Challenging The Orthodoxy: Is Excluding Carbon Opportunity Cost (COC) from IPCC and therefore National Carbon Accounting fair or lawful?

GO THERE

Including COC in Carbon Accounting conventions shows livestock = 87% of Global Temperature Change Potential. We debated this at The Oxford Union and drew out those who can help our legal case to challenge the lawfulness of present policy. Thank you all who have helped begin this unfolding story!

Founder and general secretary
December 7, 2023
Chief Financial Officer
Commercial Legal Team Lead

SUMMARY

This document tells the story of our efforts to determine the apparent validity of arguments for the inclusion of the Carbon Opportunity Cost (COC) of deforestation into the IPCC Carbon accounting conventions published by Dr. Sailesh Rao in The Journal of Ecological Society and Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop of World Preservation Foundation. These papers argue that when COC is included in the IPCC Carbon accounting conventions, using gross instead of net accounting, that the main driver of biodiversity loss and deforestation, animal agriculture, is seen to be responsible for 87% of Global Temperature Change Potential (GTCP).

If these arguments are correct then these changes force us to refocus our policy and initiatives away from fossil fuels and onto Animal Agriculture. The consequences of adopting these climate accounting conventions would be the difference between solving the biodiversity and climate change issues or accelerating them. The effort was led by Green Campus Ltd., Climate Healers, World Preservation Foundation and sponsored by GenV and was directed at the environmental science faculties of Oxford asking for their help to evaluate what, if any, arguments there were against including COC in the carbon accounting conventions.

This document also introduces our efforts with The Environmental Law Foundation and environmental law firms Leigh Day and Richard Buxton to use these academic, evidence based arguments to develop and assess legal challenges against the lawfulness of present UK Policy that is based on the IPCC Carbon accounting conventions. The legal campaign is supported by this academic campaign but is separate and covered in more details on the create.green/law pages.

We used the device of a debate at The Oxford Union, initially offering $1m to debunk Dr. Rao’s position paper claiming Animal Agriculture was responsible for 87% of Global Temperature Change Potential, to invite and hopefully attract the relevant Oxford faculties. My hope was that we could find the best arguments against us and therefore come closer to the truth and find our bearings for where to direct our focus to help the planet and perhaps help others too. 

The $1m challenge was soon dropped as The Oxford Union debate and black tie dinner was excuse enough to come forwards and we are very grateful that some incredibly patient and hardworking folk came to help shine a light on this topic and potential ways forwards, namely: Jessica Zionts who helped us to broach the case with her supervisor Professor Michael Obersteiner, Director of The Environmental Change Institute. Professor Hannah Ritchie, head of research at Our World In Data detailing ‘The Carbon Opportunity Cost of Our Food’. There was also Jimmy Jia at Mansfield College whose research introduces ‘time’ into the IPCC Carbon accounting conventions. We also found those who argue against including gross COC in the carbon accounting conventions, namely Joseph Poore and John Lynch who are also patiently explaining their views.

We are seeking responses to Gerard and Sailesh’s paper, so we can review the arguments against including COC. So far there have been no arguments against the position, published or in discussion, that I can find (see the extensive references below), or those offered in loud rooms I could not understand. The closest I can find is Dr. Lynch recommending GWP* in his recent work, or in conversation with him, but not addressing the issue of gross accounting for COC on paper. Dr. Lynch has kindly said that he would provide some feedback once Gerard’s paper is published. A peer review process is underway now. 

If anyone can find published arguments against including gross COC in the IPCC model please email them to Charles@create.green and I will publish them in amendment to this article with the date they were sent in, following this paragraph.

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We would like to share a huge thank you to The Oxford Union for hosting us, supporting us and allowing us to leverage their platform to shine a light on these incredibly important issues. To Climate Healers for bringing the sponsors GenV on board and Sailesh for trusting us to run around with his work desperately seeking answers as to why the effects of deforestation is not included in the IPCC carbon accounting conventions and therefore national policies. This was indeed a fitting debate for the final debate of the Oxford Union’s 200th Anniversary.

The Replaced Bodlian Library

Wednesday December 06 2023

In August of 2023, I was introduced to the leader of the team for the proposition, Dr. Sailesh Rao, by my co-founder and Executive Director of World Preservation Foundation (NGO), Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop regarding the peer reviewed paper that Sailesh had published and the still yet to be published paper of Gerard's on how the IPCC does not include the carbon opportunity cost of deforestation in their accounting conventions. 

I had recently endured an abortion of a planned pregnancy and felt that by supporting this very important science to become more recognised I could earn merit and share that with the mind streams of all involved in the hope to provide some positive remedy to the situation. ‘Sharing of Merits’ This is a Buddhist practice that my Sangha practices to support the death and dying process, to support those involved. I dedicate the merit from this project to the heartbase of those mind-streams.

A cover photo of Dr. Sailesh Rao of www.climatehealers.org from another debate.

Sailesh is a system's engineer whose patents and designs are behind the architecture that every data signal is sent across the web, including those you are reading now. His work introduces the carbon accounts of The Earth from a systems engineering perspective, putting all inputs and outputs on the table and then working out what the Global Temperature Change Potential (GTCP) of different sectors are. Sailesh’s paper very bravely outlines that Livestock is seen to be responsible for 87% of climate change when we include these forgone sequestrations from the largest land user and driver of deforestation: Livestock Production. Here is a web readable version of that paper:

‘Animal Agriculture is the Leading Cause of Climate Change’ by Sailesh Rao Nov. 2019

published in the Journal of Ecological Society, vol 32-33, 2021.  A Climate Healers Position Paper “a world-changing paper… potentially, a world-saving paper” – Dr. John McDougall

https://climatehealers.org/the-science/animal-agriculture-position-paper/

Gerard's work similarly discusses the need for new accounting conventions in greenhouse gas emissions accounting, specifically focusing on the incorporation of carbon opportunity cost (COC) and the attribution of COC to specific land uses. The authors propose a framework that considers the potential for restoring vegetation and soil as a valid anthropogenic climate cost, equivalent to the sequestration potential of restoring soil and growing vegetation. They suggest that COC should be included in both the "flows" (current account as a yearly drawdown rate) and the "stock" (capital account as the total drawdown potential) in the accounting framework. The paper also highlights the importance of consistent accounting of CO2 sources, removing artificial distinctions between drawdown on intact and managed land, including all emissions in sector accounting, and clearly attributing land use emissions to responsible industries/sectors. The authors argue that these proposed changes would provide a more comprehensive and transparent approach to greenhouse gas emissions accounting.

Wedderburn-Bisshop, G. Consistent Greenhouse Accounting Identifies Forests and Land Use as Crucial Determinants of Climate. Preprints 2023, 2023101863. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202310.1863.v1

Both Sailesh and Gerard’s papers show that by not including the carbon opportunity cost of deforestation (the carbon not absorbed by forests because they have been chopped down) fossil fuels appear to be the main driver of climate change, erroneously. They also explain that burning fossil fuels causes a cooling aerosol layer and by stopping fossil fuel combustion we are removing this cooling layer and speeding up climate change if we are not reducing livestock consumption! Professor James Hansen calls this The Faustian Bargain of climate change that he explores in this paper:

‘Doubling Down on Our Faustian Bargain’ 29 March 2013 James Hansen, Pushker Kharecha, Makiko Sato | Columbia https://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2013/20130329_FaustianBargain.pdf

If you are not of the mind to read these papers, here are a series of short videos in playlists from our aforementioned World Preservation Foundation Executive Director, Garard Wedderburn-Bisshop summarising the various arguments for and against the present IPCC Carbon accounting conventions not including the forgone sequestration of deforested land in their models: The Farmed Animal Emissions Controversy Playlist

The Farmed Animal Emissions Controversy Playlist

Back in August 2023, Sailesh was offering $1m to anyone who could debunk his 87% figure in an Oxford style debate and had tentatively agreed on a debate in front of Harlem School Children at the Apollo Theatre in New York. It was explained to me that the money was being offered by the same folk who offered The Pope and Rishi Sunak $1m to go vegan for a month and donate the money to charities of their choice (both decline the offer quite shamelessly). I deduced this was GenV.org !

