Climate Healers CEO and SEE Advisory Board member, Dr. Sailesh Rao, called 2022 a “breakthrough year” for “punching holes in the dam of denial” regarding the impact of animal agriculture on climate change. The mainstream media’s narrative that fossil fuel is the biggest climate issue is starting to shift as more influencers and media recognize what scientists have known – that animal agriculture is the leading cause of every environmental ill on the planet.
Dr. Rao cited the publication of two books, This is Vegan Propaganda by Ed Winters and Regenesis (Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet), by George Monbiot, as signs that “people cannot be fooled” and “know what is authentic” when it comes to the environmental dangers of animal agriculture. He called the books along with the acquittal of two animal rights activists by a jury in Utah “watershed moments” that will have historical significance.
He credited New York City Mayor Eric Adams for his leadership in “breaking through the mainstream” with the historic $44 billion investment in plant-based eating as a medical treatment. The investment from the American College of
Lifestyle Medicine, will provide free training for up to 200,000 doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dieticians and other healthcare professionals in New York City and is the largest lifestyle medicine training rollout in the world. Adams also issued a proclamation declaring “World Food Healers Day” on December 18 (2022). Orlando and Baltimore have issued similar proclamations.
According to Rao, “the majority of people want to do what it takes to keep the planet. When someone in authority says it, it breaks through.”
In 2022, Rao was recognized by The Guardian as the “foremost voice on the true scale of societal change required to save the planet.”
White House Blasts Exxon Over Historical $56 Billion Annual Profit The White House expressed outrage at Exxon Mobil Corp’s record net profit in 2022 of $56 billion, a historical high not just for the company but for the entire Western oil industry. Oil majors are expected to break their own annual records due to high prices and soaring demand, pushing their combined profit to nearly $200 billion. The scale has brought renewed criticism of the oil industry and sparked calls for more countries to levy windfall profit taxes on the companies. Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland report for Reuters 1-31-23.
Brazilian meat giant under fire for allegedly misleading investors A small activist group called Mighty Earth is taking on the Brazilian-based food giant JBS over whether its “green” bonds deserve that Earth-friendly connotation. In 2021, JBS, the world’s biggest meat company and mammoth food-processing firm, sold $3.2 billion worth of “green bonds” linked to the company’s sustainability goals. If JBS fails to reach its targets for greenhouse gas emissions, it will be penalized and will pay bondholders a “step up amount or premium payment,” the company says.
Mighty Earth filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that JBS is already failing to meet its emissions targets. Mighty Earth wants the agency to impose penalties and injunctions on the Brazilian company, which it says has contributed to or ignored deforestation carried out by its suppliers. “It has by far the highest emissions of any company in agriculture,” said Glenn Hurowitz, founder and chief executive of Mighty Earth. The company’s methane emissions exceed the combined total of France, Germany, Canada and New Zealand, the group said. (The Washington Post)
California Rejects Six-State Colorado River Plan, Proposes Its Own State officials claim a proposal agreed upon by six states using Colorado River water disproportionately impacts California farmers. Reporting for the Los Angeles Times, Ian James outlines California’s alternate proposal for managing the Colorado River’s dwindling water resources. “The state put forward its proposal a day after Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming released their alternative.” California officials claim the state’s “high-priority senior water rights dating back more than a century” must be protected under any new agreement. According to California’s natural resources secretary, “The six-state proposal directly and disproportionately impacts California.” Much of the Colorado River’s Southern California allocations go to the region’s vast farmlands.
Edinburgh becomes first European capital city to endorse the Plant Based Treaty, addressing impact of animal agriculture on climate. The City of Edinburgh Council, Scotland, UK, has endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, becoming the first major European city to join this campaign to tackle the meat industry’s massive role in the climate emergency. Green Councilor Steve Burgess, a leading supporter of the Plant Based Treaty, said, “Plant-based proteins have a much lower carbon footprint than meat and dairy. By declaring our endorsement, we are acknowledging that food systems are a main driver of the climate emergency and that a shift towards plant-based diets can go a huge way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Caterer Sodexo UK&I Reports Rising Demand for Meatless Meals in Workplaces Caterer Sodexo has reported a significant increase in demand for vegetarian and vegan dishes at workplaces in the UK and Ireland. Data shows that from January to November 2022, 15% of meals sold in Wales and the North West of England were meatless, along with 11% in London and 10% in Scotland.
Sodexo is actively working to increase the number of plant-based meals sold at its client sites. In 2021, the catering company announced that it wanted a third of the dishes it sold to be free of animal ingredients by 2025, in a bid to decrease carbon emissions to net zero. In the US, Sodexo has set out similar goals, working with the Humane Society to make 42% of university menus plant-based by 2025. The company made the pledge after discovering that at least 70% of its supply carbon footprint was related to animal-based food purchases. (Vegconomist)
SEE tells Washington Post that data often misstates “whole story” about animal agriculture In a Letter to the Washington Post Editor, SEE Executive Director Jane DeMarines, called out an article on how New Zealand plans to tackle climate change for using a source that omitted key data on the environmental impact of livestock feed. DeMarines points out that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that 15% of emissions attributed to livestock ignores food for livestock, hugely underestimating true emissions.
Shell is selling ‘carbon neutral’ fossil fuels again Bloomberg Green reports that emboldened by new industry guidelines, natural gas companies are renewing their efforts to sell “carbon neutral” fossil fuels, a controversial practice of offsetting a shipment’s emissions to shrink its environmental impact.