Brendan O’Neill: UN climate report ‘typical green miserablism’

Friday, August 9, 2019

Columnist Brendan O’Neill has slammed a new UN report calling for consumers to switch to plant-based diets in a bid to tackle climate change.

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the high consumption of meat and dairy produce in the West was fuelling global warming.

But Mr O'Neill dismissed the document as “typical green miserablism”.

"What we have here is just incredibly moralistic judgement about the way human beings live, dressed up in the language of battling climate change," he told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"This IPCC suggestion is just so typical of green miserablism."

His views were not shared by former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who debated the journalist on-air.

“This is actually a chance to really improve human life and human health – we’re trashing the planet and also have a very unhealthy diet," she said.

Ms Bennett, who has a degree in agricultural science, echoed warnings by climate activists that global warming was a “state of emergency”, which Mr O’Neill rejected.

He replied: "Human kind is a very imaginative creature and we think of ways to get more and more stuff from fewer and fewer resources.”

The IPCC reported that the global food system accounts for between 21 and 37 per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

It added that the amount of meat produced per person has doubled and the supply of food calories per person has risen by around a third, since 1961.

One of the panel’s many suggestions was to reduce meat consumption and food waste to free up space to plant trees.

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