Musk at a TED Talk detailing his long held plans for x.com to provide 50% of financial transactions on the planet and 100% on Mars

I wrote to Sailesh offering to help him and suggested we write to Elon Musk at Twitter HQ (just before it turned to x.com) and ask if we could host the debate there as Musk was describing that x.com was hoping to be a platform ‘where people could come to work out what the truth about a certain issue was’. Musk had also stated that he wanted X.com to be the platform where 50% of all transactions on Earth happened as well as providing a plethora of other financial services. As such this made the platform potentially well suited to accounting convention leadership. 

NYC Mayor Adams at a Rally with His Constituants

Sailesh was in contact with NYC Mayor Adams (Vegan) through Adams’ long standing PA and Sailesh and I drafted a one pager for Mayor Adams to pass onto Elon at x.com and also to former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg,  inviting them to debate the 87% figure on the x.com and Bloomberg platforms. The incentive that I offered to both parties in my version of the one pager was that correcting the accounting conventions to include COC would hugely increase the size of the Carbon market that they could both trade on their platforms and be seen as the authority on. I hypothesised that including COC would hugely increase the value of mature forest offset assets and portfolios so we could incentivise investment in them, increase the value of mature forests and thus protect them while making everyone a huge load of money and addressing the totally misdirected focus of climate solutions from Fossil Fuels to Animal Agriculture. I do have a long list of green finance groups I am trying to conduct such a study with so get in touch if you want to conduct a valuation study like that please get in touch.

Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg at The Earthshot Prize

I argued that by having these kinds of cutting edge accounting conventions in the carbon exchanges of Bloomberg and x.com (both NYC based companies), Mayor Adams would be putting his city at the heart of an incredibly valuable revolution and the carbon trading markets that are set to grow hugely. 

Barclays has predicted that the flourishing voluntary carbon market could hit a worth of $250bn annually by 2030 and will continue to grow to a colossal $1.5tn yearly by 2050.



There are now 30 ‘compliance’ carbon markets operating around the world, in which entities must purchase or trade allowances for the emissions they produce. Together, these markets reached a value of more than $850 billion in 2021 and cover close to a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions (Bloomberg).

Mayor Adams declined to pass on the invitation and the prospective date for the September debate at the Apollo Theatre in NYC was fast approaching with no opposition willing to challenge Sailesh.

The Oxforf Union Courtyard at on an Autumn Morning

I decided to travel to Oxford and visit the Oxford Union in person to see if they would be interested in taking up Dr. Rao on his offer of $1m to challenge the conclusions of his paper in a debate. I was given the details of The President of The Oxford Union, Disha Hegde (pictured below at the head of the high table between the tables of both sides of the house) and their Chief of Staff, Chloe Davis and reported back to Sailesh that The Union was open to hear of the proposal. 

Sailesh initially responded that he did not feel that such an event would be high profile enough for his financial backer offering the $1m. I could not imagine a higher profile ‘Oxford style debate’ than at The Oxford Union so quite impetuously, I wrote one of my very long spectrum strumming emails to the ‘contact us’ section of the GenV.org website, assuming it was them. I tried to explain everything that I have just explained up till now and argued that GenV should support the event.

I received a very confused response from GenV’s CEO Naomi Hallum who explained she had no idea what I was talking about and that she had no idea who Sailesh was. I wrote back saying that Sailesh was working with the financier behind the offer of $1m to The Pope and $1m to Rishi Sunak to go vegan.



The following days, before I could get a response back from Naomi, Sailesh told me that his financier had contacted him and said that The Oxford Union would in fact be a good location for the debate. Sailsh used the email addresses of Disha and Chloe that I had sent to him if asking if he wanted to organise the debate there, saying that he would like to go ahead with the debate at Oxford. I then wrote explaining what our proposal was as Disha and Chloe had still not heard from anyone from our side about what the proposed debate was.



Disha very graciously suggested organising an online meeting to discuss everything further which Sailesh asked to be kept in private between Disha, Sailesh and the financier to preserve the anonymity of the financier to protect him from ‘pestering’ emails. I offered NDAs with fines of $20,000 attached to a breach of the confidentiality which I put together with the trusty Green team Lawyers, but was still not allowed to attend.

After the meeting, Sailesh told me that Disha had recently become vegan and was excited about the subject of the debate but that it was felt that a debate on Carbon accounting conventions was too niche for their audience and that in order to attract an audience they would need to adopt a broader topic. The motion: ‘This House World Go Vegan’ was selected. They also explained that they would not offer the $1m prize but instead seek to ask Prince William if he would add a new category to The Earth Shot Prize awarding $1m for the next six years to the winners of this new category focused on a transition to healthful plant based agriculture. That offer still stands to The Prince of Wales and Sir David!

Sir David Attenborough and The Prince of Wales of EarthShotPrize.org offered £1m a year fr the next 6 years for a new transition to plant based solutions prize.

I protested that this motion was too broad and lacked a conclusion that could help us strategically to change carbon accounting conventions and thus help the planet in a very actionable and effective way, changing policy to focus on the issue: animal agriculture.I argued making the debate about veganism brought in topics of ethics and health which would make the actionable conclusions of the event and likelihood of winning very remote, not to mention this was totally different to the original challenge and offer. By this stage, Disha had mistakenly let slip the name of the financier in an email so I wrote to GenV explaining that it was ‘x’ who was supporting the event. Naomi now recognised their backers name and explained she would help however she could.

James Wilks, Director of The Game Changers 1&2 and Director of www.gamechangersinstitute.com

I convened a meeting online with Disha, Chloe, Sailesh, Naomi, my co-founder Mark Galvin and Director of The Game Changers, James Wilks to discuss the topic of the debate. Disha really stuck to her guns even as James questioned her about the relevance of either side winning a debate with that motion. In the end Disha and Sailesh felt that the motion: This House Would Go Vegan, was best so we went with that.

Sailesh and I prepared a list of teams for and against the proposition, suggestions we felt would be suitable in the areas of, health and ethics. Notably there were almost no responses from those who were invited to stand against the proposition whereas all of those who were invited to stand for the proposition accepted the invitation! In the end we didn’t know who the final choices for either side of the house were until the day before the debate. I will cover the final team members later.

The process of dealing with The Oxford Union was hard. Both Sailesh and I would often have emails unresponded to for weeks where we sought to define the teams for and against the proposition and I had to go to The Union in person, twice, to ask for responses that were not forthcoming. Eventually the Bursar Richard Davies was kept copied into mail to ensure that meetings and responses that were promised by Disha and Chloe were attended and responded to. Unfortunately this meant planning was delayed unnecessarily. We are however grateful for the final lineup that The Union did put together.

www.plantbasedhealthprofessionals.com

We know that at one stage about a month prior to the event, Dr. Shireen Kassam was on the team for the proposition, although she was unable to attend the debate in the end.

Dr Shireen Kassam is a Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital, London with a specialist interest in the treatment of lymphoma. She is also a Visiting-Professor at University of Winchester, Hampshire, where she has developed and facilitates the UK's first University-based course on plant-based nutrition

Shireen founded Plant-Based Health Professionals UK in 2018, a non-profit, membership organisation whose mission is to provide evidence-based education on whole food plant-based nutrition. In January 2021, she co-founded and launched the UK's first regulated, plant-based, lifestyle medicine healthcare service Plant Based Health Online.

Dr Shireen’s Directory of Planet Based Health Professionals is pretty amazing and we are now drawing on these as we conduct a feasibility study for an oncological support program that expands on work already started with the Green Camp Weekends.

Chris Packham OBE and Sir Jeremy Corbyn with a bunch of scientists at Parliament pushing to end fossil fuel use quie contrary to the science.

Another superstar that I sought to bring to “The High Table” and debate was Chris Packham OBE. I wrote to his press agents and they said that he would look at the material. As a huge fan of Chris’, having consumed his new incredible BBC show ‘Earth’ and the accompanying book, I noticed on his twitter account that he was organising a rally at Parliament to protest The Government rescinding their commitments to reduce fossil fuel use. I filled the printer with ink and was printing off and binding copies of Sailesh and Gerard’s papers and ran off to Parliament to try and meet with Chris or at least discuss the issue with some of the scientists that he had gathered there. Chris very graciously gave me some time and he remembered my email. Even more miraculously he was able to quote all of the figures from Sailesh’s paper back to me faster then I could and summarised the key idea of using gross accounting instead of net accounting for all spheres of human activity. 

