File photo. Photograph:( AFP )
Experts suggest that the pace at which the West is consuming meat, it will only throw the ecological chain off balance.
Undeniably, this year has been marred by and fraught with natural disasters and calamities all across the globe. From the destructive deluge that hit the south Indian state of Kerala, wildfires that scorched Europe and America, to quakes, cyclones, heat-waves, droughts, typhoons and the recent Indonesian quake-tsunami disaster; almost every continent had some climatic mishap happening this year and it doesn’t seem to stop.
This year’s extreme climatic upheavals got many to think about climate change, global warming and the large-scale environmental imbalances. Thousands and hundreds of people have lost their lives in climate-related disasters all across the globe, millions of dollars have been wasted to grapple with the aftermath. A UN report claims that India, in the last two decades, has lost around $79.5 billion from climate-related disasters.
The question remains, can you and I still take baby steps towards reversing the damage? Is it possible to put the environmental imbalance back into equilibrium? Will our individual effort matter?
Experts suggest that the pace at which the West is consuming meat, it will only throw the ecological chain off balance
Earlier this week, another report on climate change, published in the journal Nature, proposed slashing global meat consumption to mitigate climatic disasters.
Experts suggest that the pace at which the West is consuming meat, it will only throw the ecological chain off balance, and in order to ensure that the planet is able to support and sustain 10 billion people by 2050, the West has to cut down on its meat intake by a whopping 90 per cent. The report further warned that the damaging effects of the food industry will escalate by nearly 90 per cent by mid-century.
Food production -- which produces damaging greenhouse gases from livestock, ruins enormous swathes of forests and uses unsustainable amounts of water -- is a major contributor to climate change, news agency AFP reported.
In addition, the livestock industry uses immense amounts of water -- 500 grammes (a pound) of beef is estimated to require close to 7,000 litres of water.
Experts, therefore, call for a gradual, but eventual, shift toward plant-based diets for sustainability, better health and more secure future of mankind and global resources.
All aspects of human life must be towed toward attaining a balance, it becomes imperative to think at the microcosmic level and then see the larger picture to see how the smallest of changes help mend the situation at the global level.
Succinctly put, the problem will not be solved by getting meat eaters to suddenly switch to plant-based diets, it will happen only when each one of us pledges to make a conscious and consistent effort to depend less on our environment. You and I have to realize the price of natural resources and be mindful of how we use them while trying to conserve them.
Population explosion is another big factor; the number of humans on the planet has slowly begun to outpace the resources produced to meet the demand.
Population explosion is another big factor; the number of humans on the planet has slowly begun to outpace the resources produced to meet the demand. With an ever-expanding population, we will only need more resources, more place to live, more water, more vehicles, more burden on resources, greater loss of equilibrium, more pollution, leading to an increased burden on the environment – as a result, the climatic equation will only deplete, faster than ever imagined or estimated.
We need to act now before it gets too late. Maybe there is going to be no dramatic end to the world, no apocalypse or doomsday like in the time of the gigantic woolly mammoth or the dinosaurs. Maybe the planet won't come to an end after getting hit by a colossal asteroid.
It would not be wrong to imagine that you and I are already sitting on a ticking time-bomb, still having an option to avert the outcome and script a different end. Maybe, there will be no big bang, and as TS Eliot noted in his celebrated poem ‘The Hollow Men’ almost a century ago – it is possible for the world to end in just a whimper.
“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper,” – ‘The Hollow Men,’ TS Eliot, 1925.