Some of the questions that I find myself answering are interesting but misguided or misinformed. One had to do with something that apparently a Zen master had said. Unfortunately, the statement wasn’t based in fact.
The person had stated that if people turned to a plant-based diet, climate change could be stopped. The question was if we could really stop climate change by eating a plant-based diet. There are a couple of major problems with the idea.
First of all, scientists say that the earth has had a climate for about 4 billion years; the entire length of time the earth has had an atmosphere. In that whole time, the earth’s climate has been changing. The earth is dynamic, not static. The only way for the climate to stop changing is if the earth stops having an atmosphere. This obviously has nothing to do with our diet. During almost those entire 4 billion years, there weren’t any humans, either, but it didn’t change because of the diet of any creature.
People don’t seem to understand that before the ice ages, the earth was a lot warmer than it is today. During the ice ages, it was much colder than it is today. The climate has been warming for about 11,000 years, since the end of the ice age. It is a good thing, too, because otherwise, most of North America, Europe, and Asia would still be under a mile of ice.
Second, nearly all of our climate comes from the sun. The sun fluctuates in output and this drives changes in our climate. What a person eats has no bearing at all on how the output of the sun is going to fluctuate or in what way.
Third, even assuming that a theory that our climate is radically changing because of carbon dioxide is true, and it has been demonstrated not to be, the idea that eating plants would change the amount of CO2 doesn’t hold water, either. There is a finite amount of carbon on the earth with which to produce CO2. Most of that carbon is locked up in rocks and ocean water, but a huge amount is locked up in plantlife. The eating and digesting of plantlife frees up that carbon.
Logically, eating more plants would increase the amount of CO2 rather than decreasing it. Fewer plants would also mean that less carbon dioxide would be absorbed by plants. People don’t eat enough of anything to make much of a difference, but if they did, eating more meat would probably be more apt to lower CO2 levels than eating more plants.
Of course, that is moot anyway. When CO2 levels increase, plantlife flourishes. The fossil fuels that we burn and which produce a lot of CO2 during combustion came from plant and animal life that existed at a time when CO2 levels were many times higher than they are today. In fact, that is why they produce CO2 during combustion.
The bottom line is that what people eat has very little to do with our climate. For that matter, if every man, woman, and child suddenly vanished, the climate would still change as long as the earth had an atmosphere and the sun continued to shine.
Have you ever heard of someone trying to suggest that what people eat causes climate change?
I know better
I can believe that a person’s diet can effect our climate
Why not, they blame everything else