Mr. Packham was all over this and said he ‘needed to do more research’ into the issue. I hounded him a second time where I asked if he was aware of Prof. James Hansen’s arguments that are in Sailesh and Gerard’s work that focusing on fossil fuel combustion, as Chris was at that rally, was in fact speeding up climate change because it was removing the cooling aerosol layer and not dealing with the real issue: animal agriculture. He explained that fossil fuels were a rallying symbol. I questioned him further: ‘but what if we are wrong’? He said he would get back to me and that he just needed to research things further. I have still not heard back from him and I am not sure if some of the debacle regarding four or five of the invites might be to blame but I will detail that later on in the story.

I feel it is worth mentioning another recurring theme in this story: when Chris and Sir Jeremy Corbyn MP were talking outside Parliament I listened in. I could hear them talking about how to protect the environment quite sincerely and very innocently remarking on something: how ‘silly it was that someone could own a tree’. This seemed to be questioning the central definition of Capitalism, private ownership. I wanted to say then: “Gentlemen, what better system of permission than ownership (private or shared) do you propose for identification and controlling who can and can’t climb into one’s bed?”. A democratic economy is certainly the last sphere to democratise and Governor Melvyn King and my researcher colleagues at The Bank of England would certainly agree that the present architecture of the reserve system is ‘the worst possible arrangement’ - but if we can not see that the relative use of a label as ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ for the purposes of organisation is separate from the absolute unity of everything that has no need to be enforced, then we are headed for a debate much like that Steven Marche of The Guardian called The Debate of The Century: between Jordan Peterson and Slavoj Zizek on The Commons

I was amazed to find that on my journey organising this debate, that there were incredibly high ranking folk about me who were using these very cliche and dangerous arguments as though they had never read any of the ancient arguments against their own positions, those that are foundations of the rule of law and disciplines that our freedoms depend on. It was so incredibly ungrateful, throwing many babies out with the bath water I felt. Confused at best. A four year old can take a bike apart, but try to build one!

Sir Patrick Holden, former CEO of The Soil Association that set out in earnest 35 years ago to try to stop the poisonous, biodiversity stripping and nutrition degrading forms of synthetic agriculture by pioneering organic certification said, at the launch event of his new Sustainable Food Trust at The Royal Geographical Society about a decade ago, that he felt they had failed to transform agriculture because only c. 6% of goods brought or sold were organic. This humility in the face of such a vast achievement is very characteristic of Sir Patrick, so too the sincerity to innovate in creating solutions that serve life. His Sustainable Food Trust for example, in the aforementioned launch conference of the SFT championed True Cost Accounting, provided a system that the left wing Australian Government nearly made law, effectively creating a fee and dividend carbon tax framework, all those years ago before the very right wing conservative party took their seats and deleted their policy and framework, for shame.

Did The SFT stop pushing true cost accounting because 96% of subsidies go to animal agriculture that creates fewer, lower quality jobs and consumes so many more resources then animal agriculture?

I also met Sir Patrick at Arundel Castle with His Grace The Duke of Norfolk, where my forest garden is and then he explained to my face that his vision was to have animals roaming basically free and only very few of the weak and the sick are selected for special medical purposes. This is in-fact quite different from the animal farming that Sir Patrick advocates in other debates and works on their site. Because of this I guess this is why they do not seem to push true cost accounting and Carbon taxes at SFT any more. When Sir Patrick debated George Monbiot on Intelligence Squared, he was unable to respond to George’s argument that even the best possible animal agriculture (as per the studies on Sir Patrick’s farm) was hundreds of times less biodiverse than the same land left to return to forest, which at least 50% or more of farmland would be able to if folk switched away from animal agriculture. I felt that this would be the ideal opportunity to debate this, as this is surely the animal agriculture practitioner who is most sincere about being of benefit to life and so Sir Patrick was one of the first we invited to stand against the proposition. Unfortunately Sir Patrick was busy but he wrote back, twice (!), explaining that he was very interested in this area and keen to be involved. What a legend!

In conversation with Environmental Law firm Leigh Day exploring legal recourse to present policy

Sailesh and I had been discussing options for legal recourse regarding present policy and we were exploring in earnest if we could sue the IPCC for not including COC in the present model. I wrote to all of the main environmental law expert organisations: Client Earth, Richard Buxton, Environmental Law Foundation (presided over by HM King Charles) and Leigh Day. Each explained to us that we would need to phrase our challenge in a national way as their organisations are all set up to deal with national issues. I consulted with an international relations and business graduate friend, Pauline Bui, asking for how we might be able to phrase the challenge nationally. Pauline suggested suing the Secretary of State and Net Zero for dereliction of duty and gross negligence. I went back to the aforementioned law firms with this suggestion. Client Eath explained they were at capacity for their present number of hours that they could give to charitable causes and we did not hear back from them again but Richard Buxton opened a line of communication with us to review the situation. Environmental Law Foundation refered us to Leigh Day who also opened up a line of communication with us and over an initial call with their team we learned that suing Ministers or anyone else would put this into a criminal law framework that they could not provide support for. Upon learning this we clearly stated we did not want to persue criminal recourse as we did not feel it appropriate. Leigh Day suggested that we challenge the lawfulness of policy using some very smart approaches and this seems to be the most comprehensive option that we have to effecting the change at a policy level. So at the moment we are persuing this approach. Leigh Day have been successful in pushing for judicial review in similar areas in their representation of the activist group Feedback and their campaogn.

Because The Union Insisted on sending out the invitations to the debate, were unresponsive as to who they were inviting and we had to wait for a very long time until they responded with what the options were regarding inviting guests; In the 3-4 weeks we were waiting for a response I focused on two main things. Firstly, Sailesh and I explored an idea that Sailesh had for suing the IPCC for not including the COC in the framework and we reached out to various legal groups. The story of the development of the legal challenge is explored in more detail in the create.green/law page as and when we feel it strategic to publish on the challenge, but suffice to say, we have gained some amazing support and good traction based on the work of this academic campaign. The second area of focus was exactly that, assessing the arguments for and against COC in the academic sphere: 

Oxford facing towards London. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I went through each of the thirty three colleges (+ those new ones still forming) and various schools at Oxford looking through faculties for folk that were relevant to the environmental, legal, development/environmental finance, medical and philosophical implications of this work. This became a rather mammoth task as I had to find folk in relevant areas by looking through thousands of researchers' work. In the end I produced a very long list of hundreds of researchers at Oxford and labelled them according to where they would sit at dinner (what side of what positions they were on): either on the environmental, business or medical tables. After much delay Disha finally responded to our many request regarding who and how many we could invite to the supper very kindly granted us 20 invitations and the most incredible opportunity: she allowed me to send invites she cleared the content of from The Oxford Union Letterhead signed in her name, basically forwarding on invites from my list on her behalf. I made the invite based on one she had asked me to send to Bo Burnham (who was also a magical talisman in The World Exchange offset exchange project we put together for the producers of Glastonbury during Lockdown). Thanks to Theo Fennel for the help there!

I also visited some of the vacant commercial properties, one opposite the Pret on Cornmarket St. re bringing a vegan Restaurant in to town run by my co-founder Mark Galvin: NordVegan. The premises were not of interest to Mark. I also found The Bird and Baby (The Eagle & Child) pub vacant and made enquiries through the franchise owner that was last managing it if that was available. They said it was awaiting renovation in 2024. I later soon found that Larry Ellison, billionaire founder of the new Ellison College, had brought the pub and was thinking along similar lines, however non vegan. Enjoy our 48 hour "full production" audiobook of The Lord of The Rings with score by Howard Shore, foley, sound design and character performances read unabridged by Phil Dragash here create.green/lotr

I finally found a way to Bo through my late father's merryness

I then set out writing personalised emails to the priority characters from my list which were all in the environmental and sustainable development finance fields. The most responsive communities from all the colleges, departments and schools, by far, were those from The Oxford Martin School. Their website explains: 

‘No other university in the world hosts a research organisation like the Oxford Martin School. Humanity stands at a crossroads; the sheer speed of change across sectors and systems, including technology, population, health and climate, means that we now have the power to destroy possibilities for future generations. Equally, we have the potential to dramatically improve the wellbeing of people across the planet. It is this combination of urgency and optimism that characterises all our work at The Oxford Martin School.’ 

I am very glad to say that about 80% of the incredibly highly qualified, occupied and in demand researchers that I contacted at The School responded with such polite and practically helpful responses. Most were unable to attend because of UN’s Conference of Parties but they introduced other researchers who might be able to attend in their stead.

