More than 50,000 U.N. officials, scientists, environmental advocates and a few heads of state will gather this coming week in Rio de Janeiro for a conference on sustainable development. They're assembling 20 years after the first Earth Summit was held in the same city, and the goal now, as it was then, is to figure out how to keep the gravy train in operation cut dangerous greenhouse gases and help the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty. Or, to put it more starkly, how we can live ethically without threatening the ability of future generations to live at all. So who is setting the example? Gore?
No one really believes that the Rio+20 meeting will result in a new agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. In that case, the best thing the conference could do for the climate is to remove meat from the menu -- and to make a big deal about it. Everyone at that meeting should know that meat is a major contributor to climate change. It is also one problem that can be solved more quickly than others. Cutting out meat would do more to help combat climate change than any other action we could feasibly take in the next 20 years. Starting with the authors of this piece, I daresay.
A 2006 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, "Livestock's Long Shadow," called raising animals for food "one of the top two or three most significant 8,000 year-old contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." Since then, climate researchers Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang have estimated that livestock and their methane-rich byproducts account for even more greenhouse gas emissions than the earlier report estimated -- a whopping 51 percent. I bet the coal guys are glad to hear that!
More conservative estimates say that meat accounts for about a third of greenhouse gas emissions.
If the United Nations and all the national delegations and activist groups at Rio+20 were to insist on eliminating meat at all the buffets, private dinners, embassy receptions, luncheons and breakfast briefings, people might start to think that the United Nations takes seriously the damage that human activity is causing to the planet. What about videoconferencing, you hypocrites?
At a recent U.N. meeting that one of us attended, one speaker, who was from a top environmental organization, spoke fervently about the need to reduce population growth. Then, at the meal that followed his speech, he enjoyed several helpings of osso bucco. Asked about the unsustainable aspects of a high-meat diet, he unabashedly said that he "could never give up" his meat.
There is clear evidence that reducing meat production and consumption would limit greenhouse gas emissions and possibly stave off these tragedies. However, after multiple revisions and weeks of negotiating, the word "meat" does not appear in the draft conference document for the Rio meeting. Instead, the paper discusses the need to reduce production and consumption of other products that cause global warming, without singling out that key culprit.
Global climate leaders will have a lot of pressing challenges on the table at the Rio+20 conference. It's time to take the meat off their plates. Amen! Let's start with their plates. I'll be somewhere in the second half of those who give it up.
[RETURN OF SOLYENT GREEN, starring Burt Reynolds??? + lots of Human-scooping Front-Enders here].
All of these Wildebeests, Mooseys, + assorted Giant Birds, etc. tasty critters runing or flying around, yet no one in this Rio Confab seems to be proposing using our highly-educated, highly-skilled/trained Genetic Scientists to make these critters bigger + tastier for human consumption - DITTO AS PER TASTY FLORA = CROPS???
* FUTURAMA > THE PROFESSOR [paraph] = D *** NG IT, WHATS THE USE OF BEING A MAD SCIENTIST IFF YOU CAN'T SHAKE THINGS UP.
Might as well wait to be purged by some Strongman, e.g. Stalin or Mao, GULAGGED ANDOR SHOT AFTER FINISHING POST-GRADUATE SCHOOL???
FYI RENSE > [Gizmodo] MYSTERIOUS BLUE ELECTRIC CLOUDS APPEAR AGAIN OVER [North-South] POLES.
SPACEWEATHER says Earth's Magnetosphere is being compressed by new CMES, which I also agree with as per observed local phenomenae.
Over GUAM-WESTPAC, it wasn't somuch "clouds" but more akin to BLUE "ROCKET/CHEMICAL" TRAILS. IMO either some Spacecraft flew mightily off-course like a DPRK Space Rocket Launch; or else somebody's Spacecraft dumped its loos = wastes, excess fuel(s)? into the high atmosphere while passing over the Guam-WESTPAC Region.
I WOULD LIKE NASA TO VERIFY IFF CHINA'S ROCKET CARRYING ITS FIRST FEMME TAIKONAUT INTO ORBIT SURVIVED ITS LAUNCH + FLIGHT, + DIDN'T EITHER BLOW UP OR DUMP ITS WASTES, ETC. OER GUAM-WESTPAC. The above "trails" were very similar to a Missle or Rocket flight gone horribly wrong during or shortly after launch.
I put this in Opinion because it is a book review.
When President Obama put an American-born radical imam named Anwar al-Awlaki on a list for assassination two years ago, liberal critics howled for 30 - maybe 40 - seconds.
Awlaki was a rock-star propagandist for al-Qaeda's arm in Yemen who recruited new followers over the Internet. He posted fiery sermons in idiomatic English and called on all who listened to attack the West.
We already know how the story ends. As two Hellfire missiles sealed his fate, he became the most controversial kill of the Obama presidency. Awlaki was a U.S. citizen summarily executed without due process or a day in court. For some of Obama's early supporters, it seemed like deja vu all over again: A president who campaigned on hope and change appeared more like the status quo.
For those of us covering the events, there was a general sense that the decision to target Awlaki had been difficult for the White House - like the hit on bin Laden.
Now, with the publication of two new books, it appears that we may have had it all wrong and that Obama is more aggressive in his counterterrorism policy than any of us thought he would be.
Klaidman reports that the president's focus on Awlaki was so intense, one of his briefers, Gen.James Cartwright, thought that "Obama's rhetoric was starting to sound like George W. Bush's, whom he had briefed on many occasions. 'Do you have everything you need to get this guy?' Obama would ask." What is clear is that the president found Awlaki's American citizenship, in Klaidman's words, "immaterial."
Another of Obama's key advisers, a liberal lawyer at the State Department, was a little queasier about the whole killing enterprise, so he went to study the intelligence reports on the radical cleric for himself.
Koh spent five hours poring over stacks of intelligence. "There were plans to poison Western water and food supplies with botulinum tox, as well as attack Americans with ricin and cyanide," Klaidman writes. "Koh was shaken when he left the room. Awlaki was not just evil, he was satanic." I thought libs didn't make value judgements?
The question, as the election draws near, is how Obama will explain this strategy to the American people. Those who thought he would be weak on national security might be pleasantly surprised. His base might view the administration's secrecy and tactics as a breach of their faith.
What is the difference -- legally and morally -- between a sticky bomb the Israelis place on the side of an Iranian scientist's car and a Hellfire missile the United States launches at a car in Yemen from thirty thousand feet in the air. These are all questions the Obama team discusses chiefly in classified briefings, not in public debates.The Obama campaign will need to explain those distinctions in a way that the electorate can understand and potentially embrace. Snicker. Sure.
Both authors also seem to have concluded that this president, who promised hope and change, has spent three-and-a-half years trying to balance his liberal ideology with old-fashioned pragmatism. For his supporters, that might be a disappointment. But among those on the fence, it could help him in November. Don't get your hopes up, sweetheart.
A president who campaigned on hope and change appeared more like the status quo.
No! No it isn't. Obama is the first president in the history of the republic to publically call for and carry out the assasination of an US citizen. Not only that, Alawki had not been charged, much less, convicted of any crime. Obama didn't even bother to designate Alawki as an enemy combatant. Status Quo...my Ass!