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Climate Change, Part 2: It’s All About the Straws, Isn’t It?

Posted by: GreenCE Sustainable Design and Construction // Sustainable Content Creator at GreenCE

Wouldn’t it be great if saving the world was as easy as ditching straws or riding our bikes to work? Sustainable living is definitely affected by our personal best practices, but it’s obviously a global problem in a symbiotic relationship between the world as a whole and humans on a personal level. At this point, however, big changes need to happen. And probably not just big changes, but innovative, outside the box big changes. We need to start doing things differently than we have ever done them before.

In a part 1 of this 5-part blog series, I wrote about the effect manufacturing has on greenhouse emissions, and referenced Bill Gates’ GatesNotes blog. In his post, Climate change and the 75% problem, he lists the top contributors to climate change. I was surprised to find out that number two on the list is agriculture, which contributes around 24% to overall greenhouse emissions. He states, “If cattle were a country, they would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions”, just after China and the US. It’s not just that cattle produce a huge amount of methane, either. Deforestation removes trees that pull CO2 out of the air, and then trees release carbon back into the atmosphere when they are burned. Deforestation takes place because of the need to clear land for crops, not just to raise cattle.

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