just arrived in sweden. it always amazes me that a country of 8 (or 12?) million people would create the volvo, the saab, ikea, abba, backstreet boys and n*sync, ericsson, and more graphic designers and video directors per square inch than any other country on the planet. i wonder if kids in swedish schools start studying international business and contemporary media when they're in primary school?
tomorrow we're playing a concert for the european union and mtv (strange bedfellows, sort of) at the rival theater (oh, 'REE-val', just fyi). a small, seated show in a really nice old theater (similar to what we did in berlin and barcelona and amsterdam and paris and london).
it's a concert to draw attention to and benefit the european union's climate change initiative. which i'm happy to talk about as long as no one minds me mentioning that 24% of climate change is the result of animal production (according to a united nations report a few years ago).
i asked al gore about why he didn't mention this in an 'inconvenient truth' (as animal production is responsible for more greenhouse gases than every car, bus, truck, bus, plane, boat on the planet COMBINED). he answered honestly, basically saying that getting people to drive a hybrid car isn't that difficult. getting people to give up animal products is almost impossible. i appreciated his honesty. so i guess i'll be talking about climate change tomorrow, and i guess i'll have to mention the most inconvenient of inconvenient truths, that you can't talk seriously about climate change and global warming without looking at the role of animal production (animal production being responsible for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions and also the #1 cause of deforestation in the rainforest).
i'm not saying everyone needs to suddenly become vegan (although that would solve an awful lot of problems...), i'm just saying that it's patently absurd to talk about dealing with climate change and not talk about animal production. it's akin to talking about diabetes to someone without suggesting they stop eating every meal at denny's. if somehow tomorrow we magically stopped burning coal and oil for power and heating and somehow magically stopped all animal production we would most likely cut the production of greenhouse gases by 85%. hybrid cars are great. compact fluorescent lightbulbs are great. but any serious conversation about climate change and global warming has to involve the role of animal production (again, 24% of all greenhouse gases come from animal production). sorry to be a cassandra, but i just don't know how anyone can consider themselves an environmentalist without looking objectively at all of the variables that are contributing to environmental degradation and climate change.