Tag Archives: environment

Encouraging activities for all in the IPCC report on food, land and climate

Recently, we wrote about the UN’s special report on climate change. More specifically, the group responsible is called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Today, we would like to share an encouraging excerpt:

“Consumption of healthy and sustainable diets presents major
opportunities for reducing GHG emissions from food systems and improving health outcomes (high confidence). Examples of healthy and sustainable diets are high in coarse grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds; low in energy-intensive animal-sourced and discretionary foods (such as sugary beverages);  and with a carbohydrate threshold.”

The best way to achieve this healthy and sustainable diet is adopt a partly or fully vegan lifestyle. 3 Valley Vegans helps people in the upper Calder valley with our continued events, newsletters, social media and web pages.

Source: IPCC SRCCL final government draft (chapter 5 food security, pages 5-6). Accessed 14 September 2019.

The food security challenge

The global food system is under pressure. Over the next 35 years, the growing global population will demand more food than has ever been produced in human history!

Animation by Zedem Media via Global Food Security.

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3 Oct: Climate Action Ilkley talk: are our food habits the problem or solution?

Climate change and environmental breakdown: are our food habits the problem or solution?

Eat less red meat? white meat? dairy? fish? Eat more veg? fruit? Even ‘go vegan to save the planet’. The food we choose to eat, and the farming systems producing it, have a huge impact on climate as well as on soil, water and biodiversity.

Tim Benton, Professor at Chatham House and Ilkley resident, will give an authoritative national and global perspective followed by questions and discussion.

Professor Tim Benton is the director of the Energy, Environment and Resources Department at Chatham House. He joined Chatham House in 2016 as a distinguished visiting fellow, when he was also dean of strategic research initiatives at the University of Leeds. From 2011-2016 he was the “champion” of the UK’s Global Food Security programme which was a multi-agency partnership of the UK’s public bodies (government departments, devolved governments and research councils) with an interest in the challenges around food. He has worked with UK governments, the EU and G20. He has been a global agenda steward of the World Economic Forum and is an author of the IPCC’s Special Report on Food, Land and Climate (2019), and the UK’s Climate Change Risk Assessment.

Doors open at 19.15 and the talk will start promptly at 19.30.

This talk is supported by Climate Action Ilkley, the Wharfedale Naturalists Society and the Ilkley U3A environmental forum.

Burning down the Amazon: meat and dairy at the root of it

Few will have missed the recent news reports about the awful spate of fires burning down vast areas of the Amazon rainforest, the generator of 20% of the world’s oxygen and home to 10% of the world’s known biodiversity.  However, the media were less willing to attribute the cause to anything more than the Trumpian antics of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro.   What they rarely reported was that 91% of Amazonian land deforested since 1970 has been used for livestock (sic) pasture or that Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter.

Brazil is also the world’s second largest producer of soybeans on land that has previously been used for cattle ranching.  90% of that crop is exported worldwide as animal feed for cattle, pigs and chickens and a third of all British soy imports are for that purpose.  Your tofu and tempeh are not blameless in the Brazilian fires but meat and dairy consumption is many times worse, especially due to the inefficiency in feeding the soy to animals rather than to humans directly.  More at Vegan Sustainability.

Also, Brazilian beef is being used as a Brexit negotiating ploy.

Even though few media outlets linked the Amazon fires to meat and dairy consumption, a recent YouGov poll of more than 2,000 people showed that over half of the British public believe that reducing meat consumption should be prioritised as a key way to slow down climate change.  Reduction doesn’t mean elimination but at least this poll shows that people are making the link between meat and climate change even if Government ministers are less willing to advocate dietary change for the climate.  Sadly, the poll also found that 37% of the population is unwilling to cut their meat intake at all.  More from Edie.

Image: Amazon Fires seen from space. Credit: NASA Worldview.

Animal Rebellion prepares for London rebellion from 7 October

Animal Rebellion is a mass volunteer movement demanding that the government end the destructive animal farming and fishing industries, and lead a transition to a just, sustainable plant-based food system, to minimise the risk of climate breakdown, halt mass extinction and avert social collapse. In solidarity with Extinction Rebellion, Animal Rebellion will mobilise thousands of animal advocates for a two-week rebellion in London, beginning Monday, 7 October 2019.

