Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists
Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.
Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world’s leading water scientists.
“There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,” the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.
“There will be just enough water if the proportion of animal-based foods is limited to 5% of total calories and considerable regional water deficits can be met by a … reliable system of food trade.”
Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50% on international markets since June, triggered by severe droughts in the US and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia. More than 18 million people are already facing serious food shortages across the Sahel.
Oxfam has forecast that the price spike will have a devastating impact in developing countries that rely heavily on food imports, including parts of Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East. Food shortages in 2008 led to civil unrest in 28 countries.
Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world’s arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals. Other options to feed people include eliminating waste and increasing trade between countries in food surplus and those in deficit.
“Nine hundred million people already go hungry and 2 billion people are malnourished in spite of the fact that per capita food production continues to increase,” they said. “With 70% of all available water being in agriculture, growing more food to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050 will place greater pressure on available water and land.”
The report is being released at the start of the annual world water conference in Stockholm, Sweden, where 2,500 politicians, UN bodies, non-governmental groups and researchers from 120 countries meet to address global water supply problems.
Competition for water between food production and other uses will intensify pressure on essential resources, the scientists said. “The UN predicts that we must increase food production by 70% by mid-century. This will place additional pressure on our already stressed water resources, at a time when we also need to allocate more water to satisfy global energy demand – which is expected to rise 60% over the coming 30 years – and to generate electricity for the 1.3 billion people currently without it,” said the report.
Overeating, undernourishment and waste are all on the rise and increased food production may face future constraints from water scarcity.
“We will need a new recipe to feed the world in the future,” said the report’s editor, Anders Jägerskog.
A separate report from the International Water Management Institute(IWMI) said the best way for countries to protect millions of farmers from food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia was to help them invest in small pumps and simple technology, rather than to develop expensive, large-scale irrigation projects.
“We’ve witnessed again and again what happens to the world’s poor – the majority of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and already suffer from water scarcity – when they are at the mercy of our fragile global food system,” said Dr Colin Chartres, the director general.
“Farmers across the developing world are increasingly relying on and benefiting from small-scale, locally-relevant water solutions. [These] techniques could increase yields up to 300% and add tens of billions of US dollars to household revenues across sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.”
7 Reasons Why We Have Not ‘Evolved’ To Eat Meat
Robert Grillo, who wrote 5 Reasons Why Meat Eating is Not a Personal Choice, reviewed many of the comments raised by Care2 readers about the story and wrote a follow up intended to address the most common concerns and counter arguments on the subject.
How many times have you heard someone justify their behavior based on the illogical premise that history somehow makes it right and assures its ethical legitimacy into the future? In fact, throughout history influential leaders and thinkers have used this same troubled logic to defend slavery, genocide, the oppression of women, racism, and discrimination based on a whole host of irrelevant criteria including sexual orientation, religion, color and now species.
In my discussions with people both online and in person, I find this interpretation of history and evolution to be one of the most common “apologies”for meat eating I hear these days. I see it as yet another way to avoid honestly confronting the moral issue of using and killing animals for food in an age when it is not necessary. Some actually sympathize with the position of vegans and vegetarians, yet still default to this argument which explains perhaps why 95% of us continue to blindly follow the cultural norms reinforced in us since childhood.
But when we are open to taking a critical look at what we have been taught, the modern myth of man evolving to eat meat can be challenged on several levels. Here are a few of them:
1. Because we are highly evolved moral beings, averse to violence and suffering
If evolution teaches us anything at all, it teaches us that our moral consciousness and our emotional intelligence are a result of highly developed areas of our brain that afford us these faculties. ”… humans are the only animals that can intentionally structure the patterns of our lives according to a basic set of self-aware moral ideals, “writes journalist and professor James McWilliams.” This ability, which is generally premised on reducing unnecessary pain and suffering, happens to be the foundation of human civilization.”
