The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Greenhouse Gas Emission Giants: Why Tyson Foods Rivals Exxon
By Joe Loria
According to The Guardian, JBS, Cargill and Tyson—three of the world's largest meat producers—emitted more greenhouse gas last year than all of France and nearly as much as the biggest oil companies, such as Exxon, BP and Shell.
Hardly any meat or dairy companies publish their climate emissions, so it's almost impossible to know the exact amount of greenhouse gas generated. But using the most comprehensive data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The Guardian estimated emissions from animal agriculture, and the results are staggering.
The top 20 meat and dairy companies emitted more greenhouse gas in 2016 than all of Germany, Europe's biggest climate polluter. This means if these companies were a country, they would be the world's seventh-largest greenhouse gas emitter.
It's impossible to take world leaders seriously when they fail to mention animal agriculture in addressing climate action. Raising animals for food emits more greenhouse gas than all the cars, planes and other forms of transportation combined.
What's more, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits.
But simply by avoiding animal products, you cut your carbon footprint in half. Keep in mind that a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy. Additionally, a recent study found that switching to a plant-based diet reduces your personal carbon emissions more than replacing your gasoline-powered car with a hybrid.
There is no such thing as "sustainable" meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.
A vegan diet is not just good for the planet. It also spares countless animals lives of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens and other farmed animals suffer horribly. These innocent animals face unthinkable horrors: cruel caged confinement, brutal mutilations and bloody, merciless deaths.
Reposted with permission from our media associate AlterNet.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."