This I Get: Hansen’s Cliamte Logic, and the Vegetarian Diet

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I know some of you like this blog because it concentrates on the ‘how’ of vegetarianism and not the ‘why’… so: sorry! This is just a little more info to keep you confident in your wise choice.

For a while I’ve been taking a few people’s word for it regarding climate change, simply because I trust those individuals. But one simple graph, part of a larger presentation by James Hansen, has helped me feel empowered with knowledge that climate change is directly related to human activity and the release of methane and carbon.

Here’s the graph:


This graph tells me many things. The most important is the accuracy of the climate model Hansen uses, demonstrated by the matching of observed temperatures with calculations.

Secondly, according to patterns in climate change over the last million years, the global temperature, along with atmospheric concentrations of carbon and methane, should now be in decrease. Considering we are now above 385 ppm – higher than anything shown in the above graph which covers the past 450,000 years – we can tell that a major departure from recent natural patterns has occurred and is set to depart further if we continue business as usual.

So, although the climate changes slowly over millions of years (also clearly demonstrated in the report) we can also see direct relationship between the atmospheric concentration of the most important GHGs and temperature.

What can individuals do?

Hansen says…

… the things that individuals can do are helpful, and one of the most helpful is actually a vegetarian diet, produces much less greenhouse gasses than a meat diet.

But also that…

… individuals cannot solve these problems by themselves, they’ve got to have leadership because we’ve got to change policies – we need things like electrical grids. There are many that only can be done with leadership. We have to have changes in rules…

…in the next year or year and a half, we really need to get on a different path.

And importantly:

… I think we should not only emphasise the problem, but the fact that the solution has many great characteristics: clean atmosphere; renewable energies; and preserving creation …

Have a listen to Hansen’s interview with Supreme Master Television, (a fantastically positive channel helping us change the world for the better).

Part 1

Part 2

External Links:

UPDATE: Follow comments on this article at it’s Digg page.

Posted on August 2, 2008 Modified August 2, 2008