2. Because Einstein said so
Ironically the idea that man has somehow evolved to eat meat stands in stark contrast to the evolutionary and ethical theory of one of the greatest scientific minds who ever lived, Albert Einstein. Einstein argued that mankind would need to evolve to vegetarianism to essentially save himself and the planet. “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
So if the argument from history carries so much weight for most of us, will a mainstream move to vegetarianism as Einstein predicted ever occur? I think so. For one thing, the interpretation of history that meat eaters use to justify meat eating is selectively referenced from those historical sources that support the practice of meat eating, while ignoring the rest. They also go only as far back into history and the origins of hominids to support this position, while once again ignoring our close ancestral relatives who were primarily or entirely herbivores.
3. Because so called progressive should think progressively about animals too
Even more ironic still is how otherwise progressive-minded people today continue to support the oppressive forces in our society with their food choices, the same forces that they have adamantly opposed in other areas of their life - in their political leanings, in their religious and spiritual beliefs, in the kind of media and entertainment they seek, in the kind of books and magazines they read, etc. Still the oppression of animals remains unexamined for most progressives, and their food choices perpetuate a deep denial of this oppression. But this too appears to be changing. Victoria Moran, author of Main Street Vegan, recounts of her friendship with Michael Moore who she describes as “anti-vegan” at one point in his life. Now, she reports, he is on the vegan path.
4. Because glorifying the history of man’s baser instincts thwarts evolution
Yet even in the face of these exciting new developments, groups like the Weston A. Price Foundation continue to frame history in a vacuum, building their case for meat eating and consequently the more covert goal of promoting the animal products produced by their membership. Other variations on the theme include the ever popular Paleo diet fan sites where you’ll find a vast ancestral mythology on the rituals of eating animals, referencing allegedly scientific, anthropological and cultural studies to prove it. Upon closer inspection, however, many of these sources are little more than widely held opinions rather than empirical evidence that substantiate the claims about the diets of our ancestors. There is yet much to debate on this subject and few hard and fast facts.
5. Because by focusing on our potential to do good now, we overcome the oppressive tendencies of our past
All of this talk of what is right for us to eat based on past example distracts us from dealing with the here and now for which we have complete control. No one is arguing that we don’t have a long history of hunting and eating animals. The timelier question is why in an age when meat eating is unnecessary (for the vast majority of the human population) would we want to focus on what our ancestors ate some 10,000 years ago or more? To paraphrase author Colleen Patrick Goudreau, why would we want to base our ethics for eating on our paleontological ancestors whose lives were dictated by a vastly different set of circumstances and for whom we still have many unanswered questions? Certainly there are lessons to learn from history on many levels, but in relating historical facts to present circumstances, context and relevancy is everything.
6. Because the lessons from history strongly support the opposite
When confronting the argument from history, I say, first, agree with that person wholeheartedly. Then explain how the history and evolution of other social justice movements can instruct us and galvanize us about the future of the vegan / animal rights movement. One common thread that runs through all of these movements is that they were ultimately successful in permeating mainstream culture and society.
They may have begun as fringe movements whose followers were ridiculed and dismissed as extremists, but their leaders ended up being canonized in the history books and described as pioneers who popularized their social movements. And many of these leaders clearly articulated the need for both human and nonhuman animal rights, including Cezar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr., and Alice Walker. A modern-day case in point is filmmaker and activist James LaVeck who makes a compelling case for how the British anti-slavery movement serves as an example and inspiration for the contemporary animal rights movement in his presentation, Let’s Not Give Up Before We Get Started.
7. Because our appetite for justice is far stronger
In the words of Victor Hugo, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” It appears that we are standing on the threshold of an era when the tyranny of history is about to be dealt yet another serious blow. As the vegan / animal rights movement continues to gain momentum, mankind’s deplorable and largely unchallenged legacy of treating animals as property, currency, objects and cheap, disposable pieces of meat is coming under greater scrutiny than ever before in our history. This makes the infamous statement, Man Has Evolved to Eat Meat, seem even more hopelessly out of touch and reactionary, revealing an attitude that clings desperately to the past and fears change, even when that change promises to reconnect us with the most fundamental and universal principle of justice and respect for a
Mapping The U.S. Obesity Crisis
While the American people continue their long binge-eat toward total obesity, new data suggests there may be a cure to stop children from developing the habits that turn them into fat adults.
