Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The U.N.'s Hamburglars

Next on the United Nations' list of American outrages to vilify: cheeseburgers?

A recent report by the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that meat consumption — beef and pork, in particular — have a greater responsibility for global warming than every SUV in the world. Indeed, all transportation combined.

According to the study, 37 percent of all human-induced methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide, is produced by the digestive systems of ruminants.

"Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems," said Henning Steinfeld, the report's senior author. "The environmental costs per unit of livestock production must be cut by one half, just to avoid the level of damage worsening beyond its present level."

What to do?

"Arguably the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products," recommends EarthSave International.

"It doesn’t have to be all the way to the extreme end of vegan," advised University of Chicago Professor Gidon Eshel. "If you cut down from two burgers a week to one, you've already made a substantial difference."

So let me see if I've got this right. Everyone knows cars are bad. Cigarette smoking, says Al Gore, also causes global warming. Now, Big Macs, too?

How about this: If the United Nations aspires to dictate properly climate-conscious behavior, how about leading by example? Why not start by banning smoking within U.N. headquarters, ditching the SUVs in favor of ergonomic bicycles and adopting enviro-friendly eating habits.

The FunkyPundit is reliably informed U.N. bigs count the French eatery Le Perigord as its mainstay. Yet Le Perigord serves such egregious environmental offenses as a Kobe Wagyu Burger with truffle sauce, roasted rack of lamb with flageolets and a grilled filet mignon with Wellington sauce.

Certainly, if Earth is in the balance, some good things just have to end.

Remember: Think globally, act locally!

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