Finally, a consensus is crystallising around one all-important fact: fossil fuels are killing us. We need to switch to clean energy, and fast. But while this growing awareness about the dangers of fossil fuels represents a crucial shift in our consciousness, I can’t help but fear we’ve missed the point. As important as clean energy might be, the science is clear: it won’t save us from climate change. the burning of fossil fuels only accounts for about 70% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The other 30% comes from a number of causes, including deforestation, and industrial livestock farming, which produces 90m tonnes of methane per year and most of the world’s anthropogenic nitrous oxide. Both of these gases are vastly more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. Livestock farming alone contributes more to global warming than all the cars, trains, planes and ships in the world. There are also a number of industrial processes that contribute significantly, and then there are our landfills, which pump out huge amounts of methane – 16% of the world’s total.
Guardian 15th July 2016 read more »