Words of Wisdom
Leaders Preserving Our Future: Pace & Priorities on Climate Change   

MC(m): So, just to welcome you all to today's conference, “Leaders Preserving Our Future: Pace and Priorities on Climate Change,” which is jointly organized by Dods and the World Preservation Foundation, and we really are delighted to have you here, particularly in the circumstance. This conference has been organized with a very specific aim in mind: it's to raise awareness about the urgency of having a near-term solution for climate change, and to highlight one of the most effective solutions to achieve this.

As you will notice, we've got a lot of speakers today, many of them sitting next to me, even as I speak, and they're from different scientific fields and very many prestigious organizations. So, I'm going to start by introducing our first speaker, who is Geoff Tansey.

Geoff is a trustee of the Food Ethics Council in the United Kingdom and one of the six recipients of the Joseph Rowntree “Visionaries” Award. He's also winner of the Derek Cooper Award for best food campaigner and educator. And today, he'll address the conference on how we can ensure food security from global to local level in the face of water scarcity and climate change. So if you'd put your hands together, please, for our first speaker.

Geoff Tansey (m): Right, thank you. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thanks to the Foundation for the invitation to speak here. The Food Ethics Council is an independent charity that seeks to put ethical thinking at the heart of our discussions on food, and that means looking at social justice and fairer decisions within the framework of the bigger picture.

Well, I'm speaking here personally, but drawing on some of the work of the council… But first, let's look at today's world. We've a dysfunctional food system, despite having the capacity to feed everyone well. It leaves getting on for a billion people hungry, well over that, overweight or obese, and even more with micronutrient deficiencies.

The poor are affected most. Most people still work in agriculture globally, most poor people are still in the rural areas, and women are often the most badly affected. Yet, they're also responsible for the majority of food produced and hold much knowledge about farming in challenging and difficult environments around the world. Now, achieving food security for all is a complex challenge, and it's got many ingredients and there are lots of definitions.

After the first world food crisis in the 1970s, the focus was on grain reserves, as this quote illustrates. Now, this broader definition from the FAO summit in 1996 is usually linked to thinking about food security in terms of three words: Accessibility, Availability, and Affordability.

But it actually neglects how food is produced and distributed, and the sustainability of that. Some more recent thinking looks at sustainable food systems where you're very clear about what the goals are. It includes the three A's, but imbeds them in systems that are sustainable and resilient.

Increasingly, however, peasants' movements seek food sovereignty, which adds “who has what power and control in the system?” into the equation. Now, achieving food security requires action from the global to the household level. It also means that no one suffers fear and anxiety about where and when the next meal will come from, and is confident of that continuing - and that's a confidence that climate change could shatter for all of us.

The long-term worst-case scenarios see farming becoming impossible in many tropical latitudes, failing monsoons in India, loss of the Amazon rainforest, widespread desertification in Africa and elsewhere, leading to population movements the like of which we have never seen. The best single way of dealing with these is not to go there, to change our practices now before it's too late.

The least bad scenario suggests major disruptions in key producing areas, yield declines in many areas in the tropics and surrounding temperate areas, with perhaps some advantage to the higher latitudes. All see a loss of biodiversity and agricultural biodiversity. Now, these trends are often talked about in terms of 2 to 6 degree average rise in temperature, but this really is misleading, for climate change will, indeed, is already destabilizing weather patterns, leading to more and more extreme events of increasing intensity, from floods - as we saw recently in Pakistan and Thailand - which will be exacerbated for coastal areas - and we're in one, looking at the Thames - as sea levels rise with melting ice caps and glaciers, to winds and droughts and fires, as we saw in Russia recently.

Now, these extremes will make harvests less predictable. If several coincide in one year, they may lead to major food shortages of core commodities and huge price rises. Price fluctuations and rises will, indeed already have been, compounded by competition over scarce resources, using land for agro-fuels, and commodity price speculation.

As we saw, particularly in 2007 and 2008, when over 100 million people were driven into hunger, and governments fell. Now, although the poor and most marginalized are the first to suffer from climate change, it will affect everyone, including us here, and push food prices up and disrupt supply chains.

Now, we need to meet these challenges in ways that embed social justice into the heart of our approach; otherwise, it will fail. As our inquiry into food and fairness discussed in a recent report “Food Justice,” this means addressing the issues about fair shares, fair say, and fair play in tackling the problems in the food system and climate change. But it also is about recognizing what can be done within the food system framework and what requires changes to the rules of the game.

Now, as Tim Jackson said in his eloquent evidence to the commission, the rich really need to rethink what we mean by prosperity and develop a new kind of ecological economics that's not based on the growth paradigm, what he calls “prosperity without growth.” For us in Britain and Europe, that means questioning assumptions, such as that we can eat what we want when we want from wherever we want.

It means accepting responsibility for the generation of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the extent of our ecological debt, as our footprint spreads much more widely over the world than our numbers justify, thanks in significant part to our need for animal feed. So it requires innovation, but not just in technology, where so much of the focus goes. And even there, the focus is often on finding ways that are essentially about allowing us to carry on doing what we do now, such as agro-fuels, rather than change. And in reality, we need innovation that allows us to do things differently, not just technologically, but socially, politically, and economically.

We need to rethink the way we produce food, to move from intensive systems, which are fossil fuel-based, to farming systems that are more agro-ecologically sound and resilient, as has been argued in various reports over the last few years - the global report at the top, the one from the National Academy of Sciences in the States. But we do also need to rethink what we consume. Whether or not we can feed a world with a population likely to stabilize at 9.5 billion people depends upon what they all eat, and the impact of producing that food on our life support systems.

Now, it wouldn't be sustainable nor healthy, for example, for global meat and dairy consumption levels to rise to that of the American or European level. Food accounts for about 20% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions by consumption, and that rises to 30% if you include indirect emissions from global land use changes.

Meat and dairy is about 7 to 8%. Agriculture globally also uses about 70% of the water that's abstracted. The UK imports about two-thirds of the virtual water it uses in food. And the way we do things at the moment increases the loss of biodiversity and agricultural biodiversity.

So, apart from action to change on production, we also need action on waste and consumption, to reduce the waste built into systems through the standards and production processes and supply chains, to the waste that occurs domestically and in catering. Now, the Food Ethics Council, along with WWF, has been looking at consumption of meat and dairy, because this is a significant part of our greenhouse gases in the UK - and you'll hear more from WWF this afternoon, and our latest report is actually out on Friday.

Now, the work focused on consumption related emissions because a production focus ignores the emissions that arise when production's done abroad, so-called “off shoring.” Now, one essential in this is dialogue with the producers so that they are able to engage with and see the calls for eating less meat, for example, as an opportunity in developing a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable food system. The producers can also give the practical insights of the, perhaps, unintended consequences of different policies.

So I think we need to see this as a time of opportunity, as well as danger, if we are to avoid in the future the sense of déjà vu I get today when I look back at the world food crisis in the 1970's, as this quote illustrates when I first started working on food policy. We actually need creative solutions from the bottom up, within enabling frameworks that do not disadvantage the poor.

Now, food is a lens through which to look at the problems we face. It connects peoples and it's an opportunity because it's something that everyone needs and it's a way of helping people understand both the importance of dealing with climate change and the things that can be done about it.

And the way we deal with food links sustainability, health of people and planet, and social justice, and that includes gender equality. And I look forward to hearing more detail about the other areas as we go throughout the day. Thank you very much.

MC(m): Thank you, Geoff. Our next speaker is David Vaughan. Professor David Vaughan is a climate scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, and was coordinating lead author of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, and he's just about to begin the same role in the 5th Assessment. His research focuses on the role of ice sheets, the threat of climate change and rising sea levels. Professor Vaughan will now speak about ice melt in Antarctica in terms of its effect, severity, urgency and potential consequences. Please put your hands together.

Prof David Vaughan(m): Thank you. Thank you very much. I speak today as a working scientist rather than a representative of the IPCC, but I do have those roles that were pointed out. Sea level rise is somewhat the poster child of climate change, partly because people can really understand quite simply what the impacts are. That's actually an illusion.

Some of the impacts are quite subtle and difficult to understand, and we're going to talk about some of those in this talk. Sea level rise has two aspects that speak to the climate change debate: one is the longevity of the response that's provoked by climate change, that might go on for many, many centuries after carbon emissions have stabilized; and the other is that there is really no going back, that once sea level rise begins, then it is here to stay for a considerable period.

And the only rational response in the short term, let's say less than 200 years, is adaptation. Climate change is being provoked by increasing carbon dioxide and methane, greenhouse gases, I think there's very little doubt about that - and throughout geological history, as temperature has risen, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases have risen, so has sea level.

The question is, really: What's going to happen in the future? And there are several different sources of sea level rise within the Earth's system. One is the straightforward expansion of the oceans as the temperatures rise. Actually, this takes many decades, perhaps even longer than that, before the heat really gets into the deeper parts of the ocean and the full effects of ocean expansion are seen.

Then we have the loss of mountain glaciers around the world, and throughout the world, mountain glaciers are now being lost in virtually every glaciated mountain range. This is just one example. I showed it to somebody the other day while I was trying to put this together, and they said, “That's a lot of ice!” And indeed it is. This is just one glacier. Elsewhere, there are, in the polar regions, two large ice sheets - one in Greenland and one in Antarctica - each has the capacity, the ice in it, to raise global sea level by many meters, and we are now seeing some losses in those areas.

The key issue here is that once loss from these ice sheets is provoked, once it's driven, then it may continue for many, many centuries. Sea level is currently rising, and has been increasing in the rate that it's rising throughout the 20th century.

We are now at 3 millimeters a year. Doesn't sound like a lot, but it is a one way street. It's very hard to imagine that the losses of ice that contribute primarily to this are actually going to decrease in the near future. So 3 millimeters a year adds up to 3 centimeters per decade, and by the time we're at a century, it's starting to look like a substantial amount. The IPCC's last projections of sea level rise were something between 19 centimeters and 58 centimeters by the end of 2100. However, some of the effects that the authors of that report were very suspicious were going to start showing were not included in that projection.

And they took a somewhat brave - in my opinion - view of saying there really isn't the science to include all of these effects - specifically the ice sheets' response to changing atmospheric and ocean temperatures - into those projections. So those projections were, in a sense, lacking in one of the key elements.

Since that last IPCC report has gone on, we have developed substantial numbers, four separate ways of measuring the ice loss from these two major ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. And you can see that there are some large areas where ice loss is now persistent year to year, and is sufficient that it's making a significant contribution to that 3 millimeters a year of global sea rise. Elsewhere around the Antarctic Peninsula, we've seen the loss of many ice shelves.

This one in the background, Wilkins Ice Shelf, was the most recent one to really hit the headlines. But, actually, the headline news is not the one that I want you to take away, the smaller diagram to the right hand side shows that this pattern has been persistent all the way along the Antarctic Peninsula where ice shelves have been retreating over a considerable period, at least the last 50 years.

Those are the projections from the IPCC. However, if we start to think about what those projections might look like if we really do include realistic contributions from ice sheets, then perhaps we can think of… you know, certainly the left hand diagram shows quite a moderate scenario that continues the rate of sea level rise over the last 150 years, shown in the green line in a relatively simple progression and reaches half a meter by 2100.

And a more aggressive increase in the rate of ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland would push us up to something like the right hand side diagram where we have about 1.4 meters by 2100. Now, these are still well short of the real doomsday scenarios that some commentators, even some scientists, have been talking about, and I actually think that that right hand side does represent something close to an upper limit on the likely sea level rise by 2100. However, by the time we get to 2100, in that scenario, we're seeing sea level rise at a rate of about 10 times its current rate. What does this really mean? It's very hard to understand really what, let's say, a meter of sea level rise actually means.

Well, let's focus on London, because we're here, and along with 1.25 million other people and an enormous amount of property and assets close to sea level. In UK, we've been very responsive to flooding events in the past and have raised our sea defenses, largely when a flooding event has actually driven us to do it. You can see this sea wall down near Greenwich and how it was raised most noticeably after floods in 1928, and then again, as the Thames barrier was being built after the 1953 flood. We've tended to be extremely responsive in the way that we look at sea defense and build to it.

In the future, we need to be much more proactive. The building of the Thames barrier and its potential replacement in the next few decades is actually a bit of a triumph, and actually what I need to preface, what I'm going to say next, is that the environment agency actually has a very sensible and forward-looking plan to protect London in the future. And what's it trying to protect against? Well, if we look at the storm statistics gathered over the last hundred years or so, then we can project what we believe is likely to be the one in 1000-year storm height, something over 6.5 meters, the one in 100-year storm height, and the one in 10-year storm height.

Now you can see that if we raised global sea level by 50 centimeters - remember that's actually a fairly moderate range - we shift this axis along the bottom so that the one in 100-year storm surge is now equivalent to what was the one in 1000-year storm surge. Another 50 centimeters of sea level rise, and that one in 1000-year storm surge, when the Thames barrier was built, will now start to come every ten years.

So we would really, under that scenario, have to consider a substantial raising of the Thames protection… sea defenses. Looking more globally, we have enormous sea level populations now living close to coasts and in vulnerable areas, and already about 10 million people a year are affected by coastal flooding.

That might go up naturally without sea level rise, to something like 30 million a year by mid century. If we have a substantial sea level rise on top of that, then we could easily double that. This is enormous numbers of people suffering from coastal flooding every year. Obviously in developing countries, there are significant issues associated with survival of coastal populations; and we tend to think of the developing countries as uniquely vulnerable to this. In many ways, a developed city and developing countries have actually developed to the state that they've lost their adaptability. And this is a picture of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina - I'm not saying that global change caused Hurricane Katrina, or even indeed the flooding here; however, it's fairly clear that with sea level rise in the future, more events like this are likely to occur, and with a greater frequency.

So, what's the role for science now? Well, I think we have got past the point where scientists really should be issuing warnings of drastic climate change, and really looking to our role of what we can do to help society come to terms with this. And, indeed, in sea level rise science, I think we have a great role in improving the quantification of risk, improving the basis for sea defense planning, on that relatively short time scale of, let's say, 100 to 200 years, support for coastal adaptation, where defense is not the only answer, and the avoidance of unwarranted expenditure, or expenditure that is too soon.

Good predictions allow you to time the expenditure of sea defense infrastructure much more effectively. And, finally, we have a role in contributing towards a fuller evaluation of the long-term impact of climate change on the planet, and the commitment to long-term sea level rise that will continue even after carbon dioxide emissions have stabilized. European Union is funding at the moment a substantial program with 24 institutes across Europe to contribute towards sea level rise projection, and this is my project that I'm leading at the moment. Thank you very much.

MC(m): Our next speaker is John Topping, the founder and president of the Climate Institute in Washington DC, served as editor for portions of the IPCC First Assessment report and was recognized for his contribution in the 2007 Award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC. Mr. Topping will talk about recent research highlighting the importance of reducing non-CO2, shorter-lived climate forcers and how they can significantly reduce the cause of warming in the near future. Please put your hands together for John Topping.

John Topping(m): Thank you very much. Dr. Vaughan's presentation, I think, underscored the urgency of acting. And what I'm going to do here is pick up on something where I want to compliment the World Preservation Foundation and Dods for their prescience, really, in a couple of regards. One, of focusing very much on the role of agriculture and food systems really, and the whole climate issue - this has really tended to be underplayed very much in most of the discussions - and also on recognizing the importance of moving on non- or shorter-life greenhouse gases, things other than carbon dioxide.

Not that we don't want to move on carbon dioxide, but if we wait and we focus only on carbon dioxide, all the worst things that were projected by Dr. Vaughan will probably happen. And it's one of the reasons why Micronesia, one of the very vulnerable island countries, has really being very active in the UN and pushing for action on black carbon. I'm grateful to Dr. Michael MacCracken, our chief scientist who also ran the US National Assessment, and for four years headed the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, and my colleague John-Michael Cross, for developing some fairly interesting graphics to illustrate the opportunities and the need to act. First, you'll see, using the “business as usual” scenario, BAU, essentially is what happens if you don't have climate conscious policies but you assume a certain amount of natural energy efficiency that would happen with the development of the world economy. And as you can see, there are legacy greenhouse emissions, primarily CO2 from the past century.

Some would be longer-life greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide, some chlorofluorocarbons, which still persist even though we've moved aggressively under the Montreal Protocol. There would be rapid increases under business as usual in CO2, but also for methane, which would be associated both with agricultural activity and energy activity. From tropospheric ozone, which is essentially a product of a variety of carbon monoxide, methane, hydrocarbons, in the presence of NOx, essentially creating something that is dangerous both to human health and to agricultural crops.

That's whatwe tend to think of as smog in our urban areas and so on. And then some other greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide and a variety of others here. Black carbon is something that really was ignored largely in the climate debate until the last couple of years. It's probably where we can make the biggest difference in the near-term. I mean, this is essentially soot, particles that are a great danger to human health. Because they are only up for a week or two at a time, the tendency was to not factor them in, but the problem is, they're constantly replenished.

If cook stoves don't change, if the urban transportation doesn't change, if the industrial practices don't change, those particles are replenished readily. And on the other hand, if they do change, you can make a huge difference in radiative forcing

very quickly, while also having very positive impacts on human health.

There is also a huge inertia within the energy systems and also, to some extent, within the agricultural systems of the world. In the US, interestingly, in the last couple of years, there has been a dramatic drop in CO2 levels from 2007 to 2009, about a 10 percent per capita drop, half of that due to changes in the world economy; other things, really, due to switching from coal to natural gas, because we have a lot of available natural gas, and a variety of other things that are structural change.

We have a couple of practical problems with the greenhouse system right now, the trading systems formally. In the formal system, one ton of methane is equated to 22 tons of CO2, but the practical problem is, if we're concerned with the very dangerous things that could be happening soon, we probably ought to have a much higher valuation for methane. I mean, many of these tipping points are really likely to happen in the lifetime of many of us in this room, notin 2100.

And I'll give you a quick illustration here. I mean, the 1 to 22 is really looking at this over a 100-year period, but if we really look at the equation over a 20-year period, Methane could have a much higher valuation. The reason for that is, typically, you're talking about a 12-year residence in the atmosphere versus much longer terms in carbon dioxide. So in terms of what's driving the changes that would be melting the Greenland ice sheet, that would be causing the positive feedbacks, and that is static climate change that may be going on in the Arctic - changed albedo,

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo] other things that are feeding on itself. This itself is a problem. What's interesting is, while carbon dioxide is the most important single constituent driving climate change, it's responsible for less than half. And because it's so persistent in the atmosphere, you aren't going to make a huge dent right away, even if we could wave a magic wand, we would find carbon dioxide concentrations and stop all emissions, it would still stay awfully flat, and the radiative forcing would still be very, very large.

So this underscores the need to work in some other areas. Now, the fortunate thing about this is most of the other short-term climate forcers are ones where there are huge human health benefits or other win-win aspects. Methane levels have been rising. For the “Lasts 12 years in the atmosphere,” it has roughly half the effect of CO2. But there are a remarkable number of win-win aspects when we talk about reducing methane: coal miners' safety from draining of the methane that are already responsible for explosions; harvesting energy from gas pipeline leaks, from avoiding flaring; or landfill methane in the agricultural area; improved animal husbandry; and moving to a more plant-based diet, which wouldreduce both CO2 and methane basis, and probably doing that primarily on a health basis.

Black carbon plays a couple of important roles. It's only up for a short period of time, but it's constantly replenished. It has a warming effect that's roughly 55% - according to the better science on this, I think is the Ramanathan, Carmichael science - of CO2. And that doesn't even include calculating the albedo effect, where in the Arctic it plays a much larger role, and in the Himalayas as well, there potentially impairing water supplies.

But it has huge impacts on human health, and that's perhaps the key to be able to get aggressive action on this. Now, the regional effects of this are quite large. These are indications from a few scientists here. The effects really, together, of black carbon and tropospheric ozone, and to some extent the reduction of the sulphates thathappened because of the serious steps we took to address acid rain and so forth, these look like the primary driver for the very, very rapid warming that has been happening recently within the Arctic, and there's a real opportunity to make a difference here.

Now, what are the opportunities from aggressive actions on black carbon? Perhaps the most immediate would be acute decreases in the Arctic warming, and that's probably the most dangerous single thing that can happen on the planet right now, with respect to sea level and with respect to the possibility of climate feedbacks.

But it also has the ability to cut down substantially the nearly two million lives, about 1.9 million from cook stoves, about 85% women and children, and outdoor air pollution, which kills about another 800,000 worldwide. So, this can go ahead aggressively and at the same time it yields very sizable climate benefits. What's interesting is if we assume, for example, a 50% reduction by 2050 across the board, including CO2, and an 80% reduction by the end of the century, this is how things could break out.

As you can see, we can make a dent in CO2 and that's important, but we can make a huge dent in the other gases, because of the times and so forth there, and especially so with respect to black carbon. Now, this takes us between now and 2040 - a lifetime in which many of us would hope to be around for much of this time.