It’s no secret that the U.S. is dealing with an obesity crisis. It’s only getting worse: between 2000 and 2008, pre-diabetes and diabetes rates in teens jumped from 8% to 23%. But in order to combat obesity, researchers need to know where the situation is most dire. An analysis from Trust for America’s Health breaks it down.
The states with the highest obesity rates, in order from most obese to least: Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana and South Carolina (tied), and Kentucky and Texas (tied). In Mississippi, the most obese state, a staggering 34.9% of the population is obese. In Kentucky and Texas, 30.4% of the population is obese.
Even the states with the lowest obesity rates still have a problem. The top 10 least obese states: Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Washington DC and New Jersey (tie), California, Utah, and Connecticut, Nevada, and New York (three-way tie). Colorado, the fittest state, still has a 20.7% obesity rate.
There is no silver bullet to fixing this problem. But here’s an idea that might just help stop the problem where it starts: with bad childhood eating habits.
A study published earlier this month reports that teens living in states with strict laws about snack and soda sales in public schools gained less weight—on average 2.25 pounds fewer for a five foot person—over three years than teens living in states without those laws, according to the New York Times.
Some people might argue that the Big Brother-like steps that have been taken recently—like New York City’s ban on oversized soft drinks—will do little more than send sugar-lovers searching for other quick fixes. That may be true. But focusing in on kids and teens could curb junk food cravings before they get to the point where quick fixes are necessary.
What Would Happen If The Entire World Lived Like Americans?
How many natural resources would we need if the entire world’s population consumed them like Americans do? More than we have.
After making an infographic depicting how much space would be needed to house the entire world’s population based on the densities of various global cities, Tim De Chant of Per Square Mile got to thinking about the land resources it takes to support those same cities. “Just looking at a city’s geographic extents ignores its more important ecological footprint,” he writes. “How much land would we really need if everyone lived like New Yorkers versus Houstonians?”
As it turns out, data on the resources gobbled up by cities can be hard to measure—impossibly so, in many cases. But we can measure the resources used by people in entire countries. With a little help from the National Footprint Account from the Global Footprint Network, de Chant was able to show how much space we’d need if the entire world’s population consumed resources in the manner of Bangladesh, India, Uganda, China, Costa Rica, Nepal, France, the U.S.A., and the United Arab Emirates. The graphic compares those countries’ terrestrial sub-footprints, taking into account components like land use, carbon footprint, urbanization, fishing grounds, and more.
The result is, in many ways, the opposite of de Chant’s earlier work. While everyone in the world could fit into a small chunk of America if they all lived in the density of New York, the world wouldn’t survive at all if everyone in the world decided to consume like those New Yorkers (or any Americans). While those of us in the U.S. consume enough resources to take up 4.1 Earth’s worth of resources, the only reason we haven’t eaten through everything is that the rest of the world is balancing us out by using far more reasonable percentages of the Earth.
Pocket EPA: iPhone Gadget to Measure Environmental Hazards
It’s a hazardous world out there. Some things we have control over—like the food we put on our plates—but other risks are harder to detect. Lapka Electronics sees an opportunity in our anxiety over contaminated environments and is soon bringing a device to market that holds some promise to mitigate the toxicity to which we’re all exposed.
Things we’ve long considered inevitable hazards of modern life—radioactivity in the air, pollution created by our electronics, harmful residue in our food—could suddenly become easily measurable.
The 4-ounce set of sensors called a “Personal Environmental Monitor” plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone and measures nearby radiation, electromagnetic fields and humidity, as well as the amount of nitrates in your food left over from synthetic fertilizers.
To keep from alarming users with seemingly sky-high results for radiation and electromagnetic pollution, Lapka contextualizes the information by comparing it to average target values for each environment.
The product’s release is set for December and will cost around $220, while the accompanying app is free. Lapka isn’t done blowing your mind: next on their agenda are iPhone-powered allergen sensors.
