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Al Gore, there is a Pink Elephant in the Room

Written by Barbara Frazier August 10, 2012

When will Al Gore Talk About Meat?

Al Gore, there is a Pink Elephant in the Room

Al Gore will be speaking in San Francisco, CA,  August 21-23, 2012, as part of his Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps Training. The Climate Reality Project was founded and created by Mr. Gore to actively pursue and create change to reduce greenhouse emissions through education and targeted action. The organization currently has over 5 million members worldwide.

There is a protest, starting Tuesday August 22nd in Burlingame, CA just south of San Fran to ask Al Gore to Talk about this issue.  See the event here:

Reverse Destruction agrees that global warming is a real and growing reality, and also concurs with Mr. Gore that greenhouse emissions play a key role in the destructive path we are now on. The situation is indeed urgent. What we object to is that Mr. Gore and others who are actively working to turn this runaway trend around, are ignoring the largest source of CO2 and Methane emissions - THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY!

For starters:

  • At least 51% of all greenhouse emissions in the world come from the production and consumption of livestock. This is far greater than all of the emissions from transportation vehicles including cars, trucks, buses, planes and trains.
  • 30% of land resources worldwide are used for livestock production.
  • Nitrogen fertilizers used to grow grain to feed livestock are running off into our waterways, producing dead zones and wiping out the ecological balance of our oceans that is necessary for our survival.
  • It takes 10 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein as it does to produce one calorie of plant protein.
  • The grain grown to feed livestock could be fed directly to the 4 million people on this planet that are currently malnourished.
  • Soil erosion is occurring at a rate 11 times that of soil formation.

Arguments are offered on many fronts, but if they are carefully reviewed, the arguments are never really in opposition to the facts listed above. They are aimed at upping the numbers for other sources of greenhouse emissions. This is not really an argument, but rather an addition. The fact is, many of the numbers listed above are conservative as the situation has worsened since the source reports were compiled. See the resources listed below.

We applaud Mr. Gore for being an advocate for environmental change, and we believe the alarm he is sounding is necessary. What we object to is that he completely ignores the largest sources of environmental destruction. If the aim really is to ward off the increasing damage to the environment with the ensuing climate changes that are already in motion, and if Mr. Gore believes time is of the essence, how can he leave any stone unturned?

In his own words when speaking of the climate crisis, he says

Make no mistake, this is not just a political issue, not just a market issue, not just a national security issue, not just a jobs issue. It is a moral issue.

A moral issue. Yes it is Mr. Gore.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006. Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.
Population Reference Bureau. 2010. 2010 World Population Data Sheet. Accessed January 19, 2011.
World Health Organization. Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD). Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments (SDE) for Health and Development. A global agenda for combating malnutrition ... World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization. Accessed January 19, 2011.
Pimentel, D. 2006. Soil erosion: a food and environmental threat. Environmental, Development and Sustainability. 8: 119-137.
Kendall, H.W. and D. Pimentel. 1994. Constraints on the expansion of the global food supply. AMBIO 23 (3): 198-205.
Bruce Monger, PhD.
Senior Research Associate Earth and Atmospheric
Sciences Cornell University
World Watch Institute - http://WorldWatch.org

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About the Author

Barbara Frazier

Barbara Frazier

I'm excited to be involved in writing for Reverse Destruction and spreading veganism! My background is in psychotherapy, so I'm interested in the psychology of being vegan and hope to bring some new insights in that area. I also recently finished a Certification in Plant-Based Diets from the T. Colin Cambell Foundation at Cornell University. I am looking forward to an exploration of the relationship between food and mood stability.

Age: 62       Hometown: Gainesville, FL