This is really the critical time, I think, for a lot of these tipping points. The first is “business as usual” and then the second is the aggressive reductions. If we do this, we really have a chance of avoiding absolutely catastrophic climate change.

Right now, the two most interesting efforts underway are clean cook stove efforts - the UN Foundation and Shell Foundation and others have worked very much on this, where the primary motivation is really saving people's lives, but at the same time there will be real benefits to the climate.

In Manila, there's a fascinating effort underway right now involving an Australian firm that is retrofitting jeepneys, working with the Jeepney Owners Association using voluntary emission reduction credits. Jeepney drivers die a lot sooner than others, and pollution levels are very high as a result of this. Hopefully some of these things, certain voluntary emissions reduction credit systems, will happen.

Now, at the same time we move on black carbon, it's important that industrial countries have to move aggressively on it as well. In the industrial countries, we can strengthen diesel standards, and we are starting to do that. We can also take off-road [meaning to take vehicles off the road that don't meet the standards] vehicles or retrofit some of the older vehicles that don't meet the standards; increase industrial energy recycling cogeneration, which harvests both CO2 and also additional particulates; and then work aggressively through the Arctic council on these areas.

I would like to suggest is it's important to get consumer follow through on this. In Mexico, Chris with the Tickell Interactive Network is pulling together a series of Climate Theatres, like planetariums for climate education. There are now three; there will be about eleven by the end of the year. The first of these is in the State of Puebla. The State of Puebla has become the first State in the world to move aggressively on black carbon. And I think that's important, we need this kind of action. We really need to do this. Thank you very much.

MC(m): Thank you.

CAPTIONWally Fry (Vegan)Founder and CEO, Fry Group (Vegan) Foods, South AfricaWally Fry (m): The most powerful thing I've learned today is a camaraderie that exists in the whole movement towards a meat-free society on planet Earth. That was one of the most wonderful feelings I have today. But apart from that, there was a great evidence shown by really, really well-known scientists, showing that these intellectual inspirations that I've known about for a long time, whereby I knew that the eating of meat was destroying the planet. They exposed that to us in very, very clear, scientific terms and some of it was quite shocking.

AK(m): We're 50% above sustainability at a planetary level. And of course, closely linked to that, we are in a midst of one of the great mass extinctions this planet has ever known. We have lost 30% of the biodiversity on this planet in just 40 years.

And in the tropics, we're talking about 60% declines in biodiversity. We have to stop that destruction, and we have to ask ourselves: Are the diets that we aspire to and have become used to eating in rich, industrialized nations, like our own, the way forward?

PT(m): But in the last few years, a convergence of research in the fields of environment, climate change, and health have shown that being a meat guzzler is just as unsustainable as being a gas guzzler. People who are reducing their meat consumption are making an ethical decision. They're also making a rational decision to protect the future.

WF(m): We are currently in debt to the planet to the extent that we need about 1.4 Earths to fund our activities and have crossed our credit boundaries with biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, and fresh water use and land system changes. The time has, therefore, come for industrialists across the spectrum - not only in food production - to make changes.

MC(m): Chris Williamson is the Shadow Minister for communities and local government, and high among his priorities are measures to combat climate change, including energy efficiency. If you'll put your hands together, please.

Chris Williamson (m): Well, thanks very much indeed for that introduction, Chair. I'm merely a relatively newly elected Member of Parliament, was elected in May this year, and have been, much to my surprise, actually, promoted to the front bench covering local government. But, certainly, I recognize that climate change is the biggest challenge facing the planet, and as politicians, we've absolutely got to grasp that nettle.

The problem is, of course, that politics, given the electoral cycle, is to a large extent based on short term-ism, and it's the next election that people are most concerned about.

And you can have the best policies in the world on climate change, on social justice, on a range of different issues, but if you're not in power to implement those policies, then they are not worth very much in the end. So, for me, I think the key thing has got to be to try and build a cross-party consensus, similar in a way, really, to the cross-party consensus that was developed on the welfare state and on the National Health Service. Even more important that we've got to try and develop that kind of cross-party consensus on this whole agenda.

Now, the governments have said they want to be the greenest government ever. And they've, as you probably know, launched the green paper on the “Green Deal,” and hopefully that will move things forward in terms of taking this agenda on. My background is in local government and I do believe there is a lot that local government can do around climate change, and certainly in my new role as the Shadow Minister for Local Government, I will be promoting the role of local councils to actually do whatever they can to help.

Now, that's not just in terms of local government, getting its own house in order, reducing its carbon emissions, though there's much they can do in that regard, in terms of how they deal with waste and so on and, reducing the need for landfill.

And there is a statutory driver on that, in any event, that obviously local authorities are moving that forward as a consequence. But there's more that they, I think, can do in terms of their whole place shaping agenda. And when I was leader of Derby City Council, we set ourselves a target to make Derby a sustainable city by 2025 - self sufficient in clean, green energy.

We wanted to build a consensus with other public sector organizations, but also most importantly, really, the wider general public and the business community in Derby. And some of the initiatives that we worked on were initiatives that actually helped to win the hearts and minds of businesses in the city, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises, looking at how we could, through energy efficiency measures, for example, improve their bottom line.

But I think we win a lot of people over to what we were trying to achieve. It's also included a radical transformation of public transport in our city. So, there is a big issue that we need to, I think, address there.

We've got to actually tackle this on a cross-party basis, it seems to me. We need to try and build that cross-party consensus. I will continue to do what I can in that regard, but we've also, I think, got to win the hearts and minds of the wider general public, and that means, I think, looking at how we can encourage people to look at lifestyle, how they can encourage people to perhaps eat less meat, given that the livestock industry does contribute to a large extent to climate change emissions.

We've got to find a better way forward, I think, where we can see people's livelihoods, their lifestyles, their standard of living not being diminished over much, that we can try and keep people in employment. And I do think there are some opportunities in that regard, in terms of the whole new green jobs which could be created that will, I think, help to address that conundrum which can be created.

And I do think we are beginning to, as I say, develop that cross-party consensus. Certainly that's what I will be seeking to do and, obviously I'm just a layperson. It's a topic I'm very passionate about. I'm not in the same league as the eminent speakers that have spoken today, but certainly I would be keen to work with people in this audience, on the platform today, to help me actually make the arguments in the House and with colleagues to try And win people over to what I think is the most significant challenge that we face as humankind. So, hopefully we can move things forward and with your support we will make a difference.

MC(m): Thank you, Chris. We're now going to have Professor Simoes. Now, interestingly of course, John Topping in his speech touched on the fact that reducing CO2 alone is not sufficient to address climate change in the near term, and Professor Simões is going to be speaking about the presence of black carbon in Antarctica with its high global warming potential, which is a great concern, and its reduction as an important strategy for reducing global warming. So, we are going to have this speaker, and then Dr. Ester Van der Voet. So, put your hands together please.

Professor Jefferson Simoes (m): Good morning. Thank you for the chance to talk a little bit about the work in Antarctica and the question of black carbon. In some way I may add information to the lecture of Mr. Topping.

Maybe I should begin the presentation with a statement that is becoming clear here. One of the greatest difficulties for the general public to understand climate change has been too much emphasis on the question of greenhouse gases; other important factors are involved, and this is the case of black carbon that I'm going to talk a little bit now. So, what's black carbon? First, it originates from the incomplete burning of biomass, or fossil fuel, and is basically formed by small, high solar-radiation -absorbing particles.

And by now I'm going to show the evidence. We know that they are spread from the Arctic to Antarctica, elsewhere in the world. They are very tiny particles between 0.01 to 1 micron in the atmosphere. As Mr. Topping told you, it stays in the atmosphere just a couple of weeks but is available to disperse at longer ranges.

BC, or black carbon, belongs to short-lived pollutants. And then comes the most important point: it's the second most important contributor to global warming. In fact, the potential of black carbon is estimated to have a 55% of the radioactive forcing effect of carbon dioxide.

And in short, BC, absorbs light and heats the atmosphere. So, along the 20th century, as we have the increase of black carbon production due to the consumption of fossil fuel, developed countries have improved the efficiency of that burning and reducing it by the end of the 20th century; but it's not as true in a lot of countries that are industrialized at the moment.

So, the thing that we have in this picture here is the main places that we have biomass burning at the moment in the year 2009. As you can see, mainly in the subtropical and tropics, not only in South America, but also in Africa and Australia and some countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and others in Southeast Asia. So, we can pose the following question: How can this kind of material be transported to Antarctica?

It seems a long way. For the last 10 years, we have changed our idea about the transport of air masses from South America, or from the tropics of South America, to Antarctica. By now we know that cyclonic activity is able to transport materials in a short time, in a week or so, from the main areas of biomass burning, to the south and then mainly to the northernmost part of Antarctica, that is the Antarctica Peninsula. Interestingly enough is to know that

as the air masses are coming south to here, we have cold air masses going to the north, up to the south of the Amazon, of course to balance the energy budget of the Earth.

So, it's a two-way movement. And here, I would like to do a point about the impact about the places that it is really happening, this kind of biomass burning and transport into the south. It's a myth that it is in the middle of the Amazon that we have biomass burning. It's happening, in fact, in the Brazilian Savannah, Northwest Cerrado and in the frontier between the Savannah and the Amazon forest.

It's really related to the expansion of cash crops and cattle farms, a point that should be considered in the discussions this afternoon.

So, cold air goes to the Amazon forest, and biomass burning products to Antarctica. Do we have some evidence? That's our research results for the last couple of years where we had, at the same time, atmospheric measurements and ice core - we collect cores to measure black carbon in the northmost part of Antarctica.

And what you can see in that graph, you have the red curve that are the number of fires reported in the Amazon forest or in the south part of the Amazon forest, and at the same time - and the same is known by samples - we have the concentration of black carbon.

And it really goes together. We are having the transport of black carbon to Antarctica. Important - in the Himalayas, the increase is much higher, threefold increase in black carbon from 1860 to 2000.

The same thing has been observed in the Swiss Alps. Why it's important? Because black carbon impacts the surface of the snow ice mass, as it reduces the surface albedo, the proportion of energy that's reflected by the surface. It increases melting, triggers albedo feedback, changes the glacier mass balance, and contributes to glacier retreat. In short, black carbon is as important as atmospheric warming for melting the surface of the glaciers. Thank you for the attention.

MC(m): Thank you. And our final speaker of this session is Dr. Ester van der Voet. This summer, the UN Environment Program issued the report, “Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Production and Consumption,” and we are delighted to welcome today one of the report's lead authors to talk about why a substantial global diet change is the only way to reduce one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures.

Dr. Ester van derVoet (f): Well, thank you very much. Actually, I work at Leiden University, the Institute of Environmental Sciences, but as the Chair said, I'm one of the authors of the UNEP report.

The UNEP Resource Panel produced a report called, “Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Production and Consumption.” Edgar Hertwich was actually the lead author of that. I was one of the co-authors. In this report, we looked at the various worldwide categories of consumption sectors and also resources and materials, to see which one contributes most to environmental impacts.

And the conclusion out of this report really was - and I will go into that a bit later - is that agriculture and food are really important contributors to environmental impacts including, but not limited to, greenhouse gas emissions. While options to reduce this were not really the topic of this report, the next report will go into that in more detail.

And of those options, a diet change seems to be the most effective one. So, this is, in brief, the topic of my talk. In view of the topic of this event, the non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture's especially a relevant sector, because methane is a greenhouse gas that's emitted in large quantities from cattle and the climate-forcing potential of methane is a lot stronger than that of CO2.

Same for laughing gas, N2O, that's emitted from soils. It's a product of incomplete denitrification of fertilizer and manure, and that's an even stronger climate-forcing gas, and is connected especially to agriculture.

That does not mean that agriculture is not associated with CO2 emissions. It is, and especially via the energy input in the agricultural chain, like, for example via fertilizer. Agriculture is also associated with other environmental impacts, and the ones to name especially are land use and water use.

This is one of the results out of the UNEP report. Here you can see the contribution of the various consumption categories to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. And here you can see the green part - that's food. It does not just include the agricultural sector, but also the up chain, the production of fertilizer, the production of other agro-chemicals, the agriculture practice like driving around in tractors - that's all included, also the food processing, in those percentages. So, it's significant.

Another angle to take is resources or materials, and that's where these pictures come from. They're not for the world, but for the EU countries. You can see the leftmost bar represents just kilograms of consumption, and the largest part is minerals for construction, so it's sand and gravel basically.

Agricultural materials you can see in the red and orange, a little higher, the red one being the crops, and the orange the animal products. But if you calculate not just the kilograms but the environmental impact connected to it, you can see the size of those different contributions of the materials change.

For the global warming potential, you can see that the sand and gravel contributes almost nothing, but for agriculture, the bars are a bit bigger than in the kilogram ones. Land use competition, of course, agriculture dominates since it's by far the largest land user of the sectors.

And then there's human toxicity bar. And in the end, the rightmost bar represents all environmental impacts added to each other. And here, you can see that agriculture and especially animal products contribute a lot.

Now, if you look a little below that, this picture represents greenhouse gas emissions of agricultural products in kilograms, CO2 equivalent per kilogram. So, on the left you see a lot of different crops, while on the right, you see the animal products.

And if you just look at it through your eyelashes you can see that the greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram are a lot higher for these animal products than they are for the crops. And also you can see that there are a lot of differences, so one animal product is not equal to another one. These two pictures, the leftmost represents the worldwide consumption of different agricultural product groups.

You can see the cereals on the left and the vegetables and fruit and then the oil crops, and on the right, you have the animal products: meat, fish and dairy. In kilograms the consumption is high for the vegetable products, but if you multiply that with the greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram, you can see that they are almost equal.

So although in kilograms the consumption of meat and dairy is less, in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions it's equal. How come? Well, one of the reasons for that is that in these calculations the “up chain” is included, so the greenhouse gas emissions for animal products are not just caused by the animal production sector, but they also include production of animal feed and all the “up chain” processes that come before that.

Well, summing up the evidence, so to say, we can see that agriculture is a large contributor to global environmental impacts, including but not limited to greenhouse gas emissions, and that the share of animal products in this is important and also is increasing.

These are differences between regions in the world in food consumption. You can see that the OECD countries, the rich countries, they consume the most animal products. It's the brown and the blue bar, it's the meat and the milk; it's about half of the diet.

In Russia and former Eastern European countries, also a lot of meat is consumed. But if you look at Asia, it's a lot less; the contribution to the total food package of milk and meat is a lot less. Partly this has to do with welfare, with how rich people are, but not completely.

If you look at this one, you see that within those regions in the world there is a huge variety in the amount of meat that's actually eaten. Even in the OECD countries, it varies from 140 kilograms per capita to 20 kilograms per capita.

So this is a huge difference, and you can see similar differences in the other regions of the world. So, on the one hand, it shows that diets are really sort of independent of income, of welfare. On the other hand, it also gives the message that you can be rich and have a lot of welfare without eating a lot of meat.

And you can see also in the richer countries that it becomes fashionable to have more vegetarian aspects in your diet. So that gives some hope that actually something can be done about it. Thank you.

MC (m): We've already heard about what shorter-lived climate forcers are, and our next speaker is Dr. Hsien Hui Khoo, co-founder of the World Preservation Foundation, and a renowned chemical and engineering sciences researcher based in Singapore.

Dr. Khoo's main research areas are “Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gases” and “The Carbon Footprint of Food, Bio Energy and Strategies to Reduce Global Warming.” Today she'll be talking about the structural causes of non-CO2 shorter-lived climate forcers. Please, would you put your hands together whilst holding your cups for our next speaker.

Dr Hsien Hui Khoo (f): This year the world watched in shock and sympathy as we witnessed Russia try to put out massive fires and as a fifth of Pakistan was submerged under water. Many of the world's developing nations, who are the most vulnerable to climate change, have been calling for global average temperature increase to be no more than 1.5 degrees.

We need some urgent solutions to stop the trend of mean rising temperatures and prevent any further climate related disasters. We also now realize that reductions in carbon dioxide, which was, at first, all the efforts put to stop climate change, will not create cooling in time.

Researchers and engineers, including myself, have carried out extensive research on carbon capture and sequestration technologies for more than a decade. I can confidently conclude that we are far from having a technology that is advanced enough, or that is affordable enough, to even start to bring us towards a carbon neutral economy.

And supposing, just supposing, we are able to create such an advanced system, one that can extract all the carbon dioxide out of the air right now, we have only just solved part of the problem.

The bigger and more urgent magnitude of climate change lies in reducing shorter-lived greenhouse gases. Our understanding of climate science has evolved in the past few years, perhaps the best solution suggested by scientists for the fastest recovery of the climate is to reduce shorter-term climate forcers: methane, black carbon, and ground level ozone. These gases exist in the atmosphere for shorter periods of time than carbon dioxide.

Ground level ozone lasts for about 22 days, black carbon for about months, and methane, 12 years. Reducing these shorter-lived climate forcers can lead to immediate climate benefits, because the Earth's climate system responds quickly when these pollutants are removed from the air.

And one of the most powerful ways of bringing these emissions down is through dietary changes. According to the UN, the primary source of human-caused methane is livestock. From these charts, we can see that in the United Kingdom, 43% of methane emissions come from livestock, and in Brazil, 75%.

There are suggestions to capture methane and convert the gas into bio-energy. Unfortunately, this approach has to be applied in closed factory farms to make it easier to capture the gas from animal waste.

This suggestion will only create another problem, since closed space factory farms are breeding grounds for all sorts of diseases and illnesses. They also do not address the other environmental challenges created by animal proteins, including land use change, high water usage, deforestation, nitrous oxides, and biodiversity loss.

From a lifecycle food chain perspective, such approach is known as shifting the environmental burden from one compartment to another, or from one type of pollution to another. Around 50% of the black carbon that was deposited around Antarctica was from the biomass burning found in South America.

When black carbon is deposited on ice and snow, it absorbs solar energy and accelerates the melting of glaciers. This further adds to the warming of the planet. Large amounts of black carbon, carbon dioxide and methane gases are released from the burning of forests or, rather, from the destroying of what's considered the precious lungs of the planet.

And the reason for deforestation: to create land for cattle grazing and for growing soya directed to feeding these animals. It has been estimated that cattle ranching is the cause of between 70 to 80% of deforestation in the Amazon.

We can clearly see by now that the livestock sector and dietary patterns are key contributors to a range of critical environmental problems we face today. If these non-carbon dioxide gases continue to be emitted, the ecosystem of this planet that has supported life for eons of years is on the brink of spinning out of control.

The logical, simple and practical solution to reduce methane, black carbon soot, and ground level ozone pollution is to shift away from animal farming, or to shift away from meat-based diet to an entirely plant-based diet. Plant-based proteins offer a wide range of environmental benefits from every angle of this lifecycle perspective, from farm to food. A single level food chain in place of a double level food chain has the advantages to reduce pollution, free up land for restoring the forest, offer health benefits and ensure food security.

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency reported that, based on a diet with no ruminant animals, the cost of climate change can be reduced by 50%. However, by switching to a diet with completely no animal products, including no fish, the cost of mitigating climate change will drop by more than 80%.

We are facing a whole spectrum of problems caused by climate change, from atmospheric emissions to water stress and contamination, and from food shortage to rising health costs. Solving each and every one of these individually will cost a lot of time and a lot of money.

One simple step solution that is affordable to everyone, and doable, is to switch from a meat-based to a plant-based diet. That will in turn resolve many of the other associated problems at hand. Each and every one of us contributes to climate change, including myself, but we can also be the ones who control climate change. Eating plant-based foods is something that is easy to do and have a very significant, positive effect.

The World Preservation Foundation is calling for the support of everyone to control climate change by increasing plant-based meals in our diet.
Thank you.

Georgina Fitzalan-oward Duchess of NorfolkGeorgina (f): The thing I didn't realize is that dairy and cheese aren't particularly very good

for your health either; I have kind of had known before about the meat production being un-environmental. It would have a huge impact if more people went vegetarian. I mean, everyone would be lighter and happier, and they wouldn't need so much medication, wouldn't need such huge health care.

There are huge implications. And I think that the lady from America, Lisa Bloom, she is so beautiful and thin and lives on a vegan diet, if you've got a walking advert like that, it's “Wow!”

Dr. Pat Brown (Vegan)Biochemist, Stanford University, USASupreme Master TV(f): Your goal is to end all animal farming, why do you believe this is needed and how do we go about doing it?

PB(m): A more compelling reason, and I think one that really should drive the political decisions, is that it is by far the most environmentally destructive activity that humans are engaged in. And, of course, there's the methane emissions associated with farming and all the other sorts of greenhouse gas emissions associated with it, but it's a huge opportunity to deal with this looming climate catastrophe basically, and I think by far the easiest way to do it. It's animal farming, period - the whole shebang.

You don't solve the problem by saying, “Okay, we'll all just have this little, idyllic farm where the cows are wandering around eating grass and their manure is fertilizing the plants,” all that kind of stuff - that doesn't solve the problem.

