Sunday, September 28, 2014

Concerned About Climate Change?

By Jerol Kennedy

You may recall last Earth Day Celebration, April 21, 2013, the Green Sanctuary Planning Team had an exercise for the congregation entitled “Where am I on the Climate Change Continuum of the American Public?” based on an interview by Bill Moyers with scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

The categories people were asked to place themselves on the continuum were; Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful and Dismissive. Out of 42 responders, 36 were Alarmed, 2 were Concerned, 2 were Cautious, 1 was Doubtful, 1 wrote in” Other”, none said Dismissive or Disengaged.

As you can see, the overwhelming majority of our congregation who responded was Alarmed.

A report issued in 2006 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FOA) warned that raising cattle for meat and dairy generates more greenhouse gases than all the automobiles in the world. The report states:

photo: Creative Commons: Wikipedia
  •  About 9% of the total carbon dioxide produced by human related activities is emitted by livestock
  •  65% of the nitrous oxide output (a chemical which has nearly 300 times the Global Warming Potential as CO2) is emitted by livestock
  • 37 percent of the methane output is from the livestock industry, and
  • 64 percent of the ammonia output is from the livestock industry (United Nations News Center). 
All these emissions are contributors to climate change. According to an updated follow-up report, “Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock”, concluded that the livestock sector represents 14.5 % of global human induced greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, more than 1/3 of the world’s grain is used to feed livestock. (Eco Mind, Francis Moore Lappe)

Fact: Each one of us can lessen our climate change footprint by reducing our consumption of meat, eggs, and milk.

Want to do it? There is a way for those who still eat meat, egg and dairy and want to change to help lesson Climate Change - It is called Meatless Monday, a movement that is gaining momentum. More on Meatless Monday later.

Jerol Kennedy,

Green Sanctuary Planning Team

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