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'Climatarian' Makes New York Times List of Top New Food Words for 2015
The New York Times published its list of the top new food words for 2015. Words and phrases that made this year's list range from "beer o'clock," one's personal assessment of the right time of day to start drinking, to "hangry," the state of being so hungry that you become angry or irritable.
But, the one word most relevant to the environmentally conscious is "climatarian." The New York Times defines it as "a diet whose primary goal is to reverse climate change. This includes eating locally produced food (to reduce energy spent in transportation), choosing pork and poultry instead of beef and lamb (to limit gas emissions) and using every part of ingredients (apple cores, cheese rinds, etc.) to limit food waste."
The word gained popularity this year in part because it was promoted by a group called Climates (yes, the organization's official name is formally half-bold). They encourage people to "go climatarian" and save a tonne (1.1 short tons) of carbon dioxide equivalent, which includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases.
The evidence supporting a climatarian diet is abundant. Several reports within the past year, including one from the UK think tank Chatham House, have found that eating less meat and dairy is essential to curbing climate change.
And a carbon-conscious diet is not only good for the planet, but is healthy for people, too.
The health benefits of eating less meat have been touted by nutritionist Marion Nestle, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, singer Beyoncé and director James Cameron. After retiring as the host of the Daily Show in August, Stewart and with his wife turned their New Jersey farm into an official Farm Sanctuary site. Beyoncé launched a vegan meal delivery service, 22 Days Nutrition. And James Cameron helped launch America's first vegan school.
Meat, especially processed meat, is looking less and less appetizing, especially since the release of the World Health Organization's report that found the consumption of processed meat is linked to an increase in cancer risk.
While #climatarian has gained some traction on Twitter, it remains to be seen if the word is here to stay.
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As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.