The Greatest Challenge That Humanity Will Face Essay

1833 Words May 1st, 2015 8 Pages
The greatest challenge that humanity will face in this century is how to halt climate change in its tracks. Carbon dioxide levels are increasing, the polar ice caps are melting, the seas are rising, the weather is more extreme, and the deserts are becoming larger. Yet, population is increasing and will continue to for a long time. People are still burning fossil fuels and are, in general, eating more meat. In 2009, the per capita meat consumption in the United States was 120.20 kilograms, which is equivalent to about 0.75 pounds per day (Chartsbin 2013). This incredible amount of meat consumption is very visible just outside my own backyard, which is just seven miles from one of the largest meat-packing plants in the world. Among its many consequences, meat consumption often goes hand-in-hand with overgrazing and is highly unsustainable. Overgrazing leads to desertification, which is in turn exacerbated by climate change. Because meat is very central to so many people’s diets, finding a solution to this issue is often very divisive. Many have suggested possible solutions to the challenge of desertification, but some of these solutions fail to target what is at the heart of this problem. Ultimately, solving the issues of desertification, overgrazing, and climate change will require a major lifestyle change inspired by the ideas of Hentry David Thoreau that all people should adopt. While humans do not necessarily have to become entirely vegetarian or vegan, this shift will…

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