MC (m)

Now, many people say that water will be the new oil of the 21st century, and to ensure food security and basic comforts, we need to preserve and use the water that we have sustainably. Professor Arjen Hoekstra is the professor in Water Management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and co-founder and scientific director of the Water Footprint Network, and he'll talk about his pioneering work in the water footprint of our daily consumer goods, including why meat is driving water scarcity.

Arjen Hoekstra (m): Thank you very much. Everybody knows carbon footprint but who does know water footprint? I will try to explain in this talk what is water footprint and how it also relates to energy and our diet, our daily commodities. And I will put a bit of a focus on the UK, because we are now in the UK.

I come from the Netherlands, but actually, the numbers are often very similar in other western societies. I speak on behalf of the Water Footprint Network, which is a network of partners around the world from different sectors, including large companies, governments, international organizations, like UNESCO, FAO, and also large NGOs like the World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy, etc., etc. So, this is a very multi-sector international organization aiming at sustainable, equitable, and efficient water use throughout the world by awareness raising, by using the water footprints, and particularly in the end, by aiming at governments setting water footprint reduction goals, just like with carbon footprint.

And not just governments, but in the end, also companies, so that companies deliver products with low or even zero water footprint. First of all, I will say very briefly something about actually what is water scarcity, what is water pollution, for those who are not aware of that. I will explain the water footprint of a few daily commodities focused on meat and bio-energy, and finally, see what we can do. Signs of water scarcity are everywhere, although living in the UK you may imagine 『 what do I have to do with water scarcity?』 Actually, this is your water scarcity. This is in Spain, you import in the UK strawberries from this area in southern Spain, the Coto Doñana National Park.

This used to be a wetlands, a very nice area. Just upstream, the water is being used to irrigate strawberries, so the water doesn't end up in the wetlands; so this is the wetland today. This is also your area, this is in central Asia. This is where you get the cotton from. So what you see here is the former Aral Sea in Central Asia. There used to be rivers arriving in that sea, so that's why the sea is being fed by rivers. No more. The water is being used to irrigate cotton upstream, so the water doesn't end up in the sea, so the sea is drying. The chemicals that have entered the sea are now lying on the bottom, so we have huge human health problems there.

Then, this is Umit. It's in Brazil, in the Amazon forest. This is where your meat comes from, your meat comes from the UK, yes, but the animals, they have to eat, and they eat the soybeans from Brazil, partly. So the water footprint of your meat is over here. So the green water, the water that is coming from the rain, is being used here, not to sustain the rainforest but to sustain your meat consumption. It takes about 30 million cubic meters of water per year to produce soybeans in Brazil for export to just only the UK, and this is about equivalent to half a million Olympic swimming pools.

So this is the amount of water being used over there to get you the meat you like, or maybe not you personally, but in the UK. Then, apart from water scarcity, we have water pollution. We have the water pollution from the industries, we have the water pollution from the households, but we also have the pollution from agriculture, which is often much more difficult to handle, because it is what we call 『 diffused pollution,』 and it ends up in the groundwater and the service water system, the pesticides, the fertilizers, the nitrogen, the phosphorous, and they cause huge water pollution problems in our water bodies, and in the end, they affect biodiversity, they affect human health.

The water footprint of the average consumer in the UK is not at home. So forget about this water saving-toilet, forget about this showerhead - it's not where you save the water. Don't believe that you somehow contribute to reducing your water footprint substantially, because the water footprint is in the supermarket. If you go to the supermarket, then it's where you determine what is your water footprint. Your water footprint is invisible. It's what you buy - the food you buy, the cotton you buy, etc., etc. 3400 liters per day is the water footprint of the average UK citizens related to the consumption of agriculture products. It relates to 150 liters per day, at home. So this is really small water use at home if you compare to the water use elsewhere.

But, actually, it's much more interesting because it's not just outside your home, it's outside your country. Because 60 to 65% of your water footprint is not in the UK, it is elsewhere: it is in the Cota Doñana National Park in southern Spain; it is in central Asia, in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. It is in Thailand, for the rice; it's in Ghana for the chocolate; it's in Brazil because of the soybean for the meat.

So these places that we know from the news, the water scarcity, water pollution, they are in your places. This is where your products come from and where your footprint lies. Technically, we distinguish three components: we have a green water footprint, relates to the volume of rainwater evaporated; we have the blue water footprint, which relates to the volume of surface or ground water consumed; and we have the grey water footprint, which refers to the volume of water being polluted. So we have eveloped very strict mechanisms to calculate those footprints, so that there is no confusion about precisely what it means if we say the water footprint is 100 liters per day.

The water footprint of the UK citizen can be shown on a global map, as shown here. So the intensity of the blue color shows the amount of water used in those different places in the world, the amount of water used for making products that are being consumed in the UK. So we did this kind of analysis for all countries in the world, based on models, to estimate the water use in agriculture, but also in industries and households, and based on trade statistics, of course. And here, you immediately see where are the hot spots of the UK water consumption.

If we just look at this slice of bread, which is a typical Dutch slice of bread, it's 40 liters of water to make that. So you can hardly imagine it, but it's a lot of water. But it's continuous, if we look at other products, like tomato - it's 180 liters of water. And we know tomatoes do have a carbon footprint, like in the Netherlands where they are grown in greenhouses, it costs a lot of energy to warm these greenhouses, so tomatoes have a carbon footprint, but they also have a water footprint. In the Netherlands, they have a high carbon footprint, not so big water footprint actually. But if you go to Spain, it's exactly the reverse, because we don't have this huge energy import in tomatoes as we have in the Netherlands.

We have a high water footprint in Spain because there is no water, so it needs to be pumped from the ground to the surface. So this also shows that sometimes there is to be made a trade-off between carbon and energy, because sometimes the carbon footprint of a product is really a concern, other times it's the water footprint, and even one tomato from Spain cannot be compared to one tomato from the Netherlands in this respect.

We need to know, in fact, what are we eating, and what is the underlying water footprint. If you look at the cow, there is 3 million, and this is a global average. I have to emphasize, 3 million liters of water to make this cow, and this is not because the cow drinks such a lot of water, no, actually, 99% of the total water footprint of the cow refers to the water needed to make the feed of the cow. And if you then look at what it means for one piece of beef, then we have nearly 16,000 liters of water, global average, that is needed to make this piece of beef. And if you then translate it to your favorite hamburger, it comes down to 2,400 liters of water for one hamburger - and this is the total, it includes also the water for the bread, for the lettuce, etc., but most of the water footprint that you show is really for the beef that is there, nicely sitting in between.

If we look at a vegetarian diet in industrialized countries, we see that most of the calories that you get are from vegetable origin, not from animal origin. However, the water footprint, if you look at the liters required per kilocalorie, animal origin calories, they cost much more water than vegetable origin calories, about five times more. So that means that if you look at the total water footprint related to your food consumption, most of the water footprint related to your food is because of the ingredients of your diet which are of animal origin.

If you look at the vegetarian diet - we compare a diet with the same calories, however, now we have much less animal origin - still some dairy product, but no meat anymore - then you see a switch in terms of the total water footprint from 3,600 liters per day to 2,300, so a very substantial difference. If you look then in developing countries, you see in general the water footprints are less because the people eat less; they eat less calories. These are the global average values taken from FAO and our own statistics.

But what is now happening is a move from bottom right to the left, top left, so you see an inevitable increase of this water footprint in the coming future, since developing countries get more developed, eat more meat. And this statistic has been shown before: meat consumption worldwide is increasing rapidly still. I have to emphasize, however, that one piece of beef is not the other piece of beef. You don't see the difference here, but they are very different, because it depends on where they come from. If you have grazing systems, the water footprint is mostly green water, rainwater. It's mostly local. The other extreme, from industrial system-based beef, the water footprint  is not only green but partly blue. This is water taken from surface water, so this leads to groundwater levels decline. This leads to rivers becoming empty, and often it's not local but far off in water scarce areas.

This was about meat, but let's look at bio-energy. It's very interesting to see that, in knowledge, we are fragmented, so there are people knowing about energy and there are people knowing about water. The same in our policy, there are people responsible for water policy, there are people responsible for energy policy, and these people somehow never talk, and definitely they don't understand each other. So what you see is that, in the water sector, the developments are such that every liter of water being supplied is becoming more and more energy intensive.

So, solving the water problems is possible but it will cost more energy per unit of water, because the water is spent deeper, it's taken from further away. Large infrastructure projects to supply water are being installed, desalination is being promoted; it costs a lot of energy. So the water sector is becoming more energy intensive. The energy sector, on the other hand, is becoming more and more water intensive, because the energy sector tries to become more sustainable, and what is now a nice
solution is bio-energy. And bio-energy is precisely that type of energy that is going to create a large water problem in the future, and this is what you see here: the water footprint of bio-energy is huge. There is no way to ever replace, in a substantial way, fuels, fossil fuels, by bio-fuels. Just forget about it. It's impossible to think about the amount of land and water we need to make all that bio-fuel. And having said that, I have to say there is much difference, of course, because the sugar beet differs usually from the Atropha, which is another crop on the right.

So there are big differences still. If we go into bio-fuel, then have a careful look, and what kind of source we use, and how water efficient is that. Yeah. So, what we see here is an interesting picture that if we are going to drive on bio-energy, we use a lot of liters of water per kilometer, passenger kilometer, always much more than if we walk or if we bike. And, of course, we should invent certain forms of transport that are more efficient than walking and biking, not less efficient. If you look at wind energy, if you look at solar energy, then the amount of energy per kilometer is much less. So this is the direction we should take. So what can we do? Companies can at least adhere to certain share terminology and calculation standards.

In 2011, February, there will be the new global standard on water footprint assessment, and what is very important is that companies give product transparency so that we know at least what we are buying, that we have benchmarks so that we know what direction we can go. And, finally, quantitative footprint reduction targets throughout the supply chain. Governments, they can, of course, look at their own organization of water footprint. And, as I said before, we need that current between water policy and energy policy, but also obviously agriculture policy, and even trade policy, etc., etc.

So to kind of summarize: to stop the waste of blue water, we can simply go to zero blue water footprint in industries by recycling; we can by using irrigation techniques better than before, reduce the blue water footprint easily globally by 50%; make better use of green water so we don't need to have the blue water anymore; and reduce the grey water footprint globally to zero by organic farming and in industries by just no-pollution, recycling. I would like you to refer for more information to the Water Footprint Network website, which is waterfootprint.org. You can download all kind of publications over there. And, finally, I would like to invite you to go there to calculate your own water footprint. Thank you very much.

MC (m): Our next speaker is Toivo Jokkala, a former co-editor of an award winning Swedish Journal on social matters, and co-author of the paper 『 Climate Change and Livestock,』 along with Jens Holm, a former Swedish member of the European Parliament. He will now talk about how huge subsidies and demand for animal products are a cause of food insecurity and hunger in developing countries. Please put your hands together.

Mr. Jokkala (m): Yeah, And here you have the web address to the report, and as you can see, it has been translated into several different languages. Jens, member of the Swedish Parliament, former member of the European Parliament, and I, we co-wrote this report in 2006. And, of course, a lot of things have happened since then, both on an international scale and when it comes to EU policies, but the main patterns are still there.

This report isn't only on the EU subsidies to the livestock industry; it also covers some graphics and some information about things that we have been told about earlier today, so I don't intend to repeat what Ester van der Voet and Hsien Hui Khoo and Arjen Hoekstra have said. But, what can be said is that meat consumption - or livestock production and consumption as a whole, including dairy products and so forth - has a huge impact both on climate change, on water scarcity, on deforestation, and even hunger issues.

What's actually happening is that the EU, within its common agricultural policy, still supports livestock production with enormous amounts of money every year. Jens and I calculated that in 2006, the total figure was 3.5 billion euros that year in support to livestock production. Then, if you include fodder crops and stuff like that, the figure is of course going to be much higher; but it's hard to separate those support figures or subsidies figures from the ones that go directly to animal industry.

What can be said is that there are two basic kinds of subsidies from the European Union to livestock agriculture. First of all, direct subsidies - support money that is paid out to farmers who have a certain kind of animal product that they produce, basically - they get their share of extra money for producing what they're producing. And apart from that there's a category called 『 interventions,』 and this is a very special one.

I don't know if you've heard of it before, but the basic idea behind that is that the EU gives money to farmers for storing the surplus of a given product at a guaranteed price. And this takes place independently of if it's an animal product or not of course. But, given the devastating effects of the increasing livestock production, it's quite remarkable that billions are paid every year to this.

And another kind of intervention support that is perhaps even more remarkable is that money is given out as export subsidies, that European farmers or the European livestock industry is paid to export their products to countries outside the European Union. And this constitutes part of a quite remarkable negative trade spiral. If we take the country of Brazil for instance, as it was mentioned before, Brazil is one of the world's largest importers of dairy products, and huge amounts of money are given out every year to support the export of, for instance, milk powder from the European Union to Brazil. And that makes, of course, these products cheaper than they otherwise would be.

So it puts a downward pressure on market prices in Brazil and make it relatively more favorable for the producers in Brazil to produce for the world market than producing for the local market. You get the logic in that? And, at the same time, as we've heard about huge amounts of soybeans are produced in Brazil. Production levels between 1965 and 1997 increased by 50 times in that country, and a lot of this is exported as animal feed to the European countries. So, this is like the quintessence of a devastating trade spiral.

What can be said is, of course, is that once upon a time there was a logic behind these subsidies to European farmers. It's basically some kind of post World War II phenomenon where farmers got money in order to secure that there wouldn't be any food shortage in the near future. But this system has survived, and there is no tendency of removing it. Although a number politicians and officials, even ones that we interviewed in our report, say that these subsidies are going to be removed, but it seems to be a very long-term project.

Some subsidies have decreased since we wrote the report in 2006, especially direct subsidies. The total figure was 3.5 billion euros for all kinds of subsidies in 2006, all kinds of livestock subsidies, and in 2010, the figure seems to be 2.83 billion euros. But at the same time, as the direct subsidies decrease, there are also increases in interventions, export subsidies and so forth. It goes down on some animal products, but for instance, it goes up on dairy products. I guess it's based on the economic situation basically, it adjusts to world market prices. But the basic thing is that this destructive trend survives. The basic conclusion is that this extremely destructive thing must be stopped, of course, and it also has been demanded very recently in the UN meeting in Nagoya back in October. The meeting agreed that it's important to phase out environmentally destructive subsidies. So we'll see if that has any deeper influence on this.

MC(m): Thank you very much. Okay, it's two minutes to 12, so if we've got one quick question that perhaps somebody would like to ask.

Neville Grant (m): Thank you. Neville Grant, United Nations Association. Beef has been given a pretty bad press today. What about fish?

Arjen Hoekstra (m): It very much depends on what kind of fish, whether it comes from the sea or from the fresh water system, whether it is natural fish or from an artificial fish production system. Essentially, once we start going into really intensive fish production systems, we generally see the new problems popping up again.

Because also, fish, they need to eat, and fish in artificial systems on land, they need to be refreshed with fresh water. So very preliminary research, I have to emphasize that, shows that it definitely will not to be the solution to meat. There are similar and other types of problems attached to that again. 

MC (m): Welcome back. We've got great pleasure to have the esteemed physician, Dr. Joel Fuhrman here. He's on the board of directors of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and a director of research for the Nutritional Research Project of the National Health Association in the US. He is a board certified family physician and a best-selling author. He specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods and will now talk to us on how plant-based diets can prevent and even reverse some of the most prevalent chronic diseases. I think this is going to be another wonderful keynote speech. So thank you very much.

Q(m): Thank you.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman (m): Well, exciting to be here, and exciting that the World Preservation Foundation invited me for this event. And the theme of this presentation is that the diseases that afflict the modern world are preventable and people do not have to have heart attacks, they don't have to have strokes, they don't have to be demented when they get older, and we can win the war on cancer.

Nutritional science has advanced to the point today, especially in the last 20 to 25 years. We actually have a complete new revolution in the history of nutrition where we actually can find out what are the causes of these chronic conditions that afflict most of the modern world. And right now, these diseases of nutritional ignorance are overwhelming the healthcare systems all over the world, and not just effecting human tragedy, but laying down economic stress and putting the economies in trouble, due to the growing amount of people that are overweight, diabetic, and with heart disease. So that is an introduction.

Let's get started. I'm going to give you a basic understanding of the major concepts in human nutrition today, and that is food gives us macronutrients and micronutrients. And macronutrients are those nutrients that contain calories - fat, carbohydrate and protein. And in the history of nutritional science, it's been proven - and I use the word 『 proven』 in a scientific sense, to mean reproducible in hundreds of different studies - it's been essentially proven that the less calories we consume, and the reduction in calories, can dramatically extend lifespan.

That means that one of the most largest contributors to disease in the modern world is the excess consumption of calories. That's the excess consumption of fat, the excess consumption of carbohydrate, and the excess consumption of protein. Now, given that, we also require a certain amount of micronutrients. The micronutrients are those nutritional factors that do not contain calories, those micronutrient factors that are calorie-free, like vitamins and minerals, and of course phytochemicals, which are a major part of the non-caloric load in food, critical for human health.

In 1930, scientists discovered 14 vitamins and 16 minerals, and people thought, "Wow, this is great!" Right? We could prevent people from getting cancer, we can have people be healthier and live longer. But it didn't work out that way. By 1935, the vitamin supplement industry was already a billion dollar industry. They were already adding thymine and riboflavin, other factors to processed foods, like "Coco Puffs." People were taking vitamin pills. Between 1935 and 2005, during that 70-year stretch, cancer rates went up for 70 years in a row, unabated, and accompanied by a dramatic increase in obesity and autoimmune conditions and, of course, heart disease and diabetes. But the most striking and fascinating event was the incredible epidemic and explosion of cancer rates all over the world since, we could say, the micronutrient revolution.

And it wasn't until about 20 years ago, where scientists first recognized that vitamins and minerals were not the major micronutrient load that was in food, that phytonutrients were, or phytochemicals were. What I'm saying here now is that this third class of newly discovered micronutrients, now called phytochemicals, overwhelm vitamins and minerals. And they're where all the science is at lately, because we're actually finding out that these antioxidants and these newly discovered phytonutrients have a broad spectrum of effects on the human immune system, and the ability to repair broken DNA cross-links that could lead to cancer, and prevent cells from being damaged by cancer-causing agents.

In other words, we're designed to function on a full spectrum of nutrients that are found in whole, natural foods. When we process foods, we destroy those delicate nutrients that are in natural foods. And we don't get them, and our bodies can't function normally, laying yourself exposed to diseases that are afflicting the modern world. So, keep in mind the simple health equation, H = N/C - means a person's health, their healthy life expectancy. And the words 『 healthy life expectancy,』 as defined by the World Health Organization, is not just how long you're going to live, but the quality of your life in the last 10 to 15 years of life, whether you have your full mental faculties intact, right? whether you are in pain, undergoing uncomfortable medical procedures, whether you have your full physical abilities. In other words, you want to live your life not just longer, but better, with better enjoyment, and with pleasure.

And that age, that the healthy life expectancy score, is affected most by the micronutrient per calorie density of your diet. That means: are you getting the micronutrients you need in the fewest amount of calories? Are you getting the micronutrients you need to have a normal immune system so you don't get cancer, so you don't get demented, and so you don't develop heart disease or have a stroke? So, what I'm saying here, to start out, is that your health is dependent on the micronutrient bang per caloric buck. You have to eat less calories, but you have to make sure when you do so, you achieve micronutrient adequacy, especially the adequacy of antioxidants and phytochemicals. To do that, you have to eat more foods that are higher in micronutrients and less foods that are low in micronutrients, right?

You have to eat a diet with micronutrient adequacy. You have to eat the right foods. Now look at the way the UK is eating. It's not much different than the way they're eating in the United States today. Actually, in the UK, I think it says they're eating 58% of calories from processed foods today, but that may have been 10% a hundred years ago. Now, it's 58%. The processed foods are things like white flour products, like cupcakes and bagels and crackers and cookies and pretzels, and soft drinks, and processed food and bars and rice cakes, and breakfast cereals, oils, and sugars.

In other words, we're living on foods that have no nutrients, that have no antioxidants. And then in America, that percent is up to 63%, already, of a percent of total caloric intake. Just 10 years ago, it was below 50%. Now the animal product intake in the UK is even greater than in the America, because that's 26% in America; it's 27.5% in the UK today. But here's the thing - I'm saying that an animal product, like chicken or meat, is just like a bagel or a piece of white bread. Why am I saying that? Why am I saying a piece of chicken is like a piece of white bread? How come? Anybody know?

