Lili’s (15) entry

“Great things could be achieved if we worked together and everyone acted to the best of their ability.”

Only 1% of the Earth’s water supply is of potable quality. The problem is that the most threatening water shortage is where the population is most likely to expand. The real solution will not be to shower instead of bathing or to close the tap when brushing our teeth. Since 30-40% of the potable water is used in agriculture1, the solution would be to reduce the amount of irrigation. To do this, we need to reduce our own water footprint, because if we do this, we can influence the production of industries with big water footprints which produce products for the consumer society. Making a hamburger takes approx. 2500 liters of water, which is equivalent to two months of continuous showering2. In order to produce 1 kg of meat (not beef, as it takes more than 15,000 liters) approx. 5000 liters of water are required, while in the case of the same amount of grain it is 1500 l, in the case of fruits it is 900 l and in the case of vegetables it is only 300 l3.We should also keep in mind that vegetarian food, that is, milk and dairy products and eggs, also requires animal keeping, so from an environmental (and ethical) point of view we are in the same situation as with eating meat. If everyone gradually switched to a vegan lifestyle, i.e. avoided animal use in every way, sooner or later the meat, dairy, and egg industries would disappear from Earth. Although I became vegan primarily because of ethical reasons, environmental protection and the reduction of the water footprint (5 times less water is needed than with a mixed diet4) are positive “side effects” of this lifestyle, and all the while being much healthier. However, no matter how incredible it may sound, the rapid consumption of water resources may result in drinking water having its current price multiplied. As an Indian saying goes, “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.”

According to a study, the meat and dairy industries emit more greenhouse gases than the oil industry, thus contributing more to climate change, so another point for vegans 5.

In order to make a substantive change, the government also needs to take major steps, such as introducing a carbon tax. Climate change should be addressed not only by the people, but also by the leaders who are currently sitting around and talk only about money, wealth and luxury, instead of looking for solutions before global warming becomes irreversible and it comes to a climate catastrophe. And that includes adults who find this windmill fight to be foolish and therefore do nothing. It’s terrible to see parents ruin the future of enthusiastic young people in front of their children. But as long as politicians and the people who govern the European countries and the US see climate change only as a political tool to gain more influence, there is no hope for the future of humanity. Because the question here is not which party will win the election or who will fill a given post and who the press will write about, but when we actually start to act before it is too late. It is time for us to realize that our habitat is dying and to act. In fact, even if we started right now, we would not be able to prevent the 1.5° C rise, even if we cut our CO2 emissions by half.6.

Politicians, however, will not begin to seriously address global warming unless we urge them to act. Someone once said that it is up to us as young people to do this, and it does not matter what we do at our level, but what we do to get the people who are more important than us to act. However, I disagree. Everyone knows Greta Thunberg from Sweden, who is almost as old as I am, and she has become world-famous for not attending school for a few weeks. Great things could be achieved if we worked together and everyone acted to the best of their ability.

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