Well dang, it’s becoming more and more difficult to know who to blame for global warmi—er, climate change. In my previous post, we learned that climate change is caused by meat-eating men:
Lisa Baker, the Labor member for Maylands in Perth, told the State Parliament her Government should promote reduced meat consumption. She went onto state meat-eating men tend to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than vegan women.
We also learned that white people are causing climate change by eating white-people foods, or something like that:
Caucasian populations are disproportionately contributing to climate change through their eating habits, which uses up more food — and emits more greenhouse gases — than the typical diets of black and Latinx communities, according to a new report published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.
Data showed that whites produced an average of 680 kilograms of the CO2 each year, attributable to food and drink, whereas Latinx individuals produced 640 kilograms, and blacks 600.
Well, there you go: it’s white people, and especially white men, who are causing climate change through their diets. Case closed.
But then I read this article about a study published in the journal Obesity:
First it was farting cows, and now yet another study into the causes of too much carbon dioxide says obese people are producing more than the average person, helping to harm the planet.
Obesity, the flagship journal of The Obesity Society, has published new research that suggests the increased body mass of people will make it more and more difficult to decrease man-made carbon dioxide emissions entering the atmosphere.
Obese people were found to produce an extra 81kg per year of carbon dioxide emissions from having an increased metabolism, an extra 593kg per year from increased food and drink consumption, and an extra 476kg per year from putting more strain on the transportation industry.
So it’s the obese people causing climate change! Got it. But wait a minute … we learned earlier that black and Latinx people don’t cause as much global warming because of their dietary choices. And yet according to the CDC, they also have higher rates of obesity:
Hispanics (47.0%) and non-Hispanic blacks (46.8%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by non-Hispanic whites (37.9%) and non-Hispanic Asians (12.7%).
I’m really struggling to assign blame accurately here. Blacks and Latinx people produce less CO2 because of their diets, according to one study. But since they’re more obese on average than white people, they’re producing more CO2 because of their metabolisms and their strain on transportation systems, according to another study. All I know for sure is that Asians barely cause any climate change at all.
And then there’s the complex relationship between obesity, income and education, as the CDC notes:
Overall, men and women with college degrees had lower obesity prevalence compared with those with less education.
There’s our answer: FREE COLLEGE FOR EVERYONE! Once everyone has a college degree, obesity rates will drop and people will produce less CO2. The planet will be saved. Glad we got that one figured out.
Among women, obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group than in the middle and lowest income groups. This pattern was observed among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic women. Among non-Hispanic black women, there was no difference in obesity prevalence by income.
Hmmm … no relationship between obesity and income for black women. But it holds up in the other groups, so my answer is still the same: FREE COLLEGE FOR EVERYONE!
Obesity prevalence was higher in the highest income group than in the lowest income group among non-Hispanic black men. Although the difference was not statistically significant among non-Hispanic black men, obesity prevalence increased with educational attainment.
Wait, what?! Black men are more likely to become obese as they become more educated and earn higher incomes? Well, I guess we could offer free college to everyone except black men so they don’t become obese and cause climate change, but that just doesn’t seem right somehow. What’s a save-the-planet environmental warrior to do?
Ah, I’ve got it: we know the ketogenic diet has helped countless people to lose weight. Let’s get everyone on a ketogenic diet. Obesity rates will drop and people will produce less CO2. The planet will be saved.
But then I remembered reading this article:
The world cannot run on bacon and butter. Aside from the fact that there are not enough pigs and cows on the Earth to feed every person in such a high-fat way, this kind of meaty diet is dangerous for both human health and our planet’s future.
“Eating a keto diet that’s especially high in red meat will be undermining the sustainability of the climate,” Harvard nutrition professor Dr. Walter Willett told Business Insider. “It’s bad for the person eating it, but also really bad for our children and our grandchildren, so that’s something I think we should totally, strongly advise against. It’s — in fact — irresponsible.”
A United Nations report released just last week suggests the world’s beef-heavy consumption patterns are taking a serious toll on the health of our planet: food systems are now responsible for 37% of greenhouse gas emissions, and cow manure is a major part of that equation, as it releases large amounts of climate-changing nitrous oxide and methane into the air.
When I’m looking for unbiased truth about diets and the climate, those are my go-to sources: Walter Willett and the United Nations.
I’m in a real quandary now. We know that men, and whites, and especially white men, are causing climate change because of their diets. But we also know that blacks and Latinx people are causing climate change because of their higher obesity rates. And we also know that the ketogenic diet – which helps obese people become non-obese – causes climate change.
So let me think … what if you’re a white man and enjoy white-people food that produces more CO2, but you’re not obese? Are you more or less to blame for climate change than a black man who doesn’t eat white-people food but is obese? What if you’re a thin LatinX woman, but eat a lot of meat? Are you more or less to blame for climate change than an obese white woman who’s a vegetarian? What if you’re a white woman who eats a lot of meat, but you think you’re a Cherokee because of your high cheek bones? And what if obese people of any race or gender go on a ketogenic diet and lose 50 pounds? Does the fact they’re now putting less strain on the transportation system offset the planet-killing effects of the ketogenic diet?
There’s just so much blame to sort out ….
I think the solution here is to form a special Climate Change Blame commission that will meet in some exotic location and determine blame points based on race, gender, body mass, education level, income level, meat consumption, and blood ketone levels. Then we’ll finally know exactly how much to blame each person for climate change. Al Gore can fly in on his private jet and give the keynote speech, followed by a finger-wagging Greta Thunberg.
Or we could just decide it’s a load of bull@#$% and go enjoy our dinners.
Let me know what you decide.