03 December 2009

Stern werds

People will need to turn vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change, according to a leading authority on global warming.

In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said: “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”

Direct emissions of methane from cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.

Lord Stern, the author of the influential 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, said that a successful deal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.

It's true. I have been a bit on the windy side lately for a carnivore. Anyway, vegetarians fart more and should be shot at birth. Actually, I was veggie for over 10 years but then I eated a chop I was cooking for mummy and that was it.

Will I be allowed to eat my own chikkins after Copenhagen? They are home grown along with all the veg and they don't fart much and even then I'm sure it won't heat up the planet too much. The vegetables don't fart at all.

Anyway, Her Madges Government is going to build 2 nice clean nuclear power stations 5km from my house and they won't fart either: well, I hope not. They will use IROPI on us if we say we don't want them. What is IROPI? Well, it is a made up thing or things. It means Imperative Reasons For Overriding Public Interest - there can be more than one of them. In fact, there can be several, all at the same time. Isn't that clever? Our Govt is clever.

They want us to have 60 more Gigglewatts by twentytwenty and nuclear power is the only way to get it you know. You did know that didn't you? It isn't because successive administrations have been underinvesting in research and development on renewables and in energy conservation measures for the last thirty years. Goodness me, no. I hope you don't think that.


loobyloo said...

There's a funny wong round here.

I think the meateating that the correctly named Lord Stern had in mind was more to do with the indistrialised agribusiness of South American McDonaldistan, rather than a bit of scratty allotment in north Lancashire. So I think you should strangle those chickens with a pure heart.

clodhopper said...

Sssssh!!! The animal rights people will come for me. I'll give them coq au vin.

helena said...

If the chickens have been on a vegetarian diet it's probably ok to eat them.

clodhopper said...

Mostly mixed grain and kitchen scraps. Cathy is eying up one of the chaps for xmas dinna. I'd run if I was him...

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Stonehead said...

Further to loobyloo's remark, don't forget that there are areas of land that are not suitable for medium- to large-scale grain vegetable production. But they are suited to extensive livestock production: sheep on hill farms, pigs being used for forest management and the like.

The real issue is not meat consumption per se, but over consumption of unsustainably cheap meat that can only be produced by every more intensive means. Should meat be so cheap that many parts of an animal are treated as waste products? And only the fashionable parts eaten?

We rear poultry and pigs. We eat about 12-14 chickens (mainly cockerels) and two pigs a year. It works out at 323 grams of a meat a day for three, given that the OH is vegetarian. (Actually, the amount is less as that amount includes bones.)

The last figures I saw gave the UK's annual meat consumption as 79.6kg per person. Our individual consumption is 39.3kg—half the UK average but still luxurious in my book.

Our daily meat costs us £3.21, excluding labour. With labour, we'd be look at close to £6 for 323 grams of meat, or £18.58 per kilogram.

How much chicken or pork do you see in shops with a price tag of £18.58kg?

(Over and above that, we also trade with a neighbour for mutton and I have a steak in the summer holidays as my annual treat while the rest of the family is on holiday.)

If the price of meat reflected a more sustainable cost of production and meat consumption halved as a result, then people could have a marked impact on both the environment and animal welfare while still eating very well.

Of course, as a society we're too daft and short-sighted to do anything as sensible as that!

clodhopper said...

Agree with every word Stoney....specially the last para.

Would love to get my teeth into one of your pork chops *drool*