I'm all for better diets and better managing of forests but this is like saying that to put out a fire we really should be concentrating on spitting on it instead of calling the fire department.
 - https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emis...
On the same website the EPA global stats show that agriculture and deforestation (largely due to clearing land for cattle grazing) contributes 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 
I agree that we should be considering all areas of emissions, however diet is something that every individual can decide to take responsibility for immediately without having to lobby huge industries or pass new legislation. Other choices like moving to removable energy and reducing our reliance on transport have a lot more economic and social inertia behind them.
Millions of people are already voluntarily reducing or eliminating their meat intake, and there are plant-based options at virtually all restaurants/chains here in the UK. It's a trend that we should all be encouraging in my opinion, as it demonstrates that society can willingly change its behaviour on a wider scale when presented with reasonable alternatives.
 - https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emiss...
But the vast majority of government resources (money, attention and political capital) should be expended on reigning in systematic issues, such as outlined by GP: promoting electric vehicles, replacing all coal/oil/gas power plants, carbon neutral shipping and commercial flights etc
The shift of the global economy to sustainability is going to bring down lots of rich people and lots of vested interests, and replace it with other rich people and vested interests. The former are not going to go down without a big fight and only governments (and not individuals) are strong enough to bring them down.
Animal agriculture specifically represents 44 percent of anthropogenic methane emissions, the primary driver of climate change related to livestock, as methane is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 100 years; comprises 44 percent of all anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions, the most potent GHG; and
makes up 75-80 percent of total agricultural emissions.
Looking at emissions by metric tonnes is not just ignorant - it sets the completely wrong precedent of how we should view animal agriculture. Animal agriculture in its current state is dangerous, and should be treated with as much disdain as fossils fuels are.
http://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm (See page 29)
Instead of always shifting the blame to another thing, do what you can within your own means to attack all points at once: eat locally grown food and ideally cut back on meat consumption, particularly beef and fish (fish not for emissions, but due to the absolutely massive environmental damage that fish farming, trawling, and all methods aside from using your own rod do to everything); try to use public transportation, walk, or bike when possible or even try pushing your limits a little bit; don't buy worthless flavor of the month products or needlessly "upgrade" to new items when what you have works fine; and cut back on heating and AC when it's not going to be dangerous or unreasonably uncomfortable.
These are changes people can make in a month. The impact on your wallet with be noticeable fairly immediately, and if enough people actually follow it instead of kicking the can down the road, changes will be seen.
But don't lose track of the engineering constraint here. We not only need to get to zero emissions, we need to get to roughly -20% emissions (relative to today). So the fact that something is "only" 9% of our positive number today in no way shields it from the necessary change that's coming ASAP.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean that as a justification for behavior policing every little thing at once, but generally anything big enough to register on the gigaton scale we have to have a plan for NOW.
Its too late to do this serially.
If we don't switch to more sustainable diets we risk doing serious harm to the ecosystem and at least massively reducing biodiversity, if not actually placing humans in danger due to our reliance upon said ecosystem.
For me, I don't want to live in a world where wild animals are just a story I tell my kids while we visit a zoo.
That being said, the IPCC never said that transportation, electricity production and industry must be ignored.
Out of all the potential progress that needs to be made, this can come last.
Changing your diet is easier than finding another form of transport anyway?
 - https://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/
1. Better refrigerant management, b/c refrigerants release significant potent GHG
2. Wind turbines to offset oil/gas
3. Reduced food waste
4. Plant-rich diet
5. Better tropical forest health
6. Better education for girls
7. Better family planning options
8. Solar Farms
9. Silopasture (forested and mixed agriculture plots)
10. Rooftop Solar
The list of top 50 continues cycling at about that frequency through unexpected engineering problems (e.g., 1), social issues (e.t. 3,6), and traditional O&G replacements (e.g., 10).
Saying this or that is the solution is just dumb. Saying it's "key" doesn't necessarily mean it's "the only keystone", I'd hope.
Given that agriculture generates ~24% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions including ~48% of global methane emissions, it's a good start that gets individuals thinking conciously about their impact and encourages more action at the grassroots level.
Of course the other issues are just as urgent but those are altered by innovation and governments through taxes and legislation, which can be pushed along with the support of a more climate-concious society.
