The Government must lead our country to take necessary climate change limiting steps now.

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Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth was recently quoted as saying “Who would I be to sit there advising people in the country coming home after a hard day of work to not have steak and chips?… Please…" & “I don't think we should be in the business of prescribing to people how they should run their diets." (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45838997

This was in response to a question relating to whether the government should begin advising people on how they could personally take steps to limit the impact of climate change by eating less meat. The context here being that in a recently published UN report compiled by 91 authors & based on 6,000 scientific sources, It was detailed that humanity have a 12 year window in which to take action to limit the devasting effects of climate change. The report outlines a necessity to drastically reduce land and water use, along with greenhouse gas emissions, in the agricultural sector worldwide. 

Claire Perry’s response is irresponsible & speaks to a sense that the UK government has a greater fear of losing political power than they do of the impact of climate change. In a world where we all see our absolute right to perceived ‘free choice’ as more important than the greater good for our global community I appreciate asking people to individually adjust their behaviour is problematic. However, the time for humanity to act is now & we must all take personal responsibility for the actions we take & the impact that they are having on our planet. The biggest single act a person can take to limit the impact of climate change is to reduce or eliminate from their diet the consumption of foods that intensively use land & water. It is widely reported that meat & dairy production require significantly greater land & water usage than the growth of plant based foods. 

Some references relating to the impact of meat & dairy on climate change can be found below:

http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.htm

https://www.watereducation.org/post/food-facts-how-much-water-does-it-take-produce

https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/10601/IssueBrief3.pdf

https://www.takeextinctionoffyourplate.com/meat_and_wildlife.html

 


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