        April 30, 2008, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono invited the whole nation to carry on with each other to face the world food crisis. The root of the problem of food shortages if the scrutiny is a crisis of one's own land management. Mathematically, inefficient use of agricultural land to feed cattle is reflected in the calculation of calories that "wasted" enough to raise cattle. Feed that had been given to cattle to meet the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people! Means there is still excess calories for 2.1 billion people. Actually it is not difficult to understand the urgency of these dietary changes, ie changes to the diet of short chain eyes. Human stomach can directly digest soy, corn and wheat without passing through the cattle's stomach first. Do not switch to a meat-free diet can actually be a solution to food access disparities throughout the world?

         Agriculture for animal feed itself is contributing 9% of CO2 (carbon dioxide), 65% N2O (dinitrooksida) and 37% CH4 (methane). Please note N2O greenhouse effect of CO2 is 296 times, while CH4 is 25 times the CO2. One more problem farming industry that is crucial, inefficiency of water. Several trillion gallons of water intended for irrigation only. As a simple picture, to obtain one kilogram of beef, starting from maintenance, feeding cattle, to slaughter a cow requires one million liters of water! Data collected Lester R. Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute and Worldwatch Institute, explained in his book "Plan B 3.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization" (2008) that due to produce one ton of grain requires a thousand tons of water, do not be surprised if 70% of the world's water supply is used for irrigation.

Carbon Trace combed Meat Consumption

Trace greenhouse gas emissions measured clear of meat. Dr Rajendra illustrates the conversion of energy to keep up to produce a piece of beef, lamb or pork as big as the energy needed to power 100-watt light for 3 weeks. One kilogram of meat contributed 36.4 kg of CO2, do not be surprised if the data from the documentary film "Meat the Truth" mention of CO2 emissions a year of a cow with a vehicle as far as 70,000 km. Research in the Netherlands (www.partijvourdedie.en.el) reveals, once a week free of meat dishes were still 7.6 times faster than the scale of energy-efficient movement of households within a year.

Most research conducted Prof. brand. Gidon Eshel and Pamela A. Martin ( "Diet, Energy and Global Warming") to trace the contribution of each piece of meat on carbon emissions. This study scientifically recognized and published in the prestigious journal Earth scientists Interaction Vol. 10 (March 2006). The amount of greenhouse gases emitted by red meat, fish, poultry, milk and eggs when compared with pure vegetable diet / vegan, was if one person in a year would change their animal diet to a pure vegetable diet / vegan will prevent the emission of CO2 for 1, 5 tons. Fifty percent more effective than efforts to replace Toyota Camry to the Toyota Prius hybrid car even if that was only able to prevent 1 ton of CO2 emissions.

Objectivity will lead us to recognize patterns of meat consumption as the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Our choice is not much, considering that such deadlines narrow. Citing the writings of Queensland Senator, Andrew Bartlett, that the whole world does not have to be a vegetarian or vegan to save our planet, but we must acknowledge the scientific facts are, that if we do not reducing consumption of animal products, our opportunity to stop climate change is nil. According to Bartlett, there is no step that is cheaper, easier and faster to do that can reduce individual contributions to greenhouse gas emissions in addition to cutting the amount of consumption of meat and dairy products and processed.

Action for our fuel economy is still heavily dependent on public facilities. Efforts of the most we can do is to use public transport. However, it is common knowledge, is not easy to use public transport when dealing with security interests, and for this we are still dependent on government policy. Energy-saving action in the most ideal context depends on the technology. The energy source that is environmentally friendly wind power, water, and the sun, still much needed technology and the cost is not small. It took a long time and extra effort to move the mass awareness to save energy, save electricity, fuel-efficient because they have to deal with the habits and behavior that has taken hold.

Changing your diet is also dealing with the habit has taken hold. However, holding a spoon and finally settled what to put into our mouths, completely in our control. Jump can be done! The distance between plate and mouth we may only long sejarak spoon, turn the contents of the spoon sekedipan take only the eyes, but his control on each of our mindset. For a moment, let cool heads present. Let's clear eyed view of reality, admitted the fact of how meat consumption patterns of pressure so much on the Earth's carrying capacity. For a moment, feel the weight of this earth may be our choice to shift consumption patterns without meat, the pattern is much more friendly to Earth.

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