Navigating the Climate Maze: Debunking Sacrifices, Farmers, and the Meat Dilemma

In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal titled, First They Came for the Cars, Then the Cows, WSJ editorial board member Allysia Finley discusses how the global discourse on climate action has taken on a fervor akin to a religious crusade, veering away from a rational pursuit of environmental goals towards a zealous mission with questionable consequences. Unlike traditional religions focused on uplifting humanity, the contemporary climate movement seems more inclined to burn heretics and impose communal sacrifices, often leading to needless human suffering.

One of the focal points of this climate agenda revolves around the relentless call to reduce meat consumption, as witnessed at the United Nations COP28 climate conference in Dubai. Going beyond the banishment of fossil fuels and gasoline-powered cars, the climate lobby now insists on sacrificing cherished culinary delights such as rib-eye steaks and pepperoni pizza. The primary target? Livestock production which is supposedly responsible for 11% to 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions and a staggering 32% of the world’s methane.

Finley emphasizes the disproportionate focus on meat, “Consider the calls at the United Nations’s COP28 climate confab this month in Dubai to reduce meat consumption. Banishing fossil fuels and gasoline-powered cars isn’t enough to achieve the climate lobby’s net-zero promised land. Now people must give up their rib-eye steaks and pepperoni pizza.”

While scientists explore innovative solutions, like feeding cows seaweed to reduce flatulence, the inconvenient truth remains that altering a cow’s diet could compromise the taste and nutritional quality of its meat and milk. In the original article, the skepticism towards these solutions is highlighted: “Seaweed also has a high level of a compound that damages the ozone layer. All of which is why the U.N. report proposed taxing foods based on their carbon emissions with the goal of making meat so expensive that people will have no choice but to go vegan.”

Enter the proposed remedy: taxing foods based on their carbon emissions. The UN report floats the idea of making meat prohibitively expensive, coercing people into adopting a vegan lifestyle. A parallel can be drawn with New Zealand’s Labour government, which faced a rebellion from dairy farmers who saw through the facade of environmental concern.

This climate mission, draped in noble intentions, ultimately seeks to coerce individuals into ascetic lifestyles, sacrificing not just their culinary preferences but also their material pleasures. While elites may continue their indulgences, the masses are left grappling with the burdens imposed by a movement that appears more driven by control than genuine environmental stewardship. It prompts a critical examination of whether the climate movement’s ultimate goal aligns with the well-being of humanity or if it’s merely a guise for a misguided pursuit of an ascetic utopia.

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