Because they both don't contain many micronutrients, they're both grossly deficient in micronutrients, and neither one has phytochemicals. Let me say that one more time, okay? Because what I'm saying here is that a strawberry doesn't have 31 nutrients, a strawberry has over 700 different nutrients. A piece of broccoli has over about 1000 important nutrients for your health, right? But processed foods do not contain those antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and vitamin E and vitamin K, and the carotenoid family, like lutein and lycopene and cryptoxanthin and the lignins and the bioflavonoids and the phytochemicals that prevent cancer, are not found in the processed foods. And you know what? They're not in animal products, either.

These plant-derived nutrients, that we're finding in modern science that give us the ability to control our health destiny, they're giving us the ability to have a unique and unprecedented opportunity in human history to live longer and better than ever before in the history of the human race. But we have to take advantage of this recent science. Years ago, we thought nutritional science just meant taking some vitamin C so we didn't get scurvy, or vitamin D so we didn't get rickets, if we'd tried to figure out what things we were missing, would create deficiencies. And now, nutritional science has advanced to a completely different realm.

Now, we're finding out what nutrients we should consume, not just to prevent disease, but to extend human life and to prevent the development of the diseases of aging that people are suffering from.

So, in UK, this is showing that the produce consumption is about 11%, comes from natural unrefined plant foods, and about half of that is white potato - and white potato including consumed as French fries and chips and mash potatoes. In other words, white potato is the lowest micronutrient density of any vegetable. And if we remove that, the rest of the nuts and the seeds and the beans and the mushrooms and the onions, and the green vegetables and the sweet potatoes, all the other fresh fruits and all the other natural plant foods, would be less than 5% of total intake in the UK and in America. Now, 100 years ago, to say that we could win the war on heart disease? To say to you, how much is that worth to you if you don't ever have to have a heart attack or a stroke or get demented. Is that worth a million pounds? Is that worth 10 million?

But the point here is, this is an opportunity that everyone has to avail themselves of - right? - that you all have to take advantage of. And this is not something radical to think that people can protect themselves against these diseases that afflict almost all people in the modern world. If we saw a hundred years ago, right? A hundred years ago these diseases hardly even existed. Early man did not get cancer. That's a recent disease. They actually do studies on mummies and people who are unearthed, you know, that died thousands of years ago - there were none of these diseases that afflicted people today. So it's not a big stretch here to say that people don't have to have heart disease.

And we're finding out, when we apply modern nutritional science to give people diets that are very micronutrient rich, their weight melts away, the fat on their body melts away, and their heart disease and diabetes and high blood pressure and high cholesterol go away as well. If they were having chest pains, if they have blockages in their heart, they don't have to have angioplasty and bypass surgery. They can be free of pain in a few months, just from adopting a diet of nutritional excellence.

From line 10454 ~ 10486 original table. CAPTIONTracy WorcesterMarchioness of WorcesterBritish Filmmaker and Environmental CampaignerTW(f): I think that the way that we treat the animals that we eat, is a very terrifying reflection of actually how we're capable of extreme cruelty to human beings as well. And if we start recognizing each and every one of us, what is actually the impact of the food on our plate, we would actually be able to live far more peacefully within ourselves. I think if we were all more aware of the impact of the food that we're eating every day has on our health, on the planet, on the animals, and on the ability for this planet to sustain human life, then we would be a far more informed planetary being and, therefore, we might prevent the crises which we're seeing that are imminent.

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A hundred years ago in America, less than 4% of the population died of heart attacks, which is now close to 40%. And even in the UK today, more than 50% of the population is dying of heart attacks and strokes, and these diseases of nutritional ignorance. And more people are dying of these diseases of nutritional excess compared to people that are starving from not enough calories. So you can just look at this slide, the prevalence of diabetes worldwide, and how it's exploding - and it doesn't have to be.

We're eating too many calories. And fat is a biological living mass that produces hormones, that accelerates the rate at which heart disease develops, and increases your risk of cancer. Fat on the body is dangerous, and one of the themes of this presentation right now is that the micronutrient deficits from eating processed foods and animal products, with the insufficient consumption of plant-derived phytonutrients from natural, whole plant foods, drives overeating behavior. Let me say that one more time. I'm claiming here, that the lack of proper micronutrients, by multiple mechanisms, fuels the body's cravings, addictions and drive to increase it's caloric intake, leading to the obesity epidemic.

So as we eat more foods that are rich in micronutrients we automatically and naturally desire less food. So we're talking about people requiring less and desiring less as a means of controlling their health and their weight, and that when you choose to eat a diet of predominately processed foods and animal products, you desire more, and you often can't control your desire to over-consume calories, because you feel ill if you don't over consume calories, because that's what the word “addiction” means.

Addiction means that you feel okay when you're doing it, but you try to stop it and you feel uncomfortable or get pain. You might get shaky, weakness, headaches, confusion, fatigue, stomach cramping, but you feel ill unless you keep eating. So we're going to discuss that briefly okay? So, the cost of dietary related disease in the UK alone is predicted to be over 19 billion pounds over the next 10 years.

And all this money is potentially saved, obviously, by the healthcare system; so 7 out of 10 deaths now are caused by chronic diseases directly related to what people eat. Now, we can group both heart disease and cancer together, because it's not one diet that causes heart disease and strokes and another diet that causes cancer. The same diet that leads to the reversal and protection from heart attacks and strokes, is the same diet that can prevent people from getting cancer, right?

And we know that if we look at a lot of the studies, we're finding out when you're having the food served to you, all the cupcakes and all the white flour and sugar you're eating, those aren't just micronutrient deficient, they cause the body to build up toxic waste products, like free radicals, like advanced glycation end products. You're eating foods that cause obesity, diabetes, and cancer. You're eating yourself on the way to a shortened lifespan.

We have to recognize that the proper diet here to prevent disease has to be rich in natural plant foods, and we have to understand plant foods help give us the most protection. Right, so we're talking here about eating a diet rich in natural foods, and vegetables of course afford the most protection, and the foods that are highest in micronutrients, of course, are green vegetables, right?

So what's the food that's most powerfully linked to the protection against heart disease? In other words, what's the food that if you ate, we need the most of, to reverse and protect yourself from heart disease? And the answer is: green vegetables, the foods that have the highest micronutrient per calorie density. What's the food that would offer you the most protection against cancer, of all foods? And the answer is? Green vegetables, right?

The foods that mostly the primates eat. If you followed a primate, like a monkey, around in the woods with a telephoto lens, looking for everything they ate for the month - and scientists do that, go back to the laboratory and calculate exactly what they eat - they find they consume 15 times as much of the micronutrients compared to the RDI's that Americans and people are not consuming and are not even meeting those basic requirements set by governments. We're not even meeting those requirements, anywhere near meeting them. Yet the wild animals in the woods consume 10 to 20 times that much, because their diet is so rich in these very high phytonutrient green vegetables.

And, of course, we're talking here about the power of seeds and berries and mushrooms and onions. To have factors that actually prevent the expression of the gene defects that could lead to cancer. When you have a diet rich in mushrooms and onions and green vegetables, those gene defects that may increase the risk of breast cancer or colon cancer or prostate cancer are suppressed by the high intake of the phytochemicals.

The human body has been designed in a manner to protect itself against these diseases. It already has the right mechanisms. We are a miraculous, self-healing, self-protecting machine, designed to live essentially from birth until an uneventful death. And we could live 15 to 25 years longer than we're living today by putting into action these advances in modern nutritional science. One advance here, again, is the fact that seeds and nuts protect against sudden cardiac death.

Most people consume 400 calories a day from oil. Now I'm saying here that walnut oil is not the same thing as a walnut, and almond oil is not the same thing as an almond. When you eat the whole food, when you get your fats from the whole food, like nuts or seeds, it has marked effects to stabilize the heart against irregular heartbeats, as opposed to gaining weight with oil, because that 120 calories a tablespoon gets absorbed very rapidly and stored away in the body as fat. When you take the fat from a whole food, like an almond or a walnut or a sesame seed, all those calories aren't biologically available.

The sterols and stanols, like a sponge, bind the fat in the stool, so it is excreted. And it actually sucks some of those negatives fats, like LDL cholesterol, out of the body from the bloodstream back into the digestive tract for removal in the stool. We're saying here that nuts and seeds actually help prevent and reverse diabetes, and help prevent and reverse heart disease and have beneficial effects in both morbidity and mortality. So one key element here is getting less fat from processed food, and more fat from whole, natural plant foods like seeds and nuts.

Now, one of the recent findings in the modern nutritional science is that we shouldn't eat excess macronutrients, like fat, carbohydrate, and protein, right? But one of the most critical nutrients to focus on here is protein, because we've been brainwashed or educated with wrong information. For some people, they kind of thought that protein was to be held in such high esteem, because it facilitates growth and promotes growth hormone, right? But now we're finding that the more growth hormone, and especially IGF1, the insulin-like growth hormone that's produced by the excess consumption of animal protein, is one of the primary factors leading to the tremendous increase in risk in breast cancers and prostate cancers and colon cancer.

In order for people to maximize their opportunity for longevity, we have to make sure they don't consume too much of High Biological Protein. Because the more high biological protein you eat the higher your insulin-like growth factor 1 will be, and the stronger the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer, and it's this factor alone that accounts for some of these major explosions in the rates of breast cancer and prostate cancer in the last 50 years in modern countries. Because protein was brainwashed or advertised to us as being a favorable nutrient, and we thought it represented wealth and health, and we try to consume more of it and we've wound up causing a sparking, an epidemic of cancer because of it. So animal protein raises cholesterol, and plant protein lowers cholesterol, right?

Animal protein promotes cancer, and plant protein, of course, reduces the risk of cancer. And also, when you get your protein from plants, especially green plants that are largely protein, right, then you're getting a high package of high antioxidants and phytochemicals and fibers that are so protective against disease. The ANDI scores - the ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” - is a tool to help direct people to easily recognize what foods have the most micronutrients.

So all I did here, to devise the ANDI scores, was to add up 23 nutrients that are well studied, right, nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, B12, right, folate. We took the 23 nutrients and we added them up to give each food one number, so people could easily see one number, instead of 23 different numbers, to get an overall feel, right, for how much micronutrients they contain. And the nice thing here about the ANDI scores is that the foods that are rated highest in the measurable micronutrients; because, don't forget, there are thousands of un-measurable micronutrients - we can't measure all of the - but the foods that are highest in these measurable micronutrients are also the highest in the ones we can't measure as well. Now, of course, it shows that, you know, comparing white pasta and white bread to a vegetable, it's not that vegetables aren't 10 times as much nutrients, they're a hundred times as much nutrients. Right?

And you could see that animal products and processed foods are relatively low, and I think that's the main focus here of the ANDI scores. And the main benefits are to show and demonstrate how powerful vegetables are at earning people the micronutrients they need to fuel, not just adequate health, but excellent health. Right? And the ANDI facts, these are the 23 parameters which the ANDI scores measure, so we can help direct people to make better food choices. Now, putting together a food pyramid for nutritional excellence, and I call it a nutritarian diet, or nutritarian food pyramid. I coined that word, “nutritarian,” to help people distinguish the type of food they're going to be trying to strive to eat. I'm claiming here that it's not just the explosion of animal products, though that's a big part of it, but it's also the tremendous explosion of processed foods, that comprise such a large percent of modern diets that is accountable and resulting in this epidemic of chronic disease we see in the modern world.

So if we're going to make a pyramid for people who want excellent health, what shall we put at the base of the pyramid? Shouldn't we put the foods that have the best association with long life? Shouldn't we put the foods at the base of the pyramid we want people to get the most of, the foods that have the most micronutrients in them? And so, therefore, what happens when you design a pyramid, don't you put vegetables at the base - fruits and beans, nuts and seeds, whole grains - and we restrict the amount of processed foods, and we restrict the amount of animal products to very small amounts in the diet or not at all?

We see, then, miraculous things happen to people. We see people lose weight and get their health back. After people have suffered for 20, 30 years with diseases, they adopt this type of diet and they stop desiring excess calories, and they lose weight almost effortlessly, right? So, let me describe for you for two minutes how this works, and how it prevents the drive to overeat. The human body cycles between anabolic phases and catabolic phases, right? Anabolic and catabolic: “anabolic” means you're building your body up; “catabolic” means you're breaking it down, right? In the anabolic phase, you're eating and digesting, right? In the catabolic phase, you're living off of what you stored when you ate. Like you went to the gas station and filled up your tank, and now you're driving it around, you're burning up the tank.

Well, in the catabolic phase, you're burning that glucose and burning off those fats that you stored when you ate, and absorbed it. Okay? Now, what happens though is that when you eat a diet low in nutrients, you build up certain toxic waste products in your body, like free radicals, like advanced glycation end products. You build up toxic waste products because you're not taking in the phytochemicals and antioxidants you need for normal function. And then, when you stop digesting and you enter the catabolic phase when you've finished digesting a meal, your body starts to go into an enhanced stage of repair and self-cleaning and detoxification.

And if your diet was unhealthy, if you were eating a diet, like most of the modern world is eating today, with lots of processed foods and lots of animal products, you're going to have lots of nitrogenous wastes and lots of free radicals and lots of toxins build up in your tissues. And when you try not to eat and you go into the catabolic phase, you're not going to feel well.

You're going to feel shaky and weak, confused and fatigued, and you're going to have to eat again. You're forced to eat more food than your body requires. If you ate a healthy diet, and you were well nourished with micronutrients, and you went to the catabolic phase, you would feel nothing - you wouldn't even feel like eating. I'm making
a tremendous claim here.

I'm saying most people cycle from anabolic phase to anabolic phase: the minute they finish digesting, they want to eat again. They want have a snack, they want to have another meal, they want to put something in their mouth, they want to have some...right? They can't stop eating. They've lost their connectivity. Their natural instinctive drives that tells the amount of calories they need to eat to maintain a lean body mass are lost, because they become food addicts, because of lack of micronutrient quality in their diet. I'm saying the lack of micronutrient quality drives addictive sensations to overeat, that when you see the curve goes down, that glucose curve drops and you enter that catabolic phase, you get what I call “toxic hunger,” the need to eat again.

And most people that become overweight, they become overweight because they don't feel well unless they almost constantly consume calories to prevent the detoxification. It's as if they were trying to stop drinking 10 cups of coffee a day, or trying to get off cocaine, because they feel too uncomfortable if they try to stop eating or don't over-consume calories. They can solve the sensation of toxic hunger by either eating too frequently or eating a big, heavy meal with too many calories to keep the digestive track busy in the anabolic phase, until it's time for their next meal.

A healthy person, though, doesn't feel the detoxification stress. Most of you sitting here in the audience today, you could have even skipped lunch. If you were eating a healthy diet, you would feel nothing. You wouldn't have to overeat food. Your body actually develops more metabolic efficiency when you eat a diet rich in micronutrients, and you can maintain your lean body mass with less calories. It enables people to eat less and not feel hungry. And then when the glycogen is burnt off and you've gone through your catabolic phase, before you would burn lean body mass, your body would get a clear signal to eat.

That, I call “true hunger,” and true hunger is mostly felt in the throat and the mouth, and it's accompanied by dramatic enhancements in taste. So, true hunger marked at the end of the catabolic phase directs people to the exact amount of calories they require to maintain a long, healthy life, and to keep their stable weight for their whole life, without gaining weight or losing weight. It helps protect your lean body mass.

But here's the point: you can't become overweight, you can't get fat on your body, unless you have eaten outside of the demands of true hunger. In order to have gained weight, you had to have eaten recreationally, or because of the demands of toxic hunger or addictive… And also, there's a feedback loop to the brain that signals the brain to have to increase the desire to consume more calories when you're not meeting your micronutrient needs.

So, what if society learned about modern nutritional science, and what if 50 to 80% of our population, of our elderly population over the age of sixty, didn't have to go on medications for diabetes and high blood pressure and cholesterol lowering? Right? The prescription pads are like permission slips. We've evolved into a society where the medication takes the place of teaching people how to live in a healthy manner, right?

And by the medication lowering their blood pressure, lowering their blood sugar and lowering their cholesterol, people are absolved of this personal responsibility to take care of their health, and inevitably, they follow the same diet that caused the problem to begin with. So the disease process inevitably advances until they die a premature death. Right? So what if there were a way to lower cholesterol and drop blood pressure and prevent heart disease that was more effective than taking medications? What if people actually wanted this knowledge and information so they wouldn't have to have happen to them what maybe happened to their father or to their neighbor? Right?

What if you could actually, not just control diabetes, but if you could reverse it and make the diabetic non-diabetic, without the cost of drugs and without the tragic consequences of diabetes that leads to amputation and blindness and kidney damage and heart disease? What if you could avoid angioplasty and bypass surgery, which the meta-analysis show, do not extend lifespan anyway? Right? Angioplasty and bypass surgery, which could relieve chest pain, find that years down the road these people who're-, who undergo those procedures don't have less chest pain than people who weren't treated with those interventions, and they don't live longer either. They're just temporizing measures.

But, what if you can reverse those disease and keep a person out of pain and back to a normal functioning life again, without these futile and expensive medical procedures? And, of course, that's what we see happens, not just in one case, but in thousands of cases. And in my presentation later on this afternoon, I'll describe a lot of those cases.

But in this presentation, I wanted to highlight one. Ronnie suffered, about five years ago, with bypass surgery due to crushing chest pain, and he weighed over 300 pounds. In four years' time, the bypass failed and he had chest pains again, and he couldn't even walk one block. He was rushed back to the hospital and they put stents in, three angioplasty stents in his heart. Within a month his stents had restenosed and he was back having chest pains again. On more than $600 out of pocket medical expenses a month and three medications to lower his blood pressure which couldn't get his blood pressure down, and three medications to lower his cholesterol, which couldn't get his cholesterol down adequately, and medications to reduce chest pain that still didn't enable him to walk. He was literally sent home to die.

I never met Ronnie, but through the Internet he found my work, he read my information, he got Mikey communicated, and he got educated as to how he could reverse his heart disease. He lost 140 pounds in 12 months. But the story here isn't the weight he lost. The story is that Ronnie doesn't have high blood pressure anymore; he's on no medication. He doesn't have high cholesterol anymore. His LDL cholesterol is 60 on no medication. His total cholesterol was 230 on three cholesterol-lowering drugs. He doesn't have chest pain anymore. He plays tennis. He runs. He works out. He has a full life. He's not sick anymore. He doesn't have heart disease anymore; it melted away. Nutritional excellence does what medical intervention doesn't have the power to do.

My mission here, of course, is to let people know that that they have an option, that they don't have to have happen to them what happened to Ronnie Valentine. Right? And Ronnie said, “I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I had to go through in my life,” Right? before he learned this information about good nutrition.

The study, this high micronutrient diet - we call it a high-nutrient density diet, in the medical literature, obviously - and it published in the medical journal Metabolism. It showed that this plant-based, high nutrient diet lowered LDL cholesterol 33%, which is more powerful than medications. But when you lower for the nutritional excellence, you don't get the same effects of lowering cholesterol with a drug, because your cholesterol level is just one of many factors that create heart disease. It's not the only factor, it's not even the most powerful factor. When you lower your cholesterol through excellent nutrition, you drop your body weight down, you get the fat off your body,
you profuse your body with nutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects. And when you profuse your body with those nutrients, it activates systems, like the Nrf2 system in the blood vessels to protect plaque from building up and actually to accelerate the reversal of heart disease.

The nutrients have beneficial effects, and it lowers your blood pressure of course, too, but then these micronutrients have beneficial effects way and above outside of what can be accomplished by cholesterol-lowering medications. Because you can't equate the degree of protection you get, because if you really wanted to take me up on that promise, that guarantee, not to have a heart attack or a stroke, it's not good enough to lower your blood pressure with drugs. You have to lower your blood pressure with good nutrition, because you earned it. You have to be physically fit. You can't be overweight, and you have to have a good cholesterol that's not forced down with drugs.

You have to have earned it through excellent nutrition. That's how you get the 100 degree of protection. Drugs and medications don't give you that degree of protection that nutritional excellence can, that Ronnie Valentine earned, of course.

So, heart disease, high blood pressure and even diabetes are diseases that are preventable and reversible, right? Nutritional studies, population studies, epidemiologic studies, right, all support the effectiveness of a healthy plant-based diet to arrest, prevent, and reverse diseases, like heart disease. And I've been in practice more than 20 years, treating hundreds and hundreds of patients, not just with diseases of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but people who had high blood pressure and high cholesterol with advanced heart disease, people who had chest pain, people who were told they needed to have urgent bypass surgery or urgent angioplasty, who instead chose the nutritional approach, and within months their pains melt away as they lose weight, as they eat healthy. Right?

In the same amount of time this person could have been evaluated with a stress test, with the angiogram or catheterization, and then go through bypass and rehab after that expensive and invasive procedure. In that same amount of time, a few months later, the people are already feeling better and their chest pains are going away, and they're well without those invasive and expensive procedures. So, nobody needs die of a heart attack. You don't have to have strokes. Dr. Esselstyn, a very renowned physician in the United States, did a series where he followed over 50 people for 17 years, and he followed these individuals who had very advanced heart disease. They weren't just regular people with high blood pressure, these were people who had heart attacks, who had blockages. And he followed them for seventeen years, who ollowed excellent plant-based diet, and he found that in this group, these people didn't have future heart attacks.