There's a nit pick that rooftop solar is probably a fine individual choice, but there are complicating factors and a high upfront cost.
A new UN report claims water and land resources are being exploited at "unprecented rates", and this will become worse as water supply and agricultural yields diminish.
The next five to ten years are critical if something is to be done to stop or attenuate climate change. Unfortunately, very few people are prepared to make the necessary changes to their life style.
Milk powder gets added to all kinds of foods it does not belong in because it is too cheap, and I suffer for it when something slips onto my dinner plate. An inflamed gut leads to mental health issues, and as we now know contributes to premature aging.
To me it looks like systematic poisoning of the food supply and I think it is a catastrophe in the making that nobody talks about.
Forgot to say, industrial cattle farming also uses a lot of antibiotics. Haven't heard of superbugs escaping yet, perhaps because of competent veterinarians.
The study says it could apply to other semi-arid environments as well. Interesting study but the qualifier is definitely necessary.
"We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like."
...and this culture comes from the top.
Also if soy “kills you off” early then the longevity of the Japanese is quite a puzzle.
I’ve moved this year and have a bigger yard but too many trees for a garden. Trying to figure out where I can squeeze plants. What do you mean by biointensive?
Companion planting and composting is most of what we do. Also just overall density— for example, we have probably 2-3x the recommended number of tomato plants in a 4x10 raised bed, and are managing it by aggressively cutting back blighted leaves and controlling sucker growth + providing lots of physical support for the plants themselves.
Agree on staging as a challenge; I haven't figured out a good system for that. Conventionally, preserving has been the answer, but it's a lot of work to make that much tomato sauce and salsa, and better hope you like it if you'll be stuck eating it all winter!
(* at least the ones with reliable birth certificates)
A different sort of vegetarian diet might work without any dairy (I'm pretty sure this describes some traditional Buddhist food). Not everyone uses the same stuff.
Ironically industrialization of food saves habitats.
But also, mono-crops are another issue which comes from industrialization too. I'm not against machines and robots, but we are still figuring out a way of working with this stuff together with forests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSPNRu4ZPvE
Here farms acreage is increasing, more mono-crops and less forests, all with the help of industrialization, crops from other side of the world and endemic fruits, nuts disappearing and because of that loosing habitats.
At least eucalyptus is winning, even though native wood is better in so many ways, but the iron industry here don't buy the charcoal if not from mono-crops of eucalyptus.
Meat might be necessary (vegans will disagree), but previous generations have done fine with only a couple of meals per week containing meat. Research suggests that we do better on less meat. Definitely stick to poultry if you want a smaller carbon footprint.
Fruit is not necessary, as some northern populations clearly demonstrated (they didn’t have any).
These are, of course, micro optimisations versus the importance of good genes and there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding these studies... but the notion that meat is important for good health is absolutely false.
Your article puts pescatarians at the top in longevity but has vegans above lacto-ovo vegetarians. Maybe dairy is an issue and just ovo vegetarian is the answer.
My speculation: diets high in vegetables and low in meat reduce inflammation and improve gut bacteria (this is true). So I’m guessing since there are connections between mental health and both perhaps the diet itself is beneficial to mental health?
Fact: And as for hated... it’s so mainstream in London now that if you’re a supermarket or restaurant without vegan options you’re going to lose a lot of business. Many explicitly advertise selling vegan stuff. I think it’s very accepted here now and I expect that to be a trend everywhere.
My speculation: it seems that the key component in fish is the oil and for that there’s algae alternatives. So perhaps a vegan diet with fish oil is the ideal one.
Single data point and context; I’m 100% vegetarian, 99% vegan, eat algae oil and am very healthy. Do with that info as you please ;)
- Curtail use of fossil-fuels and animal agriculture
- Switch from carbon-polluting Portland cement manufacturing to carbon neutral or negative cement production
- Iron seed the oceans to spur seaweed blooms
- Seaweed: Salvage, closed-system burn and bury carbon emissions deep
- Also, separate CO2 from air and bury it
- Reintroduce large managed herds of grazing animals at the interface of desertification to restore grassland soil health
- Resurrect wooly mammoth hybrids in large herds to deforest arboreal tundra back to grassland tundra to stop carbon and land loss