What climate change mitigations need more research investment?

Saturday, 3 January 2009


Just as one of the pioneers of the Green movement, Greenpeace, grew out of the peace movement, RedPeace is a fanciful name for a consciousness that will grow out of the Green movement. Red supports, as political Greens do, Liberation from short-termism, and in addition to this it acknowledges the importance of Equality of human needs.

Who can deny that it's right to fairly share our crowded planet in the long term? We must get used to the prospect of a stable population - a decreasing population is a tough imposition on many cultures, even the in the ageing rich countries. We must also cut down on the luxury use of resources ...

For example meat eating. I think I'm qualified to talk about this as I've worked in veterinary science and animal production for all my life. Extensively-grazed ruminants don't directly compete with humans for food, but they do compete for land and contribute a massive share to greenhouse gas pollution. Intensively-fed pigs and chickens compete for food (grain, soyabeans, fish etc) with humans for arable land. Other modes of animal production, for example milk and feedlot beef, contribute to both of these pollutions.

But the competition for land is not just for growing food. Biomass, with its two meanings--biomass in the forests and humus--to keep carbon out of the atmosphere, and biomass to provide one of the great variety of energy sources hat must replace oil and coal. Biomass means any part produced by living things that can be converted into heat or other types of energy. Sometimes we forget that something is biomass because it has a more important function: charcoal from in our barbecue comes from biomass and cooks food, food is a useful kind of biomass that provides energy in the body, food energy fuels our brains that are themselves complex pieces of biomass. Literature, after all, is also an interesting collection of words.

But biomass itself has become useful and interesting! Nearly all of us believe in preserving the rainforests (because of their biomass); good farmers value the moisture-retaining value of humus biomass in their soils; now it's up to us all to:
  • Produce more biomass (and an infrastructure to use it)
  • Free up land to grow this biomass
  • That means competition for agricultural grassland
  • So,
  • eat less meat!
  • is this a harship? then eat less and tastier meat!
Well, that is the RedPeace message!

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