Picture a world without wonton soup, fried rice, and General Tso’s chicken. Imagine no chocolate ice cream and fortune cookies for dessert.
Think again. According to the Orange Man in the White House, Climate Change is a Chinese Hoax. Fake news. The truth is that the endangered species list is no longer reserved for tigers, pandas, and orangutans. It’s headed straight to your dinner plate.
Here’s what scientists have to say about wonton soup.
Chickens (and chicken soup) are in trouble. If you eat one small chicken breast, a few times a week, the annual greenhouse gas emissions are about the same as driving 700 miles a year.
The wheat used to make the wonton skin isn’t faring much better. Many experts believe that wheat is the crop most vulnerable to climate change. Dr. Brian Gould, Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin, predicts that “down the road, [we will probably] have to change our lifestyles to have a more significant portion of our income spent on food.”
Add rising prices to feed and raise the animals we eat, crop failures due to climate change disasters like droughts, floods, and extreme weather, and it’s clear that our wonton soup is endangered.
When our government pushes coal mining and fossil fuels, defeats environmental protection, and claims global warming is a myth more greenhouse gases pollute our planet.
The Orange Man in the White House proudly proclaims, “climate change is a scam. I don’t believe in it.”
He eats KFC in a $4 billion airplane and swigs cans of Diet Coke, fast food burgers, and two scoops of cherry vanilla ice cream. The seven out of ten Americans and overwhelming majority of scientists who believe in climate change have no bearing on his choices.
“It’s freezing outside,” he comments, “where the hell is global warming?”
Here’s where it is: temperatures around the globe are climbing, extreme weather is becoming standard, and ocean levels are rising. Agriculture, dependent on weather and rainfall, is at risk. Fruit trees need cold for production, rice requires a lot of fresh water, and coffee plants are weakened by heat and unpredictable rainfall.
According to Australia’s Climate Institute, if current climate change continues at its present pace, half of the land presently used for coffee beans will be gone by mid-century. Rising sea levels will affect the fragile habitats of cocoa trees – cutting into chocolate production. Experts predict a 40% decline in avocados – the fast food chain, Chipotle, has warned that at the present rate it might be forced to stop serving guacamole.
Imagine the Super Bowl without tortilla chips and guacamole?
Renee Cho, writes in State of the Planet, from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, “crops can fall by 35%.”
Consider the oceans where species like lobster and salmon are moving to colder water, facing new competition for food and different diseases. The water is becoming more acidic from greenhouse gases and along with over-fishing, threaten marine extinctions.
“Global demand for food,” adds Cho, “could increase from 59-98% [by mid-century].”
Not only is wonton soup endangered but you can take shrimp fried rice, pork lo mein, and sweet & sour chicken off the menu too.
Our dinner plates are headed for tough times. Food insecurity is widespread, especially in poor and developing countries. We need to lead – not drop out – of global partnerships that try to contain climate change.
It’s not all bad news. Have you ever tried an Impossible or Beyond Burger (meatless)? How about soy, almond, or coconut milk instead of carbon-costly dairy products? Are your socks made from bamboo? Do you buy local produce?
They all help.
Don’t wait for the big names to make changes. We have more in common with koalas, polar bears, and butterflies than the guys in the Senate.
Jay Inslee, Washington State Governor and 2020 presidential candidate, says, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it.”
It’s time to save your wonton soup!
Check out my next blog, Voting with Your Fork: Eating Earth-healthy and ignore the climate change deniers!