Victorian Climate Action Calendar: 15 March to 24 May 2015

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This calendar covers events from 15 March to 24 May 2015

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A number items of interest are featured below.


“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life
on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet”
Albert Einstein

  • DEFORESTATION – youtube video

Monique Decortis

……Diet impacts on climate as meat based diets are in a large part responsible for the emissions of methane through the life cycle and supply chain of animals raised for food.
Ruminants such as cattle, sheep, goats, camel, and buffalo produce methane as a by-product of digesting plant material. Globally, ruminant livestock produce roughly 80 million metric tons of methane annually, accounting for about 28% of the global methane emissions from human-related activities. Livestock production systems can also emit nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide.
Livestock raising is one of the main drivers of deforestation. Clearing of tropical forests and rain forests for the creation of new grazing land and farm land increases the rate of species extinction, has a devastating effect on biodiversity and is responsible for an extra 2.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emission per year.
With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year. Global meat production is projected to more than double by 2050, while milk output is also set to increase considerably. Livestock now use 30 percent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 percent of the global arable land used to produce feed for livestock. Livestock water consumption, including water used in producing feed, places great stress on the already-limited supply of water resources.
Replacing livestock with other food sources would greatly reduce greenhouse emissions and therefore the rate at which the climate is warming. Replacement of livestock for mitigation of climate change needs to go alongside other actions such as cessation of deforestation through logging for commercial reasons, replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy, population control and an overall reduction in consumption of our natural resources.

DEFORESTATION (3:50 minutes)

Tropical forests act as the lungs and temperature regulator for the planet. and they play a crucial role in maintaining a stable climate. Over half of the species on earth reside in tropical forests, yet every year, 20 million hectares of tropical forests are being destroyed, releasing 2 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Every second an area of tropical rainforest the size of a football field is being destroyed.Deforestation is responsible for 20-25% of global warming, due to the massive release of CO2 that is stored in the trees.
A Woods Hole Research Centre study found that the Amazon Forest is at imminent risk of being turned into desert.  If the 90 billion tons of carbon stored in the Forest were released into the atmosphere, it would have disastrous consequences on the world’s climate.
According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s 2007 report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow”, 70% of total Amazon deforestation, and over 90% of Amazon deforestation since the 1970’s, is due to clearing land for pasture and for growing soya bean crops to be fed to livestock. In addition, scientists have found that 60% of the black carbon particles building up on the surface of the ice in Antarctica were carried there by the wind from South American forests, which are burned to clear land for livestock production. Black carbon, or soot, is 680 times more heat trapping than CO2.



Beyond Zero Emissions

Beyond Zero Emissions’ Zero Carbon Australia Land Use Report outlines a range of measures that can substantially reduce emissions and provide opportunities for farmers in building resilience to the impacts of climate change. These measures encompass both agriculture and forestry and address emissions at the scale required to prevent catastrophic climate change.


The Land Use Report analyses the suite of land use practices in Australia for their function as a source of greenhouse emissions, the potential of the landscape to draw down atmospheric CO2, and the likely impact of changes to land use patterns on local economies. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of how Australia can manage its productive capacity, ecological heritage and ecosystems services for the future.

Download the report (pdf 16.1 MB) or order the report: BZE online shop.


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