Why Your Diet Won’t Save the Planet From Climate Change

By Vijay Jayaraj Published on November 11, 2018

If you haven’t heard of it yet, brace yourself. Years of dietary crusade lie ahead of us.

Popular media have brainwashed the masses about the benefits of a meatless diet for decades. They’ve focused largely on benefits to our health.

Now they say a meatless diet will save the planet from climate change.

Really? And what kind of climate does the planet need saving from?

A warmer one, that’s what kind. Because warm is bad. Cold is good. (Never mind that cold snaps kill 10 times as many people per day as heat waves. Or that cold kills more crops than heat, causing more hunger.)

We’ve heard it all. The Brazilian cattle industry is bad for the planet because it releases harmful gases that cause global warming. A meat-based diet has a bigger carbon footprint than a vegan diet — which can also save you from dreadful diseases!

Take a deep breath. Let’s try to get a firm grasp on reality. Let’s try to understand the claims, and evaluate them.

Diagnosis and Prescription

We must first understand the challenges our planet faces. Just how grave is the situation? And what will meatless diets do to salvage it?

The basic idea behind the meatless diet is that it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. That’s important — so the story goes — because, uncurtailed, those emissions will cause catastrophic global warming.

But that idea hinges on a single, definitive assumption: that carbon dioxide determines temperature. It’s the global climate control knob, so to speak. If that’s not true, then all the meatless, planet-saving, super-diet propaganda is nothing more than fancy folklore.

Recent scientific evidences suggest that is indeed the case.

Questioning the Answers

Between 1970 and 1999, global average temperature increased fairly rapidly. The increase coincided with a steep increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Despite the complexity of our climate system, some scientists believed this correlation proved man-made global warming.

But then that warming also coincided with a steep increase in the number of websites. Moral of the story? Correlation doesn’t prove causation.

But the claim got major media coverage in the early 2000s. So man-made global warming became a foremost subject of academic, and eventually political, significance.

So, did those scientists have good reason to believe in dangerous man-made global warming? In an ideal world, their case would have been rejected for one major reason.

The warming occurred largely from 1970 to 1999. But the three prior decades, 1940 to 1969, saw significant cooling. The cooling was dramatic enough that many scientists believed we were headed into a mini Ice Age.

But here is the big surprise. Carbon dioxide emissions rose rapidly from 1940 to 1969, just as they did from 1970 to 1999. In the first thirty years, the planet cooled; in the second, it warmed.

Technically, this makes the hypothesis that carbon dioxide emissions drove the warming in the latter period dubious at best.

To make matters worse, despite the alarmists’ confident predictions, global temperature failed to increase rapidly over the next 19 years. Yet carbon dioxide emissions continued to soar, faster even than in previous decades.

So in the past 100 years, we have had two periods when the global temperature failed to increase despite skyrocketing carbon dioxide emissions.

It’s No Mistake to Enjoy Your Steak

If you think eating a meatless diet can save the planet, then you have been misled. Carbon dioxide emissions are not the only factor that determines global temperature. They are not even a significant factor.

Moreover, the computer climate models that were used to propagate the false theories of climate catastrophe have been proven to be wrong. They predict nearly twice the warming actually observed. And since we can’t rule out natural causes for some or even all of the observed warming, their error might be even larger.

Almost all the climate scares in our news media today are based on these false forecasts by erroneous models. Yet even staunch climate alarmists like Michael Mann admit the errors.

Moreover, we should thank the warmer temperatures, and the rising amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, for increased food production. Scientific studies show that post- 18th century warming has significantly increased food productivity.

So next time you order a steak or cook that chicken, know that you are causing no harm to the planet or the climate.


Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.

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  • Nick Stuart

    I’ll consider the argument that anthropogenic climate change is a real thing when:

    1. Its proponents walk their talk and ramp back their lifestyles. Including quit buying beachfront properties and jetting all over the world on private jets.
    2. Climate “scientists” make their data and models public so their work can be replicated.
    3. Climate “scientists” models make accurate predictions.
    4. There are windmills in Nantucket and Puget Sound.
    5. Its proponents encourage development of nuclear power
    6. Climate change conferences are held via web meeting on the Internet instead of destination locations like Fiji and Davos.

    Until then somebody give me a cheeseburger.

  • tz1

    I might be convinced more easily if it weren’t the same people that say gender is just a construct and there are over 57 of them and bearded baritones ought to be able to use the Ladies’.

    High stakes means we have to price high steaks.

    But let me cut to the chase.

    Ethanol is a brown fuel. Crony capitalism so anti-free market. It takes a gallon of gas (equivalent – there are no E85 or electric tractors) to make a gallon of Ethanol. It damages engines. It reduces mileage. For use as a vehicle fuel it isn’t even oxygenating, so there is zero good, and much bad. It even takes marginal habitat and turns it into corn fields because of the subsidy.

    I will listen to those who say Global Warming is a problem only AFTER they call for a complete ban on Ethanol subsidies or anything promoting its use in vehicles as fuel. Similarly I’ll listenn to “free traders” when they join in.

  • Paul

    The real goal is ushering in global govt and eroding national sovereignty.

  • Brand New Key

    Climate changes, period. In the Middle Ages, barley was growing in Greenland. The people who promote the climate cult get very quiet when you ask them if they ever heard of the Medieval Warm Period.

  • John

    Factor in the ocean vapors and the activity of the sun in generating CO2 and man made climate change is even harder to demonstrate. Incredible to think that what happened in the oceans decades ago is playing out in the climate today and for decades to come. The appearance of certainty and consensus in “scientific” analysis does science a dis service. Same as in evolution theory where scientists are constantly claiming to have found the missing link, after claiming none was needed.

  • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

    Permit me to distinguish between corn finished and grass fed beef….a great deal of incremental agricultural rehouses are spent (exhausted) to provide the marbling that off beef you can cut with a fork. The incremental investment for marbling centers on the massive feed lots with their demand for corn and subsequent distribution of manure (and methane gases, the environmentalist favorite boogy man). Many of us would suggest the better option to be grass fed beef for which you do need a knife and a fork to enjoy that extends the family’s time around the table a bit. The true benefit of grass fed beef on responsibly managed rangeland (to a less extent pasture) is the restoration of carbon (humis, tilth) to the soil (natural and beneficial carbon sequestration). The upward spiral proposed by the carbon cowboys is that the land with cattle and fire (prescribed burns) provide better ground for grass, better grass of cattle, better meat for society with the attendant benefits of improved atmosphere and water. As a fledging member of the carbon cowboys we would appreciate your support by buying grass fed beef (ps that have less antibiotics).

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