Thinking Beyond Ourselves

My last article explored the impact of global warming on the poor; this article discusses global warming’s impact on our infrastructure, livestock industry, and environment. Today, we are already seeing the potentially catastrophic changes in weather that global warming brings. These changes lead to property and infrastructure damage as more and frequent repairs are required to minimize the impact on schools, airport runways, and other essential structural facilities. As a result, productivity declines with the cancellation of school and work. Industries, such as tourism and mining, will be affected negatively as well since climate related health risks may become a major factor in influencing one’s decision to travel. Labor intensive industries, such as mining, will get more difficult as droughts and diseases become the norm. Profitability will go down which will lead to adverse effects on the global economy as many additional industries are consequently affected. 

Undesired effects, like power outages and transportation delays, will be at the forefront of problems people will face in the coming years. Unhappy citizens pave way to revolution and protests and the cost required for people to adapt to their changing environment is great. Scientists estimate that relocating might cost more than reducing carbon emissions. Governments will have to invest more in weather alert systems to advise people of weather changes in order to lower the cost of emergencies when they do happen.  

A major contributor of global warming is livestock consumption. Many Americans happily eat their livestock (especially cows) without knowing that this contributes to 40% of carbon emissions. The growing incomes of families have facilitated the increase of meat consumptions. The industry itself is notorious for generating 65% of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, from cow manure. Thirty of the world’s lands are reserved for livestock raising which leads to increased deforestation. This causes growing controversies concerning the amount of land used solely for livestock. 

Think about these alarming statistics: one child dies of hunger every 2.3 seconds, 5 million children go hungry per month in the U.S. alone, 1.3 billion people living on the planet are poor, and another 1.3 billion people are obese. Taking land and food away from these people seem unjust when it is solely for the purpose of producing meat for the more affluent. The livestock industry is doing our world more harm than good. Many of the world’s threatened and endangered animals are harmed by this industry since their habitats are destroyed to allow for the growing livestock industry.  

If people were to reduce their consumption of meat by 10%, this would provide for more than 100 million people with food and drinking water that would have otherwise been used for the sustenance of livestock. Becoming vegan or simply eating less meat less often are simple and easy ways people can take to reduce further damage to the environment.