Photo via Lapka
Americans eat an average of three burgers a week. That’s 156 burgers per person, every year. Maybe even more burgers are getting gobbled in the midst of this Chick-fil-A storm?
The folks who made The Price of Gas last year, now bring us The Hidden Cost of Burgers with a cascade of daunting figures around our consumption of that all-American favorite. Here’s a doozy: It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef (ten times the amount required to produce a pound of wheat).
So what can be done? Well, if all Americans cut out meat and cheese completely just one day a week, it would be like taking 7.6 million cars off the road for an entire year.
Cows eating candy during the drought
Updated: Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 7:53 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 7:53 AM EDT
MAYFIELD, Ky. (CNN/WPSD) - Ranchers have struggled with skyrocketing corn prices, because the drought has made feeding their livestock very expensive. But one rancher has turned to a very sweet solution.
At Mayfield’s United Livestock Commodities, owner Joseph Watson is tweaking the recipe for success.
“Just to be able to survive, we have to look for other sources of nutrition,” he said.
His 1,400 cattle are no longer feeding off corn. The prices, Watson says, are too high to keep corn in stock. So earlier this year, he began to buy second-hand candy.
“It has a higher ratio of fat than actually feeding straight corn,” Watson explained. “It’s hard to believe it will work but we’ve already seen the results of it now.”
Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient. He says the cows have not shown any health problems from eating the candy, and they are gaining weight as they should.
“This ration is balanced to have not too much fat in it,” he said.
The packaged candy comes from various companies at a discounted rate because it is not fit for store shelves.
“Salvage is a problem for a lot of these companies and they’re proud to have a place to go with it,” said Watson.
For Some Of The World, Climate Change Can’t Come Soon Enough
While the long-term effects will be devastating for everyone, for many countries in the developing world struggling with drought, the changing environment could mean they can finally feed themselves.
With more than half the U.S. facing moderate or severe drought conditions, and other countries facing unusually warm weather, it’s easy to forget that climate change is not likely to be a uniform phenomenon, globally speaking. While climate models predict higher temperatures in some places, the same models forecast cooler and wetter weather in others. (Indeed, it’s well past time we stopped using “global warming” as a synonym for climate change, implying as it does a uniform effect).
Climate change could create winners as well as losers, according to researchers who have extrapolated the data. For example, nations that have traditionally struggled with drought conditions could find themselves better able to feed themselves. And vice versa. A new paper from researchers at Stanford, the World Bank, and Purdue shows how a country like Tanzania, in East Africa, could benefit. East Africa is one of the regions that scientists think could see more temperate conditions. The paper finds that in years where importing countries are experiencing drier conditions, Tanzania could sell more maize—its chief export product—both in Africa and further afield. Tanzania’s export partners, including the U.S. and China, are likely to have “severe dry conditions” in most of the years Tanzania is seeing “non-dry years.” “Tanzania has the potential to substantially increase its maize exports to other countries, and not only when its production is above trend,” the authors say.
“If global maize production is lower than usual owing to supply shocks in major exporters, Tanzania can export more maize at higher prices, even if it also experiences below-trend production.”
However, the country can benefit only if it liberalizes its trade policies, says Noah Diffenbaugh an assistant professor at Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences. Restrictions on imports and exports would reduce its ability to take advantage of surpluses in good years, and its ability to manage shortages in dry ones.
“An export ban reduces the poverty-reducing effect of a high production year,” he says. “There are potential opportunities that can be beneficial in the current and future climate, but they do require choice on behalf of policy-makers.”
Tanzania raised trade barriers in response to the 2008 food shocks, which it has only just lifted. Diffenbaugh says the country should keep borders open going forward, despite the uncertainty likely to result from climate change. He says the same rule could apply to other countries as well.
“We’ll have to see how generalizable the details are, but as a general principle we could hope that [liberalization] would help buffer against shocks and provide opportunities when there are surpluses.”