A Slide From The Agile Showcase

Through researching and inviting The Oxford Martin School faculties to the debate, I was inspired to discover Nathalie Heddon: Professor of Biodiversity and Founding Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative in the Department of Biology, Director of the Agile Initiative, Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College and the Oxford Martin School. Professor Heddon advises governments and the private sector on nature-based solutions. She is a member of the Adaptation Committee of the UK Climate Change Change Committee, leading on nature; a member of DEFRA’s Science Advisory Council Biodiversity Expert Committee; serves on the Science Advisory Boards of Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and sits on the Science & Knowledge Committee of the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions. She is also Trustee of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. 

Professor of Biodiversity, Nathalie Heddon

Professor Heddon was busy for the event but through her Twitter profile I was able to find out about the Agile Initiative Showcase event at The School (www.agile-initiative.ox.ac.uk/). The event was to showcase their agile research sprints that were originally developed to provide rapid policy forming intelligence to support Covid 19 policy responses and were now being applied to rapidly develop policy for climate change. I have never felt quite so out of my depth in my whole life. The research that they conduct as ‘honest brokers’, academics that present the data in as unbiased way as possible, working to serve the needs of policy makers, was incredibly honest in admitting what an absolute mess the situation is, but a mess of quite brilliant people with quite pure intentions, just as The Sun is Quite bright. This idea of an honest broker was compared to ‘the advocate’ which I very much am and do not mind making everyone wince with threats of legal challenges if I can find no decent arguments against including COC in the carbon accounting conventions in my desperation.

I printed out some copies of Sailesh’s paper and Gerard’s yet to be published paper and on arrival met with Professor Heddon who even asked for a copy of our arguments. I gave those printed copies to her. She was very comprehensive and kind. Professor Heddon is at the top of my list to follow up with as I try to convene a posse to conference on the topic of COC hereafter.

On the stage at the agile showcase was Dr. John Lynch, a post doctorial researcher at The Nature Based Solutions Initiative who’s research is a treasure trove of all of the topics that we have been campaigning on for over a decade now at World Preservation Foundation, assessing with great diligence and prolificity papers such as:

  • ‘...We demonstrate herein that the choice of climate impact assessment has dramatic effects on interpretation, with GWP100 and GTP100 producing substantially different results due to their different treatments of CH4 in the context of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents. Given its dynamic nature and previously proven strong correspondence with climate models, out of the three assessments covered, GWP* provides the most complete coverage of the temporal evolution of temperature change for different greenhouse gas emissions.

    Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), particularly of food systems which generate large amounts of methane (CH4) and considered whether reporting additional and/or alternative metrics may be more applicable to certain circumstances or research questions (e.g. Global Temperature Change Potential (GTP)). '

    ‘Are single global warming potential impact assessments adequate for carbon footprints of agri-food systems? August 2023. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37469672/

The first paper of Dr. Lynch list deals with alternatives to Global Warming Potential (GWP) such as Climate Change Potential (GTCP) which seems to be highly relevant to the kind of arguments that Gerard and Sailesh are making. In my endless arrogance, I assumed that I could turn up to this event and flaunt the sponsorship potential of a hypothetical research board backed by some of my hypothetical and actual backers, even without these chicken’s permission for these eggs: GenV, David De Rothschild, GFG Alliance, Sailesh (& Co.), James Wilks, James Cameron, Wally Fry, Various Vegan Food Producers etc). I hoped we could discuss creating a research board that administers research grant applications in the fields we need clarity in then these insights could be published from Oxford (where even the likes of Dr. Jessica Zionts, Searchinger at Princeton et al – find it very hard to publish on these topics). Perhaps we would stand a chance of getting these things properly reviewed.

Little did I know (...), The Oxford Martin School is massively well funded and full of all of the brightest folk working on these sorts of things anyway so I did feel like I was wasting their time however no one could provide me with a satisfactory answer as to why COC should not be included and there is literally a whole world at stake. So I am persevering which is incredibly embarrassing and quite humiliating as I am repeatedly having to show how ignorant I am and how unlikely to be able to make any change compared to those with qualifications around me are. Yet I do feel it is worth challenging these folk to provide reasons why they don’t include COC in a well published argument. I can't find any published arguments against including COC in my own efforts but I can find a lot of articles that argue for doing so (see the references section at the end).

Jimmy Jia: ‘A Foundational Principle of Analysis Missing In Carbon Reporting Systems’ (Jia, Ranger et al October 25, 2022)

Another supportive figure was Dr. Jimmy Jia who was introduced to us by Dr Nicola Ranger Leader, Resilience and International Development Programme, Environmental Change Institute; Executive Director, Oxford Martin Systemic Resilience Programme. Jimmy kindly let us meet him at Mansfield College for lunch to discuss his work on ‘A Foundational Principle of Analysis Missing In Carbon Reporting Systems’ (Jia, Ranger et al October 25, 2022): time! This is one of the items at the top of my Christmas reading list. Jimmy explained that with single entry accounts, as per carbon accounting at the IPCC, it is impossible to factor time into the model. It seems that some incredibly serious flaws are in the model. We sought his advice on how to change it however there is little one can do to help a genius in such a situation. 

I offered to introduce his ‘new tool for energy and environmental valuation to improve decision making for capital deployment of climate-resilient infrastructure’ to the CEO of EarthBanc.io who is developing instruments to trade and monitor hundreds of millions of Hectares of forest restoration offset projects/assets (who I invited to the event and who so sweetly let us know he will try to make the next one). I offered to introduce Tobias who similarly uses networks of satellites to monitor the infrastructure projects that serve one billion people through his Vida.place platform. I suggested to Jimmy as I have suggested to whole conference halls of Carbon trading booths, that we should conduct a valuation study of mature forest offset portfolios before and after using the correct accounting conventions and thereby incentivise the banks to push for the policy to be changed to include COC (and time too if we can) and thus have our “Rothschild-Waterloo moment”. Indeed The Heir of The Rothschild Fortune, David de Rothschild, had just turned up at our Battersea Green Campus seeking accommodation for his nannies and he too was incredibly sweet in his support for the event and apologetic about his inability to attend. There really is a whole world of support for these solutions and I am just trying to find those who I can jam with realising them.

The Avatar App. For more info see: 'The History of Green Campus Ltd.' and World Wallet Presentations.

When I was with JImmy he had a researcher with him who thought capitalism was evil. When I challenged him on a better way then provate ownership, controlled by an democratic economy, to control who could and could not come into one's bed, he became rather delinquent, assuming everything I said was a motivation for 'war'. Even when I described an app that I had developed for James Cameron and the Avatar film team with Denzyl Fiegelson who was on the original team with Steve Jobs behind iTunes, iPod, iPhone, Apple Music, Apple Music Festival, iWatch -- an app for gamifying a curriculum centred around ecological litteracy (see above) -- this researcher assumed that I was using it to create 'war'. He did his best to help us and I am not sure how serious he was but I was amazed at how this chap thought there was zero value in the west and that it should all be dismantled. Where would he rather live I wondered. A four year old can take appart a bike, but try and build one from scratch!

Once again, Jordan Petersan said it so well already at his address to The Oxford Union: ‘complex biological systems need to move forwards towards things in the world… we move forwards to things we value, things we need. To move towards something is simultaneous to value it. That means there is no life without value out of necessity at both the physiological and psychological level. So if you are going to pursue something of value because you are a social creature you are going to pursue that in a social space so thus hierarchies in relation to attaining to that outcome are going to emerge. For example, it is not my job to develop Jimmy’s tools because I lack the competency, as much as I would like the opportunity and fruits of doing so. The Mathew Principle is an iron law of the distribution of success and creates inequality which creates this clear political divide between me and this young man. This remedy of this inequality is the subject of Aristotle’s paper ‘Politics’ and I invite those feeling resentful to read it if they are serious about dealing with the inequality and not just hungry for power and revenge against children.

There was further troubled waters ahead: While we were waiting for The Oxford Union to respond about who they were inviting for the teams and who we could invite to the dinner, I made a long list of folk that might be inspiring for the students to meet. Naomi at GenV also made a list and after a few attempts to ask her to send out the invites, even after Disha gave me permission to use her letterhead, I was told that I should do it unless I didn’t have time. Seeing as I was the only one 100% focused that was my initiative, I felt it disingenuous to say otherwise. I then used the email addresses supplied to me by Naomi to invite the various vegan celebs on the list they had provided including in the opening para of my invitation: ‘I am writing on behalf of Naomi at GenV’ (because she supplied the contact details). 

