World leaders will gather in Paris in just one month to hammer out a treaty to confront the global threat of climate change. It’s real, growing and, based on increasing scientific consensus, clearly caused by human activity. Since the dawn of the industrial age, humans have been dumping pollutants into the sky as if the atmosphere is a bottomless pit, able to absorb an infinite amount of our smoke and exhaust. These greenhouse gasses have been forming a blanket around the planet, trapping the heat of the sun.
If people would stop eating meat, greenhouse gases would be cut in half and the climate crisis would end. Instead, a meat eater blocks a gas pump and says: "This mechanical device is the problem!" As long as the number one source of greenhouse gases is ignored, all of us are going to get cooked. Thank you very little, meat eaters, for making the earth uninhabitable because you are unwilling to change and are unwilling to accept personal responsibility for the crisis we are all facing. So continue your chorus of calling me a "sanctimonious asshole" as if that destroys my arguments and makes meat eaters the good guys.
You raise a valid point, but I don't recall you making noise about anything else.
Here are other things that people can and should do:
Buy used whenever you can--there is so much surplus clothing, books, furniture... and with a lot of the economy driven by built-in obsolescence and everything from jeans to computers made [purposely unfashionable within a year's time... reversing this "use up and discard" mentality could not be more timely and significant
Create less waste. I think it's 40% of food that gets thrown away.
Drive less... walk, bike, and carpool more
Set thermostat higher --like to 78 in summer, and lower, like to 60 in winter
Teach your children to value the intangibles like adventure, fun things to do that don't cost anything, exploring and valuing the natural world, biking, hiking, etc.
BTW: The recent news that fatty, processed meats are a direct cause of Cancer with high consumption of red meat a co-factor will probably reduce levels of consuming both.
By all means, Carry on ZP- The meat Industry is certainly not going to be proven any more forth coming than Exxon- They have more than likely been hiding data on their contribution to Global warming, just as Exxon, for just as long and the health risks much longer.....
We have a 0.8 deg rise in global temperature at present. This has triggered a great many changes, from the out-gassing of methane from the Arctic tundra, melting of the Arctic sea-ice, over-rapid melt of the Greenland ice-cap and the collapse of three ice shelves in the Antarctic with concomitant doubling of the rate of seaward flow of some glaciers. And the list goes on. Tipping points have been crossed and our good earth is trying to re-eqilibrate its systems to the increased global temperature.
So a gab-fest in Paris with polite mutterings about not letting global temperature increase beyond an additional 2 deg C is going to save the planet (and our civilisation?). Dream on!
I comment on many other points. I guess my vegetarian comments are more memorable. To your excellent list I add the following steps I have taken:
Solar collector on roof to eliminate electric hot water heater, saving about 5000 kWh annually, 12 solar panels on roof to generate 3000 kWh of electricity annually, replaced old pool pump with variable speed pump, dropping annual consumption from 2000 kWh to 200 kWh, replaced all fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs, dropping each bulb from 80 watts to 18 and cutting the number of bulbs in half but getting more light, replacing all compact fluorescent bulbs with 4.5 watt LEDs. All grocery shopping with canvas bags, all driving with all-electric Nissan Leaf. I recycle all re-cyclables and compost all food scraps. I installed vampire killers on my TVs and computers so that everything goes cold when the main item is shut down; no hot cable boxes and other peripherals when not in use. I very seldom turn on my Google TV or my tower computers, preferring instead to use my iPhone for just about everything. All of my bills are electronically paid so the only mail I get is junk mail that I toss into the large recycling container supplied by the City of Dunedin. I have tried with no success to stop junk mail. I have listed these things in earlier posts, and was immediately informed by the self-identified progressives on this site that I was a pompous, holier-than-thou Zen charlatan and some of them called me nasty names. I make this list to complement yours and to thereby make suggestions beyond vegetarianism. However, being a vegetarian or vegan is still the single most impactful action that we as individuals can take in order to live as responsible progressives and environmentalists.