Not Because of Scarcity, But To Control The Climate
People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.
The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially “low nutritional value” treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.
The U.N.’s getting into the act, too.
The head of the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change, Rajendra Pachauri, also sparked global debate this month when he urged people to have at least one meat-free day a week.
Sigh. I understand losing weight (and especially limiting sweets) for health reasons, and even to lose weight. I lost 35 lbs. this summer myself by doing that, eating more fruit and vegetables, and by getting plenty of exercise.
Today I climb up onto my soapbox, if only for the exercise.
Ration food for the sake of the climate is such a ridiculous notion on so many fronts, that only the UK’s Guardian “newspaper”, academics, and the UN could come up with it. Forget that it’s an amazingly futile endeavor to even attempt to get people to give up chocolate. Milk is an important staple, and our consumption of dairy-based products should go up, not down, for health reasons alone. As for meat, do you know any adult whose meat consumption has increased since 1965? I don’t. Except at restaurants, diets are far less “meat-heavy” than at any time in the postwar era.
Well, okay – I can point you to more than a few inner-city dwellers who seem to live at McDonald’s. But you might note that they eat there for convenience, not because of hunger, and because it’s cheap. You will not change their habit until McD’s is closed more than a couple of days a week, and if you do that you’re making their star patrons poorer in the process (if healthier, by a fraction). How does rationing meat change their habits? Will it do that before the tactic destroys the fast food industry? Maybe destroying the fast food industry is the intent, after all. Tell me. Will McDonald-denizens change their habits for the sake of climate change?
Yes, we know that kids are eating more junk now than kids did 50 years ago because schools are letting students off campus to get their fill of it (along with their daily dose of sugared-soda served around the clock from vending machines). So instead of returning to the era when schools were a little in loco parentis, someone wants to experiment with just a little food-fascism, to, you know, save the planet. It’s for a good cause, after all.
By the way, what would lower meat consumption (in tandem with the inevitable increase in carbohydrate consumption) do to the markets in third world countries? I’m no economist, but I doubt that the result would be good for the price of rice, or corn, or wheat…
As far as I can tell, this idea deserves to be a non-starter from the get-go.