Climate leader attacks meat consumption

In: Uncategorized

7 Sep 2008

The lead story in today’s Observer quotes Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, argues that people should reduce their meat consumption to help quell global warming. There are several obvious things wrong with this demand. In no particular order:

• It is an intrusion into individuals’ personal freedom. It should not be up to the authorities to tell people what to eat.

• It is an attack on Western living standards. It helps set a precedent that people should be prepared to do with less.

• It is an attack on development. Everyone should have access to the best the world has to offer – including meat.

• It is a meaningless gesture. The idea that such token gestures can do anything about climate change is ridiculous. On the contrary, by focusing on our individual behaviour it encourages a climate of narcissism rather than the broad thinking need to tackle the problems facing humanity.

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