Scientists Call For Transition To Vegetarian Diets In Leaked Report

An alarming new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for drastic changes the world needs to start making now in order to combat the climate crisis.

Food waste and land use are among the top contributors to carbon emissions in our world today. In particular, our addiction to beef has been devastating to the environment as more and more forest land is razed to the ground to make way for pasture. Also, more and more water is necessary to raise cattle.

Not only does this contribute to deforestation, but it also puts stress on our water resources that are already running dry.

Furthermore, cattle and other agricultural pursuits release tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which is something we can no longer afford to ignore as global temperatures continue to rise.

A leaked report from an IPCC summit warns that global temperatures rose 1.2C higher than pre-industrial levels, just .8C away from the 2C red line that would result in uncontrolled climate change.

But the report also offers a plan that if implemented by the world would start to reverse the damage our activities have caused.

According to The Guardian:

The new IPCC report emphasises that land will have to be managed more sustainably so that it releases much less carbon than at present. Peat lands will need to be restored by halting drainage schemes; meat consumption will have to be cut to reduce methane production; while food waste will have to be reduced.

“Climate change exacerbates land degradation through increases in rainfall intensity, flooding, drought frequency and severity, heat stress, wind, sea-level rise and wave action,” the report states.

In short, humans need to transition to a more vegetarian diet to reduce beef production and cattle farming.

“The consumption of healthy and sustainable diets, such as those based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds … presents major opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the report says, going on to call for “improved access to markets, empowering women farmers, expanding access to agricultural services, strengthening land tenure security, [and] early warning systems for weather, crop yields, and seasonal climate events.”

Transitioning to a more vegetarian diet would help save the planet as well as make us healthier. But it has to be done soon because dragging our feet will only make matters worse.

“We are now getting very close to some dangerous tipping points in the behavior of the climate — but as this latest leaked report of the IPCC’s work reveals, it is going to be very difficult to achieve the cuts we need to make to prevent that happening,” Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment policy director Bob Ward says.

So, we should all start cutting back our meat consumption and reduce the amount of land we use for major agriculture operations. If we’re serious about saving ourselves and the planet, it’s one of the best places to start.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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