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LOBART IKLE, Laguna Beach

With scorching heat and raging wildfires in the west and torrential downpours and massive flooding in the east, global warming is not just about a gentle sea rise any more. These tragic consequences of dumping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, call for drastic remedies. For starters, we should re-join the Paris Climate Accords and actually become a world leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. One of the most effective ways is by changing our diet. Yes, that. Last fall, Oxford University’s prestigious Food Climate Research Network concluded that solving the global warming catastrophe requires a massive shift to a plant-based diet. A 2010 United Nations report blamed animal agriculture for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 70 percent of freshwater use, and 38 percent of land use. Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by transporting animals.

The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively. In an environmentally sustainable world, we must replace meat and dairy products in our diet by vegetables, fruits, and grains, just as we replace fossil fuels by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources. Let’s start with our next supermarket visit.

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