Kerri Waters from Manchester Animal Rebellion was at Hope Baptist Church in Hebden Bridge on Thursday, 19 September to give a presentation about Animal Rebellion, why it is necessary and what it hopes to achieve. An audience of about 18 listened as Kerri set out with alarming clarity the extent of the damage already done to the planet and the life it sustains. Kerri focused on the key contribution of animal agriculture and fishing to the climate emergency and to the sixth major extinction event in which we find ourselves.

Animal Rebellion meat art
Source: Animal Rebellion Manchester

It is depressing stuff, and we’ve all seen a lot of it already, but the worst effects of the harm that humans have done can be averted if governments act quickly. Extinction Rebellion and Animal Rebellion are calling for establishment of People’s Assemblies to consider the science and bring forward proposals on how respond.

From 7 October, Animal Rebellion will be at Smithfield Market, where it will stage a fun, theatrical event, setting up a fruit and veg market outside the world famous meat market. They will not the challenging the workers at Smithfield, whose livelihoods depend on those jobs. This is in line with Animal Rebellion’s philosophy of inclusivity, keen to engage with farmers and meat eaters and avoid blaming and shaming.

Practical ideas were discussed to help people aiming to to go London for any part of the protest. A WhatsApp group has been set up for people looking for help with transport or accommodation. Facebook groups and pages and the Animal Rebellion website provide useful information and discussion to aid and support  participation:

There is also the idea of holding an event in Hebden Bridge on Saturday, 12 October to draw attention to the action in London and explain its aims. An opportunity for those not able to get to London to make their own contribution to the effort. There are many ways to JOIN THE REBELLION!

UN climate change report calls for human diet changes, 3VV interviewed on BBC radio

A special report on climate and land has been commissioned by the United Nations; it found that global warming will happen faster than we think.  Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are falling significantly short unless we make drastic changes to land use for  human diets.

This message from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may not come as a surprise to you, yet many media outlets this week are reporting on this advice to reduce meat consumption.

3 Valley Vegans’ Phil was interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds yesterday, describing how people can move towards a vegetarian or vegan diet, how it is easier than ever, and what support is available for individuals. You can hear the discussion on ‘The Big Yorkshire Phone In 08/08/2019‘ from around 1h 11m in, until early September.

The report was compiled over recent months by more than 100 experts, around half of whom hail from developing countries.

“We don’t want to tell people what to eat,” says Hans-Otto Pörtner, an ecologist who co-chairs the IPCC’s working group on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. “But it would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat, and if politics would create appropriate incentives to that effect.”

(Image by Luca Basili via Unsplash)

Petition: End grouse shooting on Yorkshire Water moors

Please consider signing this environmental issue petition:

Yorkshire Water is one of the largest landowners in the region, leasing out moorlands for grouse shooting at the cost of wildlife, habitat, leisure and the regional economy. We – the undersigned – note that grouse shooting on its land is harming:

  • Wildlife – Overall biodiversity is decreased and unhealthily-high populations of game birds promoted. Mountain hare, foxes, stoats, weasels and corvids are purged by trap and bullet in order to increase red grouse numbers for the guns. Harmful management practices degrade the habitat required for specialist breeding bird species to survive.
  • Habitat – Intensive management practices such as burning – used to engineer an enlarged grouse population – has significant negative environmental impacts. This includes degrading blanket bog, alerting peat hydrology, increasing flood risk and decreasing biodiversity.
  • Leisure – The reputation of the uplands is damaged by grouse shooting, deterring tourists from taking leisure in areas where the practice takes place.
  • Regional economy – Grouse shooting displaces visitors to the uplands and tarnishes the reputation of areas heavily reliant on tourist income. Grouse moor management practices also contribute to flooding, costing the regional economy millions of pounds, threatenings livelihoods, homes, businesses, jobs and damaging transport infrastructure.

Grouse shooting is intrinsically incompatible with Yorkshire Water’s duty to provide good, long-term environmental stewardship of the region’s uplands for the benefit of wildlife, habitat, leisure and the regional economy. Yorkshire Water must stop the leasing of its moors for grouse shooting.