Global Warming, I have my doubts….

I was studying at home yesterday, about to leave when a huge storm came in. I decided to wait it out. I’ve always loved the sound of the rain hitting the tin veranda while I’m comfortable and warm inside. I carried on studying, accepting defeat about my afternoon plans when I heard a strange noise on the tin verandah outside.

I looked out the window and saw hail for maybe the second time ever. Millions of balls of ice were thrashed and hurled across the sky and into my backyard. It looked like snow but sounded and felt a lot more sinister. In that moment, I felt kind of scared, not just ‘it’s a storm, hold me!’ scared, more like ‘what have we done?!’ kind of scared. I know it is an overreaction to a hail storm but it made me think that human induced global warming is already having a visible impact, literally on my doorstep.

I haven’t looked at the stats about how often hail storms occur in Sydney Australia mid-spring, but my life experience tells me…maybe never? In that moment it was like I finally got the message.

It’s easy to become complacent, we’ve known about climate change for ages it seems and those who follow the latest articles, science and activist groups might understand when I say it can sometimes become abstract or theoretical. Sometimes I think that the effects are so far off that it stops being a priority or real concern, something I can do or think about later. It’s like running, If I do it regularly now I’ll be fitter and healthier in my 60’s, but I kinda just want to lie in bed watching reality TV shows, you know?

I took some pictures (best shown above) of the hail storm and sent them to family and friends. My friend wrote back in response “Climate has always been changing. Man always over estimates his importance in the universe. We are having an effect there is no doubt but the extent is likely to be minimal as is our ability to influence the changes that are happening. P.S you haven’t Instagrammed my #foodforchange challenge yet!!!”

I’m not sure where on the spectrum I sit as an activist and sometimes I do feel defeated, especially when so many people, my friend included, aren’t even convinced of the basic science (they still did the #foodforchange challange though!).

All I know is that I saw something in that hail storm (other than an icy veranda) but I’m kind of hoping that this isn’t something we have to see to believe, because by then it will be too late.

What do you guys think? Are we doing enough? Is it already too late? Are we overestimating our control over it? I’d also love to hear if anyone has had a similar experience to me, seeing climate change in the flesh.

Peace. E.M

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7 unlikely reasons to go Vegan

Second to being asked “where do you get your protein?” I always get asked “why are you vegan?” (ummmmm why aren’t you???) There are an infinite amount of reasons to be vegan (very few not to be), here are just 7.

1. NOT BEING VEGAN IS CONFUSING
If you’ve ever had a pet you might find the following confusing. Why eat some kinds of animals and not others? When you really think about it, what’s the difference between a puppy and a piglet? (apart from pigs having superior intelligence). Why befriend one and send the other to slaughter for brunch? It is always something that has left me puzzled. Some theorists say it’s speciesism, we’ve been culturally conditioned to think of some animals as different and less worthy of our care and protection. Cut the confusion (and the bacon), go vegan.

2. IT’S BETTER FOR YOUR HEALTH
Replacing animal products with plant-based foods will improve your cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol and decrease your chances of getting arthritis, type 2 diabetes and most cancers. You will likely drop some weight and have great energy levels!

3. YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY
If it’s good enough for celebrities, it’s good enough for me! Bill Clinton, Carrie Underwood, Al Gore, Natalie Portman, Ellen DeGeneres, Alicia Silverstone, Usher, Joaquin Pheonix and Thom Yorke – all my besties.

4. SAVE THE PLANET
Animal agriculture is the most destructive force on climate change. Methane emissions from farmed animals are twice as toxic as carbon that comes from burning fossil fuels. A recent food study showed that meat, fish, dairy and eggs emitted the highest levels of carbon per kilogram. For more info on this check out my post Food For Change.

5. IT’S AN EXCUSE TO EAT AND MAKE MORE BAKED GOODS THAN YOU EVER HAVE IN YOUR LIFE
There are few joys in this world that compare to vegan baking. Vegan baking involves a special alchemy that allows you to re-create your childhood favorites (sans cruelty and carbon) while taking flavor to a whole other level. It’s incredible what special pantry ingredients can be used to whip up the BEST cookies at a moments notice. If you’re a beginner, The Post Punk Kitchen will get you there.

6. PUT AN END TO CRUELTY
Factory farming treats animals like mechanical units of protein for profit. Animals are sensitive, intelligent with complex relational and emotional lives. It’s difficult to witness their pain and suffering as any different to ours. The worst part about the pain these animals go through in their short lives is that it is completely unnecessary. One of the best reasons to be vegan is to divest from cruelty.

