Greenhouse Gas Emissions of American Diet Almost Halved

A simple diet change reduced diet-related greenhouse gas emissions of American adults between 2003 and 2018. The carobon footprint of their diets fell from 4 kilograms of CO2 equivalent to 2.45 kg CO2e over the 15 year study period. All it took was a slight reduction in meat consumption.

As an individual one of the biggest things you can do in the face of climate change is to change your diet. It’s easy and saves you money!

The main reason for this decline emerged clearly in the data: over this same period, daily beef consumption plummeted by an average 40% per person, which accounted for nearly half of the diet-related dip in emissions. But it wasn’t just beef: the data showed a slow shift away from all animal-based foods, including dairy, eggs, chicken, and pork—all of which US citizens gradually consumed less of in 2018 than 2003. 

This overall shift away from meat occurred slowly but steadily: on average, the food-related carbon footprint of US consumers declined by 127 grams each year of the study period.

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Financial Times Made a Climate Change Game

Phramacy

When you think about climate change coverage in the Financial Times you may assume that they’re writing about how to profit from it; however, the tides have risen. The market-focused publication recently published a short and sweet game that explores how we can avoid climate catastrophe. Through a series of key decisions players need to figure out how to protect the environment and the wealth of the elite. Ultimately, players need to get the global economy to net zero by 2050. Can you do it?

This game was created by the Financial Times. It is based on real science and reporting — however, it is a game, not a perfect simulation of the future.

The emissions modelling was developed in 2022 by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The scenarios used in the IEA’s “Net Zero by 2050” report were recalculated to track the temperature outcomes for specific pathways used in the game.

These climate outcomes were calculated using the IEA’s World Energy Model (WEM) and Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) model coupled with the MAGICC v7+ climate model.

MAGICC stands for Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change and is used by scientists and integrated assessment models.

Play it now.

Thanks to Geoff!

EU Says No to Forever Chemicals

The dangers of microplastics and “forever chemicals” are well known and now legislators in the European Union are acting to protect their people from these primarily petroleum-based creations. New restrictions on what chemicals can be used and sold a in the EU will add to their already strong protections.

The EU is set to add to and reformat their legislation around chemical use in consumer products to better protect people. One of the goals is to prevent companies trying to bypass the consumer protections by creating new chemical compounds which are more dangerous than the original. Increased standards in the EU tend to help people in other parts of the world because companies are forced to change their ways in such a large market.

The plan focuses on entire classes of chemical substances for the first time as a rule, including all flame retardants, bisphenols, PVC plastics, toxic chemicals in single-use nappies and PFAS, which are also known as “forever chemicals” because of the time they take to naturally degrade.

All of these will be put on a “rolling list” of substances to be considered for restriction by the European Chemicals Agency. The list will be regularly reviewed and updated, before a significant revision to the EU’s cornerstone Reach regulation for chemicals slated for 2027.

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Reducing Traffic Pollution Greatly Increases Health

Intersection

It’s well known that vehicular traffic is deadly no matter where it is and how much of it exists. Even with all the evidence cities in North America put cars first with the occasional protections like bike lanes and pedestrian crossings. What we also need to talk about is the threat cars bring to our lungs.

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment have released a report outlining how many health gains come from eliminating cars from our streets. Electric cars aren’t the solution because they are still only focused on single occupants and give off particulate matter when braking.

Recommendations for achieving those benefits include stronger fuel content and vehicle-type rules, restrictions on idling and the use of vegetation barriers along busy roads. Cities can also implement low-emission zones that favour electric vehicles, bicycles and public transit. Ventilation systems in buildings, which became a focus during the pandemic, can play an important role in preventing traffic-related pollutants from infiltrating indoor spaces.

But like many pollution issues of the past century, effective solutions typically require governments to motivate change.

“Problems like this just cannot be tackled at the individual level,” Dr. Green said. “If an individual is concerned about this issue, then they need to demand that their politicians take action.”

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The Steps to Take to Save the World from Catastrophic Climate Change

Phramacy

By now you’ve heard that the most recent IPCC report shows that humanity is in a dire situation and we need to act now to avoid making the planet uninhabitable to humanity. That is, if we keep doing what we’re currently doing with too much consumption and the use of planet-destroying gas and oil. So let’s change what energy sources we use while reducing excessive consumption by the extra wealthy. It really is that simple and all we need to do it act.

To save the planet vote for politicians that want to curb carbon output and increase the use of renewables. Whenever possible get rid of gas-consuming devices in your life and use 100% electric replacements.

The most heartening section of the report is on alternatives to fossil fuel use. The overarching solution to our energy needs is to electrify everything we can, from heating buildings to transport, and power everything using clean renewables and storage. We are getting a huge helping hand from great leaps forward in clean technology.
Between 2010 and 2019, the report says that the cost of solar energy plummeted by 85%, wind energy by 55% and lithium-ion batteries by 85%. These are staggering figures that point to a radically reshaped energy future. With the tsunami of suffering that is about to engulf UK households from soaring energy costs set by skyrocketing gas prices, everyone in government needs to see this message. There is a cheaper, cleaner way.

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