Planting billions of trees is the cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis, scientists are saying in the ETH-Zurich Institute. Crowther and his team have been calculating how much trees and possibly where should be planted quickly, without encroaching on crop land or urban areas, taking into consideration also that the potential land, where trees can be planted today, will quickly and significantly shrink if carbon emission is not decreasing drastically from now on. This plan has been found far most efficient than any other till today according to environmentalists all over the world.
They say that “we found that there is room for an extra 0.9 billion hectares of canopy cover, which could store 205 gigatonnes of carbon” (1). And they give detailed figures for the identified regions. Many high professionals are celebrating their findings. René Castro, assistant-director general at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, said: “We now have definitive evidence of the potential land area for re-growing forests, where they could exist and how much carbon they could store.”
However, some believe, like Joseph Poore, an environmental researcher at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford, that among the identified areas there are some that is currently grazed by livestock including, for example, large parts of Ireland (2).
Industrial agriculture is one of the most unsustainable practices of modern civilisation. Apart from deforestation, the methane gas released by live stock is said to be one of the most critical factors in rising carbon emission on the planet. On the other hand, livestock kept in a sustainable way make farming truly regenerative, experts say, as they help build healthy soils. It just can not feed all of us.
You may think “cultured meat” or so called “clean meat” a.k.a. “Lab grown” meat would be a sustainable alternative. And so do companies who are excitedly researching the possibilities to decrease the cost from the first, Dutch cell grown hamburger, which was $325,000 in 2013. Future Meat Technologies believes that they can reduce the price down to somewhere between $2.30 to $4.50 by the end of 2020. (3)
They even argue that “almost all the food we eat, at some point, crosses a laboratory, whether in the course of researching flavours or perfecting packaging,” Olga Khazan writes in her article about her experience eating lab grown meat(4).
Beyond Future Meat Technologies, the startup Memphis Meats and Impossible Foods are in the ring for getting the winner patent, that will feed the world. Memphis Meats is that Richard Branson, Bill Gates and agricultural giant Cargill have invested in in 2017, whereas Impossible Foods ‘s Impossible Whopper was recently launched by Burger king in the US, and with slight modification in Europe. (The Impossible Burger’s special ingredient – heme – has not yet been approved by the European Food Safety Authority, because heme is made through genetic modification. (4))
We can just watch and ponder about what we were designed for, and what we usually find out whenever we try weird compounds passing through our skin or stomach. It will disturb our endocrine system again… I think I’ll have to start studying how to keep chicken in my backyard.
(1) The global tree restoration potential, Science 05. Jul. 2019; https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76#BIBL
(2) Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis; The Guardian; 4.July. 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/04/planting-billions-trees-best-tackle-climate-crisis-scientists-canopy-emissions
(3) Lab-grown meat is getting cheaper; FastCompany, 05.02.2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/40565582/lab-grown-meat-is-getting-cheap-enough-for-anyone-to-buy
(4) UPDATED: Burger King To Launch European Version Of Its Plant-Based Impossible Whopper; Plant Based News. org; 22.05.2019; https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/burger-king-launch-plant-based-impossible-whopper-europe
(4) Olga Khazan, The Coming Obsolescence of Animal Meat; The Atlantic 2019. Apr. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/04/just-finless-foods-lab-grown-meat/587227/?utm_source=feed
(5) Lab Grown Clean Meat; Dr Mercola, 5 Sep. 2017. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/09/05/lab-grown-clean-meat.aspx