Dear California Air Resources
We are in a climate emergency embedded in a
larger environmental crisis. In addition to the grave threat of
runaway global warming, additional environmental systems such as
the biosphere, land use, biogeochemical flows, and others have
begun to approach the safe space for life on earth have already
gone past that boundary. It's time to take your job seriously. Here
are the things you must address in the upcoming Climate Change
- Include an aggressive campaign to address
emissions from animal agriculture within our state. A
narrow focus on fossil fuels will not prevent climate catastrophe.
Nor will it effectively deal with the other environmental crises
for which animal agriculture is the largest or one of the primary
contributors. Other government agencies are tasked with protecting
different aspects of our environment. Nevertheless, your action to
curb greenhouse gas emissions from the industry that produces the
most anthropogenic methane emissions worldwide (as well as other
short-lived climate forcers and CO2) can have a positive rippling
effect across the other areas of harm.
- Insure that your
campaign to address emissions from animal agriculture can be
effective by including efforts to reduce production and
consumption. Scientific studies conclude that production-side changes
in animal agriculture will not reduce emissions sufficiently to
stop runaway warming. We need to produce less food from animals or
we won't make it. Tweaks like methane digesters and seaweed
supplements will not solve the problem.
Stop pretending that California only needs to
account for emissions created within our boundaries.
California is a huge contributor to environmental damage
caused outside of our borders. We cannot pretend that we are doing
well for the cause of a habitable Earth if we only measure the
damage we commit internally. You must start accounting for
consumption-based harm, for example greenhouse gas emissions, water
use, land use, and pollution from fossil fuels and animal products
consumed in our state and produced elsewhere.
Rein in rogue refineries. Commit
California to a policy/regulatory agenda that ensures that
California refineries are not sourcing crude from regions where
there are Indigenous rights violations or from regions where new
oil drilling in the Amazon is being planned.
Don't punt your climate impacts to communities in
the Amazon or elsewhere. Present a plan for California to
reduce and/or eliminate its consumption of crude oil and rainforest
beef from the Amazon. Consider appropriate ways to reduce imports
of animal-based foods and oil from other regions of the world as
- Commit California to
Commit California to new fuel efficiency
standards and expanded electrification of fleets that
consume the most Amazon oil. Expansion of EVs broadly, and public
transportation goals to reduce domestic consumption equivalent to
Amazon oil import totals.
Thank you for your consideration,
Rev. Beth Love, Executive Director
Eat for the Earth