Likewise, a similar group of people, followed for that same amount of years, had multiple cardiac events, emergency room visits, expensive medical care, going back to repeat surgeries and interventions. Likewise, Dr. Ornish's work showed the same thing, that as these studies are done we find that heart disease is not only preventable but it's reversible, and it's reversible to the extent that you use modern nutritional science to have the most optimal diet style possible.

And if you have a disease like diabetes or heart disease or high blood pressure, my question to you is: How excellent is your diet? Are you taking advantage of modern nutritional science, do everything you can? Or are you just relying on popping a pill, as your disease is likely to continue to worsen? A nutritarian diet is vegetable-based, not grain-based, not based on oil and white flour. It's based on, of course, green vegetables, mushrooms, onions, lots of fruits, beans, seeds, nuts, oils used sparingly. Animal products? Could be done on a vegan diet, or one you use very tiny amounts, like a condiment, but your animal products have to be dropped down dramatically to get the full benefits and lifespan advantages that are available to people today. It's focused on nutrient-dense calories.

And the question is: Our best minds, our best chefs, can we make nutrient-rich food taste fantastic? Can we make eating pleasurable, more pleasurable, and protect our health at the same time? Why not? Right? Why not have great taste, great fun and great health together? Why not take advantage and have the best health possible? Right? Well, it seems as if people, they're so addicted, they're so afraid of food being taken away from them, that they'll shovel things in - processed meats, barbequed, luncheon meats, fried foods, white flour products, sugar, cupcakes, doughnuts, crackers, any kind of thing in their mouth - regardless of the effect on its health. The most important knowledge that people could have to control their personal health destiny, more important than wealth, is your health. What good is wealth if you don't have your health?

The fountain of youth, of course, is in the plant-based diet containing high micronutrient-containing foods - vegetables, beans, mushrooms,onions,!! You know, what if there was a medical study that showed that women who ate mushrooms on a daily basis had over 60% lower risk of breast cancer? What if there was such a study? Wouldn't women be running out to eat mushrooms? Shouldn't that be on the front page of the New York Times? What if there was a study that showed that people who ate onions on a regular basis had a 50-80% lower risk of cancers. Wouldn't people be putting onions all over their foods every day? What if there was a pill from a drug company that can do that? Wouldn't that drug company be making billions of dollars? Every person would be paying a thousand pounds a month to consume those pills to prevent cancer? What if there was a study that showed people that ate green, cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and bok choy and kale, had dramatically lower rates
 of cancer, even better than mushrooms and onions? Well, these studies exist. These studies are true. Right?

We have the evidence right now that natural plant foods have dramatic and powerful effect to afford people a unique opportunity to win the war on cancer and to win the war on the chronic diseases that afflict the modern world, that afflict the world today. All right? So we are talking here about grossly limiting, significant limitations, on eating foods that are detrimental to our health. The point here is that we have to change the way we see food, and we have to recognize that natural foods, whole, natural foods grown by the Earth, already have been designed with the perfect substances to fuel human species with the ability to live a long, protective, and disease-free life. So I'm offering you that opportunity. Thank you.

MC (m): Thank you. And, Joel will be speaking again later this afternoon. And Joel just referred to Caldwell Esselstyn in his talk.

Dr. Esselstyn made medical history by going to cardiovascular surgeons and gathering up a group of men for whom medical science could offer no solutions. They went through five years of a vegetarian diet, followed by fifteen years of a vegan diet. During and since that time, not one of the men has had any heart problems. Now Dr. Esselstyn can't be with us today, but he has sent over a video message, which we're going to play. That will be followed by another short video message. 

Dr. Esselstyn(m): My name is Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., and I welcome this opportunity to share my research and some of my thoughts on heart disease with this global warming conference. It's interesting that coronary artery heart disease is a leading killer of women and men in Western civilization.

However, even today if we were to look at certain cultures, like the rural Chinese, the Papua highlanders in New Guinea, central Africa, the Tarahumara Indians in Northern Mexico, coronary artery disease is virtually non-existent. These are plant-based cultures. And if the truth were known, coronary artery heart disease which wreaks such havoc is nothing more than a toothless paper tiger that need never, ever exist, and if it does exist, it need never, ever progress. Now, the question that remains is: Can people who are living in a Western society where there is rampant cardiovascular disease, are those persons who have cardiovascular disease willing to commit to a type of plant-based culture or plant-based nutrition? And if they do commit to this plant-based nutrition, can it halt or reverse their disease?

Well, there's a very, very powerful example, sort of from a historical standpoint. If we were to look at what happened in World War II in Norway, it was characteristic of the conquering Axis powers that when they overran Holland and Belgium and occupied Denmark and Norway, that they would take away their livestock for the troops. They would take away their cattle, their horses, their pigs, their chickens, their turkeys and so forth . And it was interesting that if we looked at deaths and cardiovascular disease in Norway in 1927, going up 1930, going up 1935, going up 1939 away goes the meat and the dairy, and down suddenly.

Time of greatest personal stress, deaths from heart attack and stroke are plummeting right through 1945 when, with the cessation of hostilities, there was a resumption of meat and dairy, and immediately we again had an increase in deaths from circulatory diseases, heart attack and stroke.

I'd also like to try to share with you a patient with coronary artery disease. This was a young, 44-year-old physician and when he had his heart attack, I think you can see this angiogram here clearly shows where the artery is so diseased and narrowed. And he also was rather weary - this was in 1996 - he was rather weary about taking any statin drugs, and I said, “Fine. Let's just be sure that you eat totally plant-based.” And he did. He was totally committed, and about 30 months later, he had another angiogram and sure enough, as you can see, it went from this diseased, narrow artery in 1996 to this one, which is now fully wide open, again, demonstrating proof of concept because he had been reticent to take any cholesterol- lowering drugs, that what was responsible for reversing his illness was his willingness to totally partake of plant-based nutrition.

This has been certainly confirmed, multiple times over the last 20 years, and the literature is really quite solid on the fact that I think it is time that physicians really grasp the concept and the idea that plant-based nutrition can accomplish some really almost miraculous type of goals where the patient's with significant cardiovascular disease.

Well, we have now gotten experience with well over 250 patients that, indeed, I find that patients rejoice when they are fully educated about what has been the causation of their illness and what they can do to absolutely turn it around and reverse it. I think it's important for us, in order to make this happen, to give a great deal of respect though to patients and it may take me upwards of 4 or 5 hours in a single sitting with a group of patients who have the disease to have them have this seminar of counseling which achieves these goals.

Now, I don't expect this to be the responsibility of the cardiologist or their treating physician because they will not have this kind of time in their practice. But I think we are at a time where this disease is so significant and the treatment of it is so powerful when it is plant-based nutrition that we're going to have to develop apprenticeships where either nurse practitioners or physicians, who have this passion, who have this skill set, are willing to commit to show patients how to do this because the answer to this disease has certainly not been a pill, it's not been a procedure, the stents and the coronary bypass surgery just don't get the job done.

I mean, even those who do these procedures recognize that they are but stop-gap patch jobs. If we're going to end the disease, we have to actually treat the causation of the illness. This is a food-borne illness and it can be stopped. But there is even a bigger message beyond the mere treatment of coronary artery disease, because if we look at these common chronic killing diseases, I think one can make a very strong argument: Do we have multiple common chronic killing diseases or do we have one that has multiple manifestations?

For example, suppose I start treating a patient who weighs 250 lbs, definitely overweight, who's had a heart attack. He is obese - or she is obese - diabetic, hypertensive, and interestingly enough, they just get it and they get it right. So now, let's say it's 9 or 10 months later and they don't weigh 250 lbs; they now weigh 175 or 180 lbs. They're no longer obese, they're no longer hypertensive, they don't have any more high blood pressure. Their diabetes has resolved, their risk of a future heart attack and stroke are gone, and also markedly diminished is the likelihood that they'll have one of the common Western cancers of breast, prostate, colon, and pancreas; and also the likelihood of their having gallstones, diverticulitis, osteoporosis, asthma, allergies.

So many things are tied up with what could be this tremendous seismic revolution in health that will never come from a pill or a procedure. But it will come when we in the medical profession are willing to have the grit and the determination, the patience and understanding, to try to show patients what is the optimal lifestyle that they can follow. Finally, may I say to the conference on global warming: I wish you every success. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to participate. I'm also confident that the more persons that we have who are willing to participate in the health benefits of plant-based nutrition will go a long ways towards helping with your goals. Thank you.

Dr. Carl RobertsHigh Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda to the Court of St. JamesAmbassadorSupreme Master TV(m): So, focusing on short lived greenhouse gases like methane and black carbon, which were suggested earlier on, do you believe that a shift towards more of a plant-based diet would help to insure this in a quicker way?

Dr. Roberts(m): From what was said in the presentations it is quite clear that once we can move towards that focus we certainly would be able to see the benefit we're looking for in a much shorter time frame. And for us in the Caribbean, certainly if we can move away from the meat based or animal based consumption to greater consumption of vegetables that we would be able to grow rather than have them imported in, certainly we would see a more rapid benefit to the quality of life and also to the negative effect of climate changes.


Subsidies: not for torture, pain and death. For animals and humans: subsidies for health, benevolence, and life for all.

Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet

Supreme Master Ching Hai

MC (m): Is our food supply putting global health at risk? Dr. Michael Greger, a physician, is probably one of the best qualified in the world to answer this question.
He is the director of public health at the Humane Society of the US. He is the author of “Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching,” and is an internationally known lecturer. Dr. Greger, who is not here, has however sent a video message to talk about some of the health threats we're currently unaware of.

Dr. Greger (m): Greetings to everyone at the World Preservation Foundation. Thank you so much for having me, and I apologize for not being able to be there in person. According to the director-general of the World Health Organization, the three greatest threats facing humanity are the global food crisis, climate change, and pandemic influenza.

Why is there so much concern about the so-called “swine flu”? Because, apparently, the last time an entirely new flu virus jumped species and triggered a pandemic, it went on to become the deadliest plague in human history, the influenza pandemic of 1918. Now, most flu strains tend to spare young, healthy adults, but the 1918 virus killed people in the prime of life. In 1918, more than a quarter of all people fell ill. In 1918, between 50 to 100 million people lost their lives.

A similar pandemic today could kill many more. What started for millions around the globe as muscle aches and a fever ended days or even hours later with many people bleeding from their eyes, nose, mouth, ears. Homeless orphans, their parents dead, wandered the empty streets.

Well, the conventional wisdom is that the 1918 pandemic was triggered when an H1N1 bird virus in its entirety, all eight gene segments, jumped into human beings. We then apparently passed it along to pigs, sickening millions of them as well. After the pandemic, after our human immune systems became used to the new virus, it turned into the regular seasonal flu, and in pigs, it turned into what's called classic or classical swine flu. Before 1918, there were no reports of pigs getting the flu at all. People got the regular flu every year and pigs got swine flu; the same with the 30's and same with the 40's - but swine flu was stable throughout.

But by 1999, everything changed. A never before described triple species re-assortment flu virus arose. The classical swine flu virus, after being stable for 80 years straight, picked up three gene segments from circulating human flu virus and then two gene segments from a bird flu virus to create the first triple animal re-assortment flu virus ever described. Our first hybrid, a human-pig viral mutant was discovered on an industrial pig production operation in Newton Grove, North Carolina.

The virus mutated further and then spread within months throughout the United States. We then exported it to Asia, and then the “favor” was apparently returned. After reshuffling with the classic swine flu virus, our “made in the U.S.A.” triple re-assortment virus picked up two gene segments from a Eurasian swine flu strain to create the flu pandemic of 2009. The main ancestor of the pandemic flu virus shown in orange is the triple hybrid mutant that emerged and spread throughout so-called factory farms. So, after eight decades of stability, what happened in the 1990s that led to these unprecedented changes in swine flu?

Now, in poultry, outbreaks of highly pathogenic, highly disease-causing, avian influenza in the first few years of this century has already exceeded the total number of outbreaks recorded for the entire previous century. As one leading flu expert told Science, “We've gone from a few snowflakes to an avalanche.” What's been happening in recent years to trigger this kind of evolution and fast-forward for both the swine and chicken flu viruses? Well, one can ask the world's leading expert, Dr. Robert Webster, who says now we have millions of chickens in chicken factories next to pig factories, and this virus has the opportunity to get into one of these chicken factories and make billions and billions of mutations continuously.

So what we've changed is the way we raise animals. Six years ago the world's three leading authorities got together for a joint consultation: the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization (the United Nations), and the World Organization for Animal Health, the world's leading veterinary authority. Their job was to uncover the key underlying causes of these emerging animal-to-human diseases. Number one on their list of themes of risk factors was the increasing demand for animal protein the world over. The United Nations has urged that all governments, local authorities and international agencies, need to take a greatly increased role in combating the role of factory farming, which provides ideal conditions for the flu virus to spread and mutate into a more dangerous form. More than five years ago, the American Public Health Association, the largest association of public health professionals in the world, called for a moratorium on these confined animal feeding operations, these factory farms.

In 2007, the Journal of the APHA, the American Public Health Association, published an editorial that went beyond just calling for a de-intensification of animal agriculture, the pork and poultry industries. “It's curious,” the editorial goes, “that changing the way humans treat animals, most basically ceasing to eat them, or at the very least radically limiting the quantity of them that is eaten, is largely off the radar as a significant preventive measure. Such a change, however, if sufficiently adopted or imposed, could still reduce the risk of the much feared influenza epidemic… Humanity does not even consider this option.” The editorial concludes, “Those who consume animals not only harm those animals and endanger themselves, but they threaten the wellbeing of future generations. It's time for humans to remove their heads from the sand and recognize the risk to themselves that can arise from their maltreatment of other species.”

Now, how we treat animals can have these global public health implications. In this age of emerging diseases, there are now billions of feathered and curly-tailed test tubes for viruses to incubate and mutate within billions more spins at pandemic roulette. But along with human culpability comes hope. If changes in human behavior can cause new plagues, well then changes in human behavior may prevent them in the future. Thank you.

MC (m): The shift to a more plant-based diet, aside from being an environment and government issue, is also a personal one. Increased public awareness and engagement, facilitated by government and industry, together with initiatives such as Meat-free Mondays, have shown that perceptions can change and win wide public participation.

In light of this, we are delighted to invite a guest speaker who's advocated the need for and the advantages of a plant-based diet for personal and planetary health for more than two decades. She is the inspiration behind the worldwide chain of vegan restaurants, Loving Hut. In recent years, she has established an international television channel, raising awareness about the urgent need to address climate change, and promoting dietary change as an effective means to halt it.

She is the recipient of many awards, including the 2006 Gusi Peace Prize, awarded for outstanding public service to mankind, and the World Spiritual Leadership Award in 1994. And in September this year, she was awarded a US Presidential Award. We'll now show via video, a message from Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo. My highest salute and most respectful greeting to the Divine within you. Your Excellencies, distinguished decision makers of the great United Kingdom, and welcome guests, courageous ladies and gentlemen, it is with deep honor that I join you in your respected company in this urgent meeting.

As you are well aware, there are multiple global dangers facing all lives on Earth. Experts often highlight six major threats as the most pressing, urgent, of our time, namely: climate change, water shortage, food scarcity, deforestation, ocean collapse, and biodiversity loss. Although each threat on its own might cause enough damage to become a so-called “civilization buster,”their occurrence together would result in a global collapse, and all lives on the planet could be destroyed. Like many of you, I ask myself, day and night, how we can stop going in this calamitous direction. But I'm afraid the reality now is already too urgent.

Scientists say that water security for about 80% of the world's people is threatened due to drying and polluted river systems, shrinking glaciers from South America to the Himalayas, and groundwater levels that fall lower and lower each year. In 2009, for the first time, the number of people suffering from hunger exceeded 1 billion, while disasters threatened the food security of many more. Each year, tropical forests the size of New York state are burned to the ground, releasing 17% of the world's total carbon dioxide emissions - more than all transportation combined. Over 70% of our fish species are fully depleted, and the rest could be gone within a few ten years.

A recent study by the United Nations found that plants and animals are now disappearing at up to 1,000 times the natural background rate of extinction, with vital life-supporting ecosystems that could soon be irreversibly damaged. And you're right, we have global warming.

Even with strict greenhouse gas emission limits, the Earth's temperature is still expected to rise another 3.5 degrees Celsius within a few decades, which would result in the death of the Amazon rainforest, massive hurricanes smashing coastal cities, vast runaway release of methane from melting permafrost, and ultimately, mass extinction.

Already we see that disasters have become more frequent, prolonged and deadlier. Thus, if these six factors are not stopped fast, we risk losing everything. I mean everything! So please consider what is really at stake now, what is really our foremost, urgent priority at the present time. It's not just political reputation or economy- it's the lives, real lives, of all inhabitants on Earth: humans, animals, plants, trees, etc. Now, despite the overwhelmingly frightening situation at hand, esteemed researchers have identified one key cause of all these troubles, and there's even a solution to solve them.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2006 stated that: “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global, namely, biodiversity loss, deforestation, land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing, and others. So, it is not surprising that in June 2010, a report released by the United Nations Environment Program and the European Commission concluded that: “A substantial reduction of [environmental] impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide change of diet, away from [all] animal products.”

Now, let's check out one “civilization buster” at a time, to see how each is driven by meat consumption. You may never look at a piece of meat in the same way again.
1. First - Climate Change is a Civilization Buster, and its primary cause is: livestock raising. I guess you know already. The UN FAO's 2006 report, “Livestock's Long Shadow,” was followed by related research in 2009, which found that livestock and their byproducts account for at least 51% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions - and I know that it is 80% or even more.

Newer findings published by the US National Academy of Sciences and Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research also point to the livestock industry's huge impact on global warming. Furthermore, livestock production occupies a full 70% of all agricultural land and nearly one-third of all the planet's land surface. We have come to a point when climate scientists are now so extremely worried that they are even thinking of resorting to emergency ways to manipulate nature on a large scale through risky geoengineering.

But if we simply return these lands to nature again, like forest and grassland, then it would easily absorb a lot of emissions in the near future. Please also note that animal industry is the largest human-made source of methane and nitrous oxide, which are the greenhouse gases that are 72 times and 300 times more potent, respectively, than CO2. And methane, though being much worse than carbon dioxide, disappears many times faster, in about 12 years as opposed to centuries for CO2.

Therefore, eliminating livestock production would cool the planet quickly, which is needed urgently if we think about the climate tipping points that are getting nearer. Moreover, as the Rodale Institute in the USA determined, if the world's tillable land were organically cultivated, then 40% of the atmospheric CO2 would automatically be absorbed by the soil. Also, one German study found that an organic vegan diet could reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions, up to 94%.

Wow, think about that. Now, to briefly mention about financial cost. Dutch scientists have calculated that the powerful dietary change to the healthy vegan diet would not only dramatically reduce global warming, it would also save 80% in climate mitigation costs by 2050.

2. Second - Water Scarcity. Besides being a major water polluter, livestock consumes vast amounts of this precious resource, with as much as 200,000 liters required for each kilogram of beef, whereas only a tiny fraction of that, or 2,000 liters, is needed per kilogram of soya beans for example.

Put another way, eating four hamburgers costs a person the water equivalent of a year's daily showers. Wow, think of that again, huh. And, while 1.1 billion people don't have access to safe water, including 6,000 children who die every day from drinking polluted water (and that is on our conscience, yes?), some 1 trillion cubic meters of clean water is wasted on raising livestock. Are we really robbing our children of precious resources such as water for merely a poisonous disease-laden, disease-causing but easily replaced piece of meat? I'm sure you all agree, ladies and gentlemen, this is not acceptable.

3. Third - Food Crisis. To meet the needs of a growing population, more and more scientists and other experts are affirming the logic and efficiency of reducing livestock so that food can be delivered to people directly. [PAUSE] But, today, livestock are bred and fattened on nearly half of the world's grain supply, while almost 11 million children, who mostly live in those countries where these feed grains are grown, die, ironically, of hunger each year. On the other hand, directly supplied grain could easily feed more than the entire world's population.

4. Fourth - Deforestation. Lord Stern of Brentford, United Kingdom, lead author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, proposed the avoidance of deforestation as the most economic method of managing greenhouse gas emissions. Well, 91% of the cleared Amazonian rainforest since 1970, the lungs of our Earth, can be directly or indirectly attributed to cattle raising. And, in fact, the UN FAO stated that the livestock sector is the major driver of global deforestation.

5. Fifth - World Ocean Collapse. The main cause here, again, is animal products. The United Nations recently reported that continued fishing could deplete the oceans of all marine stocks within just a few decades. But the problem is not only fish consumption, the problem is also meat consumption, because as much as 50% of the fish killed each year, or tens of millions of tons of marine lives, are fed to livestock, not humans. Pigs and chickens consume six times more the amount of seafood than the entire American population, and twice as much as the whole Japanese. Think about that huh! So if we stop all animal products - fish, egg, meat, and dairy - we will save the oceans, save the climate; and as we find out next, we could halt also biodiversity loss.