Despite 45,000 comments against and only 23 comments in support, the USDA gave approval to Monsanto for a drought resistant GMO corn. Now, the chemical cartel is petitioning for more products. One of them is a GMO corn variety that is tolerant of 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange. The GMO war on weeds through chemical proliferation is not working. Using stronger chemicals and new GMO varieties to tolerate them leads to more resistant super weeds as well as health problems for people where the chemicals are being used and for people who eat the crops. Farmers need to get back the time-honored mechanical methods of controlling weeds. Approval of a drought resistant GMO variety might be based on ignorant-but-good intentions, but approval of GMO varieties that tolerate more and stronger chemicals obviously has no redeeming value. People die each day from Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. Now, they will also die from eating foods that have been sprayed with it. Please follow the link in this article and submit a respectful comment to the USDA during the 60-day comment period asking them to reject the petition. Please also write to the President and members of Congress about stopping this chemical proliferation insanity.
How The World’s Countries Rank For Food Security
Lack of available food, unsurprisingly, can wreak havoc on an economy. A new report details which countries are most susceptible to suddenly running out of food and which countries generally aren’t able to supply their citizens with enough calories. Don’t feel too content though, America may have a lot of food, but we still have problems.
Global food prices rose twice as fast as inflation during the last decade, according to the World Bank. An estimated 44 million people were propelled into poverty during the food price spikes of 2008. Two dozen countries saw “food riots” in 2008 and 2011.
Food insecurity is a hot topic—and something we’re probably going to have to get used to. Extreme weather events, higher prices for oil and other agricultural “inputs,” changing diets, and competing demands on crops and land—are all likely to keep the issue on the agenda. With the global population set to hit 9 billion by 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says food production will have to increase by 50% to 70% to meet demand.
To aid understanding, and help us cope with the next food shock, the Economist Intelligence Unit has designed an index and research tool covering food insecurity in 105 countries. The aid combines data not only on affordability and availability, but also the quality and safety of food supplies.
The top-ranking countries are not surprising. Richer nations, such as the U.S. and France, have more supplies, spend more on research, have better food logistics systems, and therefore spend less per head. On average, OECD households spend about 20% of income on food, while the most insecure countries in Sub-Saharan Africa spend more than 50% (and sometimes up to 70%).
Like other rich countries, the U.S. enjoys a calorie surplus. On average, Americans have access to 3,600 calories a day—well above the recommended 2,300. The poorest, such as Haiti and Burundi, on average have 100 calories less than minimum— though for the very poorest, it’s worst than that. The Democratic Republic of Congo has a per-person food supply of 1,605 calories, or 43% below requirement.
The report notes that some of the lowest-scoring countries are also some of the fastest growing economically—suggesting both increased risks, but also the increased ability to do something about the problem. Nigeria, Rwanda, and Ethiopia fall in this category.
It’s not all good for the richest. Many countries have access to food generally, but not good food, which leads to struggles with obesity and relatively poor diets. Germany ranks 10th in the main index, for instance, but 43rd for “micronutrient availability” (owing to a lack of “vegetal iron”). The U.S. comes in first overall, but 15th for micronutrients.
The importance of food is hard to overestimate. Lack of nutrition raises health care costs, depletes economic growth, and is strongly correlated with civil unrest, poor institutions, and human rights abuses, the report says. But the good news is that government action, safety net programs, and agricultural investment bring proven results. In other words, there is nothing inevitable about hunger: shortages and shocks can be planned for, and smoothed out. The EIU says it hopes the index will provide “an early warning system” for future problems.
Hopefully it will.
Genetically Modified Food That Prevents Cancer, Makes You Healthier
—-And of course this article was sponsored by DOW. Sigh…. —-
There is a lot of reasonable debate about the safety of changing the genetic makeup of things we eat, but scientists are doing amazing things with GM food—everything from cancer-preventing tomatoes to cabbages that produce their own pesticides.
