Numbers Don’t Lie – with Honest Accounting

“First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” – Mahatma Gandhi.

 

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Dear Climate Healers,

Over the past year or so, Big Ag and its allies have been out in full force fighting the Vegan movement. As its gossamer fabric of lies dissolves in contact with the acid fluid of truth, Big Ag is desperately funding new fabrications, employing every creative statistical deception known to dark science in order to protect its Animal Agriculture cash box.

Late in 2022, one thousand scientists signed “The Dublin Declaration of Scientists on the Societal Role of Livestock,” stating, “livestock are too precious to society to become the victim of simplification, reductionism or zealotry,” and calling for “a balanced view of the future of animal agriculture.” A Guardian newspaper investigative report found that the vast majority of the signatories received funding from Big Ag. In fact, one of the authors of the declaration was an economist who called Veganism, “an eating disorder requiring psychological treatment.”

The Dublin Declaration is just one clear indication that Big Ag is very worried about the imminent emptying of its Animal Agriculture cash box as we undergo the Greatest Transformation in Human History into a climate healing civilization from its climate heating phase.

For another indication, take Merck Animal Health USA, which purported to debunk the Climate Healers Animal Agriculture position paper by quoting the work of Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., professor and air quality extension specialist at the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis, who provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry earlier this year to “debunk the myth” that animal agriculture poses the greatest environmental threat to our planet.

Merck quietly omits the fact that Prof. Mitoehner is heavily funded by Big Ag as the New York Times reported about a year ago. Prof. Mitloehner preferentially uses numbers deceptively massaged by Big Ag into nothingness.

Big Ag and its wholly owned subsidiary, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), routinely vanish the CO2 emissions from animal respiration, pasture maintenance fires, bottom trawling of the ocean and decimation of the phytoplankton population in the ocean, as “part of the natural cycle.” As if in the absence of Big Ag’s monstrous machinery, such activities would be routinely performed by whales and other creatures in nature anyway.

I call this “ghost accounting”.

Big Ag also takes a huge discount on its deforestation activities, using net accounting and other creative mechanisms to hide the vast majority of the deforestation. For instance, it cuts down almost 90% of a thick forest canopy in the Amazon to leave at least 10% tree cover, since the UN classifies any 1km by 1km grid with at least 10% tree cover as a “forest grid”. Then, it raises farmed animals on the cleared land while in UN circles, officials can claim that no deforestation took place.

Even the deforestation that took place is reduced by the area of land abandoned by Big Ag as “fallow land” in so-called “net accounting,” which effectively reduces the CO2 emissions from deforestation by an estimated 72%.

It is only by such numerical mixing of apples and oranges with grapes – using gross accounting for fossil fuel emissions, net accounting for deforestation emissions and ghost accounting for other animal agriculture emissions – together with ignoring five of the six planetary boundary transgressions while focusing our attention on climate change as the only global ecological crisis we face, that we have been misled into thinking that changing our energy infrastructure from fossil fuels to renewable sources alone can solve all our environmental problems.

If I buy that as a systems engineer, then I will soon be buying Brooklyn bridges by the dozen. Unlike Prof. Mitloehner, I don’t have to answer to Big Ag, but only to my granddaughter and the children of all species. I serve them unreservedly and I stand by my assertion that with honest accounting, animal agriculture is responsible for at least 87% of greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis. This lower bound can be tightened to at least 118% of greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis using the data in the Sixth Assessment Report of the UN IPCC.

Indeed, there is no denying the fact that Big Ag is mainly responsible for wiping out half the trees on the planet, 3 trillion trees. It is easy to show that if these 3 trillion trees were restored on the planet in a global ecosystems restoration effort, we can literally reverse climate change and mitigate all six planetary boundary transgressions. The only thing standing in our way is our human folly of exploiting animals for food, clothing and other products.

Enter Veganism. Far from being an eating disorder as that misguided economist would have us believe, Veganism is defined as a philosophy or way of life “that seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

By that definition, almost every human being on the planet is already Vegan, since about 1% of the human population is diagnosed to be clinically psychopathic. Our only problem is that a substantial portion of humanity has been deceived by Big Ag into limiting what is possible and practicable today.

Following Mahatma Gandhi’s impeccable logic, now that Big Ag is desperately fighting us, let’s help our fellow humans overcome their limitations on what is possible and practicable and solidify our Oxford Union win. To accomplish that, I will be doing live training on the Climate Healers story for 8 weeks, starting the first Friday of the New Year, during Day 5 of the 7 Days of Rest and Reweaving Wholeness. The sessions will last for one hour every Friday at 9am Pacific time and you can register for it here.

With much love,
Sailesh on behalf of the Climate Healers Core team.
(Akhil, Alison, Anne, BJ, Carl, Dakota, Dani, Deborah, Debra, Gabriele, Giva, Jamen, Kelly, Ken, Kimaya, Krish, Lisa, Liz, Maggie, Marco, Paige, Pareen, Paul, Ray, Sailesh, Sarah, Shankar, Stacey, Suzanne, Tami and Vega, the Cow and Climate Healer)

 

Engineering the Greatest Transformation in 2024
Healing the Planet as a Global Infrastructure Upgrade Project
Sailesh Rao
srao@climatehealers.org
3 Comments
  • Dakota Matthes
    Posted at 17:20h, 25 December Reply

    Awesome article, Dr. Rao!! I love your honesty and your zero tolerance for manipulation of the truth. Thank you for explaining the facts to us here behind Big AG’s misleading tactics.

  • Ray Kowalchuk
    Posted at 20:30h, 31 December Reply

    We all know, of course, that if anyone proposes a solution that is ridiculous and predicts a future that is impossible nobody needs to mobilize against it. The Guardian counted 120 meat lobbyists doing damage control at a climate summit that also desperately suppressed food solutions to climate justice.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/09/big-meat-dairy-lobbyists-turn-out-record-numbers-cop28

  • Ray Kowalchuk
    Posted at 21:11h, 31 December Reply

    My Numici digest of annotations and notes
    https://app.numici.com/l/AV2FxR

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