everyone's harvest

Transforming our food system, one sustainable blog at a time

Vote With Your Fork to Reverse Climate Change November 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyonesharvest @ 9:11 pm





DISCLAIMER: the following content does not necessarily represent the beliefs, values and opinions of Everyone’s

Harvest as a whole. These blog posts are written by individuals associated with this organization and are their

personal views of food and our food systems. The sole purpose and mission of Everyone’s Harvest remains the same:

to create vibrant, healthy communities and equitable food webs.” 


Blog by Chiara Cabiglio, Everyone’s Harvest Intern and University of California, Santa Cruz Alumna


Ignoring climate change simply is not an option for us anymore. Superstorm Sandy, a storm that was largely

intensified by climate change, is responsible for at least 193 human deaths in the U.S. and the Caribbean and an

estimated US $50 billion in costs.


With President Obama emerging triumphant in the November 6th election, the pressure on him to take the lead in addressing

not only the nation’s “Fiscal Cliff,” but also the world’s “Climate Cliff,” is now more intense than ever. However, President

Obama is only one man. He is not God or Superman. In regards to climate change and environmental conservation, “Obama

has passed no truly ambitious legislation related to climate change, shying from battle in the face of relentless opposition

from congressional Republicans. Yet his environmental record is not as barren as it may seem. The stimulus bill provided for

extensive investment in green energy, biofuels, and electric cars. In August, the Administration instituted new fuel-efficiency

standards that should nearly double gas mileage; by 2025, new cars will need to average 54.5 miles per gallon.”


But reversing climate change is not a task left only to Obama and Washington. It is the global responsibility of us all. On

election day Mark Bittman, the American food journalist and author, posted the following on his Facebook page: ‘“It looks

like I’m going to have to retire. In this column I said this: ‘The purely pragmatic reasons to eat less meat (and animal

products in general) are abundant. And while I’ve addressed them before, I’ll continue until the floods come to Manhattan.’ 

Well, they’ve come. Now what?”’


Now what? We become heroes by voting with our forks and dollars. By choosing organic fruit, vegetables, grains and

legumes over meat and dairy. By choosing better meat and dairy alternatives over livestock products. Why? Because according

to Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, Environmental Specialists employed by two UN specialized agencies, the World Bank

and International Finance Corporation, the lifecycle and supply chain of livestock products is actually responsible for at least

51 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas.


In Goodland’s most recent post, he claims that “…the key player in reversing climate change – at least in the next four years –

is actually the food industry. It is more exposed to climate change than any other industry, so it has a compelling commercial

incentive to reverse climate change. Food corporations develop better foods as a matter of course. They control lots of land on

which livestock and feed production can be reduced, and they can sell carbon credits from reforesting land. Consumers have

an equal role in their capacity to vote with their forks to replace livestock products (meat, dairy and egg products) with better



Imagine the positive impact we could have on reversing climate change through the individual and collective power of

changing what we eat. The power is in our hands (or in this case, our dollars and forks) to prevent another superstorm like

Hurricane Sandy in the future. The power is in our utensils to save the polar bears and other species from extinction, and to

enable our children and grandchildren to inherit a safer and more just world. As soon as we recognize this power within us,

we can begin to create positive change – and at the same time, change the world by eating deliciously sustainable food.

Instead of waiting for another superstorm to happen, why not do what we can to prevent another devastating tragedy?


If we want to save the polar bears and other species from extinction due to global climate change, habitat loss and

environmental degradation, and if we want to save ourselves, then humanity must wake up and change the way it

eats, the way our food is produced and what food is produced. Period.



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