I included the same quite lengthy explanation of how I tried to organise the debate around the original $1m challenge to debunk Sailesh’s 87% claim however the motion was now: This House Would Go Vegan. I explained I was still doing all I could to invite relevant faculties to help us understand the best arguments against this position for our legal challenge of the government, much as I am still doing now. I also included that Chris Packham might come, which based on what he had told me to my face in Parliament Square seemed like a possibility. Naomi explained that she couldn’t understand the email, that none of her supporters would respond to such a long email and that I was not writing on her behalf. She was pretty angry and I am not sure what the ethical thing to do in that situation where contact details are given to me by another party. It would not be honest to say that I got the details off the web as I was instructed to.

In any event, the only people who did not respond to the invite from mine, Sailesh’s and Naomi’s list of invites outside of Oxford was Robbie and Klaus at PlantBasedNews.org (quite sadly – who also never said thanks for a weekend of being fed and watered at mine) and Henry, The Earl of Arundel who is heir to the senior peerage in the land (quite rudely). His father, His Grace The Earl Marshall, the senior peer in the land always replies with compassion. I felt that the forces of competition to retain popularity with one’s subscribers rather than to the truth (and thus be of value) were more important to these parties in this particular situation, as with Oxford Union being rather unresponsive to those who brought them £15k to host the event. I recall this to reflect on how His Grace can reply to oiks like me (and he knows quite how grotty I am much better than these new contacts) even while organising The Coronation and Queen’s Funeral and with good humour; I hope we can all be this peerless even with the lowly.

Vitue Alone is Invincible

Similarly, communication the other directors of World Preservation Foundation became inconsistent or stopped and promises, unless of immediate benefit to the maker, were not kept. There are circumstances that might explain the emotional reactions, but as far as justice and good manners is concerned, I was really surprised by how flakey these beings who are otherwise the most powerful I know, can be.

My lesson is to make a written contractual offer which outlines your required needs for the delivered services and sign it with the people you are working with long in advance of delivering those services because even the best will take from you what they can, in spite of their claims to support a commons. To that end, of great contract making, we have a seriously crack team of volunteer lawyers, strategists and CFO on the create.green/team if you do need help to protect your needs before you engage in any kind of project, especially altruistic ones. Options are our speciality whereby various terms and shareholdings are only realised upon the completion of different tasks to protect the capital from dishonesty. 

With housekeeping issues (entirely my own fault) out of the way, the show was very much on the road and just the day before the event the final teams (see below) and guests for the dinner were decided.

THE DINNER

We are very grateful to The Oxford Union for hosting a black tie dinner for both teams which was the ticket I used to try and convene folk who knew of arguments against us regarding including gross COC in carbon accounting conventions to help the world in such unparalleled way. 

Richard Buxton of Richard Buxton Environmental Solicitors

Richard Buxton of Richard Buxton Environmental Law Group who are supporting our legal challenge we are developing to challenge the lawfulness of present policy based on IPCC models that don't include COC was in full attendance and we are so grateful to say, Richard is incredibly supportive. Ricahrd is respected in his field as Directing a leading environmental firm, Richard whose ancestor, Thomas Fowell Buxton took over the leadership of the abolitionist cause in the British Parliament from Wilberforce.

Thomas Fowell Buxton behind The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 went further than the slave trade act by emancipating all slaves in the British Empire

Buxton was instrumental in the campaign for the Slavery Abolition Act,The Act that made slavery illegal in the United Kingdom was the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. This act was passed approximately 26 years after the passing of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, which was championed by William Wilberforce and others. The Slave Trade Act of 1807 made the trading in slaves illegal within the British Empire, but it did not abolish the practice of slavery itself. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 went further by emancipating all slaves in the British Empire, with exceptions for certain territories. It was a landmark piece of legislation in the history of the abolition movement. I took this as a huge boon and synchronicity as I use the legal and commercial strategy for how slavery was ended as my guiding light and hope for how we can end abuse of our fellow animals.

Professor of Global Change and Sustainability Michael Obersteiner (white tie) talking with Amit Gambhir

Various other faculty were in attendance including: Professor Michael Oberstiener Director Director of the Environmental Change Institute Dr. Jessica Zionts, Professor of Biogeochemistry Heather Bouman & Dr Anna Rufas from Oxford Earth Sciences,  Dr. Juliette Chaucheteux from The Department of Economics introduced by Professor Rick Van Der Ploeg through The Oxford Martin School and Dr. Mahreen Khan The Senior Postdoctoral Researcher Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Development at the University of Oxford.

Of particular help and patience then and thereafter was Dr. Jessica Zionts who did her best to explain the present status quo to us all. Jessica’s supervisor Professor Obersteiner came to the dinner and debate too and he seemed to assume that everyone was of the opinion that COC should be included in the IPCC models and was in disbelief when I questioned why Joseph and John might not be supportive of doing so. Jessica had to confirm that indeed they were unsupportive of including COC to Obersteiner. My efforts to organise a meeting with the above are ongoing and I think it’s best to persevere or at least to publish that they did not respond to our requests for meetings. I am however very grateful that they would take the time they have to talk with me. I hope that somewhere much smarter folk are dealing with this however in my experience, there are very few who are actually able to signify ‘spade’ appropriately, particularly if it is used to plant trees that draw focus away from their present line of work or community, much as the teams of the opposition argued in the debate.

Oxford Union President Disha Hegde and her guests speaking on both sides of The House

Sarah Bently, CEO of Made In Hackney came to support the event. Her vegan community cookery and school uses food solely from locally produced community run producers. They seem like they are at the final level of being human ‘once returners’ (Sakadagami) or non returners (anāgāmī) unless they vow themselves otherwise so lets make the most and learn from them while we can!

Sarah Bentley, CEO of Made in Hackney (left) & Naturopath Lara Abel

Herbal Medical Specialist and Naturopath Lara Abel, also came to support the event with her friend and ‘Medicinal Vegan Icecream’ three words that let me know I was on the right path) maker, Abilasha Bhohi, founder and CEO of Moonji Vegan Icecream, Ayurvedic Icecream. There are busy administering Moksha and healing threby while also building a members health club on Harley St. inLondon, bringing the medicine in very popular formats.

Dr. Jessica Zionts with & Abilasha founder of Moonji Ayurvedic Vegan Icecream

We were also very lucky to have producer Carl le Blond and his wife Anna. Carl who is also behind Climate Healers with Sailesh and Anna who works in the charity space too.

I was very grateful for my mother Joanna who came to support as well as Sailesh’s wife Mrs. Rao and family so powerfully and clearly supporting their Patriarch as he is so sincere and splendid an example in his duty to the Matriarch.

To earn a degree at Oxford, students would debate in The Divinity Classroom for days before any professor or peer who could come into the room to question them on the several liberal arts. I tried to organise filming Sailesh giving a TED Talk about his paper here and offered such a talk to every head of college but I could not afford them!

THE TEAM FOR THE PROPOSITION

President Disha Hegde Delivers The Opening Address for The Proposition

Disha Hegde - 20th President of The Oxford Union. Student of History and Economics at St John’s College, who was so instrumental in the choice of this debate to whom we owe it's selection. Her various debates can be seen on The Oxford Union YouTube Channel

Dr. Sailesh Rao, LEader of The Team For The Propposition, delivers his speech at The Podium

Dr. Sailesh Rao - Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, Systems specialist with a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Dr. Rao worked on the internet communications infrastructure for twenty years after graduation. Today, over a billion internet connections deploy the communications protocol that he designed. He received five Exceptional Contribution Awards from AT&T Bell Laboratories between 1985 and 1991, a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff award in 1990, the Intel Principal Engineer Award in 2003, and the IIT Madras Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013 for his technical contributions. He is the author of 22 peer-reviewed technical papers, 50 standards contributions, 10 US patents and 3 Canadian patents. He was the co-founder of Silicon Design Experts in 1991 which was acquired by Level One Communications in 1996 and which was later acquired by Intel Corporation in 1999 for $2.2 billion.

