Clean-up and environmental impact[ edit ] Workers using high-pressure, hot-water washing to clean an oiled shoreline Chemical dispersant, a surfactant and solvent mixture, was applied to the slick by a private company on March 24 with a helicopter. But the helicopter missed the target area. Scientific data on its toxicity were either thin or incomplete. In addition, public acceptance of a new, widespread chemical treatment was lacking.
Alamy Did you know that three meat companies — JBS, Cargill and Tyson — are estimated to have emitted more greenhouse gases last year than all of France and nearly as much as some of the biggest oil companies like Exxon, BP and Shell? Few meat and dairy companies calculate or publish their climate emissions.
Over the past few decades, the meat and dairy majors have become immensely powerful and have successfully pushed policies to support rapid growth of industrial meat and dairy production and consumption around the world, at all costs. If production continues to grow as projected by the FAO, emissions will escalate to the point where industrial meat and dairy production alone will undercut our ability to keep temperatures from rising to an apocalyptic scenario.
This is not true. These companies produce a vast amount of highly subsidized meat and dairy in a handful of countries where these products are already overconsumed.
They then export their surpluses to the rest of the world, undercutting the millions of small farmers who actually do ensure food security and bombarding consumers with unhealthy processed foods. In Bonn, the big meat and dairy companies are also likely to spend much time and money talking about efficiency, while expanding production.
They will say that the only way to effectively reduce emissions is by squeezing out ever more milk from each dairy cow or by bringing beef cattle to slaughter ever more quickly. They would also condemn the million small-scale farmers and million herders who depend on livestock for their livelihoods and who do feed billions of people every day with moderate amounts of meat, dairy and eggs.
These small producers are the backbone of food systems that can arrest and address climate change. They are the ones who need to be supported and strengthened. If we are serious about feeding the planet while fighting climate change, the world needs to urgently invest in a transition to food systems that hinge on small-scale producers, agroecology and local markets.
These systems provide for moderate levels of meat and dairy, but they do so in a way that regenerates soils, provides livelihoods to rural and urban communities and makes crops and animals resilient to the vagaries of an unpredictable climate.
The solutions exist; they just need to be urgently implemented. The first step is to redirect public money from factory farming and agribusiness towards small-scale agroecological family farms.
Governments should also use their buying power to support small producers, helping them to build jobs and markets for local products. As numerous cities make energy choices to tackle climate change, so too should municipalities invest in farm-to-hospital and farm-to-school programs that deliver healthier food and strengthen rural communities while emitting fewer greenhouse gases.
It is time to stop the dairy and meat giants from destroying the climate and shift our support to making our small farmers, herders and ranchers resilient.
Devlin Kuyek is a researcher at Grain Topics.Find at ExxonMobil. Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon, Q, FR Safety, security, health and environment.
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