It isn't a prediction, but it's happening every day as we
speak. Global Warming is undoubtedly one of mankind's greatest challenge and
the biggest environmental threat. It is nothing but a steady rise in earth's
surface temperature mainly due to the heating effects of gases such as carbon
dioxide, methane and other greenhouse
gases. Scientists report that global
temperatures have already soared more than what was seen in the past millennium
and this trend is on a rise.
By now we all realize that the effects of global warming are
accelerating quite steadily and the magnitude of the impact could be really
devastating. Hence, the time for action is now!
Researchers and environmentalists have been warning about global
warming for decades. It has reached a point where it is too late to stop it,
but we could work towards lessening its severity and impacts.
Few Causes of Global Warming:
Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide
together are the main contributors of global warming.
Raising animals for the purpose of
obtaining food, killing them and later processing, transporting, and storing
their flesh is a very energy-intensive process. This is not only one of the
largest sources of carbon dioxide but also the single largest source of methane
and nitrous oxide emissions.
The process of deforestation to
provide pastureland for farm animals as well as animal manure causes release of
enormous amounts of carbon dioxide.
Burning of fossil fuels such as oil
and gasoline emits large amounts of carbon dioxide.
Methane is known to be about 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than
carbon dioxide and thus is responsible for causing more global warming.
Other causes include coal-burning power plants, car exhausts, factory smokestacks
Researchers in Aberdeen and
Cambridge University found that food production alone could exceed targets for
greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 if current trends continue. In the past few
years, there has been a universal shift in eating pattern more towards the
"meat-loaded" western kind of diet.
Professor Pete Smith, one of the co-authors
from the University of Aberdeen, said: "Unless we make some serious
changes in food consumption trends, we would have to completely de-carbonise
the energy and industry sectors to stay within emissions budgets that avoid
dangerous climate change. That is practically impossible - so as well as
encouraging sustainable agriculture we need to re-think what we eat."
Bajzelj, who is one of the lead researchers from the University of Cambridge's
department of engineering, said: "Agricultural practices are not necessarily at
fault here - but our choice of food is. It is imperative to find ways to
achieve global food security without expanding crop or pastureland."
She further added "Food
production is a main driver of biodiversity loss and a large contributor to
climate change and pollution, so our food choices matter. Cutting food waste
and moderating meat consumption in more balanced diets are the essential
According to the study
published in the journal Nature Climate
, if the current trend in food production continues, then by the year
2050 crop-land would be expanded by 42 per cent and fertiliser use increased by
45 per cent over 2009 levels.
The scientists also felt that a
further tenth of the world's untouched tropical forests could possibly
disappear over the next 35 years.
The authors conducted a study
using an average balanced diet which included two 85g portions of red meat and
five eggs per week, as well as a portion of poultry a day. The authors felt
that if all countries followed this average diet without excessive consumption
of sugars, fats, and meat products, it would significantly reduce the pressures
on the environment even further
Prof Keith Richards, one of the co-authors of the study said:
"This is not a radical vegetarian argument; it is an argument about eating
meat in sensible amounts as part of healthy, balanced diets. Managing the
demand better, for example by focusing on health education, would bring double
benefits - maintaining healthy populations, and greatly reducing critical
pressures on the environment."
Ways to Reduce Global Warming:•
Drive only when you have to
and try to use more fuel-efficient hybrid cars. For short distances, use your
bicycles or simply walk it over.
Replace regular light
bulbs with LED bulbs,
which reportedly last much longer than incandescent bulbs and use much less
Reduce, reuse, recycle: Reduce
waste by cutting down on disposable items. Buy products with minimal packaging
and avoid products packaged with molded plastic which cannot be recycled. Make
sure to recycle paper,
glass, plastic, aluminum cans etc.
Remember to turn off your
television, computer, video player, music system etc. when you're not using
Go green and plant more
trees in and around where you live since even a single tree would absorb about
one ton of carbon dioxide on an average during its lifetime
Last but not the least,
go vegetarian and
reduce or eliminate the consumption of animal products.
if each one of us does our bit, it will go a long way to keep global warming
from harming us. It is after all
our responsibility to leave our mother earth in better shape for future