Global Warming

Climate change is a hot topic in today’s society and has played a large role in political decisions over the last few years. Global warming is the gradual increase in temperature of the Earth’s surface, oceans and atmosphere. Living in Canada, this doesn’t sound that bad. But our world is sensitive and even the slight temperature increase (0.8 degrees Celsius) that has occurred over the last century has caused a lot of damage.

Some of the effects of global warming are as follows: more air pollution, higher wildlife extinction rates, higher sea levels, more acidic oceans, ice is melting, animals are migrating (due to changing temperatures or loss of habitat). This is just a sample of the damage that climate change is responsible for.

The majority of global warming is caused by humans. We destroy forests, wetlands, and nearly every other aspect of nature. We produce so much garbage – it is overflowing in landfills, floods the ocean and litters streets. And we produce copious amounts of greenhouse gases (especially methane and CO2).

CO2 accounts for about 80% of the greenhouse gases emitted in the US, with methane coming in second place. However, methane is more destructive, trapping more radiation in the atmosphere than CO2. Methane occurs naturally but is also created by humans through landfills and factory farms.

The livestock industry is responsible for at least 18% of greenhouse gas emissions and about 50% of what is currently in the atmosphere. This is because factory farms produce a lot of waste, which ends up polluting our water, soil and air. Manure is dumped in massive pits, which are toxic, and make the air harmful to breathe. Check out this video to see how bad it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayGJ1YSfDXs

From this it is obvious that people who consume dairy and meat are responsible for an immense amount of greenhouse gas emissions (livestock are responsible for the creation of 9 percent of human-caused CO2 emissions, 37 percent of human-caused methane emissions, and 67 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions), specifically, 1.5 tonnes more than someone who does not consume meat or dairy products.  Therefore, lowering emissions by eliminating animal products from your life is one of the fastest, cheapest and most effective methods you can take to not only lower global emissions, but to bring about rapid planetary cooling.

I know not everyone is going to just stop eating meat. But you can do little things like switching to a milk alternative (almond or soy) or choosing to eat vegetarian a few times a week.

Resources

http://www.livescience.com/37003-global-warming.html

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/are-effects-global-warming-really-bad

http://www.ecowatch.com/how-factory-farming-contributes-to-global-warming-1881690535.html

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-effects/

http://www.greenplanetawards.org/livestock.html

http://www.sustainabletable.org/265/environment

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