6. Sixth - Of course, Biodiversity Loss. The livestock industry is the leading cause of an alarming decline in wild species. In a new October 2010 study, Dutch researchers found that protecting natural areas is not sufficient to stop these fast extinctions of flora and fauna; rather, one of the most effective policies is changing to a no-animal diet, meaning plant-based food. Now, some of us might question: Can our world really eliminate the global meat industry and become all vegan? The facts tell us “yes, we can,” and our humanity's survival instinct tells us “we must.”

As the respected US economist Jeremy Rifkin wrote in 2002, “[The world's wealthier consumers] favor eating at the highest point on the global food chain while their fellow human beings starve. We are long overdue for a global discussion on how best to promote a diversified, high-protein vegan diet for the human race.”

Former US Vice President Al Gore and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Dr. James Hansen, both referred to eliminating meat as the “single most effective thing we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.” Climate chief Lord Stern likewise publicly stated that: “A vegetarian diet is better.” Former World Bank advisor, Dr. Goodland, called the “improved diets” the “overlooked climate solution.” And Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said: “A major shift toward plant-based diets is imperative if we are to have even a chance of preventing catastrophe. In terms of immediacy of action...reducing meat consumption clearly is the most attractive opportunity.” Truly, the new opportunities for the food industry, consumers, and governments are bright.

There are many stories of success from people who joined the vegan food industry, as well as farmers who switched from livestock raising to organic vegan farming. Research also tells us that plant-based alternatives to animal products are not only healthy, they use less fossil fuel energy, create more sustainable jobs, and are growing in popularity because of their quality, which also includes good taste. We all love good taste, don't we? Analysts also say that meat and dairy prices are set to rise steeply due to high climate risks, “peak oil,” and extreme environmental costs, while the livestock industry, which is heavily dependent on subsidies to survive already, is becoming obsolete. And we know that animal industry workers even suffer, also, some of the worst physical, emotional, psychological and mental conditions now.

It's high time that we advance to better ways as a society, a nobler way as a society. And governments could use their subsidies for people's greatest benefit, by supporting the Earth-saving, organic vegan farming practices and promoting a healthy, sustainable, resource- efficient food industry. The way we are going with our consumption rate, the World Wildlife Fund researchers said that we'd need a second planet. If world governments stop supporting livestock and fishing, and instead wisely support organic vegan food production, they will save four-fifths of climate mitigation costs, save a lot of water pollution costs, and save health costs of about US$1 trillion due to meat-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, food poisoning, etc., to name a few.

Now we can prevent more than 20 million meat-related deaths worldwide per year if we turn to the vegan diet. No more suffering for loved ones, no more early separations, no more anguish for ourselves and others; and we will enjoy naturally longer, healthier, lovelier, happier lives. Even without the “civilization busters” threatening our planet's survival, an organic vegan diet would immensely improve the quality of our lives; spiritually also. It can curb the water and food crises and restore nature's life-support systems. It also happens to be the most rapid, cost-effective, and the only feasible climate solution, one that every nation can easily implement.

In sum, only with the organic vegan solution can we still save our planet. Respected and honorable ladies and gentlemen, I beseech you and all the leaders to please, help our world, please save our planet. I would like very much to not lose my hope, and everyone else's hope, because humans are caring, are clever, are courageous, and are the children of God. I can only add my heartfelt prayers to yours, <PAUSE> that together we will do everything possible and truly effective to save our planet for our children's sake. Thank you so much for your trust and attentive spirit. Wishing you forever wise, loving and blessed by the Divine. Love, love.

[Insert Meat Harms Scroll]

CAPTIONLisa Bloom (Vegan)Legal Analyst, CNN & CBS TV News Network, USALisa Bloom(f): It was a beautiful message from Supreme Master Ching Hai, because what she did was she broke it down, all of the six major problems that our planet is facing and how the number one cause of each of them is livestock production, or I choose to call it animal production. Animal production is clearly causing so many problems for the planet right now.

Supreme Master put all of that together for people to understand and to see it as all part of the whole, and I thought that was tremendously important, and the videos were terrific. It brought together the science in a way that was very compelling.

MC (m): Lisa Bloom is a prominent civil rights attorney and founder of The Bloom Firm based in Los Angeles. She's also an award-winning CNN and CBS TV news legal analyst, a lifelong vegetarian and a committed vegan. Miss Bloom has just recently finished her book, “How to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World,” a wakeup call to put aside modern life distractions and focus on meaningful issues like climate change. And we have a chance to share some of her thoughts and wisdom now. Thank you.

Ms. Lisa Bloom: Good afternoon to the World Preservation Foundation and DODs for having the wisdom and the courage to put on this convention today. It is just so important. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. A generation ago, a hearty band of activists dared to speak the truth about the dangers of cigarette smoking. Naysayers said to them, “This will never work. You cannot take on big tobacco. It's a multi-billion pound,” even back then, “global industry. It's a vital economic engine in many countries.” But these brave souls believed that speaking the truth about a toxic industry mattered, so they soldiered on. Today, smoking worldwide is significantly down. Many cities ban smoking in public places and the tobacco industry is a shadow if its former self; and people are living healthier lives as a result.

The time is now to take on another massive global industry that is destroying us. The large-scale breeding, confinement, slaughter, and consumption of animals is intensely cruel to billions of animals who experience constant fear, pain and suffering, often spending their entire, brief, hormone-stuffed, bloated lives in crates so small they can never turn around. Standing in their own feces day after day, their beaks or ears or tails hacked or burned without anesthesia, their young ripped away at birth, and in the case of hens, their male chicks ground to death, alive, as an industry-standard practice. Don't be fooled: even free-range eggs come from these conditions.

If you believe in karma (retribution), you might believe that the human health cost from the animal industry was nature's way of striking back at us for this cruelty. And, indeed, we've known for some time that meat and dairy products cause human obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer - all fatal diseases that have skyrocketed in the last half century, along with our meat and dairy consumption. But in the US, at least, a majority of our kids are overweight or obese. At this rate, it's estimated that one in three Americans will have diabetes in a generation, and everywhere that our Western diet takes hold, sadly, our Western diseases follow.

If you believe in karma (retribution), you might say that, “As we are still ignoring nature's message, nature appears to have upped the ante.” Because we now know, to a scientific certainty, that animal production, confinement, and slaughter is destroying our Earth. How is it possible that climate change is still considered a debatable issue, one in which reasonable minds may differ, when the greatest convergence of top scientific minds in human history, the IPCC, has convened four times and told us in the clearest possible terms that climate change is real, it is upon us and it is human caused, and it is shaping up to be the worst humanitarian and ecological disaster in human history?

To those who still doubt, I ask you: Is the Nobel Prize granted to the IPCC insufficient to you? How about the over 100 world governments who independently endorsed the IPCC's findings, including those with the most to lose like my government, the US, or Saudi Arabia or China? To my American neighbors, the majority of whom do not believe in climate change: Is it not enough for you that not only Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton know that climate change is real, it is upon us, and it is human caused, but also Senator John McCain and former President George W Bush? Do you choose to disbelieve our own space agency, NASA, which posts photos, videos, charts and graphs, sounding the alarm about rising temperatures, melting ice caps and extreme weather caused daily by climate change? Not believing in climate change is no longer an option. One may as well not believe in gravity, not believe the Earth is round or not believe in science.

And we now know that the animal industry causes more greenhouse gas than any other, including the transportation sector. We know that the raising of cows and pigs and chickens requires large-scale deforestation, and that one third of the world's land mass has been bulldozed for pastures and factory farming. Without all the trees that once absorbed CO2, greenhouse gases are released back into the atmosphere, and what comes out of the animals themselves is toxic, from the 8 million tons of CO2 the animals exhale, to the nitrous dioxide and methane gas emitted from the animals' manure and from the animals themselves. Well, we've heard from the scientists.

I'm not a scientist, I'm a citizen, but as a lifelong vegetarian, I have quietly enjoyed the good health and enormous energy of my plant-based diet for three decades. But I can remain quiet no longer. Diet can no longer be a matter of private choice when the choice to buy meat and dairy products causes unspeakable cruelty to sentient beings, and when the choice is destroying our planet. Governments must stop subsidizing this toxic industry, and must instead subsidize organic plant-based farming, which consumes far less energy and feeds far more people. And we, as citizens, each and every one of us, must prod our leaders to act by boldly speaking the truth. Each of us must shout from the rooftops, we must post on Facebook, we must blog, tweet, we must tell our families and friends that we are reducing our meat and dairy consumption right now, and we must explain why, over and over again if necessary.

Look, I'm not predisposed to be an activist on this issue. My issues are civil rights, the education of third world girls, and animal cruelty. But preserving a livable planet must take precedence over everything else, so I talk about it. I even wrote a book about this issue, “Think, How to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World,” to wake us up to the importance of thinking deeply about what matters. I took on my own industry, the media, for our ridiculous focus on drunken celebrities and plastic surgery, to the exclusion of pressing matters like genocide, war, and climate change. And at every meal when people ask me, as they inevitably do, why I'm vegan, I explain the climate change connection, and give them a taste of my roasted butternut squash pizza or my black bean guacamole tacos.

And next time you meet up with your friends, do it at your local vegan restaurant. You might be surprised at how much everyone likes it.

Have you tried those vegan cupcakes? Because, my friends, not only is vegan food the healthiest gift you can give your body, not only does it allow you to look in animals' eyes with compassion and without shame, vegan food is freaking delicious. Because concern about climate change is not just for the scientists and the politicians - the planet belongs to all of us. I, for one, refuse to stand idly by as extreme weather is already plaguing us, as animals go extinct, as 100 million refugees are predicted for my children's generation. Be vegan, on meatless Mondays, be vegan tonight for dinner, be vegan tomorrow, just for one day, or for the month of November, or for the rest of your life. Be a stubborn advocate for our planet, and tell everyone while you're doing it, why you're doing it. Raise consciousness, send web links, bake vegan cupcakes, force mainstream environmental groups to grapple with this core issue.

We can do it if we speak the truth, and we live the courage of our convictions, just as the generations before us have done on other seemingly insurmountable issues. Join me in this cause at think.TV online, or follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and together we can form a movement to restore balance to our Earth. Thank you.

MC (m): Now, thanks very much. Picking up on just what's being said, whilst many changes can begin with the individual, the citizen and the power of the people, and it's great, government leadership to help facilitate positive change, which benefits the people of our world is of great importance. And our next speaker, Mr. Jens Holm, a Member of the Swedish Parliament and an active environmentalist, will address us on policy change at national and EU level and awareness campaigns on reduced meat consumption.

Jens Holm (m): Thank you very much. My name is Jens Holm. I'm a Swedish Member of Parliament, representing the Left Party in the Swedish Parliament. I used to be a member of the European Parliament. You've seen this curve before, by Al Gore and others, and this curve shows the emissions of carbon dioxide. It's pretty scary when you look at this curve, what happens after the industrialized revolution. This is also the curve for other greenhouse gases, such as methane and others. This curve is almost as bad - this is the increase in meat production in the world.

And Dr. Ester van der Voet, she spoke very eloquently and with a lot of details about this before, so I won't stay here too long. I think also it's important to have, this background, that who is the biggest responsible for all these emissions, for the problem with the climate change. Well, if you look historically, we can see that it's the industrialized countries, it's the rich countries that are responsible for almost 80% of the emissions of the greenhouse gases in the world.

If you compare a rich country, probably the richest country in the world, USA, with one of the poorest, Bangladesh, we can see that every citizen in the US emits about 100 times more than a citizen of Bangladesh. So the change must start here, in the Western, in the developed, in the rich world, because we have caused this problem. “A Way Forward” - this is what I would like to share with you. When I was a member of the European Parliament, I tried to get the European Union to adopt a reduction target for meat consumption, as well as we have reduction targets for emissions of CO2. I think it's important to also set up a goal. We would like to reduce meat consumption, and we would like to reach this goal by that year, etc. Unfortunately, I did not manage to do that, but what I managed to do was, at least, to get the European Parliament to acknowledge the importance of the livestock industry as a major contributor of huge emissions of greenhouse gases; and I think that is, at least, a start.

If you don't acknowledge that the livestock industry is a huge problem for the environment and for the climate, well, then you don't have a possibility to solve the problem. My second big issue in the European Parliament was to try to abolish the EU meat subsidies. And Mr. Jokkala spoke about this before, and he mentioned that the European Union subsidizes the meat industry, with direct subsidies - this is not indirect subsidies, which go through fodder, etc. - with about 3 billion euros a year. This is a huge amount of money. And imagine what we could do with this big amount of money if we put it where it could cause some positive effect for the world, production of vegetarian foods, etc. This is still a huge problem which needs to be resolved.

And I urge all politicians on a national and on an EU level, continue to put pressure on these subsidies, because they are extremely counter-productive. In the Swedish Parliament, my party, the Left Party, released a bill just a couple of weeks ago, which is called, “Reduction of Meat Consumption Bill.” And that consists of a few important factors. The first is that we set up a reduction target of meat consumption. We would like to reduce the Swedish consumption of meat, with at least 25%, by 2020.

This is a very, very modest reduction, I have to acknowledge, but there is a lot of negotiations behind this target. But it is, at least, a reduction target. And you should bear in mind that in Sweden and in the whole world, meat consumption is increasing. So for the first time ever, we could have a curve where it's decreasing. We need an action plan to reduce meat consumption. That action plan needs, of course, to include the phase out of the subsidies to the meat industry. It could also include taxing meat. Personally, I think this is probably the most effective tool, if we put a price on what pollutes. Well, we do that in a lot of other aspects, but we don't do it with meat.

In Sweden, we have huge taxes on cigarettes and alcohol for instance - that is because we want the people to consume less of alcohol and tobacco, and I think that's excellent. But why don't we do the same with meat? If we do that with meat, I think it's important to use the money we raise from this meat tax, in order to subsidize, cut the VAT, for instance, on vegetables. So normal households, they should not be punished by such a tax. Vegetarian Mondays. It's coming along as a big thing in Sweden, and I'm very glad to hear that you do that in some places in the US; and I think, it all started in Flanders, in northern Belgium. We want the Swedish government to support the local authorities to adopt one vegetarian day a week. That would mean that in all schools, in all public facilities, vegetarian food should be the first option. In case you really insist, well you should be able to have your beef, but vegetarian food should be the default option.

Green public procurement. And I know this is also part of the Labor Parliamentary Bill. In all modern societies, the state and the local authorities and the regional authorities use a lot of money to purchase, for instance, food. In the case of Sweden, I think we use about 50 billion euros a year to purchase services, and half of it is food. If we could set up a target that 20, 25% at least should be vegetarian food, that would be a very strong instrument to use. And I think it's very important to, well, start somewhere, and that would be to eat less, or eat no meat whatsoever. Sometimes people ask me, “Why do you, as a politician, tell me as an individual what I should eat?” Well, actually, I think, the most important thing that we politicians can do is not to moralize about the lifestyle of individuals. I think the most important thing that we can do is to design rational system on a national level.

And when I came to my hotel room yesterday, I saw this publication and I can see it has the boat, the Titanic, on the cover. You remember Titanic, this “unsinkable” boat that sunk in 1912, I think it was, in April. By midnight, Titanic ran very quickly across the Atlantic Sea, ran into a huge iceberg; 1500 people died, only 700 were rescued. And I asked myself, “Was Titanic, was this ship, led by rational thinking?” No, I don't think so, because they knew there were a lot of icebergs out there in the Atlantic Sea. They knew they were driving far too fast, in spite of the warnings of iceberg, and what they did was that they were locking the bottom floors, where the poor people were traveling.

So, actually, the people at the bottom of Titanic, they were unable to leave the boat and to try to get rescued. And I think this could be an illustration of climate change. I think we are about at midnight right now, and we can choose whether we just run, all of us here, in the different directions, and we try to solve this problem on our own. Or, if we want the politics, politics that is guided by rational thinking and guided by collective action, for a common goal - and that common goal should be to solve the climate crisis. And then, I think, well, to reduce meat consumption, that's one of the, really, cornerstones of such a strategy. Thank you very much.

MC(m): Jens has been a member of the European Parliament and also in Sweden. And now we have a Member of Parliament in the UK, Kerry McCarthy. She is the Shadow Minister for the Treasury and she is going to speak about the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. Put your hands together please.

Kerry McCarthy (f): I've been vegetarian since 1981 and vegan since 1992, and I was first elected to Parliament in 2005. I was lucky in that the area I represent... I'm from a Bristol constituency, and Bristol is quite a vegan friendly place. It has a Bristol vegan fair each year, which is the largest vegan fair in Europe. So, in terms of my own constituents, there were as many people who thought it was great that I was vegan as people who would've objected to it. But the world of Westminster, you know, wasn't perhaps quite ready for me to be launched upon them. So it took me a few years before I actually started raising the issue in Parliament, and in the end, after a few years of waiting for someone else to do it, I had a Westminster Hall debate on the impact of livestock, of the environmental impact of the livestock sector.

I think I said in my opening remarks that I didn't think I was the person to do that, because people would think that I was coming at it from this sort of ethical vegan perspective rather than coming at it from the hard facts. But by the time I'd got up and did this debate, you'd had the UN report, “Livestock's Long Shadow,” which was an excellent piece of work, you'd had people like Raj Patel and his book “Stuffed and Starved” which was… Yes, lots of very hard empirical evidence that the livestock sector was having a major environmental impact. So in the debate, I raised all the issues that will have been mentioned today, will have been flagged up, you know, the fact that it takes eight kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef, the amount of water consumption that is used in the livestock sector, deforestation, greenhouse gasses, methane, and all those issues.

I felt like, when I did my debate in Parliament, which I think was about 2006, or 2007, I felt like I'd waited a long time to do it, because having been vegan for so long I was aware of organizations like Vegfam that had been campaigning away on the green aspects of veganism for a long time. But now it feels like I was sort of, in some ways, quite ahead of the curve. And now, it's just beginning to reach public attention. I spent two years as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary State for International Development, Douglas Alexander. And I do think that whole agenda... I mean, Jens has been talking about how we can campaign on this in Europe. It seems like there is a constant review of the common agricultural policy, but it really is up on the table over the next year or so, so we've got an ideal opportunity then, but we shouldn't neglect what's happening in the developing world.

And I've actually find it quite disturbing when I've gone to countries like say, Bangladesh. I remember going to a little village, and there are these free-range chickens running around, and then we went down the road in our car and I saw battery cages for the farmers. And they said, you know, “Look how far we've come. We've gone from just having a few little chickens and now we've gone all modern and we copying you and we've got all these hens in cages.” And I think, how we can sort of campaign on those issues and make sure that, you know, while we're trying to fight the battle for adopting a more environmentally friendly diet in this country and across Europe, we need to be trying to take that argument to the developing world too.

And issues like deforestation is absolutely massive. There are obviously issues to do with climate change and lack of water supply. And we've got to do it without damaging food security there. But I do think that the way forward is not to be trying to promote a Western-style consumption, Western-style livestock sector on those countries, and to try to make sure that as we bring our consumption down, as we move towards a more sustainable way of living, that we help them come to that level as well. Okay. Thanks.

MC (m): Thank you. So, earlier on today we heard about the rise and transfer of animal-borne diseases in factory farms to humans. Our next speaker, Tracy Worcester, will address other aspects of factory farms. Tracy Worcester is the Marchioness of Worcester, a filmmaker and an active environmental campaigner. She works very closely with the Soil Association and is patron of the International Society for Ecology and Culture.

Tracy Worcester(F): Hi. Now, my film, “Pig Business,” is about the corporate takeover of agriculture, and I use the pig industry as a microcosm and that's because people care deeply about animals and they don't want to see the cruelty. So it's my way into their hearts and minds so that I can show viewers how, in the name of so-called “free trade,” our politicians are giving direct and indirect subsidies to facilitate transnational companies to comb the globe for good investment climates. Now, by good investment climates for agribusiness, I mean cheap currencies, low wages, compliant governments with favorable tax incentives, lax environment and animal welfare standards, and poor standards at work.

For the world's largest pig company setting up in Poland was the best investment climate from which to dominate the EU markets. So the pig industry copied the chicken industry and crammed pigs into tiny sheds. Now, in most European countries, the mother pig is in a cage her entire life and she can't even turn around. The fattening pigs are raised on concrete slats so that the feces can drop through for convenience. Now, to prevent their frustration from boredom, they bite each other's tails. So to prevent this, the factory farm operators cut off their tails, but it's done automatically. Now, this practice is illegal in the EU, but it's ignored by 80% of the farmers who are forced to break the law to keep up with the big giants in this cutthroat economy. Now the biodegrading feces in these large sheds, in vast lagoons and spread on fields, emit a toxic cocktail that affects the health of the workers and those living downstream.