 

In 2006, he switched careers and became deeply immersed, full time, in solving the environmental crises affecting humanity. Dr. Rao is the author of four books, Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies, Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis, Animal Agriculture is Immoral and The Pinky Promise, and an Executive Producer of several documentaries, The Human Experiment (2013), Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014), What The Health (2017), A Prayer for Compassion (2019), They’re Trying to Kill Us (2021), The End of Medicine (2022), The Land of Ahimsa (2022), Animals – A Parallel History (est. 2023) and Milked (2022). His work is featured in the award winning film, Countdown to Year Zero produced by Jane Velez-Mitchell and Unchained TV.

Dr. Rao is a Human, Earth and Animal Liberation (HEAL) activist, husband, dad and since 2010, a star-struck grandfather. He has promised his granddaughter, Kimaya Rainy Rao, that the world will be largely Vegan before she turns 16 in 2026, so that people will stop eating her relatives, the animals. He has faith that humanity will transform to keep his pinky promise to Kimaya, not just for ethical reasons, but also out of sheer ecological necessity. Along with Kimaya, Dr. Rao was the co-recipient of the inaugural Homo Ahimsa award from the Interfaith Vegan Coalition in 2021. He has formally taken the Ubuntu pledge to become Homo Ahimsa and the Liberation Pledge to accelerate the adoption of Veganism.

 

Dr. Rao was honored with the Karmaveer Puraskaar Global Indian award by the Indian Confederation of NGOs (ICONGO) in 2008 and the Winsome Constance Kindness Medal by the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust in 2022. He was designated a Climate Hero by The Guardian Newspaper in 2023, which recognized him as “a foremost voice on green transition and on the true scale of societal change required to save the planet.” He serves on the Universal Meals Advisory Council of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and on the Board of Directors of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

Dr. Chidi Ngwaba speaks For The Propposition on Health

Dr. Chidi Ngwaba - is a Physician Specializing in reversing Lifestyle Diseases such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Autoimmune Diseases, and many more. Trained in surgery, General Practice, Emergency, & Lifestyle Medicine to high levels. Educated at Cambridge, UCL, King’s, & Johns Hopkins Politics & current affairs commentator on: BBC & Sky. His health articles in every 🇬🇧 National newspaper. Dr Chidi speaks internationally on Health & Wellness, including TED TALKS and as an Ambassador for: PlantBased Health Professionals, Loma Linda University.

Joey Carbstrong delivering a very brave speech

Joey Carbstrong - [www.joeycarbstrong.com] A philosopher of ethics and either a Functional or Eliminative Materialist, I don’t know him well enough yet to say but he is mighty and has his arguments for the divine truth of things are sharpened by an incredibly courageous confrontation of issues with the divine right infront of him, even on the stress, calling the average person up to recognise their equally mighty power. While in jail, he claimed to have had an epiphany and decided to change his life, saying, "I began seeing my life with new eyes. I'd seen all the other prisoners in there and didn't want to be there, I wanted to leave the gangs."In May 2021, he released a video to celebrate eight years of sobriety.Carbstrong has been involved in animal rights street activism in Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom, promoting groups such as Anonymous for the Voiceless and the Save Movement, an organisation that holds vigils outside slaughterhouses and promotes veganism by sharing images and footage from farms and slaughterhouses on social media In May 2023, Carbstrong is alleged to have published pictures taken from hidden cameras at a Pilgrim’s Pride abattoir in Ashton-under-Lyne depicting the "utterly inhumane” nature of using carbon dioxide to stun pigs before being killed Carbstrong captured the undercover footage for his documentary Pignorant In January 2018, he began a 'Vegan Prophecy UK tour', which involve protesting against multiple slaughterhouses. In 2018, Carbstrong appeared on the British TV program This Morning to debate two farmers. During the heated discussion, Carbstrong described artificial insemination of cows as a form of sexual abuse and said the dairy industry "sexually violates" cows. In 2020, he appeared in Veganville on BBC Three.

MSc Environment Change Student of Dr. Zionts, Simon Cocks Volunteers His Position For The House

Simon Cocks - Durham University Earth Science graduate with experience working in sustainable finance, keen to pursue a career in environmental management. Currently studying an MSc in Environmental Change and Management at Oxford University.


THE TEAM AGAINST THE PROPOSITION

Hannah Edwards (student) - Oxford Union President-Elect. Advanced Debating Squad Member: Champion of the Oxford Intercollegiate debating competition and represented Oxford internationally at the European University Debate Championships (EUDC). Coached the Oxford Beginner's Debating Squad for a year. College netball player and team Social Secretary.

David Rose - Royal Agricultural University. BA (Cantab), M.Phil, Doctor of Philosophy (all Cambridge). Visiting Fulbright Professor, Cornell University; Visiting Fellow, Royal Agricultural University. Runs the 'Change in Agriculture' research group. A multi-disciplinary research group helping farmers and farming stakeholders (e.g. advisers) with the challenges of 'Change'. This includes work on human behaviour change, technology adoption, and extension. We are also interested in understanding what 'just' and 'sustainable' agricultural transitions look like. Change can be stressful and we undertake research to help farmers, advisers, and other 'accidental counsellors' with their mental health.

Manon Hammond (student) - History undergraduate at Lincoln College Oxford. President of Oxford’s Welsh society. Marketing and Events team leader at the Isis magazine. Head of Marketing for the Turl Street Arts Festival. JCR Arts Representative. Press and Sponsorship Officer The Oxford Union.

Katie Hopkins -  A slave to the most selfish of impulses, Katies deserves and yet tests our pity just as a poorly educated and traumatised street addict must. What she lacked in manners she made up for in her willingness to make unpleasant noises.

The House Would Go Vegan debate 2023


THE DEBATE

It was sad that none of the team opposed to the proposition, This House Would Go Vegan, were published in the areas they chose to argue because this could have been a great opportunity to discuss some of the very important arguments for animal product consumption that come from folk providing support to sick people often prescribing animal products because they see health benefits after consumption for example (where there are always superior plant based alternative nutrients), or indeed from the likes of Sir Patrick who argues very convincingly that his best in class mixed farm that includes animal farming is in-fact good for biodiversity, which it is, however 100 times less beneficial for biodiversity then just allowing the land to return to forest.

Instead the arguments against the proposition were cowardice and an unwillingness to confront an inconvenient truth because of the short term effects, even in-spite of the much worse medium and long term consequences.

The team for the proposition delivered some of the farthest reaching and most generalisable information that is the most expedient to the service of all life that I have ever known of, save for a very Therevadan rendition of dependent origination and the nature of reality. Just as when the Buddha last espoused The Dhamma, it was met with much gnashing of teeth. Even as Dr. Rao and Dr. Chidi explained the health and environmental consequences, none of the scientific evidence they presented was addressed by the other side of the house. Instead the total opposite claims were made which is very much the opposite of the scientific consensus on the issue. It showed how poorly educated even those with such lofty positions can be. I think the best thing is that one sees for oneself these arguments in the video of the debate. I think the process that played out was the best example of the difference between those who care about animal cruelty and the kinds of lives these people lead, and those who don’t and the relatively impoverished and needlessly fearful lives they fought to protect, for shame.

NB I am very weak and makes mistakes with veganism all the time stuffing my face with this or that but at least I can say I am acting unkindly and I know the way to go is towards kindness for personal and planetary reasons. In this post truth age where long standing programs of “Russian” and “Chinese” subversion are maintained with those western Universities and Governments totally unaware of their demoralisation and so many developing nations jumping at the chance to act competitively with nothing to replace the democracies they are full of resentment towards (some without even offering The Eightfold Noble Path that is their own (I move to make it 8 liberal arts, can I get a second?); at least we have that impersonal truth which which to unite and direct our sails, hopefully to the shore beyond.

The video of the debate will come out in January for Veganuary so please do watch this space and feel free to join us for another black tie vegan dinner at a time and place yet to be disclosed.

VIDEO OF THE DEBATE

COMING JAN 1st TO CELEBRATE VEGANUARY

REFERENCES


COC

  1. ‘Extensive land uses to meet dietary preferences incur a ‘carbon opportunity cost’ given the potential for carbon sequestration through ecosystem restoration. Here we map the magnitude of this opportunity, finding that shifts in global food production to plant-based diets by 2050 could lead to sequestration of 332–547 GtCO2, equivalent to 99–163% of the CO2 emissions budget consistent with a 66% chance of limiting warming to 1.5 °C. Restoration of native ecosystems, including forests, is a land-based option for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) removal.’

