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Eat your way down

Seeing Nick Stern's name attached to a 'go vegetarian' headline caught my eye on the Guardian web site today, not so much for the content, which covers a story that we've known about for years, but beacause it was written by an economist. His forecast of the £3,000,000,000 A YEAR cost to the UK of supporting developing countries' fight against the impact of climate change was one good reason for shifting our diet to one that's low (or zero) in meat and high in vegetables. Human rights and environmental justice are stronger measures of course, but without £££ attached to them, don't get the same headlines. Highlights from the Guardian are:

"Farmed ruminant animals, including cattle and sheep, are thought to be responsible for up to a quarter of "man-made" methane emissions worldwide.

Stern, whose 2006 Stern Review warned that countries needed to spend 1% of their GDP to stop greenhouse gases rising to dangerous levels, said a successful deal at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December would massively increase the cost of producing meat.

People's concerns about climate change would lead to meat eating becoming unacceptable, he predicted.

"I think it's important that people think about what they are doing and that includes what they are eating," he told the Times. "I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food."

Stern, a former chief economist at the World Bank and now IG Patel Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, also warned that helping developing countries to cope with the adverse effects of global warming would cost British taxpayers about £3bn a year by 2015"

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