Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists


Why Climate Change Intervention is WAY Easier than We Think

Tuesday 7 September 2021

For those of you that follow me on other platforms, you'll have seen, heard or read some of my thoughts on the lab grown proteins from firms like #ImpossibleFoods or #BeyondMeat.

I'm a fan of those lab grown protein concepts arriving at that position whilst undertaking a Master of Science in 2004 in which my main thesis focused on global water issues. In that piece of work it became clear that the level of water consumed to produce say 1kg of beef was untenable in a world where starvation persisted and lack of fresh water impacted around 40% of the planet. Even with improvements, that 1kg requires (depending on location and farming methods) between 30,000 litres and up to 150,000 litres of fresh, potable water. For each and every kilogram.


And I've worked with both Beef and Dairy producers and with Government agencies looking at biosecurity issues for both crop and animals. I've worked with mid cap VC investors and discussed the challenge of Australia permitting cotton to be grown when food producers don't get access to water. I coined the phrase #FitForPurposeWater (borrowed by a large consultancy a few years later) in which you allocate water to what is the best fit for the quality of that water and best need for that water. And no, 'highest price on the market' is NOT a 'best need' when determining usage.

I discussed the #EatOrExtract problem about what you can do with your land - you can choose to Eat from it OR Extract out of it but you cannot do both. And once you've extracted from it you can never go back to eating from it.

And now there's another compelling reason why a change in diet is warranted. If we are going to talk about addressing climate change then yes, we need to lower fossil fuel use. We also need to work out how to solve the methane leakage problem.

Solutions are getting a lot clearer and more stark than we think. Recent reports that just 5% of coal fired power plants produce 73% of all CO2 emissions is an obvious 'no brainer' intervention. Simply shut them down today.

And now we look at the food we eat and the report today that JUST 20 meat and dairy firms produce more CO2 pollution than the entire populations of France, UK and Germany. This is 'decision time' that is more glaring. We change our diets away from meat and dairy to ones that are less carbon and water intensive, and we make instant, long ranging and highly impactful decisions for retaining a sustainable platform for human life on this planet. I'm not telling you what to eat. Just don't say you find climate change too difficult to solve.

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