UK’s Chief Science Advisor: Humans ‘overexploited the planet,’ need less food sources to reduce food waste

A new op-ed published at The Guardian, titled “We’ve overexploited the planet, now we need to change if we’re to survive,” promotes the United Nations’ Biodiversity Conference and plans to reduce food waste by reducing or eliminating the means to grow food.

Under the byline “Addressing the twin challenges of carbon emissions and biodiversity loss requires political will and leadership. Ambitious commitments must be made,” author Patrick Vallance begins by claiming that there is “compelling evidence that humans are overexploiting wild species and habitats. Harmful activities, including habitat destruction, poor farming practices and pollution…”

Vallance is the UK government’s chief scientific advisor

Similar to climate change sources, such as the IPCC, Vallance points to a “report released today by Ipbes, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” to claim that thousands of species are now “threatened with extinction” and globally, there are an estimated one million at risk.”

Vallance summarizes the “warnings” of these reports, stating that “human self-interest alone should determine that biodiversity must be protected.

“Alongside overexploitation, humans are driving biodiversity loss by destroying, polluting and fragmenting habitats across the globe.”

Later Vallance adds that “There are also simple day-to-day things we can do to benefit our environment; for instance, reducing food waste,” pointing to the UN for solutions.

“Political will and leadership are needed, and the 15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity conference in December, CBD Cop15, provides the next critical opportunity for governments to commit to real ambitious change.

“CBD Cop15 could deliver landmark action and be as important for biodiversity as the Paris Agreement is proving for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will set the direction for the next decade of international action and beyond. Governments should agree to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, and develop evidence-based, actionable plans to do so. An important challenge is to define a reliable and simple integrated metric, like carbon emissions have been used for climate goals. At the end of June, negotiators met in Nairobi for their latest attempt to agree the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and while progress was made, it did not go far enough.”

The UN FAQs layout their directives (read below) while other scientists propose genetically engineer gut flora, so people can metabolize and enjoy the taste of completely rotten food.

Imagine de Free-Photos de la Pixabay

Meanwhile, the Dutch government is attempting to force a 30% reduction in lifestock, completely serious about implementing these extreme policies to “reduce food waste” by generating less food.

The authoritarian measures have already emerged with officials confronting farmers with lethal force when the farmers object to the deliberate financial destruction of their businesses.

Vallance concludes his article by calling for a “robust mechanism for monitoring progress and holding ourselves to account” without defining “robust” or how “account” will be enforced.

The UN spells out their expectations, in their food waste FAQ.

Key messages

  1. There is never room for food loss and waste!
  2. Reducing food loss and waste, provides a powerful means to strengthen the sustainability of our food systems and improve planetary health.
  3. Increasing the efficiency of our food systems and reducing food loss and waste, necessitates investment in innovation, technologies and infrastructure.
  4. Recovery and redistribution make good use of surplus food and contribute to improving access to food for the food insecure, preventing food waste and ensuring economic, environmental and social benefits.
  5. Diverting food waste to composting is better than sending it to a landfill, but preventing food from being wasted in the first place is an even better way to lessen the impact on the environment.
  6. Realising and maximising the positive impacts of reducing food loss and waste, requires good governance and human capital development, as well as collaboration and partnerships.

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