    Cumulative CO2 emissions (anthropogenic emissions minus removal) must remain below 335 GtCO2 after 2019 to limit warming to 1.5 °C at a 66% likelihood level.  CO2 removal from terrestrial vegetation following ELC or VGN dietary shifts would increase permissible CO2 emissions by 99% (63%–137%) or 163% (107%– 222%), respectively. Adding net CO2 uptake by native ecosystem soil and litter to this total increases the 1.5°C budget by 139% or 230%, respectively. By contrast, most future scenarios of 1.5°C warming rely on nascent bioenergy carbon capture and storage technology to remove 151 to 1,191 GtCO2 from the atmosphere – an amount of CO2 comparable to plant-rich diets.

    ‘The Carbon Opportunity Cost of Animal-Sourced Food Production on Land’ RESEARCH & REPORTS WINTER 2020 November 29, 2020 ByJames O'Donovan Research paper by Matthew N. Hayek, Helen Harwatt, William J. Ripple, and Nathaniel D. Mueller, September 2020.

  2. ‘Factoring in COCs greatly increases the total emissions assigned to both pork and dairy, particularly for pork, for which COCs tend to be around 75 percent of total carbon costs.’

    In general, we find that emissions from economically developed countries are more similar than those found by other analyses. For example, total emissions per kilogram of pork from 8 countries differ by only 9 percent, and for dairy production in 11 of 13 countries, by 25 percent, at most.

    Comparing the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Dairy and Pork Systems Across Countries Using Land-Use Carbon Opportunity Costs’ Authors Stefan Wirsenius, Tim Searchinger, Jessica Zionts, Liqing Peng, Tim Beringer and Patrice Dumas https://www.wri.org/research/comparing-life-cycle-greenhouse-gas-emissions-dairy-and-pork-systems-across-countries

  3. ‘With a third of all food production lost via leaky supply chains or spoilage, food loss is a key contributor to global food insecurity. Demand for resource-intensive animal-based food further limits food availability. In this paper, we show that plant-based replacements for each of the major animal categories in the United States (beef, pork, dairy, poultry, and eggs) can produce twofold to 20-fold more nutritionally similar food per unit cropland. Replacing all animal-based items with plant-based replacement diets can add enough food to feed 350 million additional people, more than the expected benefits of eliminating all supply chain food loss.’

    ‘The opportunity cost of animal based diets exceeds all food losses’
    Edited by Molly M. Jahn, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, and accepted by Editorial Board Member Ruth S. DeFries February 16, 2018 (received for review August 7, 2017) March 26, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713820115

  4. ‘Climate change mitigation policies tend to focus on the energy sector, while the livestock sector receives surprisingly little attention, despite the fact that it accounts for 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions and for 80% of total anthropogenic land use. From a dietary perspective, new insights in the adverse health effects of beef and pork have lead to a revision of meat consumption recommendations. Here, we explored the potential impact of dietary changes on achieving ambitious climate stabilization levels. By using an integrated assessment model, we found a global food transition to less meat, or even a complete switch to plant-based protein food to have a dramatic effect on land use. Up to 2,700 Mha of pasture and 100 Mha of cropland could be abandoned, resulting in a large carbon uptake from regrowing vegetation. Additionally, methane and nitrous oxide emission would be reduced substantially. A global transition to a low meat-diet as recommended for health reasons would reduce the mitigation costs to achieve a 450 ppm CO2-eq. stabilisation target by about 50% in 2050 compared to the reference case. Dietary changes could therefore not only create substantial benefits for human health and global land use, but can also play an important role in future climate change mitigation policies.’

    Stehfest, E., Bouwman, L., van Vuuren, D.P. et al. Climate benefits of changing diet. Climatic Change 95, 83–102 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-008-9534-6

  5. ‘Until recently, life cycle assessments (LCAs) have only addressed the direct greenhouse gas emissions along a process chain, but ignored the CO2 emissions of land-use. However, for agricultural products, these emissions can be substantial. Here, we present a new methodology for including the implications of land occupation for CO2 emissions to realistically reflect the consequences of consumers’ decisions.

    Given the significant contribution of land occupation to the total GHG balance of agricultural products, they need to be included in life cycle assessments in a realistic way. The new methodology presented here reflects the consequences of producing or not producing a certain commodity, and thereby it is suited to inform consumers fully about the consequences of their choices.’

    Schmidinger, K., & Stehfest, E. (2012). Including CO2 implications of land occupation in LCAs—method and example for livestock products. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 17(8), 962-972.


  6. One of the challenges of quantifying these carbon opportunity costs on an annual per capita basis is that it is highly dependent on a couple of factors: the uptake rate of different diets by individuals, and the period over which these carbon savings in vegetation would accumulate. When a forest or grassland is returning, carbon storage takes years (in fact, decades) to accumulate until eventually this additional sequestration saturates. In other words, this additional carbon saving will not continue indefinitely. Later in the article we look at the total maximum carbon sequestration approach which accounts for this time dependence. Nonetheless, in this study by Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek (2018), based on the work of Kurt Schmidinger & Elke Stehfest (2012) is based on the savings over a 100-year period.

    Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360(6392), 987-992.

    NATURE BASED POTENTIAL

    ‘To model this, we consider an ambitious but realistic scenario — an update to previous estimates by one of our co-authors (B.W.G)... They also respect land tenure rights and don’t change the amount of sunlight reflected from Earth, or albedo (see SI). In our scenario, nature-based solutions that avoid emissions ramp up quickly — by 2025 — and absorb carbon while avoiding emissions at a rate of 10 gigatonnes of CO2 per year (Gt CO2 yr−1). This rises to 20 Gt CO2 yr−1 in the most ambitious scenario (peak warming of 1.5 °C by 2055), in which we assume a higher price of carbon. The 10-Gt value is cost-contained. But we also account for 30 years of higher-priced nature-based solutions in the 1.5 °C scenario (up to $200 per tonne of CO2 equivalent; see SI). For comparison, 10 Gt CO2 yr−1 is more than the emissions from the entire global transportation sector.’

    Girardin, C.A.J.; Jenkins, S.; Seddon, N.; Allen, M.; Lewis, S.L.; Wheeler, C.E.; Griscom, B.W.; Malhi, Y. Nature-Based Solutions Can Help Cool the Planet — If We Act Now. Nature 2021, 593, 191–194, doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01241-2.

  7. ‘Remote-sensing estimates to quantify carbon losses from global forests2–5 are characterised by considerable uncertainty and we lack a comprehensive ground-sourced evaluation to benchmark these estimates. Here we combine several ground-sourced6 and satellite- derived approaches 2,7,8 to evaluate the scale of the global forest carbon potential outside agricultural and urban lands. Despite regional variation, the predictions demonstrated remarkable consistency at a global scale, with only a 12% difference between the ground-sourced and satellite-derived estimates. At present, global forest carbon storage is markedly under the natural potential, with a total deficit of 226 Gt (model range = 151–363 Gt) in areas with low human footprint. Most (61%, 139 Gt C) of this potential is in areas with existing forests, in which ecosystem protection can allow forests to recover to maturity. The remaining 39% (87 Gt C) of potential lies in regions in which forests have been removed or fragmented. Although forests cannot be a substitute for emissions reductions, our results support the idea2,3,9 that the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of diverse forests offer valuable contributions to meeting global climate and biodiversity targets.’

    Mo, L., Zohner, C.M., Reich, P.B. et al. Integrated global assessment of the natural forest carbon potential. Nature 624, 92–101 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06723-z

  8. ‘Accounting for these committed emissions, we estimate that stopping deforestation and allowing secondary forests to grow would yield cumulative negative emissions between 2016 and 2100 of about 120 PgC, globally. Extending the lifetimes of wood products could potentially remove another 10 PgC from the atmosphere, for a total of approximately 130 PgC, or about 13 years of fossil fuel use at today's rate. As an upper limit, the estimate is conservative. It is based largely on past and current practices’

    Houghton, R.A.; Nassikas, A.A. Negative Emissions from Stopping Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Globally. Global Change Biology 2018, 24, 350–359, doi:10.1111/gcb.13876.

