Climate change has been a big issue, concerning the human population and the environment we live in, for over 50 years. It stems from a few main factors including, the over consumption of fossil fuels, deforestation and the raising of livestock, all 3 of these being the main cause of climate change.
“Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. Long-lived gases that remain semi-permanently in the atmosphere and do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as “forcing” climate change. Gases, such as water vapor, which respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are seen as “feedbacks.”” (Quote from the NASA website.) This basically explains the greenhouse effect we are starting to see in our climate. An increase in greenhouse gases prevents excess heat from the earth escaping, our planet to heat up or in other words global warming.
The most obvious cause of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, which is used in our main source of power in power stations and transport. The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, these gases included Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and water vapour. While burning fossil fuels is accountable for the release of CO2, the farming of livestock is accountable for the N2O and and CH4(Methane) but I will get to that later. All of these gases are naturally present in our atmosphere and are all vital in keeping the planet warm since the existence of human life. It has only become a problem in the past 100 years due, to the industrial revolution, and since then the production of these gases has increased at an alarming rate.
The other large impactor on climate change is the over consumption of meat based products.
“Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.”
“Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.“
These facts alone should be enough for us to realise that our over consumption of meat based products is having a huge impact on our planet and isn’t a topic that should be taken lightly. This video explains further the impact on which it is having: https://vimeo.com/93874570
Not only does the agriculture of meat products release into the atmosphere and alarming amount of green house gases but also has a massive impact on deforestation due to the need for large masses of land to hold the livestock and to grow the food for the livestock.
“Live stock or live stock feed occupies 1/3 of the earths ice-free land”
“Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.”
Moreover, agriculture consumes an astounding amount of water, in a time where water is scarce in some areas in California for example.
“Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually. ”
When compared to fracking it is substantially less
“Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) water use ranges from 70-140 billion gallons annually.”
That is only a fraction of what is used in agriculture.
The effect of global warming are having large effects on the world we live in today. Because heat is unable to leave our atmosphere at its usual rate, it is causing our planet to slowly heat up. This is having adverse effects on our planet and weather systems. Just take what has happened in the north of England with the recent flooding, it has been directly associated with climate change. Not only this, it is also equitable for the ice to melt in the north and south poles, destroying habitats for indigenous wildlife and raising the sea level which in turn can cause more flooding. The rise in temperature will also bring with it, more droughts in areas where water is limited and again it will lead to more stronger an more intense hurricanes places already prone to them.