7. YOU CAN PISS OFF YOUR PARENTS
My rebellious teen faze will never end! Although my parents have accepted my veganism (and even eat tofu with me occasionally), I can still give the finger to mainstream society. Always question, always be true to yourself and always do what you think is right, no matter what you’ve been told, conditioned or brought up to believe. Make up your own mind and don’t be afraid to rebel against the masses for what you think is right.

 

Why deny climate change?

Have you noticed anything strange on your television or in your newspaper? The denial or often the complete absence of climate change news via the mainstream media is truly puzzling. The topic is often referred to as the ‘climate change debate’. But what is the debate? There is no debate. 97% of climate scientists agree not only that climate change is happening but that it’s man made. So the question is, who would benefit from denying climate change? Could it be that the people who own the media companies also own the coal mines?

If you think this is messed up join The Peoples Climate March this weekend and check out Avaaz.

For a more humorous and eloquent take, check out today’s episode of The Trews below.

 

 

24 Hours of Reality

In just 11 hours the fourth annual live-streamed multimedia show dedicated to sparking action on climate change will take place.

Broadcasting September 17th-18th (AEST) the show will encourage everyone around the world to commit to a day of action with 24 reasons to be hopeful.

24 Hours of Reality is a live global event covering the climate crisis in every region of the world. On this day of action we stand together and demand real solutions to the greatest challenge of our time. World leaders, scientists, cultural leaders and everyday heroes discuss the shared challenges facing our planet caused by carbon pollution and point the way toward a better tomorrow.

The climate crisis can be solved, but only when everyone does their part. 24 Hours of Reality turns audiences into activists and gives hope. There is no challenge we cannot face, no matter how overwhelming, we can take action, we must take action.

Will you be watching? Will you be eating vegan snacks?

 

Should we cry over spilt Milk?

The carbon dioxide emissions (carbon footprint) caused by our personal behavior is driven to a large extent by the type and quality of our food. The amount of greenhouse gases caused by the production of food differs very much from one food type to the other. With the amount of food that is wasted in the average household, this carbon footprint rises significantly. 2

In Australia, 4,000,000 tonnes of food is wasted each year. If you add up all the food Australia wastes each year, it would be enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks. When you throw out food, you also waste the water, fuel and resources it took to produce and get the food to your plate. When food rots with other organics in landfill it gives off the greenhouse gas methane, which is 25 more times more potent than carbon pollution that comes out of your car exhaust. 1

So should we be crying over spilt milk? The production of 1L of Milk causes about 0.9kg of CO2. The same quantity of CO2 is released when you burn about 4 liters of petrol. 1,000 gallons of water is required to produce 1 gallon of milk and a farm with 2500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.3

Milk production is killing our planet and with its short shelf life liters are going to waste each year. With so many delicious, healthy and sustainable milk choices is there really any reason to keep consuming?

To learn how easy it is to make your own milk check out My New Roots – How to Make Nut Milk. http://vimeo.com/27840577

Food for Change

One of the greatest challenges that society faces today is how to reorganize and adapt to irreversible climate change. Since 1880 average global temperatures have increased by 0.8 degrees centigrade. Climate scientists have concluded that rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap incoming heat near the surface of the Earth, causing the rise in temperature. Due to humanity’s unhealthy dependence on fossil fuels, deforestation and land use greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions are causing detrimental and irreversible changes in climate. A study funded by NASA predicted that due to climate change, civilization as we know it could be steadily heading for a collapse within the next century.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that livestock production is among the most destructive forces driving climate change. Large emissions from farmed animals are explained mainly by Methane emissions from enteric fermentation. A recent study showed that meat, fish, diary, and eggs had the highest CO2 emissions per kg. The study concluded that changes in diet toward more plant-based foods would be a possible solution for mitigating climate change.

If consumers ate less animal products, the animal agricultural industry would reduce their output of methane emissions. The pros of this solution are its effective and simple, it’s something that everyone can do, it puts the fate of the earth’s climate back into our hands and it’s a health promoting diet.

This is the most effective solution at the individual level to combat climate change. With this solution, we have a chance to have a real economic – and thus environmental – impact.

So I am proposing the Food For Change challenge! Challenge yourself, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, randoms, everyone to go vegan! It’s incredible what a difference just one vegan meal can do for the environment and your health. So lets pic, post, upload, share and learn together to make a global difference.