G7 Leaders Slammed Over 'Steak And Lobster BBQ' As Climate Crisis 'Escalates' The leaders met in Cornwall this month for the G7 Summit - Media Credit: G7

G7 Leaders Slammed Over ‘Steak And Lobster BBQ’ As Climate Crisis ‘Escalates’

The politicians were accused of 'empty climate commitments' and 'repeating old unfulfilled promises'

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Leaders from The Group of Seven (G7) are receiving criticism for having a ‘steak and lobster BBQ celebration’ as the climate crisis ‘escalates’.

This month, leaders of the political forum met in Cornwall for this year’s summit. The event allows wealthy nations to form agreements and publish joint statements on global events.

G7 leaders: climate crisis

All G7 countries say they’re committed to holding temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees Celcius, as set out in the Paris Agreement.

Moreover, leaders agreed to stop the funding of coal and coal-fired power overseas to slash CO2 emissions. 

‘Empty climate commitments’

However, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg blasted the politicians for their food choice.

She wrote on Instagram: “The climate and ecological crisis is rapidly escalating. G7 pours fantasy amounts into fossil fuels as CO2 emissions are forecast for 2nd biggest annual rise ever.

“But, the G7 leaders really seem to be having a good time presenting their empty climate commitments and repeating old unfulfilled promises.

“Of course this calls for a steak-and-lobster-BBQ-celebration while jet planes perform aerobatics in the sky above the G7 resort!”

The post garnered a staggering 546,000 likes and thousands of comments.

TV personality Fearne Cotton was one of many celebs who backed Thunberg’s post. “Just unreal,” the star wrote. “Painful to observe. Love to you Greta.”

Follow Greta Thunberg on instagram here

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Liam Gilliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.

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Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago

Nothing wrong with beef or lobster providing they are sustainably sourced!

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

What would sustainable mean to you?

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago

Along with the dictionary definition, Non damaging to the biosphere.

rodentx2
rodentx2
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

You eat “sustainably sourced” beef and lobster for pleasure (not need), but your victims suffered and died in earnest, and there IS something wrong with that! It’s an ethical issue beyond merely sparing the biosphere from damage.

I can think of a better one: How about sustainable human population control into the future? How about human self-control based on ethical arguments for sparing other animals’ lives, not just the biosphere? comment image

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  rodentx2

1 ) I don’t eat beef and I eat sustainable seafoods for their nutrient value not just taste ( no chemical supplements thank you ).
2 ) No biosphere no life ( plant or animal ), The biosphere is a food chain pure and simple in which predation is the norm, ( everything exists to be eaten, including us )
3 ) Arable agriculture since it’s inception 10,000 yrs ago has been the greatest destroyer of the natural world and has been responsible for the horrendous explosion of the human population, destroying 1.5 billion hectares of natural habitat, billions of mammals , birds, insects and native plants. Only in the last 100yrs has this been overtaken by the horrors of commercial animal agriculture.
4 ) Estimated human population looking hundreds of years into the future Should not exceed 1 billion. ( Greta Thunberg please take note ).
5 ) The biosphere (nature ) does not have any moral views regarding sentient or non sentient, thats for individuals to decide according to their life experience.
6 ) You can only avoid the use of animal foods if you live in a privileged society that supplies you with the variety of foods you require plus the pharmaceutical supplements.

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

The most comprehensive study to date on land use and the effects of farming, shows that the best thing you can do for the environment is adopt a plant-based diet. Less water, less land, less emissions, less deforestation, the list goes on.

https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-06-01-new-estimates-environmental-cost-food

Plant foods are often the cheapest foods you can find. Try whole foods, grains, fruit, veg.

The leading bodies in science, health and nutrition state that a well planned plant-based diet is suitable for all stages of life.