Scientific reports say that these gases cause serious respiratory and neurological illnesses. In March this year, a Missouri court awarded $825,000 each to people sickened by a nearby pig factory farm. The untreated waste finds itself into the water table and pollutes the drinking water. It then goes on to pollute the rivers and the sea where it causes nutrient overload and massive fish kills. Now, in these cramped conditions the animals are also extremely sick, not the least because the baby pigs are weaned from their mothers at three weeks old when their immune system is not strong. They, therefore, have to be given antibiotics to keep them alive. Now, the bacteria mutate to become resistant to the antibiotics, thus creating superbugs. Now These are released into the natural environment and to the neighboring people.

The most terrifying monster bugs are E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter, and the pig strain of MRSA. In the Netherlands 40% of the pigs and 50% of the farmers carry this pig strain of MRSA, and 30% of the MRSA in their hospitals is the pig strain. Now, our “free trade” laws stop us from saying, “No, we don't want to import pork from countries that have the pig strain of MRSA.” And worse than this too, actually, is that this cheap pork coming into our countries has actually ensured that our farms have to get bigger, shoving more pigs into these farms and therefore necessitating even more antibiotics. So we will be breeding our own pig strain of MRSA.

So, to feed the pigs - we have already heard this - soya is imported from South America, thus depriving local people of land to feed themselves - depleting their water, denuding their forests, increasing CO2 emissions, and polluting the environment with pesticides. The land grab to grow soya to feed pigs has exacerbated the migration of landless people into city slums. Now destitute, they serve as perfect investment climates for big business to soak up cheap labor. So, pursuing continuous economic growth on a finite planet fuels volatility in food markets with rising prices and food shortages. Unless regions become more self sufficient in food, we will see more food riots, more famine.

Now, the UK is a very small, very overpopulated island so our politicians should take food out of the global free trade treaties, encourage regional production for regional consumption by protecting our farmers in a volatile economy. We need to support our grass roots of informed consumers who keep their money in their locality by supporting local farmers, by buying fresh produce from local small-scale shops and farmer's markets. They cover the extra costs by reducing meat consumption and moving to an organic-based plant diet. Now, my film is actually on YouTube, but you can also pick one up. So, please take it to your work, show it to your friends, and spread the message. Thank you.

MC(m): Thank you. Our final speaker in this session is Dr. Joel Fuhrman. For those of us who were here earlier, he gave a lovely and informative keynote speech. For those who weren't, he is on the Board of Directors of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and Director of Research for the Nutritional Research Project based at the National Health Association in the US.

Joel Fuhrman(m): Thank you. I just would like to give you a feel for the impact that nutritional excellence can have on lessening healthcare costs and reducing morbidity and mortality, and putting together an opportunity for people to have better health than was ever before available in human history. We have an opportunity here. We're at a precipice: we can go down the road we are heading, and the road we are heading is increased obesity, increased diabetes, increased risk of cancer, increased risk of autoimmune conditions.

And it's predicted that the diabetic epidemic is going to double in the next 25 years, and breast cancer is going to affect more women at younger and younger ages if the present dietary practice is continued. So that's kind of scary. The word “healthy life expectancy” means the quality of your life, not just how long you're going to live but whether you have a life, that's whether you are fit, youthful, and can enjoy your life to the fullest. And healthcare spending has been shown not to enable people to have a better healthy life expectancy.

In other words, we don't get a better life expectancy because we have better access to medical care. In fact, in proportion to the money spent on medical care, the healthy life expectancy goes down. In other words, if we look at various countries around the world and see how much money they expend per person, per capita, on healthcare, we find that the more money spent on drugs, on medical care and doctors, the worse the healthy life expectancy score - means the poorer quality of life people have in their later years. In America, they spend double the amount of money on healthcare and, of course, they have the worst healthy life expectancy score of any of 27 modern industrialized countries. UK falls in the middle somewhere of course, but they also have a relatively poor healthy life expectancy score. The numbers spent on medical care doesn't correlate very well.

But within the United States we can find that if we target areas within the US where the most money is available, and the most money is spent on drugs, physicians, and medical care access, the healthy life expectancy score goes down in direct proportion. In other words, we're over-medicating ourselves. We're getting too much medical procedures, and in doing so, we're hurting ourselves. The answer, of course, is to target people that are the largest utilizers of healthcare costs and let them know they don't have to be sick, they don't have to suffer, and they don't have to die prematurely.

They can reverse their disease and they can be well. We're finding out that about 90% of the healthcare dollar is spent on 10% of the sickest people who have chronically generative illnesses - these diseases of nutritional extravagance and nutritional ignorance. So, of course, people with three risk characteristics, high cholesterol, overweight, and high blood pressure. By the way, those account for more than a half of all elderly people have those characteristics, over the age of 65. And in those people, healthcare costs are more than three times the average cost per person. So, of course healthcare costs are increasing, and the amount of people that are becoming overweight and becoming diabetic are increasing as well.

Expenditures on prescription drugs alone grew 40% from 2005 to 2010 - 40% just within a 5-year period. And about 50% of the population in the UK are overweight. In America, by my standards, it's about 90% of the population is presently overweight. You can account for the people who are not overweight by the amount of people who smoke cigarettes, who have autoimmune conditions, digestive disorders, or alcoholics or depressed, or have acute cancers. If we plot the amount of calories from unrefined plant foods consumed in any population, we can find that the diseases of nutritional ignorance - heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancers - go down in direct proportion; that the amount of vegetation and vegetable consumption goes up, a direct inverse correlation.

And I did those statistics on almost every country in the world and showed a direct correlation. However, you can't make those statistical arguments today, because now we've exported the fast food industry, the processed food industry, the junk food industry, and the meat and dairy industry all over the world, today. And there's literally almost no areas in the world today that are anywhere near eating a diet where 90% of food comes from natural plant foods. So, in any case, right now we can take nutritional science and these advances and apply it to people.

And as a physician, myself and my physician colleagues, we work very hard to take care of sick people. And over the last 25 years, finding people that have these diseases, including allergies and asthmas and headaches and digestive disorders and autoimmune diseases like Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, and we find that when we use nutritional excellence and we use the micronutrient and phytochemical revolution, the recent advances in nutritional science, to give people superior nutrition or optimal nutrition, they can make dramatic recoveries and reversals of diseases that are more powerful than drugs.

So, compelling data from nutritional studies, population studies, interventional studies and epidemiologic studies show that heart disease and diabetes, and even cancer, are not the inevitable consequence of aging. They are not predominately genetics. Nutritional and environmental factors overwhelm genetics, and we have the power now to target people and to teach them the way they can have great health never before achievable.

So a nutritarian food pyramid, my nutritarian food pyramid, targets the food with the most powerful therapeutic effects to reverse disease and puts it at the base of the pyramid; and that means vegetables. The phytochemical revolution means that vegetables, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, nuts, and seeds and whole grains, when supplying 90% of the caloric intake, can wipe out most chronic diseases affecting our whole world today. So the nutritarian pyramid… The word “nutritarian” focuses on the food with the highest micronutrient density. Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. And animal products and processed foods do not contain antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, like vitamin E, like folate, like bioflavonoids, the carotenoids, lutein, lycopene, cryptoxanthin…

Like folate, lutein makes green vegetables green, carotene makes them orange, lycopene makes them red. We can check a person's blood level for lutein and it gives us a good indication of how much green vegetables they're eating. And there's no other factors in the blood that determines the risk of longevity and freedom from disease as from a level of lutein in the blood stream from how much green vegetables they eat. Green vegetables are… these are superfoods. Natural plant foods are the super foods that arm our body, a miraculous self-healing, right? self-protecting, disease-fighting body. It arms it with the fuel it needs to protect itself.

The human stomach only holds about a liter of food. When you are eating plant foods - like beans and mushrooms and berries and nuts and carrots and vegetables - made in delicious ways, you can't fit that many calories in at one time. You can only fit about 400 calories in. It's impossible to become overweight eating natural plant foods. The only way you could have become obese, like half our population is today… right, Fifty percent of the population in UK is overweight now. The obese means more than a third higher than average weight. In other words, more than one-and-a-half times normal body weight, you're obese. In America, about 35% of our population is obese already. You wouldn't have an obesity epidemic if people didn't have access to so much processed foods and animal products.

Vegetables can't make a person obese. You can't fit that many calories into your stomach. You have to concentrate those calories with sugar, with oil, with animal products to fit thousands of calories in one meal. So if you lived on a desert island somewhere, right, and you had to eat natural foods that were from the ground, or from nature, there couldn't be overweight people. When you eat a diet that's rich in micronutrients, when we focus on eating a healthy diet, rich in natural plant foods, you naturally lose weight and you don't desire as much food because the micronutrients send signals neurologically up to the brain, reducing your appetite or desire to overeat. So I'm claiming here that micronutrient deficits fuel overeating behaviors.

It makes people consume more calories. It makes them desire more calories. There are no antioxidants and phytochemicals in animals products, and none in processed foods. So, that's 90% of our intake of calories in the modern world, is foods that do not contain sufficient micronutrient load. When you don't reach micronutrient adequacy, we feel sick, confused, and weak when we are not constantly putting excess calories in our mouth. And when people try to stop eating these dangerous disease-causing junk foods, they feel ill as well, and they're forced to constantly eat food all the time, and overeat, just to keep their energy level up because they can't feel well, because they are not adequately nourished with micronutrients.

The secret to the obesity epidemic, to the disease epidemic, is to eat a diet rich in micronutrients. This study done on a high micronutrient diet show the average person lost 53 pounds and nobody gained the weight back. They didn't yo-yo their weight. They lost the weight and they kept it off, because it was a knowledge-based program. They did it for their health, not just for their weight. Now with that, we've studied diabetics, and all the diabetic patients put on the high-nutrient diet were able to come off diabetic medications within six months. They became non-diabetic.

Could you imagine if we applied this to the modern world, what it would do to the healthcare costs? When these people that eat turn to a healthy diet, they don't just feel better, their moods lift, they feel better emotionally, they look younger, their skin looks better, they age slower and they have a happier life.

Nutrition, of course, is the secret to… That's where the medical care of the future needs to go. It's the fountain of youth. When you follow a plant-based diet, rich in micronutrients with vegetables and beans and mushrooms and onions, which all have particular and specific ingredients, which target the cells' repair mechanisms to increase DNA repair from broken cross-links that could lead to cancer, these foods have healing properties to protect the body against the diseases that ravage modern society. The World Health Organization conference concluded that households should select predominantly plant-based diets, rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses, beans, legumes and minimally processed starchy staple foods. We have the answer, now we have to apply it.

MC (m): Thank you. MC (m): Right, We have a small period of time for questions and it's a great panel that we've got here, so if you'd like to ask a question, perhaps you could raise your hand.

Miles Newman (m): Question to Lisa, really: You alluded to influencing your colleagues in the media. Given their very short attention span, do you have any sort of real thoughts about how you can do that and how you can sustain the discussion of these sorts of things within the media?

Lisa Bloom (f): Yes, the media in the States and here, to some extent, is consumer-driven. So they say, “We need to have endless coverage of a star,” because that's what people want. Right? That's what we're told, and when I go to news directors and say, “Why are we not talking about climate change?” I'm told, “That is not what the consumer wants.”

And so the reason why I wrote my book “Think” is to change the consumer preferences, that each of us when we buy a tabloid magazine instead of a real newspaper, we're contributing to the problem. Each time we turn on a stupid reality show instead of a serious news program, we are contributing to the problem. So it's not enough for us to simply say, “Well, it's the media's fault,” when the media is essentially giving the consumers what we want, and we have to focus on what is meaningful. We have to teach our children to focus on what's meaningful and patronize the outlets that give us the stories.

They are out there. In the United States, it's the New York Times, National Public radio, BBC America. Here, of course, you have some very good news outlets, those are the ones you should be patronizing.

Geoff Beacon (m): I attended a peak oil group in Parliament the other day. One of the talks was from a biological professor that does some GM work. Very interested in making maize better and things like that. But the issue is: Can you really grow much more by intense horticulture, you might call it, rather than by farming, even if it's organic farming?

Tracy Worcester (f): As far as I'm concerned, if you see a film called “The Power of Community,” it's about Cuba, and how they were deprived of petroleum, and therefore petroleum-based fertilizer. And basically, they're growing food in the hinterland of their cities and their food is a very, very high quality; and a lot of people have jobs. And it's not very expensive. But what it's about is having labor back on the land. Because very often, they have companion farming so that you have plants that the insects don't like, so the insects don't go near the main lot of plants. You don't need pesticides, you don't need fertilizer, because they use the manure from the oxen, so it is a completely cyclical process, and that's what we need to look at.

MC (m): Thank you very much.

CAPTIONProf. Jefferson Cardia SimõesDirector, Brazilian National Institute for Cryospheric SciencesJefferson Simoes(m): It's clear that, nowadays, the greatest part of the deforestation, biomass burning in South America comes from the expansion of the cash crops and cattle farming. The important thing, I think, is that we must examine into values, the scale of values that we have about our experiencing this planet.

If you don't change that, if you don't think in different ways about consumption, of producing energy, firstly, we are not going to control this kind of global pollution. Second, it's becoming day by day more socially unfair, where a small part of the population consumes too much and the greater part doesn't consume it and, at the same time, suffers the consequence of global climatic change.

MC (m): The challenge of change on a global level can be great, but the benefits do not only provide great motivation, but also to the answer to many of the crises facing us. Our next speaker, Dr. Patrick Brown, is a professor of biochemistry at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, U.S.A. He's received numerous awards, including the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor, and is an elected member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine. So please put your hands together for Patrick Brown.

Dr Patrick Brown (m): Well, first of all I want to thank the WPF and the organizers for inviting me to this meeting, and putting it together. I've certainly learned a tremendous amount today. It's hard to really add much to what we've already heard. I'm going to try to slip in a couple of sort of factual points. One of the challenges that we have to wrestle with when we talk about making possible changes to diet or agriculture for environmental reasons is that we still need to feed the world population.

And those animals that humans are raising for food, they make up about 20% of the biomass, the animal biomass on the surface of the planet, and feeding them requires more than 30% of the land area of the planet. Now, one of the corollaries of devoting 30% of the surface of the planet to raising animals is that, historically, land that was covered with forest or scrubland or savanna or prairies had to be cleared so that it could be used for grazing or crop cultivation to produce feed crops to feed the animals.

And this is a map showing the areas that have been converted, again from their original vegetation, to farmlands for cultivating crops. The red and yellow represent areas where feed crops are the primary crops being raised, and you can see that in most of the developed world in the northern hemisphere, the crop cultivation isn't crops to feed humans; it's to feed that huge population of animals that we bring along with us. In order to produce that land for farming and grazing, clearing of the land released a massive amount of carbon into the atmosphere that was originally in the plant biomass, in the soils - 150 billion metric tons, historically. Each year, as of this year, we produce about 9 billion metric tons of carbon released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.

So basically, if you if you do the math, simple math, the historical land use change amounts to the greenhouse gas equivalent of 17 years' worth of fossil fuel emissions. The portion of that land that was cleared for animal farming represents 12 to 13 years' worth of fossil fuel emissions. And the happy ending is that what this means is actually something, a point, that wasn't really addressed when we talk about the need for rapidly doing something that will address greenhouse gases, not over the next hundred years but over the next decade or two. This provides a means for very rapid actual reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the opportunity is sort of illustrated by this graph that you've probably seen a hundred times, and every time you look at it, the striking thing is it's just shooting up. This represents atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over a period of 30 or so years.

That's what draws your eye, but what I want to focus on is that it's not continuously going up. In fact every year during the spring and summer in the northern hemisphere, where there's the greatest amount of vegetation, the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere shoot down actually very rapidly. Basically, that's because plants convert carbon dioxide into biomass, and we have, by clearing land for agriculture, there's a huge opportunity cost in terms of that activity. Any land that we allow to recover its normal vegetation will immediately be soaking up CO2 and converting it into biomass and soil carbon stores effectively.

The problem here is that these periods where the CO2 is being pulled out of the air are more than matched by the CO2 generated by burning fossil fuels. But if we could take advantage of this CO2-lowering ability by allowing more lands to convert CO2 into biomass, that would allow potentially a very rapid lowering of CO2 concentrations. And we have, effectively you could say, if we took all the land that was currently used for animal farming and immediately just said let it revert to its native cover, effectively we would get like 12 years' worth of complete negating the carbon dioxide rises from fossil fuel burning. Okay, And, of course, there's the methane story, which you already heard a lot about.

Now, when I talk about this subject with my colleagues, the first question I always get is, “Well, even if you could imagine that happening, then you'd have the problem of producing enough protein to feed the world, and that would probably require more land to be cleared for farming.” Well, that's actually nonsense. It turns out that the current world production of just four crops - soya beans, corn, wheat and rice - that require less than 4% of the Earth's surface area to produce, contain more protein and calories than all human beings eat today, every year, and way more protein and calories than they need to eat; but that's another story. So, there's an interesting opportunity: replacing meat with plant-derived sources of proteins to the degree that you would reduce the land area required to feed the population and allow recovery of biodiversity and carbon capture ability; reduce it by more than 80%.

In other words, we'd recover about 25% of the total surface area of the planet, we'd get back for whatever purposes we wanted to use it - carbon capture or solar energy or recreation, or just leaving it alone and letting it grow. That's a lot of land, okay. So, you don't need any meat or dairy products to completely satisfy the nutritional needs of the entire human population with current production. This is just last year, the American Dietetic Association, which is sort of the scientific organization studies nutrition in the US, had a position paper that stated that vegetarian diets, including vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate… may provide health benefits; and that's true for every stage of the life cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, athletes, you name it. No problem.

This is actually a wonderfully researched and written paper on climate change last year that modeled the economics of mitigating CO2 or other greenhouse gases to reach the target stabilization pathway that's more or less internationally agreed upon, even though no one is really doing anything about it. But the point that they make is that if you eliminated all animal foods from the diet, you would save 80% of the cost of stabilizing CO2 at the level that most governments, I think including the UK, have accepted as a reasonable target, and that amounts to tens of billions of dollars saved for the global economy. So you're actually talking about something that is a pocketbook issue for your constituents. Is it realistic?

You already heard a reference to the kind of historical model of tobacco smoking. Basically, what happened about 50 years ago was slowly society, including the political powers that be, accepted that smoking actually had net deleterious effect on the welfare of their societies and decided to take a variety of strategic actions to reduce smoking, the most effective of which, I think pretty much everyone agrees, are increasing the cost of it by raising taxes and making it harder to do by restricting places where you can smoke and so forth. But, at any rate, the effect has meant to take something - that actually, I think, has a lot of parallels to meat eating, namely, it's a completely unnecessary, but for many people, very pleasurable habit, that their people are reluctant to give up.

And another parallel is it's supported by a very powerful industry with very powerful lobbies, probably, in the British Parliament - certainly in the US Congress - that will do just about anything to try to prevent change. Nevertheless, it worked. Basically, I think that plant-based foods are more than an order of magnitude cheaper to produce nutritionally equivalent products than meat. It would be relatively easy to make it more economically advantageous for people to change their diets. And the last thing I want to mention is sort of another little economics thing, which is that one of the most price sensitive purchases that consumers make is purchases of meat. Meaning that, I think raising the price would have a real incentive effect for people's diets and for industries to develop, to provide, alternative foods that people could afford.

MC(m): Our next speaker is Anthony Kleanthous. What are the some of the practical steps we can take to bring about sustainable consumption and how can governments and industry facilitate this? Anthony Kleanthous is a Senior Policy Adviser on Sustainable Business and Economics at the WWF. He is founder of the Sustainability Consultancy “Here Tomorrow” and a registered adviser to the UK Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Please put your hands together.

Anthony Kleanthous (m): Thank you very much. Good afternoon, I know you've had a lot of data thrown at you today, a lot of information, and it's a very complex and very difficult issue fraught with dilemmas, I think, this whole question of eating less meat. And as a meat lover myself, I do recognize that it's , you know a very hard thing to countenance this idea that we all need to change our diets, but we do. It's very important that we eat less meat, and I'm going to begin with just a couple of charts, going right back up to the top and explaining why we need to take a systemic view on this. Not just to look at the way that we produce what we consume, but to ask ourselves, “Are we consuming the right things and are we handling the things that we consume in the right kind of way and what do we need to do to change?”

So I'll move on to talk a little bit about what the impacts of food consumption are, if you haven't heard enough of that already, and finally to talk about some of the responses and priorities that I believe we, as a society, should be placing and what we can expect from our politicians. I think the problem here is that our consumption of foods, of fossil fuels, of many of the things that we consider essential for daily life, is actually eating up our own planet. If this room were full of bankers, I'd be talking about principals and loans, and you know, everybody has savings.

