More than 11,000 scientists are calling on humanity for a sustainable diet

More than 11,000 scientists signed the November climate warning in the scientific journal BioScience (Ripple et al., 2019). 12 scientific signatories are from Slovenia.

In the climate warning, scientists list worrying trends that suggest that the climate crisis will cause unimaginably much suffering to humanity if society and the system do not change fast enough and radically enough.

Scientists are mainly concerned about the annual increase in the number of people on the planet, the annual global increase in livestock, the annual global increase in average annual meat intake per capita, the annual increase in world gross domestic product (GDP), the annual global increase in tree losses, the annual global increase in fossil fuel annual global increase in air traffic.

All of the above is responsible for increasing the annual emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere on a global scale. The annual increase in these three emissions is followed by annual increases in atmospheric concentrations of these three greenhouse gases.

So instead of drastically reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the last century, humanity is steadily increasing them. At the end of the last century, it was already known that the safe capacity limit of our planet, which refers to atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, has been exceeded. In the last forty years (the first World Climate Conference: Geneva, 1979), decision-makers have never moved from wording on these topics to active action.

In the November climate warning in the scientific journal BioScience, more than 11,000 scientists call on humanity, among other things, for a sustainable diet. They agree that changing eating habits is the most effective agri-food-nutrition measure to mitigate climate change. They call for a diet based on plant-based foods, which is in four respects better than the average global diet: it has health benefits, causes significantly less greenhouse gas emissions, uses arable land more rationally (with the same area of ​​arable land we produce much more plant food as animal), in addition, it requires much less agricultural land than the average diet and consequently has a greatly increased potential for afforestation of unused agricultural land compared to other diets (Ripple et al., 2019).

The combination of changing eating habits and afforestation increases the potential for carbon neutrality in the agri-food sector (Bryngelsson et al., 2016; Röös et al., 2017; Searchinger et al., 2018a; Searchinger et al., 2018b). If all the inhabitants of Slovenia became vegans, theoretically this measure alone would be enough to achieve the 2050 agricultural targets for climate change mitigation (Jeran, 2019). If the European Union is to achieve its climate change targets by 2050, reducing ruminant meat intake is likely to be at least 50% among the inevitable strategies (Bryngelsson et al., 2016).

Science says that our planet should not be warmed by more than + 1.5 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels. We have already warmed it by about + 1.1 to + 1.2 ° C and if it goes on like this, the planet will be really OVERHEAT in 2030. Put pressure on politicians and responsible ministries! We need a rapid and radical transformation of society and the system.

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