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Come on Roland. Historically regular meat consumption was reserved for elites. It’s consumption is wide spread today only due to industrial agriculture. Given that, and the fact that our population is to large, as you say, I would have thought you’d be against meat consumption for the masses. Because you know that it simply isn’t sustainable.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt, much of what you have to say is not far off the facts as they are today, however they are still coloured by your personal moral view. The issue is not meat v no meat but a hard nosed view on how to deal with the future, I don’t care whether people are vegan or non vegan as long as their food choices don’t damage the biosphere ( and ecosphere ) which in nearly all cases they do. I purposely chose the theme of beef and lobster (both can be produced sustainably ) in order to see what response it received. So what are the hard nosed facts? According to IPCC stats all agriculture produces 26% of GHGs as well as deforestation, soil degradation, marine pollution, soil erosion, plus chemical pollution and much much more. The biggest culprit is commercial animal Ag, at 18% GHGs, 90% + comes from The CAFOs system and not just beef, so CAFOs HAS TO GO! The next culprit is Monoculture in all its forms, The production of grains, pulses, palm oil, avocados, nuts, sugar and much more, in fact it would be fair to say that any plant product bought in a supermarket probably comes from some form of monoculture. Monoculture is responsible for a whole range problems ranging from carbon release, nitrous oxide (75% of excess ), soil erosion and degradation and extensive use of toxic chemicals ( where have all the insects gone ?) so MONOCULTURE HAS TO GO! Most agronomists agree that we have less than 60 yrs of harvests left on major cropping sites, we are losing 23 hectares of topsoil every minute 24/7.
So what’s the answer? In most cases a return to small scale mixed Ag. What food you can produce should be determined by soil type, latitude and climate. Can you feed a population of 7 billion + and rising? some agronomists say you can others disagree. So i’ll leave with two quotes from men who have devoted their lives to bring about change.

“ All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder – and ultimately impossible – to solve with ever more people” Sir David Attenborough

“Those that fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.” James Lovelock CH CBE FRS PhD.

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Perhaps you would describe yourself as a Deep Ecologist, are you familiar with the works of Arne Dekke Eide Næss?

I agree that CAFOs need to go. I’d like to see a system of agriculture such as permaculture take root and the human population to be reduced. However I believe you are overlooking a key factor: Time. We don’t have the luxury of time.

18% of CO2e created by animal agriculture is a vast underestimate. As it fails to take into account the cost of deforestation. That deforestation that began some 12 thousands years ago during the agricultural revolution. Animal husbandry has been responsible for a great deal of desertification and erosion caused by overgrazing since that time. It has also been found that the production of methane by ruminants has been vastly underestimated.

According to the UN “26 percent of the earth’s terrestrial surface is used for livestock grazing. One-third of the planet’s arable land is occupied by livestock feed crop cultivation”. Most of that land could be rewilded and reforested if people stopped eating animals. Creating a massive carbon sink. And when you consider that humans and our livestock represent 95.8% of all remaining mammalian biomass I believe the problem becomes glaringly clear. We need to stop eating animals.

Then after some time we can reform the ecology of the earth into something truly sustainable.

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Roland, when energy moves from one trophic level to another you loose 90% of the energy in the form of waste heat. This is what happens when we eat primary consumers (herbivores) rather than primary producers (plants). This is why it is so inefficient to pass your calories through the body of an animal.

Given that 36% of the world’s crops are fed to our livestock going vegan is a real opportunity to reduce global agriculture in general. Then all the activity necessary to produce this feed goes away. The synthetic fertilizer producing nitrus oxide (N2O) emissions for this land goes away. Fossil fuels burned to farm this land goes away. It removes the need for excess water use for irrigation of this land. Most of that land can now be used as a carbon sink.

We just transformed a net emitter of CO2e to a net sequester. While recreating a habitat for wildlife stabilzing the soil with roots and restoration of hydrological cycles with all the new vegetation.

Are you beginning to see why universal veganism is a great place to begin restoring the ecological balance? Because the earth as it is today is being used as one giant cattle ranch.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt, Yes I am familiar with Arne Næss he came up regularly whilst studying ecology and conservation management at university. At the age of 76 I’ve had over fifty years of involvement in major projects ranging from woodland management to partial re-wilding. I’ve served on the board of a local harbour conservancy and have seen grazing used to great effect for the return of native plants, insects and wildlife. You seem like a nice and well meaning person, but as I said you’re allowing your belief in veganism to cloud your judgements. So I’ll deal with the points you’ve made.
The IPCC stats include all aspect of the animal from birth to slaughter, it includes transport, carbon emissions, methane, nitrous oxide, use of land for feed and effects of deforestation. A WHO official ( Henning Steinfeld ) claimed that the figure was nearer 50% and produced more GHGs than transport, but he forgot to include the cost of infrastructure and vehicle manufacture, he later apologised and agreed that the IPCC figures were reasonable. With the removal of CAFOs the above statistics have no relevance anyway.
You state that 26% of land mass is used for grazing and that 30% of crops are used for animal feed. Under a natural farming system both of those figures become totally irrelevant for the following reasons. As I’ve stated above, the removal of CAFOs removes the need to grow food for livestock. The amount of land used to graze livestock is not the issue, it should be determined by one thing only, how does it effect the habitat? If it degrades the habitat in any way STOP IT. If it enhances the habitat in any way USE IT. Sixty million bison in the Mid West of America managed to create lush topsoil and a massive aquafer both of which have now been depleted by continuous arable usage, oh and by the way I don’t have any objection to putting the bison back, along with the people that first settled the land.
Permaculture is an old and well tried system and it works well on soils that are already fertile but in some cases still benefits by resting with the use of animals. A typical case is the drainage of the fenlands in East Anglia which revealed rich peaty soils, because the soil was so rich the land was used only for crops, the result is that several hundred yrs later they have lost most of the topsoil, in one part of Cambridgeshire they have lost nearly 13ft, yes you read that correctly. Some 20yrs ago a well known agronomist referred to it as “a vegan wasteland”. The other problem with permaculture is “scale” it’s rather difficult to mulch and compost one billion hectares.
Over grazing is an impossibility in a sustainable system since the animals rely on whats under their feet to exist, no food no animals.
Your example of trophic energy is also irrelevant unless you provide the animal with food fit for human consumption or grown on land that could be used to grow crops. In fact it’s one of the most efficient systems out there, you put the animals on the land control their movement, they generate topsoil (which absorbs carbon) microbes, fungal spores and attract insects while converting foods you can’t eat into foods you can.

So does that mean that the earth will remain one big cattle ranch? NO, most of the animals will be used in intergrated Ag as a means of regenerating and maintaining quality soils, some will be grazed on pasture unfit for crops, with some grazing natural grasslands within the constraints of the habitat. So that poses the question everyone likes to ask, can you supply the meat demands of the world with such a system? Easy answer NO, but with land being degraded at the current rate we won’t be capable of feeding anyone into the future unless we change.

PS this is my last post on this subject, I’m a crap typist and my spell checker needs a break.

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

The issue is Roland that we do use cropland to feed human edible food to animals.

“If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

We are not suffering from a lack of calories. This isn’t about producing enough calories Roland. It’s about profits pure and simple. So saying that we use cattle to convert non human edible plants into human eddible meat is laughable. It’s beef industry green washing.

And overgrazing is possible look at the Mediterranean and middle east. The land stripped bare by goats and sheep over thousands of years creating badlands not useful for anything where there was once lush vegetation. Now the Mongolian stepp had been degraded by overgrazing and is subject to desertification.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt

Matt, you really don’t understand do you? I’ll answer your points again.
( 1. David Pimentel is perfectly correct based on todays agricultural practices. It’s those very practices that people like me wish to change. If you remove CAFOs you remove the need to feed animals grains, job done! You may well be able to feed 800 million as a result, but for how long? Soil fertility decline is catastrophe in waiting for which the grain barons have no answer. Where do people get this strange idea that livestock needs to be fed? Nobody feeds wild ruminants.
( 2. To suggest that organisations such as The Soil Association, Campaign for Real Farming, as well as the various Organic movements ( over 50 in the UK alone ) plus the silent revolution of regenerative Ag, are all involved in a beef industry green washing, is OFENSIVE. Perhaps you ought to look at the antics of the grain, soy, vegetable oil industries as well.
( 3. You seem to be unable to understand plain English. “OVERGRAZING IS AN IMPOSSIBILITY IN A SUSTAINABLE SYSTEM” Please note the word sustainable. The Mongolian situation is a classic case of change in a modern world. For a thousand years or more they lived in small family groups they grazed sheep, yaks and horses with no detrimental effect on the environment ( sustainable grazing ) until the commercial world caught up with them, now in a world of money they trade cashmere for 4x4s, mobile phones, motorbikes and other goods.

By all means stick to your vegan principles but you need to be more open minded and tolerant towards people with other views who are trying to create a better world.

Martin Duffy
Martin Duffy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Everything wrong with beef or lobster!! It is time for humans to evolve!!
To stop eating creatures and become conscious!! This is part of the problem….nobody cares that we are all connected…..every creature. Until we wake up there will be NO END to the worlds suffering!!!…………..

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

Sustainably sourced beef and lobster for 8 billion people? You know better than that Roland.

Bitanca
Bitanca
1 year ago

Steak and lobster for me. Vegan for the rest of us!

Christy Mora Piñeiro
Christy Mora Piñeiro
1 year ago

They should have been made to watch Seaspiracy. Damn selfish people.

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