Human behaviour

The rapid increase in the rate of global warming corresponds to the rapid increase in the world’s population. However, it is not the number of people that is the cause of the warming; it is our behaviour and the decisions we make to feed this behaviour.

Here are a few jumbled thoughts to provoke conversation with your friends and family.

The principal causes of global warming are

  • the burning of fossil fuels and
  • animal farming (see Greenpeace quote below)

 

Animal farming

“Animal agriculture has an enormous ecological footprint. The greenhouse gas emissions of the meat industry are greater than every plane, train, car, lorry and boat – put together. Overall, livestock agriculture (including all cows, pigs, sheep etc.) is responsible for about 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – well below the burning of fossil fuels at 57%, but still of vital importance. Cattle ranching has been the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, such that a few years ago nearly 80% of deforested areas in Brazil was used for pasture – although action by groups like Greenpeace has been bringing it down.”[1]

Statistics can be misleading, however, and we need to be aware that:

  • the statistics on greenhouse gas emissions from animal farming do not appear to take into consideration the loss of rain forest and other land that previously absorbed carbon dioxide. So it’s a two-fold effect: we are increasing emissions, and we are reducing absorption of such emissions.

deforestation-in-the-amazon

Amazon Destruction. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://rainforests.mongabay.com/amazon/amazon_destruction.html

What can you and I do about it?

  • Stop eating meat
  • Stop drinking / eating dairy products

Would you do this? Would I? Tough, isn’t it? I love my yoghurt, ice cream, skimmed milk, and oh, that lovely cheese! Summer BBQs without meat? Can you imagine that? And poor old McDonald’s and Burger King, we’d have to start subsidising them with taxpayer money to keep them in business, though veggie burgers don’t have the same appeal as double-cheese beefburgers.

Yes, human behaviour… We need to change it. The media tell us to buy what they want to sell. They do not tell us what not to buy.

Fossil fuels? What are they?

  • Coal, oil, gas (hydrocarbons)

Produced over millions of years. Once we’ve used them, they’re gone. The only souvenir of their passing is the carbon dioxide in the air. So, what do we use fossil fuels for? Currently, almost everything we see or use has some connection, directly or indirectly, with fossil fuels. We all know about their uses for:

  • transportation
  • industrial power
  • heating and light
  • lubricants

But did you know there are hydrocarbons in:

  • aspirin
  • crayons
  • chewing gum
  • lipstick
  • solar panels?[2]

So what would happen if we stopped extracting fossil fuels today? Well, I’m sure you can imagine, but see if you agree:

  • cars, buses, trains, planes, ships and motorbikes would stop running
  • food would not be distributed to shops; people would become isolated
  • electricity would be severely restricted in most countries
    • Computers, phones, TVs, fridges, freezers, and everything electrical would likely become unusable
    • security, national defence, military weapons would likely become unusable

… a pretty bleak picture, eh?

 

What can we do? Change our behaviour.

The animals of Lufianblid will suggest a number of ways we can do this – you’ll need to read the book to see what they are. Despite the human weaknesses of greed and short-sightedness, Lufians believe there is hope for our beautiful planet. With educated, wise, conscientious and collaborative leaders, Lufians will show how we can slow the increasing rate of global warming and eventually stabilise global temperatures to acceptable fluctuations.

Long live Lufianblid!

 

[1] Cows, conspiracies, and Greenpeace. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/food-for-life-cowspiracy/blog/54404/

[2] 13, J. H. | N., & ET, 2012 03:54pm. (n.d.). 7 Surprising Uses of Oil. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/24752-surprising-oil-uses.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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