‘Four legs good, two legs bad‘: faced with complex issues, there is a strong tendency to reduce them to slogans and, having done this, believe that the slogans themselves contain all the truth on any particular subject that most of us need. Thus, to give just one example, ‘many food miles bad, few food miles good‘ has become a truism which is widely perceived as self-evident and sufficient analysis in and of itself. Mercifully, in August 2020 UIT Cambridge published Professor Bridle’s ‘Food and Climate Change Without The Hot Air’ which puts the nuance back into nosh (sorry – slogans are catching!) and some clarity into the climate crisis.
It is the most enlightening book by far I have read on this topic. Is Prof. Bridle a nutritionist? An agronomist? Not primarily, no. In her day job she is a professor of astrophysics. Still only 45, she already has an immensely distinguished academic career as a scientist, but strayed outside her own field from the same concern for the climate crisis which we all share (or would not have read this far).
Professor Bridle says:
The aim of the book is to convey to the layperson the scientific consensus on how different foods contribute to climate change, and to put these numbers into the context of different decisions we make every day when we choose what to eat.unpublished correspondence
Here is a snapshot from the first chapter to give you an idea. It is a model of ‘sweet clarity’.
About Professor Bridle:
Prof. Sarah Bridle, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester www.sarahbridle.net
The Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open source Toolkit www.ggdot.org
Take a Bite out of Climate Change www.takeabitecc.org
Book launch zoom recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsCIf4Q_y_0
Channel 4 News film on 6 February 2021 presented by Sarah Bridle on changing our eating habits to help stave off environmental disaster..
TEDx Manchester talk on food and climate change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y7RHsXSW00
Policy thinkpiece https://policyatmanchester.shorthandstories.com/on-net-zero/index.html#group-Food-GfxdgPJasN
Interview on The Life Scientific on BBC Radio 4
A Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, Sarah has diversified from cosmology into agriculture and food research, motivated by the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, Sarah founded the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+, bringing together food research and industry with STFC capabilities from astro, particle and nuclear physics and the UK’s largest science facilities.
Sarah leads the Take a Bite out of Climate Change project and the Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open source Toolkit (GGDOT) which brings together data from food choices and greenhouse gas emissions to inform the public and policymakers…
Sarah is author of over 100 refereed publications which have over 9000 citations and has won prestigious awards in the UK and Europe including a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, the Royal Astronomical Society’s Fowler Award, and European Research Council Starting and Consolidator Grants.