What we are doing is we are spending our savings; we are not living off the interest that those savings accrue. And if you look at this chart here - WWF produces every year something called, “The Living Planet Report,” and there are two really key charts in there. The first one shows our global ecological footprint. So this is a measure, if you divided up everything that we consume and allocated a parcel of land to it, how much land or other resources, like atmosphere, would be required? And that little dotted line that you see running along the middle there, that represents one Earth.

So, in 1961 we were consuming about 60% of all of the resources that the Earth can renew within a single year. Now, come the middle of September, we've already used up all of the resources that the planet can provide to us in one year. So we're 50% above sustainability at a planetary level. And of course, closely linked to that, we are in the midst of one of the great mass extinctions this planet has ever known. We have lost 30% of the biodiversity on this planet in just 40 years. And in the tropics, we're talking about 60% declines in biodiversity. That is completely “uncountenanceable,” if that's a word. I mean, that just cannot continue. If it does, we won't have anything to eat and we won't have anything to fuel our economy.

Food is one of the three greatest impacts on our environment. This chart shows the share of foods and other areas of consumption in terms of our global ecological footprints. And housing is a big one, slightly bigger than food, according to this chart. Transport is smaller. Food is the second, some say the most, demanding product, ecologically speaking that we produce - 23% of our global ecological footprint, and by the way, about the same amount of our greenhouse gas footprint. In fact, if you look at the UK's emissions related to what we consume, not just with what we produce locally, but what we import from abroad, and you take into account the land use change, the clearing of forests for example, to support the meat and other products that we eat, that figure goes up from 20% of carbon emissions to 30% of carbon emissions. And within the food chain, all the way from primary production all the way through to consumption, agriculture accounts for 40% of those impacts, which doesn't mean that we should just focus on production by the way, because what we consume multiplies each one of those impacts.

And, as we've heard today, you know meat and dairy really are the primary concern here. They account for 60-80% of direct agricultural impacts - around three quarters of all the land use change in the world. We've heard about 1 kilogram of beef taking up so much water, and so much more carbon dioxide than plant-based materials. It takes up a lot more land as well, because you have to spread the cows out and the other animals out. And 80% of the world's soya is consumed by animals. Now, what does this mean? Practically speaking on the ground, it means that biodiverse habitats like this, the “Cerrado de Brazil,” which contains 5% of the world's biodiversity, is being turned quite rapidly into landscapes that look like this.

This is intensive soya production, and it is there essentially to feed our insatiable appetite for meats and for dairy products, because this grain is fed to cows and it is fed to pigs and it is fed to chickens. So we are responsible for taking up about 400 square meters of this land ourselves every year. This is the Cerrado as it was a few decades ago only, and this is what it looks like today, and we're still talking about 5% of the world's biodiversity. So imagine the destruction that we have wrought up until now. We have to stop that destruction, and we have to ask ourselves: Are the diets that we aspire to and have become used to eating in rich, industrialized nations, like our own, the way forward?

This is a typical American family and what they consume within a week. It is absolutely loaded with processed foods and with meats. Now, I don't personally subscribe to the view that the reason poor people start eating more meat when they get rich is because they want to be like Americans or like the British. I just think you know it's a luxury part of every culture. When you get rich, it's a status symbol. It's something you consider very special, you eat more of it; of course you do. And as the world gets richer, as we grow our population to 9 billion people, and as the average income is set to rise, our impact is going to rise accordingly.

If we do move towards these high-meat diets like we have in the West, if the whole of the world does that, we're going to need more like three planets to support us, rather than the one and a half or so that we're currently eating our way through. But, if we are prepared to switch to diets more like they have in Malaysia, which is much lower in processed food, in meat and in dairy products, but is still a very healthy diet, we can get ourselves back down more like to one-planet living. We did a study recently in association with the Food Climate Research Network that actually ran scenarios looking at the different solutions: efficient use of energy, changing the way that we consume, changing production methods, changing the way we generate electricity.

And we asked to what extent could each of these scenarios lead us towards 70% reductions in carbon emissions by 2050, which is what we believe are required. And the fact is, you can't lose any of them, really. You know, You've got to do all of them. And consumption - which at the moment really is an unmentionable word across the Atlantic, if not quite so much here - we've got to start thinking about it. So, where should we focus our priorities? Well, obviously we have to eliminate waste. I mean, we waste around 40% of the food we produce at the moment. That is ridiculous. And by the way, the spoilage of food is one of the reasons why famines occur.

I also have been to Ethiopia and I've seen what happens straight after the harvest; there is an abundance of food. The problem is that a few months down the line, without refrigeration, without decent transport to take that food to market, it's gone, and people begin to starve. We need to eliminate waste completely, because we need to mimic nature and there is no waste in nature. Secondly, we have got to reduce our meat and dairy consumption, and in particular, we need to avoid processed meats, which are much worse for the environment and much worse for health.

And we need to eat locally in-season fruits and vegetables, far greater proportions to those in our diets. Reducing meat and dairy consumption, particularly intensively produced imported and processed meats, consumers need to have the right products available to them on the supermarket shelves. They need to be responsibly produced; they need to be clearly labeled; they need to be appropriately priced, and by “appropriately priced,” I mean the true cost of producing these foods should be reflected in the end price; they need guidance on how to choose it, buy it, store it, cooking it. Up to half of the carbon emissions go into cooking the foods.

And we need some political leadership. We have to vote in politicians who are prepared to face up to these very obvious and very urgent and very important challenges. So, for example, we need to change dietary advice to the public so that it's not just saying how much protein we need, how much fat we need, but where we should derive this stuff from and what the effects are going to be on the environment. We need to shift the way that we pay our taxes and charge our taxes, away from things like hard work, for example income tax. Why not shift that onto taxing highly polluting, highly damaging environmental activities? There doesn't need to be a change in the overall tax system, we just need to send the right signals in the right directions.

We need to stop subsidizing intensive agriculture at… You know, it's crazy that a packet of popcorn costs less than an ear of natural corn. You know why is that? It's because oil is free, and if producing food is about turning oil into food, which is what it's become, it makes no sense just to allow people to extract oil from the ground and pollute the atmosphere without charging them for it. So we need to shift our subsidies, we need to shift taxes, we need to purchase responsibly. And finally, we need to work with the retailers and the processors altogether.

We have a process at WWF called, “Tasting the Future,” where we've actually invited people from governments, all but one of the big supermarkets are there, big food producers, academics, people from civil society, and we are working together to look at the systemic barriers: “What's actually stopping us doing this?” and “Why can't we even talk about it?” And now we're talking about it. We're working on solutions and I very much hope to be standing here in a year or two's time and showing you some of the results of that work. And if it does work, hopefully we can turn this, back into this on an ongoing basis. Thank you very much.

MC(m): Our penultimate speaker is Pat Thomas. One of the best-known initiatives for reducing our emissions footprint through reduced meat consumption is Meat Free Mondays. Pat Thomas is Meat Free Mondays' scientific advisor, former editor of the Ecologist.

Pat Thomas (f): Thank you. I agree with Anthony, there's been an awful lot of information today - lots to take in, lots of predictions, lots of scenarios and graphs and charts and facts to digest - but to my mind, the one thing that's missing is the public, the end user, the consumer.

People like you and me who, when we're finished setting the world to rights today, could be dragging our groceries home on the bus or the tube, or looking forward to doing the big Saturday shop, and wondering what to cook that will inspire peace to break out at the dinner table. And that need for peace at the dinner table becomes increasingly tricky when you start saying to people, “You know what, you need to eat a whole lot less of your favorite food from now on,” it's a big ask, but if you don't ask, you don't get, and so we are asking, at Meat Free Monday And I need to acknowledge here that Meat Free Monday is just one of a number of meat reduction campaigns all over the world, from America to Australia, from Brazil to Belgium.

In the UK, the idea coalesced after our founder, Paul McCartney, read “Livestock's Long Shadow.” But, even while recognizing that Livestock's Long Shadow falls in some cases spectacularly short of making the sort of sensible recommendations that will alter its figures substantially and produce a sustainable global food system, it was a revelation. Paul's interest and commitment in this area is well established. He is, famously, a vegetarian; he is an organic farmer; he is a campaigner for animal rights, and yet what he was reading wasn't written by vegetarians or organic farmers or animal rights activists; it was written by scientists working for an international agency, people who had no real personal or ethical investment in whether or not any of us ate meat or not. He knew we had to do something and he also knew it was not going to be an easy sell.

As nations get richer, meat consumption, rather like oil consumption, is seen as a sign of progress and a sign of affluence. It's not unlike owning a big car - eating a lot of meat sends a cultural message, the finer points of which we barely even question, that say, “Look how well I'm doing. Look how well I can afford to feed my family.” But in the last few years, a convergence of research in the fields of environment, climate change, and health have shown that being a “meat guzzler” is just as unsustainable as being a “gas guzzler.”

And so, 18 months ago, Meat Free Monday was born in the UK. Our strategy is simple: we provide information, but we also provide inspiration. We do not browbeat, we do not harangue. We provide support through our various media outlets. We provide amazing recipes for people to try, some of them by very well known chefs, and in this way, changing your diet becomes as much an act of joyous kitchen experimentation and creativity as it does an act of climate activism. And perhaps most importantly, you don't need to be a vegetarian or a vegan to belong. Meat Free Monday is an inclusive campaign that encourages everyone to weigh the evidence for themselves and to do their bit, and it's working.

Our supporter base is growing daily: our Facebook site is a lively community for sharing thoughts, support and recipes. We've even taken the campaign to a special session at the European Parliament to make a plea for meat reduction to be taken seriously as a policy goal. At its Bavarian headquarters, sports manufacturer Puma offers its 10,000 employees an opportunity to go meat free on Mondays. Supermarket Ocado promotes our message to its customers via its website. The Hard Rock Café now has a special Meat Free Monday menu. In the US, the cities of San Francisco, Washington DC, and Baltimore are joining Sao Paulo in Brazil, encouraging people to go meat free one day a week, and many of these people are responding to the climate imperative, but of course there are health benefits too.

According to modeling carried out by the British Heart Foundation for Friends of the Earth in the UK, eating meat no more than two or three times a week would prevent 31,000 premature deaths through heart disease, 9,000 from cancer, and 5,000 from stroke in this country. Even former President Bill Clinton has publicly cut meat from his diet in order to improve his health. People who are reducing their meat consumption are making an ethical decision. They're also making a rational decision to protect the future. They are not waiting for the government to act, but this doesn't mean that government is exempt from action. Indeed, government is at risk of falling dangerously behind public opinion in this area.

Research for DEFRA in 2006 found most people unwilling to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy in order to cut their environmental footprint. But in a few short years, this attitude has changed Substantially. Now, nearly 40% of us in the UK are calling ourselves meat reducers or meat avoiders, and this in just a few short years. We are the ones with the simple common sense to say, “If you find out that something you're doing is bad for you, stop doing it.” Government must act and government can act as a thought leader, for instance, making sense of the huge flood of data that is coming in every day, even if it doesn't like where it's leading.

And it has a duty to act on that data in the same way that it has a duty to act on the data about climate change, and government must also lead by example. There is an early day motion, EDM 669 before the government at the moment, which asks for the houses of parliament to have one meat free day a week. There is a great deal of work to do in this area. Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest we get started. Thank you.

MC(m): Thank you very much. We now have our last speaker, and we do appreciate it has been a long day with a lot of speakers, but they've all been good. There's an awful lot of food for thought in those speeches. So, here is our final one. This is Wally Fry, who is the owner of Fry's Vegetarian Food Company and nominee for the 2010 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the World Award, which is no mean feat. So, Mr. Fry, over to you.

Wally Fry (m): Thank you. Good afternoon, everybody. I come to you from a slightly different point of view. We've heard a lot of very, very expert information being delivered to us today. Today, it's more about a personal story that I've been asked to speak about, and maybe by delivering that story, some industrialists or some people may derive inspiration also to embark on a similar route.

So, this story takes place over some 24 years, and way back then, my wife and I had an awakening of the intellect, and we could see these graphs and figures already 24 years ago, and we decided to do something about it. So my name, as they've already said, is Wally Fry. I'm the CEO and the co-founder of Fry's Vegetarian. We're a manufacturer of vegan, frozen meat analogues, or alternatives, if you like to call them that.

Twenty-one years ago, my wife Debbie and I - she's sitting in the audience over here -quit the construction industry by closing our rather successful construction company and starting a quest to develop meat alternatives with a view to supplying friends and organizations, aligned with our burning desire to curb mass slaughter and factory farming for the very reasons we've seen today, being the basis of much harm to the environment. We were, I believe, divinely inspired, to the extent that, without any formal education or experience in food formulation, we were able to develop a small range of absolutely unique products, quite amazingly delicious, and very sought after by all who ever tried them. From our construction office, we strived to make 7 kilograms of products a day for friends and family.

Today, 22 years down the passage of time, we will strive to produce 7,000 tons of our food products, exported to some 17 countries in the world. These products, by the way, are sold both in mainstream and in smaller organic type shops. Now, this directly relates to the saving of hundreds of thousands - no, possibly millions - of factory farmed animals from slaughter. And I guess this small measure of success qualified me to speak on the subject of why and how I believe industry can successfully change to accommodate the ethos of environmental compassion.

Now, from those humble beginnings, where Debbie, my partner and my rock and my wife, and I ran that factory single handed, weighing ingredients, operating machines, packing products and freezing them, washing up the small factory, and even loading of refrigerator transport. The passion for the moral cause was so strong, and the love for what we were doing so huge, that great financial and physical hardships were overcome. Today, the whole family, all of whom are vegetarians by the way, are involved passionately following the same cause. We now employ some 350 staff members, all lovingly producing 15 product lines, which are approved by the vegetarian and vegan societies of the United Kingdom.

They're approved Kosher Pareve, which means it contains no milk and no meat. They are approved Halal. They're approved Shuddha, which is an approval by the Hindu Association, meaning “pure,” containing no flesh. And not only is it approved by all of the above, but it is produced from 100% GM-free crops - we make absolutely sure of this. It contains no added preservatives or artificial colorants. And all of this takes place in our world-class energy efficient factory, where our management systems and facility are certified ISO 22000, which is a worldwide recognized food safety endorsement. As a matter of interest, we've just heard about Meat Free Mondays. Fry's Vegetarian are now the initiators and the drivers and the soul funders of the Meat Free Monday campaign in Southern Africa.

It's doing very well by the way; it's gaining momentum like wildfire. We have heard much of the facts and figures and scientific studies and dedicated work from our esteemed and learned speakers. It would thus be improper for me, an ordinary person, like me, to suggest ways and means with factual analysis both economic and environmental, for modern-day industrialists, by way of advice.

But what is interesting though is that the financial credit crunch can be so closely aligned with the pending environmental credit crunch that industrialists and businesses alike would do well to note that, according to reliable sources - and we've had some of it a moment ago - we are currently in debt to the planet to the extent that we need about 1.4 Earths to fund our activities and have crossed our credit boundaries with biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, and fresh water use and land system changes. We've already crossed those boundaries.

The time has, therefore, come for industrialists across the spectrum - not only in food production - to make changes. I'm acknowledging though, that food production is of major concern. Now, the intellect is part of our humanness that differentiates us from animals and trees. An intellectual is not an academic, by the way. The American Red Indians, for example, were powerfully intellectual, yet they were not academics. The intellect is part of consciousness, which, if we listen to it, tells us the difference between right action and not so right action. I'm referring to right and wrong in the universal sense of the creation of all living organisms, not in terms of laws laid down by politicians governing our social behavior. It is a human gift of reasoning, supposedly helping us from following blindly the trends and tendencies and actions of other humans, even when they are leading us down the road to ruin.

Now, how does this relate to industry? Our minds desire profit, and in so doing mind power dominates the intellect in exercising our rights to free will. But if this discerning intellect is allowed space to speak to us industrialists - I say “us” because I am one - it will show us that pollution we are causing; that forest we are destroying; that river strangled by effluent; those gases that come from the cars we build; those cows, sheep, and pigs and chickens in their factory farm horrors; those polar bears drowning; those rhinoceroses shot dead to take the horns for what scientific benefit no one knows; that packaging we churn out that will not easily degrade; that globalization that requires us to fly all over the sky polluting as we go, and so on, and so on. Give your intellect the space to speak and it will show you all of this and more. We humans have the intrinsic knowing that we are wrongly doing these things, without our esteemed scientists always having to point it out to us.

Now, if each industry in the world, every large scale manufacturer, looked at their processes in the true light of day, and listening to the intellect and not the mind spinning profit, money, and power stories. If each one started a pilot plant or project bearing the planet in mind - and there is no short term gain here I'm afraid - I'm convinced that through the power of a more aware consumer, and the environmentally friendly plants and their goods would soon become the mainstream, and we'd be dumping our old nasty environmentally destructive ways on the garbage heap of bad human endeavors.

In India today, the first cars that run on compressed air are soon to roll off the production line. Mom-and-pop family farm produce is soaring in popularity in the world. Some brave fruit juice producers, in order to cut down on PET and UHT packaging, are piloting bulk dispensers in retail shops. Bottled water producers would do well to follow this trend, where so many alternatives to PET exist by bulk or home filtration. Manufactures would do well to invest as we are in water recycling, thus minimizing use and never creating waste water. Compostable packaging is now available; food producers and manufactures would do well to link into this new innovation. Investment by industry in solar and wind power. The removal of nasty chemicals used in the food industry to generate better profits.

A new concept is like a seed, planted in the warmth of your house. The seed cannot be taken straight out of that atmosphere until it is strong enough to be planted where it has to withstand the outer elements. So too with a new concept, it cannot just be pulled out like a conjurer pulls a rabbit out of a hat. It takes time to give it substance and form. It has to be tried out with the few before it can be given to the many. It takes great patience and love to do it. It takes dedication and devotion, and this process is what is taking place at this time with the new age. The new age is upon us. It is very new and many new ideas and concepts are being born, and each one has to be tried out and understood, loved and cherished.

When you are at the spearhead of the new age, you must be willing to go ahead fearlessly and try out the newest of the new. The challenges are out there and easy to start implementing when the intellect pervades the boardrooms of big business. There must and will be a realization of a debt starting now to the call of our planet, or watch as your huge colossi grind to a halt anyway, as Mother Nature calls in her dues. My call is to fellow manufacturers to feel and understand the need to know that we are all part of the same universal energy in every living thing. If we harm it, we harm ourselves. If we help it, we help ourselves. Industry can change and it will. The only question is: Do you want to be a part of that change? When the moral cause is realigned with “help ever, hurts never,” profits and wellbeing will once again flow, although maybe in a slightly different paradigm. That, by the way, is also universal law.

My plea therefore, in closing, is this: let us awaken the intellect in industry, and by using it as our master instructor, start the environmental revolution, which will go down in history as a far greater thing than the industrial revolution ever was. I thank you all kindly for listening, and I humbly offer my gratitude to the World Preservation Foundation and Dods for the extreme honor bestowed upon me by asking me to speak here today. I thank you.

MC (m): Ladies and gentlemen, if you could put your hands together for the panel, and indeed for all the speakers that we've had during the day. In just summing up, I mean, this has been about a viable near-term solution to climate change. And having chaired a number of conferences on climate change, it's actually beautiful to realize there are actions you can take today that will have immediate effect, if we decide that is something that we want to do. And of course it's all about us as individuals: it's our choice and our chance to do something. It's then how we communicate and how we pass that message on. I'd like to thank the World Preservation Foundation and Dods for the day. I think it's been absolutely marvellous. I mean, a number of wonderful speakers, a lot of information for us all to take in, and it was in bite-size chunks. Again, on behalf of the organizers, a very big thank you to all of our speakers, and to you for being such a understanding, knowledgeable, and generous audience. Thank you.

Amir (Vegetarian)Conference participant(m): It was such a beautiful conference to attend, and a lot of facts and figures were provided to us. It reiterated the importance of us as individuals, as companies, as politicians to go and look at these viable solutions, especially the most efficient way being a vegan-based diet, which has the most amount of impact.

There are many, many benefits. There's the physical benefits and, of course, the spiritual benefits that come with following a vegetarian diet; and the expanding of understanding and realizing the importance of things is quite another benefit to it, too. There are many, many facets and aspects to it. And anybody who's become a vegetarian over time, the benefits come out more and more; it might start at the physical level but then it grows and blooms like a flower on other levels too.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: In the Western world, they say genius is a kind of nonstop working, nonstop trying only. So I want my disciples to know that. I am not better than them. I just try. I work all the time, never give in. So if anybody has no self confidence, I will teach them that they should have. That's why I tell them not to worship me, just follow my example, follow my teaching. Don't worship personality, because what I do, they can do.

 Join us on Supreme Master Television on Wednesday, December 29, for Supreme Master Ching Hai's wisdom-filled lecture entitled “Success is Achievable through Nonstop Trying” on Words of Wisdom.

TODAY (Wed EP 1567) Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program “Success is Achievable through Nonstop Trying” on Words of Wisdom.

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