A truly yummy climate solution
In Robert Stone’s iconic film, Pandora’s Promise, Stewart Brand posed the key questions that we are still endeavoring to address every day: “Can you be an environmentalist and be pronuclear? In light of climate change, can you be an environmentalist and not be pronuclear?” It is our premise that the answers these questions depend upon whether one approaches environmentalism through an ideologic lens or through a science and technology lens. Whether you like nuclear power or not, experts tell us we won’t solve climate change without it. So the question to ponder is: are we better off with less climate change and more nuclear power or less nuclear power and a world roasted and deranged by extreme climate change?
In the same vein, the question of whether or not you like the Impossible Burger depends upon whether you would like to see an advanced technological solution to one of the biggest contributors to deforestation and climate change. The Impossible Burger, which I tasted for the first time last night and loved, is a tasty, plant-based, meat-like veggie substitute that could vastly reduce demand for cows and decrease the leveling of forests around the world as well as the methane that that ranching produces. Apparently, researchers at The Breakthrough Institute rate the Impossible Burger high on taste and superb as a technological solution, but it seems they may need to continue with their testing (and tasting) before they come to a final conclusion.
Environmentalists, I recently learned through a conversation with David Lipman, have staked out a rather Luddite-like opposition to Impossible Foods. How can that be, you might wonder, when we may finally have a great way to reduce consumption of beef? Just as with those environmentalists who oppose nuclear purely from an ideologic perspective, in the case of the Impossible Burger, environmentalists oppose this climate solution on the basis that the innovations underlying the development of a plant substitute that has a meaty taste and texture involved genetic modifications.
This makes one wonder several things: a) Have they tasted this amazing food? And b) What exactly are their priorities when it comes to actions that determine the state of the planet that they will leave to their children?