Essay by Eric Worrall
A global green campaign is in progress to reduce farm acreage and eliminate food waste, to prevent climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources.
We’ve overexploited the planet, now we need to change if we’re to survive
Fri 8 Jul 2022 21.30 AEST
Addressing the twin challenges of carbon emissions and biodiversity loss requires political will and leadership. Ambitious commitments must be made
The relationship between humans and nature is under intense and increasing strain. The report released today by Ipbes, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (akin to the IPCC reports on climate change), provides compelling evidence that humans are overexploiting wild species and habitats. Harmful activities, including habitat destruction, poor farming practices and pollution, have altered ecosystems significantly, driving many species past the point of recovery. In Great Britain alone, of the 8,431 species assessed in the 2019 State of Nature report, 1,188 are threatened with extinction. Globally, there are an estimated one million at risk, with biodiversity declining at a faster rate than at any time in human history.
The climate crisis is exacerbating the issue. Many species simply cannot adapt to the scale and pace of changing temperatures. For example, warming seas and ocean acidification are devastating coral reefs around the world. This year, the Great Barrier Reef suffered its sixth mass bleaching event since 1998 with more than 90% of reefs affected. In many cases, when an ecosystem loses biodiversity, it becomes less able to store carbon, contributing to further climate change. We have a vicious cycle: climate change leads to biodiversity losses, which in turn leads to further climate change. As governments around the world develop plans to reduce carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity, the message is simple: we must solve both problems together.
There are also simple day-to-day things we can do to benefit our environment; for instance, reducing food waste. Currently about 30% of all food produced globally goes uneaten, meaning a significant proportion of the resources, and importantly the land used to grow, process, pack and transport it, is wasted and less able to support biodiversity.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/08/climate-crisis-biodiversity-decline-overexploited-planet-change-to-survive-aoe
Some greens have been pretty explicit about what they expect from us, with a proposal to genetically engineer gut flora, so people can metabolise and enjoy the taste of completely rotten food.
The UN spells out their expectations, in their food waste FAQ.
- There is never room for food loss and waste!
- Reducing food loss and waste, provides a powerful means to strengthen the sustainability of our food systems and improve planetary health.
- Increasing the efficiency of our food systems and reducing food loss and waste, necessitates investment in innovation, technologies and infrastructure.
- Recovery and redistribution make good use of surplus food and contribute to improving access to food for the food insecure, preventing food waste and ensuring economic, environmental and social benefits.
- Diverting food waste to composting is better than sending it to a landfill, but preventing food from being wasted in the first place is an even better way to lessen the impact on the environment.
- Realising and maximising the positive impacts of reducing food loss and waste, requires good governance and human capital development, as well as collaboration and partnerships.
I believe it is no coincidence that the Dutch government is attempting to force a 30% reduction in lifestock. The Dutch are completely serious about implementing this green madness, they have no hesitation confronting farmers with lethal force when the farmers object to the deliberate financial destruction of their businesses. Maybe they figure that when food production is reduced, they won’t need so many farmers.
Once arable farmland and our food supply has been cut, my guess is politicians will explain its our fault if we go hungry. We should have listened when they told us to reduce our food waste to zero. Maybe they’ll help us out, and offer us some of those genetically engineered gut bacteria, so we can don’t have to discard the mouldy bits.