• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Eat Tofu, Save a Planet

    Apparently now going green means only eating greens. Advice from Lord Nicholas Stern:

    Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better. I think it’s important that people think about what they are doing and that includes what they are eating. I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food.”

    Stern also says that “We have not seen those sort of conditions for 30 million years. These kind of changes will have huge consequences — southern Europe is likely to be a desert; hundreds of millions of people will have to move. There will be severe global conflict.”

    Stern is most famous for his 700-page report on addressing global warming where he arbitrarily chose 550 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 as a magical threshold. Anything greater than 550 ppm, there are dire consequences. Below the 550 ppm threshold, we just might make it. Heritage analyst David Kreutzer pokes a big hole in Stern’s logic:

    The bigger problem is how the costs are calculated. The Stern analysis purports to see the impact of today’s CO2 emissions 200 years into the future. Further, the impact on the much, much higher expected GDP of the future is presented as having an equal impact today. In other words, getting a dollar in 200 years is just as satisfying as getting a dollar today. Therefore, spending $.99 to get a dollar is a good idea independent of whether you get the dollar today or a thousand years from now. For most people who are not Nicholas Stern, Baron of Brentford, it would make a difference.

    Well-known environmental economist Professor William D. Nordhaus of Yale University employed the methodology of the Stern Review and calculated that Stern’s twisted assumptions would recommend cutting the World’s income from its average today of $10,000 to $4,400 in order to prevent an annual drop of income from $130,000 to $129,870 starting in 200 years. Further he points out that half of the environmental costs that Stern says occur “now and forever” don’t actually occur until after 2800. As a reminder, that’s 800 years from now.”

    To limit carbon dioxide emissions, population control has been suggested. Trading your dog or cat in for something more sustainable that you can eat like a chicken has been suggested and now trading your steak in for a veggie platter. We’re not talking minor adjustments anymore or merely paying higher prices for goods and losing income – although there’s plenty of that to go around, too. We’re talking about social and cultural changes that affect people in dramatic, non monetary ways.

    Almost everything we use and do produces carbon dioxide. Look at the sacrifices made by the Beavan family in the documentary No Impact Man. Reason’s Dan Hayes writes, “Colin Beavan and his two-year-old daughter Isabella are in the bathroom cleaning out mommy’s cosmetics when they decide to wash their laundry by stomping their feet on a tub full of clothes and all-natural Borax detergent. It’s one of the many inconvenient and impractical things Beavan and his family do in the new documentary No Impact Man. The Beavans give up toilet paper, any products with packaging, cars and public transit, elevators, plastic bags, and shopping for anything new. In addition, they won’t use washing machines, disposable diapers, or food grown outside a 250-mile radius of NYC.”

    These are sacrifices people do not want to make and do not have to make.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Eat Tofu, Save a Planet

    1. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      Hoorah for the Beavan Family!

      With the world standing by while psychotic leaders and terrorists attempt to acquire nucs, we won't have to worry about something that "may" happen 800 years from now.

      If these people want to act "responsibly" kudos to them. Means there is more meat, fuel, paper towels, and toilet paper for reasonable people.

      We must be vigilant that these people do not enforce this madness on the rest of us. Watch Washington Closely!!

      Meanwhile, leave my Steak and dogs alone!

      This is living proof that cell phones do have an adverse affect on the human brain.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      Thank you for your, your, your insight, Lord Stern. How is it you've been around for 30 million years?

      Fact is fact and the fact is whatever man does or doesn't do is not going to change the course or climate of the earth or the universe. What happens to the earth regardless of man's actions based on man's speculation is irrelevant and will happen to all.

      Calm down, Lord Stern. Live the way you choose and respect us the same.

    3. Terry G. NebraskaPat says:

      We all know that those nasty animals produce way too much methane; so, if we eat them we help even more–RIGHT!!!

    4. Jeremy, Northern Ind says:

      Admittedly, meat is a significant contributor to the whole greenhouse gas thing. Whether it contributes to global warming is a different issue entirely. My wife and I are vegetarians by choice, and because we don't approve of factory farming's methods, and while I am a lot healthier for it, one should not try to impose vegetarianism on anyone, especially whole populations. Assuming everyone did go veg, how would that help matters? In the place of farting cows, we'd have more semis on the road delivering produce around the country, which would more than offset the emissions made by the gassy bovine. You may "feel" like you're saving the world, but the effects are negligible in the long run.

    5. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      Jeremy Northern Indiana,

      Thank you for a – dare I say – common sense approach to this issue.

      What this is really about is freedom of choice.

      How much choice is left in America? Between an oppressive government picking our pockets and absurd academic activists who sit around thinking up ways to usurp our freedoms (for the supposed greater good)- we are watching America change before our very eyes.

      Someday, if we still have freedom of speech, we will be able to tell our grandchildren how good a steak was instead of the soylent green crud they are eating.

    6. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Here, once again, is proof that our Founding Fathers were the next best thing on earth to divine genius: they made sure that our Constitution forbade the granting or receiving of "titles of nobility". We have been blessed ever since with a population generally devoted to common sense, and in particular quite adept at achieving and enjoying, each and every one of us from the hired hand to the captains of the greatest industries the world has ever seen, a quite princely standard of living!

      Does the good Lord Stern actually count on anyone but the occasional small family applying for "Sainthood" before its time to discard their well-earned right to a dinner of Fillet Mignon, preceded by Salmon Carpaccio, followed by Crème Brulée in a bed of fresh exotic fruits, and rounded by a selection of fine cheeses and brandies — all for a serving of "Marinated Tofu On A Half-Plate"?!

      There is one thing I will bow to before this "Lord", — his superb sense of humor!

    7. Nicolai Alatzas says:

      Hey Texas when they come to get our meat, I will meet you out to back getting reading to exercise my second amendment.

      I can understand shipping meat all over the country can be a bit ridiculous. Local foods and urban farms are great ways to get your food. It supports the local work force but we all know we can buy that stuff cheap at WalMart. However a good local butcher is just about a priceless commodity.

      We can net zero a butcher shop create enough "green" energy to offset the cows breathing and eat our meat without heat. lol sorry couldn't resist.

    8. Bobbie Jay says:

      You're funny Nicolai!

      What would they do? Kill all the animals? Bury them in the earth to lessen human survival?

    9. Bobbie Jay says:


    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.