Is there any limit to this goofy climate alarm-premised bureaucratic overreach in sight? A recent 571-page Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report commissioned by the Obama administration urges us all to eat less animal-based food in order to save the environment.
The panel claims that reducing carbon emissions from livestock and cutting back on burning fossil fuels are key priorities to curb climate change.
Produced by the federal government’s allegedly foremost nutrition advisory panel, these recommendations will be used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture to incorporate into dietary guidelines later this year.
Since first being published in 1980, they are updated every five years. Approval for formal adoption is pretty much assured, likely influencing policymakers who dictate and manage billions of dollars in spending for federal school lunch program menus.
Hey…it’s a cultural climate thing! As panel member Miriam Nelson, a professor at Tufts University clarified: “We’re not saying that people need to become vegans, but we are saying that people need to eat less meat.”
She went on to say “If we’re thinking about the foods that are culturally appropriate, we need to think about what’s sustainable. Other countries have already started doing this — including sustainability in their recommendations. We should be doing it too.”
What does switching from meat to more veggies have to do with preventing “climate change” (aka global warming)? Well it’s mostly about reducing methane, the odoriferous component of livestock flatulence. But just as David Martosko at the Center for Consumer Freedom perceptively observes regarding connecting dietary health policy with livestock emissions and climate, “Something doesn’t smell quite right here.”
As quoted by NBC News responding to a 2007 article published in the medical journal The Lancet, Martosko commented, “It’s sad that a few scientists truly believe cow flatulence is the biggest threat to humanity.” He added: “If someone can breed livestock that emits less methane, I’m all for it. But consumers are never going to give up their steaks, milkshakes, and drumsticks. This opinion paper doesn’t offer convincing reasons why they should.”
The newly reconstituted Congress apparently agrees, telling the executive branch agencies to focus nutrition issues upon nutrition, and stop attaching them to climate change.
To back this up, the Omnibus Spending Bill they passed which Obama signed included restrictive “Congressional Directives.”
One of these specifically addressed the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and their concern that it “is showing an interest in incorporating agriculture production practices and environmental factors.” The directive tells the Obama administration to ignore these environmental factors when reviving the guidelines.
The omnibus bill, as approved, also won’t allow the EPA to implement a White House proposal to cut dairy industry methane emissions by 25 percent by 2025. That should come as a big relief to all cows.
In an attempt to globalize its “culturally sustainable” diet case, DGAC notes that in addition to contributing 30 percent of human-generated greenhouse gases, world food production accounts for 80 percent of planet’s deforestation, 70 percent of fresh water use. They also estimate that about 25 percent of land area is dedicated to livestock grazing . . . and that about one-third of all arable land is used to grow livestock feed crops.
On the subject of so-called “sustainability” however, what about that favored “green” ethanol production? Current consumption of 40 percent of U.S. corn for ethanol has already raised prices for livestock, dairy, poultry, eggs, and other food industries that are passing cost hikes on to food consumers. And although touted as a “renewable” fuel, it offers no net fuel-saving benefits whatsoever once you factor in the petroleum required to plant, fertilize, harvest and process the corn.
On top of that — just in case you really worry — ethanol isn’t going to save the planet from carbon dioxide peril after all. Ethanol processing and use produces at least as much CO2 as petroleum does.
So do you suppose that DGAC will suggest that EPA ethanol mandates be put on a nutritional subsidy-free diet so that there will be more land available to grow healthy vegetables plus stop climate change too? My offhand guess . . . probably not.
Besides, why bother? Although no one I know disputes the fact that climate changes, as of recently, not so much.
Satellite records reveal that despite rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations mean global temperatures have been flat now for 18 years; Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are growing, not collapsing; and no Category 3-5 hurricanes have struck U.S. coasts for a record nine years.
Still, there is one diet that is truly in need of change after all. It’s time to ration the bologna dispensed to advance senseless and destructive political agendas premised upon a climate of fear.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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