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Population and Climate: Consumption is the Bigger Problem

Illustration by Nate Kitch. Source: The Guardian

Illustration by Nate Kitch. Source: The Guardian

A new article in The Guardian points out that while any argue population growth is an issue for climate change, the bigger problem is how we consume resources.

“If we want to reduce our impacts this century…it is consumption we must address. Population growth is outpaced by the growth in our consumption of almost all resources. There is enough to meet everyone’s need, even in a world of 10 billion people. There is not enough to meet everyone’s greed, even in a world of 2 billion people.”

Instead, the article asks us to focus on livestock populations. Requiring so much chicken, pork, and especially beef uses up massive environmental resources and creates its own set of environmental problems.

“Livestock farming creates around 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions: slightly more than the output of the world’s cars, lorries, buses, trains, ships and planes. If you eat soya, your emissions per unit of protein are 20 times lower than eating pork or chicken, and 150 times lower than eating beef.”

Read more from the article here.

Be sure to also keep an eye our for ACT’s next book, out very soon, about the nexus between food, water, energy and biodiversity in a changing climate.

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