Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blame Fast Foods for Climate Change

I was fortunate to view “Before the Flood” when it was first released for free on the National Geographic Channel.  The documentary examines climate change and the various challenges that make it difficult to stop/reverse the damage that has already occurred.  Interviews with “experts” present the viewer with the full impact of the decisions made by our so called “leaders” as well as us, the consumers.  Unfortunately, the website does not provide the stats referred to in the documentary.  However, I was able to take note of points that stood out to me.

In summary, “Before the Flood” suggests that it is the conglomerates that control the money and politicians and, as a result, direct the policy related to climate change.  Fossil fuel producers dictate the science and politics through disinformation and scare tactics, all to ensure that they make as much money as possible as quickly as possible.  Worse still, they control the alternative energy resources.  Last but not least, the fast food producers are the worst carbon footprint creators of all!  For example, mathematician Gidon Eshel, Ph. D, outlines the extreme environmental costs associated with the consumption of certain fast foods.  He states that the production/consumption of every 1/2 lb burger is equivalent to the carbon footprint of 24 hours of A/C use or 200 hours use of a 60W light bulb.  Simply put, beef production is the most inefficient of all food sources.

The documentary proposes that the solution to climate change depends on us.  So, what can we do to reduce our personal and collective carbon footprint?  Simple: change our diets and stop eating burgers and other fast foods!  Are you ready to do so?  Can we count on each other to make the necessary changes to save our planet?  I sure hope so!  However, if we turn out failing, we have a fallback plan, which is somewhat legitimate in this case: Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin