The Met Office just discussed animal agriculture and its link to the climate crisis on its Weather Snap podcast.
The Meteorological Office (which is often abbreviated to the Met Office) provides the UK’s national weather forecasts. It is responsible for not just predicting the weather, but also warning the public when extreme periods of weather, like thunderstorms or snow, are about to hit the country.
Earlier this month, it initiated its first ever red warning for extreme heat in England. The UK is used to relatively mild weather, but this summer, temperatures hit above 40 degrees for the first time ever.
According to the Met Office, a red warning indicates that “illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups.”
Rising temperatures are undoubtedly linked to global warming and the climate crisis. The Met Office recognizes this. It stated that heatwaves of 40 degrees and over are now 10 times more likely to happen as a result of global warming.
Meat and the climate crisis
Earlier this month, the Met Office invited Plant Based News co-founder Robbie Lockie on to its podcast to discuss Billie Eilish’s climate-focused event, which was called Overheated, at the O2 in London.
Lockie appeared on a panel at the event, which was live-streamed on Eilish’s YouTube account, which has more than 46 million subscribers. Overheated addressed all the ways that the climate crisis is impacting us, as well as how lifestyle choices, including a plant-based diet, can help to reduce human impact on the planet.
Animal agriculture contributes significantly to a number of environmental issues. According to the United Nations, it’s responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also a leading driver of deforestation and habitat destruction.
Referring to an Oxford University study from 2018, which indicated the enormous benefits of going vegan for the environment, Lockie told Weather Snap presenter Clare Nasir: “You can reduce your carbon footprint by over 70 percent, sometimes higher depending on what you eat.”
They added that Eilish, who is an outspoken vegan, sometimes gets criticism for pushing this message, as many think it’s “some kind of fad.”
‘Changing hearts and minds’
But attitudes are changing. Children, in particular, are switched on to environmental issues. Last year, one poll found that more than 20 percent of kids are either already following a plant-based diet or would like to be, for the planet.
Lockie stated that in a bid to raise more awareness and connect with more young people over the climate crisis, Overheated will likely become a regular event.
“The secret to changing hearts and minds is communication,” they said. “These concepts and these problems and these challenges need to be communicated in a clear, concise, and digestible way to help people understand the seriousness, the gravitas, of this situation. It is really really serious.”