An Inconvenient Hamburger

Last Updated: July 29, 2009

Ezra Klein has a piece in today’s Washington Post about meat and climate change. He highlights the fact that many top environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council, basically refuse to talk about diet.

Yet diet is often the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint:

The pity of it is that compared with cars or appliances or heating your house, eating pasta on a night when you’d otherwise have made fajitas is easy. It doesn’t require a long commute on the bus or the disposable income to trade up to a Prius. It doesn’t mean you have to scrounge for change to buy a carbon offset. In fact, it saves money. It’s healthful. And it can be done immediately. A Montanan who drives 40 miles to work might not have the option to take public transportation. But he or she can probably pull off a veggie stew. A cash-strapped family might not be able buy a new dishwasher. But it might be able to replace meatballs with mac-and-cheese. That is the whole point behind the cheery PB&J Campaign, which reminds that “you can fight global warming by having a PB&J for lunch.” Given that PB&J is delicious, it’s not the world’s most onerous commitment.

Klein doesn’t hide his love for bacon, but he also points out that it’s been easy for him to cut way back on his meat consumption.

In light of sensible mass media pieces like this, I’m wondering how much longer the top environmental groups, and Al Gore for that matter, can avoid facing up to the impact of diet. Link.