  9. Agricultural land carbon opportunity cost (COC) characterizes potentials for carbon sequestration through ecosystem restoration, which is a critical component for formulating nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change. Yet existing relevant estimates still stayed at global scale, lacking estimates at national and provincial scale. Here, we integrated multi-source downscaled data to estimate the magnitude of land COC for 20 categories of crops and livestock in 30 provinces of China

    Downscaling estimates of land carbon opportunity costs for agricultural products to provincial level in China https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652622038392

  10. Benton, Tim & Bieg, Carling & Harwatt, Helen & Pudasaini, Roshan & Wellesley, Laura. (2021). Food system impacts on biodiversity loss Three levers for food system transformation in support of nature.

  11. Measuring the Opportunity Cost of Carbon Sequestration in Tropical Agriculture Charles A. Zelek and Gerald E. Shively Land Economics Vol. 79, No. 3 (Aug., 2003), pp. 342-354 (13 pages) Published By: University of Wisconsin Press https://doi.org/10.2307/3147021


POLICY RECALCITRANCE / RETICANCE

  1. ‘Human consumption of livestock remains a marginal issue in climate change debates, partly due to the IPCC's arbitrary adoption of a 100-year global warming potential framework to compare different emissions, blinding us to the significance of shorter-term emissions, namely methane. Together with the gas it reacts to form - tropospheric ozone - methane has been responsible for 37% of global warming since 1750, yet its atmospheric life is just 10 years. Neglecting its role means overlooking powerful mitigation opportunities. The chapter discusses the role of livestock, the largest anthropogenic methane source, and the need to include reduced meat consumption in climate change responses. Looking beyond the conventional focus on the consumer, we point to some underlying challenges in addressing the meat-climate relationship, including the climate science community's reluctance to adopt a short-term focus in its climate projections. Policy options are presented.’

    Wedderburn-Bisshop, G.; Rickards, L. Livestock’s Near-Term Climate Impact and Mitigation Policy Implications. Handbook of Research on Social Marketing and Its Influence on Animal Origin Food Product Consumption 2018, 37–57, doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-4757-0.ch003.

    ‘In the post-Paris political landscape, the relationship between science and politics is changing. We discuss what this means for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), using recent controversies over negative emissions technologies (NETs) as a window into the fraught politics of producing policy-relevant pathways and scenarios. We suggest that pathways and scenarios have a ‘world-making’ power, potentially shaping the world in their own image and creating new political realities. Assessment bodies like the IPCC need to reflect on this power, and the implications of changing political contexts, in new ways.

    STS scholarship has developed the concept of co-production as an analytic concept to understand the political power and implications of knowledge production (p. 37 [Reference Jasanoff and Jasanoff 12]). It is based on the assumption that there are intrinsic links between ways of representing a phenomenon on the one hand, and ways of acting upon it, so as to transform it, on the other [Reference Jasanoff and Jasanoff 12]. Assessments deliver both a description of the world, and a set of tacit prescriptions for how that world should be rationally managed. In this way, the definition of a problem – the causes and impacts of global warming – and the search for appropriate ways to respond – are reiterative and mutually reinforcing. STS scholarship has helped to show how forms of knowledge-making do not only offer policy-makers useful information, but perform a ‘world-making’ function of furnishing policy-makers with the objects, variables and relations upon which they seek to exert influence [Reference Jasanoff 4]. With this lens, authoritative science may not just be a neutral input into policy, instrumentally informing policy decisions, but a set of performative and reiterative practices that frame and transform the social relationships, political norms and cultural values they seek to represent [Reference Beck, Forsyth, Kohler, Lahsen, Mahony, Felt, Fouché, Miller and Smith-Doerr 2, Reference Barben, Fisher, Selin, Guston, Hackett, Amsterdamska, Lynch and Wajcman 5, Reference Jasanoff and Jasanoff 12].

    Beck, S.; Mahony, M. The Politics of Anticipation: The IPCC and the Negative Emissions Technologies Experience. Global Sustainability 2018, 1, e8, doi:10.1017/sus.2018.7.

    Sustainable agriculture and food systems: comparing contrasting and contested versions https://www.researchgate.net/publication/360836040_Sustainable_agriculture_and_food_systems_comparing_contrasting_and_contested_versions
Founder and general secretary
Charles is the Founder and Director and General Secretary of Green Campus.
More from
Charles Fraser
JOURNAL

The Green Campus Journal chronicles the latest entries from all green teams.

For the full list of entries see: create.green/journal

Charles is the Founder and Director and General Secretary of Green Campus.

Here I tell the story of the people and processes that won the final debate of the 200th aniversary of The Oxford Union on the motion: This House Would Go Vegan. The effort was intended to shine a light on the arguments of Dr. Sailesh Rao and Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop that insist we must include the Carbon opportunity Cost of deforestation, the carbon that can not be sequestered by forests that are cut down, in the IPCC and therefore national carbon accounting conventions. Including COC in Carbon accounting conventions shows that livestock is responsible for 87% of Global Temperature Change Potential and focusing on fossil fuels is actually speeding up climate change. The event allowed us to meet researchers at Oxford who argue for and against the position and yet we continue our work to find written arguments against the position which was won on the day. We are very Grateful to The Oxford Union for supporting this event and allowing us to use it to shine a light into this all important place. The story follows:

Challenging The Orthodoxy: Is Excluding Carbon Opportunity Cost (COC) from IPCC and therefore National Carbon Accounting fair or lawful?

Including COC in Carbon Accounting conventions shows livestock = 87% of Global Temperature Change Potential. We debated this at The Oxford Union and drew out those who can help our legal case to challenge the lawfulness of present policy. Thank you all who have helped begin this unfolding story!
Charles is the Founder and Director and General Secretary of Green Campus.

Sharrow Marine Toroidal Props & Infinite Range Silent Yachts & Friends

Here details an overview of efforts to bring Sharrow Marine's Toroidal Propellers to Silent Yachts, a luxury solar powered yacht design and manufacture yacht company at their e-foil riders event in Mallorca in June 20023. Sharrow's props boast 80% noise reduction and 48% fuel efficiency benefits while Silent Yachts demonstrate infinite range. My effort was to see if I could pay for a custom Sharrow Marine prop for the Silent Yachts and thus extend the latitudes where their incredible solar power train is viable in order to secure a brokerage for these extended markets and of course for these revolutionary propellers.
Charles is the Founder and Director and General Secretary of Green Campus.
No matter how little you eat and how much you exercize you will not loose body fat if there is too much insulin present. Insulin levels are many times their normal healthy levels due to the environment we live in and thus we become hugely insulin insensitive which causes many health problems and makes losing weight impossible. Here are some resources about the phenomenon and how to remedy this in a healthy vegan way!

How to beat Insulin Insensitivity on a Vegan Diet

No matter how little you eat and how much you exercize you will not loose body fat and the resultant inflammation if there is too much insulin present. Remedy this:
Charles is the Founder and Director and General Secretary of Green Campus.

Functional Medical Resources

Here are a list of various functional medical organisations and documentary films about their work that, based on my experience, are much more successful schools of medicine for dealing with degenerative disease: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, skin disorders, auto-immune disorders etc. than aleopathic medicine (mainstream medicine). Please review the films, the reviews from some of the world's leading doctors and physicians and see for yourself. NB: we still love the mainstream trauma wards and emergency response teams and support them fully!
Charles is the Founder and Director and General Secretary of Green Campus.

"There is no reason for Beavers to Exist!" - Charlie Baker, Chair of The Arun and Rother Rivers Trust

Green Camp One | Riverwoods Weekend

Herwith a summary of my experience of our renewed Green Camp Weekends: From screening Riverwoods at Chichester Cathedral to local interest conservation groups abandoned of their posts, to our divine Yin Yoga, meditation and Psycological fitness retreat at Green Camp Ellanore with Alex Rogers and the gang. Lots of opportunities for good are coming forth from all of this.
Phil is the Director and founder of a Root and twig Ltd which is acting as the studio to continue his incredible full production audiobooks.

Lord of The Rings Full Production Audiobook

The full 72 hour production of the Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, created by Phil Dragash and his company region Twigg Ltd that we are supporting can be found by clicking the little green button below. Look out for future titles coming soon!
Delivering Restoration Weekend & Festival in partnership with GreenPop's CEO Misha who is training up the UK team in how to deliver their incredible Reforest Festivals

Reforest Party (aka Restoration Weekends - NB the big ones are timed on the celestial dates not weekends) tickets are on sale at create.green/party

Reforest Fest UK Tickets on Sale

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