Climate change is an existential crisis. If Americans cut just one hamburger from their diet every week, it would be like taking 10 million cars off the road every year. After cutting energy use, less meat and more plant-based food add up to the easiest--and healthiest--way to reduce your carbon footprint. From the land and water needed to raise feed and the methane produced at the end of digestion, “Cattle are actually mini fossil-fuel, greenhouse gas producers.” So says Sujatha Bergen, head of health campaigns at the NRDC. As her title suggests, eliminating beef from your diet--in addition to pork and lamb-- is also better for you. She explains the trade-offs for helping to reduce climate change and says, “Starting with your fork is much less daunting for many people.”
Jet aircraft, carrier task forces and tanks consume vast amounts of fossil fuel--while emitting vast amounts of greenhouse gases. The Pentagon’s carbon footprint is bigger than those of many entire nations. Now, it’s caught in the middle. It’s a massive contributor to climate change, which is threatening its mission worldwide. Seaports and airstrips are being flooded or burned out, and restoring operations costs many millions of dollars.
Meantime, environmental damage is leading to instability and the prospect of international violence. Water shortages have increased tensions in the Middle East and caused new hostilities between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers. Russia and China are taking advantage of changing conditions. Will politicians who scorn environmentalists and mistrust climate scientists listen to the warnings of military leaders?