In the run up to the big United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing on the "Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act"; the president tours a solar energy center, and we get this from the United Kingdom: Stop global warming by stop eating meat.
If that sounds familiar it's because the U.N. brought it up before, but this time it comes from the U.K.'s climate chief Lord Stern of Brentford, who told The Times of London: "Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world's resources. A vegetarian diet is better."
But Americans love our steaks, chops and burgers; we wouldn't stand for that would we?
Well, in Baltimore, Maryland, public schools have started "Meatless Monday" — no meat on the menu for the 80,000 kids they serve — so the students can "eat and learn about healthy, environmentally-friendly choices." The school board did this in concert with the group called Meatless Monday who say they are "committed to cutting out meat one day a week for their health and the health of the planet."
But back to England where Lord Stern says over time people's attitudes will change towards eating meat just like they have for other things, adding: "I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible."
And he is right. As late as the 1970s, some people treated drunk driving like a sport. Think how much that has changed. Not just the laws, but the way people think about it — socially unacceptable.
How about fur? Furs used to be a sign that you "made" it. Now, thanks to celebrity protesters joining groups like PETA, attitudes have changed. People still wear fur, but they're are in danger of getting covered in red paint.
But now we are talking about food choice as social responsibility. Celebrities from Paul McCartney to Pamela Anderson don't eat meat. Fine — good for them. It's a personal choice; they can do what they want.
That's why I am siding with PETA on this one — once again asking Al Gore: If you really want to save the planet, put down the cheeseburgers and pick up the veggie burgers. Time for soy milk and to-furkey. No more delicious chocolate cookies — how about a nice bean-thing. That is, if you want to save the planet.
I've said before I disagree with PETA, but I respect them because they are not hypocrites: They say what they mean and mean what they say. I just disagree with what they say — except when it calls for Al Gore to eat tofu.
But what really scares me is that The Times writes our Lord Stern said: "A successful deal at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases."
Who does that remind you of?
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.
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Learning from Cass Sunstein: Don't outlaw it, just make it so expensive it is out of reach — or nudge it out of reach.
And, by the way, according to The Times, Lord Stern is not a strict vegetarian.
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