Caring for Creation
“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof;the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1 (KJV)
“Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favorable comparison with the products of Nature, the living cell of a plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.” Thomas Alva Edison Inventor 1847-1931
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Native American Proverb
Freshwater Abuse and Loss: Where Is It All Going?
Along with climate change, perhaps the most pressing concern we have regarding sustaining our lives, and future life on earth, is our supply of fresh water. From 1941 to 2011 the world’s population has tripled, but freshwater consumption has quadrupled, which is predicted to leave forty percent of the world’s population facing severe water stress by the year 2020. One third of all counties in the lower United States (1,100 counties spanning fourteen states) will face water shortages by 2050, with more than 400 of them at “extremely high risk.” Dr. Richard Oppenlander
Read this article by author of the award-winning book, Comfortably Unaware, Dr. Richard Oppenlander is a consultant, researcher, and lecturer on the topics of food choice and sustainability. He started an organic vegan food production company, operates an animal rescue sanctuary, and is the founder and president of Inspire Awareness Now. Dr. Oppenlander has written numerous articles and serves as an adviser for organizations, municipalities, and institutions.
Environment is at Tipping Point
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) –The earth’s environmental systems are being pushed towards their biophysical limits beyond which loom sudden, irreversible and potentially catastrophic changes, the United Nations Environment Program warned Wednesday.In a 525-page report on the health of the planet, the agency paints a grim picture: The melting of the polar ice caps, desertification in Africa, deforestation of tropical jungles, spiraling use of chemicals and the emptying out of the world’s seas are just some of myriad environmental catastrophes posing a threat to life as we know it. Read the full article by clicking here.
Environment is at Tipping Point
The livestock sector is by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land. Grazing occupies 26 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial surface, while feed crop production requires about a third of all arable land.
Expansion of grazing land for livestock is a key factor in deforestation, especially in Latin America: some 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon is used as pasture, and feed crops cover a large part of the reminder. About 70 percent of all grazing land in dry areas is considered degraded, mostly because of overgrazing, compaction and erosion attributable to livestock activity. The sheer quantity of animals being raised for human consumption also poses a threat of the Earth’s biodiversity. Livestock account for about 20 percent of the total terrestrial animal biomass, and the land area they now occupy was once habitat for wildlife. In 306 of the 825 terrestrial eco-regions identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, livestock are identified as “a current threat”, while 23 of Conservation International’s 35 “global hotspots for biodiversity” – characterized by serious levels of habitat loss – are affected by livestock production. Read more by clicking here.
Meat & Dairy: The Devastating Environmental Cost
What, exactly, is the environmental cost of an animal product-based diet?…Researchers point out that currently, a total of 3,265 pounds of agricultural products (including feed and grains) are produced annually to feed each American, while China’s food supply averages only 1,029 pounds/capita/year. The world average value is 1,353 pounds/capita/year. The low number for China correlates with a vegetarian diet, the researchers point out, noting that most people in China eat essentially a vegetarian diet….All vegetation requires and transpires massive amounts of water during the growing season. For example, a corn crop that produces about 6616 pounds/acre of grain will take up and transpire about 534,600 gallons/acre of water during the growing season. To supply this much water to the crop, not only must 855,119 gallons of rain fall per acre, but also a significant portion must fall during the growing season.
The renowned scientists state that perhaps the greatest threat to maintaining freshwater supplies is overdraft of surface and groundwater resources used to supply the needs of the rapidly growing human population and the agriculture that provides its food. Agricultural production “consumes” more fresh water than any other human activity.
Worldwide, about 82 percent of the fresh water that is pumped is “consumed” (so that it is nonrecoverable) by agriculture. In the U.S., this figure is about 85 percent. All people require a minimum of 24 gallons/day for cooking, washing, and other domestic needs, while each American uses about 106 gallons/day for domestic needs. Add to that a 1/4-pounder with cheese, and you’ve added more than 3,000 additional gallons of water to your daily consumption. About 80 nations in the world are already experiencing significant water shortages. For instance, in China, more than three hundred cities are short of water and the problem is intensifying.
Read more by clicking here.