ENVIRONMENTALISM: “France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants or Solar Panels” ☮

France RooftopsA new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.

Green roofs, as they are called, have an isolating effect which helps to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter or cool it in the summer. They are capable of retaining rainwater and reducing problems with runoff, and also offer birds a place to call home in the urban jungle.

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VEGETARIANISM: “What If Everyone in the World Became a Vegetarian?” / Mother Jones / L.V. Anderson ☮

Treating yourself to vegan burgers with sweet potato and chickpeas isn't just a delicious indulgence; it could help save the planet. VeselovaElena/Thinkstock

Treating yourself to vegan burgers with sweet potato and chickpeas isn’t just a delicious indulgence; it could help save the planet. VeselovaElena/Thinkstock

This story originally appeared on Slate and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The meat industry is one of the top contributors to climate change, directly and indirectly producing about 14.5 percent of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and global meat consumption is on the rise. People generally like eating meat—when poor people start making more money, they almost invariably start buying more meat. As the population grows and eats more animal products, the consequences for climate change, pollution, and land use could be catastrophic.

Attempts to reduce meat consumption usually focus on baby steps—Meatless Monday and “vegan before 6,” passable fake chicken, and in vitro burgers. If the world is going to eat less meat, it’s going to have to be coaxed and cajoled into doing it, according to conventional wisdom.

But what if the convincing were the easy part? Suppose everyone in the world voluntarily stopped eating meat, en masse. I know it’s not actually going to happen. But the best-case scenario from a climate perspective would be if all 7 billion of us woke up one day and realized that PETA was right all along. If this collective change of spirit came to pass, like Peter Singer‘s dearest fantasy come true, what would the ramifications be?

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