Currently, a debate is raging in the U.S. about the risks involved in eating genetically modified food, most prominently in the case of Aquabounty salmon, which have been genetically engineered to grow faster and bigger than normal salmon (see the first slide above). Californians will be voting on whether so-called “Frankenfood” will require a label to identify it as such if sold in the state. The Food and Drug Administration is currently deciding whether or not that should be the case nationwide, despite the agency’s assurances that it poses no safety risks. Like it or not, genetic modification is more than likely here to stay, and in the following slides you can see some of the various foods that are being affected.
View Some Crazy GMO’s below!
PURPLE TOMATOES TO THWART CANCER
British scientists reported in 2008 that they’d modified the humble tomato with a pigment found in blackberries and cranberries that is believed to be protective against cancer. The researchers inserted a gene found in the flower of the snapdragon plant, which turned the tomato’s standard red color purple. Mice susceptible to cancer that were fed the genetically engineered tomatoes outlived their brethren who were fed regular tomatoes, indicating that the anti-cancer effect may be real.
A New Point System Lets You Measure The Sustainability Impact Of Anything
EnergyPoints, a data mining startup, has developed a way to compare whether a wind farm or a desalination plant will do more good—using just one simple number.
There are any number of problems facing the world right now, and a limited amount of resources and time to handle them. Sometimes, you have to think about triage. But the scope of the problems can make that hard: What’s more important: creating clean energy or managing water scarcity. Those two issues are measured entirely differently, making it hard for non-experts to compare the two issues analytically.
Energy Points is a new startup on a mission to quantify sustainability. Instead of using different ways of conceptualizing consumption (say, of water, electricity, waste, transportation and the like) the company smooths out diverse units and translates them into one common denominator: the amount of energy it takes to generate one gallon of gasoline.
A state-by-state map of energy production, as measured by energy per gallon.
The result is that companies (and eventually individuals) can conduct one-to-one comparison of any sustainability project or resource consumption, regardless of the native unit of measure (kWh, gallons, BTUs, CO2 abated). All of these units of measurement are now expressed in energy per gallon, the same way miles per gallon represents the miles you get for one gallon of gas in a car.
“We’d like people to think quantitatively about energy,” says Ory Zik, the founder and CEO of Energy Points. “We’d like to become the de facto standard for the way you think about energy. It’s just the same way you buy a car and have a miles-per-gallon rating of 30. Instead, you buy a house, and have an energy-per-gallon rating of 25 and you know what that means.”
Zik says that there are serious problems with the way that people try to assess environmental sustainability. To start, there is no sensitivity to location and time, and there is often a separation between renewable energy and energy efficiency, which in reality are two sides of the same coin. But the biggest problem? The units just don’t match up. If a sustainability officer at a company tries to parse some stats: say the company’s carbon footprint increased by 5 million tons, the water footprint decreased by 1 million gallons, and the company generated 200 tons of waste. “The problem isn’t the availability of data, it’s the interpretation,” says Zik.
A state-by-state map of water scarcity, as expressed by energy per gallon.
By leveling the playing field, Energy Points can give companies a very clear sustainability budget. The company crunches the numbers for local parameters for energy production and water scarcity in each state or metro area, and expresses the outcomes in EPG. For example, for water data, the company integrates information from every water facility in the country, as well as monitoring satellite images and real-time data flows from USGS to make certain their data is comprehensive and reliable.
Looking at the two maps above, you can see that Idaho leads the nation in EPG when it comes to electricity, due largely to a massive amount of wind power. But its water situation is far worse. That might be a good and simple way to show government officials where to invest more time and resources.
Using the points, a company could also compare a solar project directly with a water management project, and so on. “The end result is that sustainability doesn’t have to be based on adjectives,” says Zik, adding that math and science can be the basis for decision making.
Zik is no stranger to the environmental movement. In the early 1990s, he founded Greenpeace Israel. With his background in physics, Zik wanted to find environmental solutions based more in science than emotion. This idea continued after he foundedHelioFocus, one of Israel’s biggest solar companies—he wanted to quantify that the energy they were generating was actually sustainable, given the large amounts of steel, glass, and other resources that were consumed to make it. “It’s all about taking complex data and letting people compare in context, simply.”