Biggest Cause of Global Warming Ignored
by Timo Nadudvari
Monday, October 24, 2005
The great debate about carbon dioxide and global warming rages on while the climate spins out of control. Global temperatures are the highest they have been in a thousand years and are increasing twice as fast as predicted. Ocean temperatures and levels are also rising much faster than predicted. Glaciers and polar ice are melting at increasingly alarming rates.
While the debate goes on, little mention is ever made of the greatest cause of global warming - methane. The research of Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA?s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and considered "a grandfather of global warming theory", and others show that CO2 emissions are not the main cause of atmospheric warming. Methane is responsible for nearly as much global warming as all other non-CO2 greenhouse gases put together. It is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2. While atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have risen by about 31% since pre-industrial times, methane concentrations have more than doubled.
Animal agriculture produces more than 100 million tons of methane a year and is increasing rapidly. About 85% of the methane is produced in the digestive processes of livestock. Even though a single cow releases a relatively small amount of methane, the collective effect on the environment of the hundreds of millions of livestock animals worldwide is enormous. Additional methane is generated in the the massive 'lagoons' used to store untreated farm animal waste - the number one source of water pollution in the U.S.
When you add in the fact that most rain forest destruction is now done for the cattle industry - either to grow cows or to grow soy beans to feed cows, the consumption of meat emerges as the single greatest cause of global warming.
Perhaps you can't afford to buy a new hybrid car or can't work from home or afford solar panels or a wind generator to cut your production of CO2. However, you can make a BIG difference right now by adopting a healthy plant based diet. You can go a step further by eating non-genetically engineered organically grown local produce.
Even if you don't do it for your planet, all of its species and future generations you should do it for yourself. After all, most disease such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes is directly related to diet. 95% of human illness can be eliminated by adopting the diet humans were intended for.
When compared to other species, humans are obvious herbivores. We don't have claws or fangs, we sweat instead of pant. The strength of our stomach acid is much weaker than carnivores and our intestine length is much longer than carnivores. We are most closely related genetically to vegetarians, the great apes.
The lies we were told about needing to eat meat and drink cows milk have been well exposed as the lies they were. There is simply no reason to not adopt a healthy vegan diet.
For more info. visit http://www.earthsave.org