Eating a Burger and Israel’s National Security

By Victor Weis

What is the connection between eating a hamburger and the national security of the State of Israel? You’ll be surprised to learn. The meat industry currently accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions and is on the rise, researched and reported by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, winner of the Nobel Prize last year.

And why should this concern you? Global warming is particularly relevant to Israel, because the temperature in our region will rise more sharply than in most of the world. In addition, the geopolitical situation in which we are located is expected to exacerbate the consequences for our national security.

Let’s talk about it. These are the expected scenarios:

In Egypt, severe damage to the Nile Delta and the flooding of large parts of it will cause the loss of homes and food and livelihoods of millions, a process that has already begun. The Egyptian government will not be able to adequately provide for its citizens, and Egypt’s dependency on the Western world to supply food will grow. Other countries around the world, suffering from similar stresses, will find it difficult to help. History shows that in light of the difficult economic situation, the stability of the government will be undermined. The anger of the masses will lead to anarchy and the flowering of radical Islamic movements. They will point an accusing finger at the Western world, headed by Israel. Thousands of people will seek to move to areas where there is income and food, encouraging mass immigration. It is likely that thousands of people will move north, to Israel.

Syria is already suffering from a severe shortage of water. Even before the outbreak of the civil war, the mismanagement of the water resources led to a loss of confidence in the Syrian leadership. Now in the midst of horrific fighting, climate change will further worsen the situation.

Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan will also suffer from water shortages and severe damage to agriculture. It is not hard to imagine that this regional instability will spill over into Israel.

And what about us? According to World Health Organization figures, rising sea levels are expected to damage national infrastructures near the sea, power plants and desalination plants. Climate change is expected to hit local agriculture and lead to an increase in food prices. Already, according to the Israeli Water Authority, the water reservoirs lack an entire rainy season. This leads to damage to the weaker sectors and to civil unrest caused by fears over the rising cost of living. We have already discussed the national security appeal. These processes will not happen in the distant future… They are already happening and many of us will be affected by them. As evidence, the Obama administration marked the consequences of climate change as the strategic threat to US national security, even more so than terrorism.

And it is time to return to Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, who spoke about the heavy part of the meat industry in the destruction of the earth. He said reducing meat consumption is the most effective way for the individual to contribute to reducing global warming. Take this into account the next time you want to bite a juicy steak. Remember that the price is also the national security risk to the State of Israel.