Challenging Mainstream Thought: What are the main drivers of climate change?
By admin November 16, 2016

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In an age of information, we are often challenged by many sources of information, and then counter-information, and then a counter to the counter as well. When one just wants to find some facts on an issue, it is often a challenge to uncover what the truest set of facts may be and that comes down to knowing your source(s). Yet, as more people are challenging the “system” and asking certain questions that beg us to re-think traditional norms, new sources of information are coming out. Consider some of the facts a recent documentary raises, that it takes 660 million gallons of water to produce one hamburger. We deplete the Amazon rainforest at the rate of an acre per second due to the need to raze land for agricultural use. Six million animals are killed for food every hour. While each of these points should prompt immediate independent research, they do raise the simple fact that there are too many people on the planet, consuming too many resources and at a rate that is unsustainable for future growth and prosperity.

With the continuous rise of more and more developing countries, they demand the right to industrialize as well. With industrialization comes population growth and more often increase consumption as incomes rise, with that more families move into eating meat, fish and other commodities instead of grains like rice and wheat.  The consequences of this phenomena is playing out as we speak, however with the predictions scientists have as far as the damage done to just our planet, we have to give some weight to these claims. Again, the issue with information means that you can find a plethora of articles through a simple Google search that praise agriculture industries in developing countries, and while the industry does create jobs and does ultimately produce food, at what cost is it doing so?

The fact with many developing countries is that their economies are geared toward producing products for export to Western nations. Europe and the United States, and now China and India, are countries that are home to over half the world’s population and consume a disproportionate amount of the world’s resources. The reality is that an environmentalist can find a set of facts that support an argument for increased attention to climate change, and yet someone opposing such can also find facts that dispute claims made by scientists and other experts. The best we can do is to ask some basic questions that require internal reflection on our individual habits as well as looking outward to see what seems to make the most sense given what we know and what we can reasonably assume.

Some questions to ponder are what are alternative and sustainable sources of food? As more resources are consumed, land, water and vegetation, what consequences and gains do we obtain from genetically modified or created food? Does consuming animal products lead to a disproportionate consumption of resources that needs to be rethought? Lastly, how can we effectively challenge the systems we are apart of that allow us to function within them while still being able to enact changes that help us to change our course from complete capitalist consumption to acts that are successfully sustainable.

For more information:

Ecological Imperialism

Ebola–From West Africa to Texas

The Plundering of Agriculture in Developing Countries

Globalization, Agriculture and Developing Countries

Factory Farming and the Environment

Thanks for sharing !

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