The interwebs have been abuzz with chatter about an interview Al Gore sat down for with FearLess Revolution Founder, Alex Bogusky last week on Ustream. The two were discussing the importance of climate change and some of the possible causes of it. You might be thinking to yourself “Al Gore talks about climate change all the time. What’s so special about this particular interview?”
That would be this:
Industrial agriculture is part of the problem. The shift toward a more meat-intensive diet. The clearing of forest areas in many parts of the world in order to raise more cattle and the reliance on synthetic nitrogen for fertilizers are also problems.
That’s part of the reply Al gave in response to a question about some of the contributing factors of climate change. This isn’t hella-significant because no one has ever pointed these things out before, it’s just that up until now, Al has refused to do so publicly.
Al Gore is an influential guy. That’s particularly true in regards to climate change and/or environmental concerns and conservation. So, when the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization published a report in 2006 concluding that worldwide livestock farming generated 18% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions (more than all the cars, trains, planes and boats on the planet, combined), and consequently suggested that cutting meat consumption down or out of your diet was the greatest possible single step you could take to prevent or reverse the effects of climate change and Al stayed mum on the subject (for five years!), it was a blow.
When someone is considered the foremost expert on tackling climate change and they refuse to acknowledge one of its major causes and the relative solution, it’s that much harder to convince people it’s legit and move them to action. That’s why it’s so fab that Al has finally come around to the environmental argument against meat consumption. I sincerely hope this isn’t the last time he’ll speak publicly on the issue but I’m definitely grateful for the recognition, no matter how long it took.
Better late than never!