Today’s Planet Earth: Our Loving Home will be presented in Slovenian, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish and Thai.

Greetings, eco-wise viewers to this week’s episode of Planet Earth: Our Loving Home featuring environmental advocate and chemist Tomaž Ogrin from the Institute of Jožef Stefan, Slovenia, a prominent research body founded in 1949 and named after the distinguished 19th-century Slovenian physicist Jožef Stefan, most noted for his work on the Stefan-Bolzmann law of black-body radiation.

Currently, the Institute employs more than 850 researchers in the fields of physics, chemistry, energy utilization, environmental science and other areas. Mr. Ogrin is a researcher at the Institute and manages a project that provides youth opportunities to learn chemistry in the laboratory. He also oversees a continuing education program for professionals in the field of chemistry and other sciences.

Today we present excerpts from our interview with Mr. Ogrin who, like many others, is very worried by the fact that Earth’s precious natural resources are being rapidly exhausted by various destructive industries, particularly animal agriculture. In our talk with him, he suggested possible solutions to this challenge.

Humans do need a necessary quantity of water per day, desperately need a certain amount of water per day and this water must be clean. And here with chemicals we have destroyed many of the water resources.

Modern civilization has been depleting our planet’s wealth at an alarming rate, putting humanity in serious danger. A 2010 report by the World Watch Institute examined the sustainability of humankind’s consumption patterns. It was found that in terms of individual use, a European consumes an average of 43 kilograms of natural resources per day and an American up to 88 kilograms.

If all people on Earth consumed as much as the residents of the US currently do on an annual basis, the planet could only sustain a sixth of its current population. Finally, the report concluded that in total volume, the amount of resources the world extracts from the Earth daily would fill the Empire State Building, a 373 meter high skyscraper in New York City, USA, 112 times over.

The world is irregularly developed. And this is a big problem for its survival. We need to limit the wastefulness of Western societies. Another query is the survival of the growing population. Here we do not have any strategy. And actually, even if we run out of energy resources, we do not know what will actually follow next.

Electricity is a key component of human development. The International Energy Agency estimates 1.5-billion people in the world still lack access to electricity, with 85% living in rural areas. In the past few years interest in green energy has grown across the world as carbon-based fuels like oil are highly polluting, with a finite amount available on Earth.

The best are those power plants that directly concentrate the Sun’s power. Recently they have created technology that can capture the Sun, the solar heat, in a substance that melts, normally this is a molten salt, with a temperature of 6-700 degrees (Celsius). And this heats water, boils it and that steam drives a turbine which produces electricity across the generator. This method has proved to be the most economical.

The other possible resources or the other aspects of pumping of heat comes from the soil. Geothermal energy is available in many places around the world, everywhere, at least in smaller quantities. All sorts of hot bodies emit energy and that heats air and water. This method is fundamentally not used enough.

Hydrogen is a zero-carbon gas, and thus can, to some degree, help to curb climate change. Those working on developing hydrogen-based cars and buses use an internal combustion engine or fuel cells to power the vehicles.

If we are talking about traffic, we should first reduce consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel with a switch of gas. Hydrogen combusting with oxygen produces water and water is certainly a clean product. It’s not only that we do not have carbon dioxide anymore, there are also significantly less or almost no dust particles created.

The problem lies in the fact that there is no hydrogen on Earth and that it needs to be obtained and this can be done the most elegantly from water. In producing hydrogen we use energy, so we have to have power stations. With the help of electricity it is easy to obtain hydrogen. And we can burn this hydrogen in engines with internal combustion and we get, as we said, water.

The livestock industry has a hugely detrimental impact on our ecosphere. According to a 2010 United Nations Environment Programme report entitled “Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption and Production” animal agriculture consumes 70% of the global freshwater supply and 38% of our planet’s land.

Feeding all these intensively raised animals diverts millions of tons of grains that could otherwise be used to sustain humanity. In 2008, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated there are over a billion people across the world that are malnourished.

We need to reduce certain programs, particularly those ones which are taking fertile land from us. Because it is our nature that we have to feed ourselves. And fertile soil is our solution. In this direction there is a need for a fundamental reduction of the number of livestock.

The livestock also generate enormous quantities of hazardous manure filled with nitrates, pathogens and antibiotics that destroy life in rivers and streams and poison drinking water supplies.

Livestock emissions foul the air with 37% of all human-caused releases of methane, a highly dangerous greenhouse gas. Factory farms also emit hydrogen sulfide, which can cause death from just one inhalation at concentrations as low as 1,000 parts per million and ammonia, a chief cause of acid rain and ecosystem acidification.

Methane is a gas which is very similar to natural gas. The majority of natural gas consists of methane. This gas also springs up into the atmosphere. Its efficiency in global warming is 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Actually, livestock is a huge polluter of our atmosphere and a major cause for warming of the planet. That is why it is extremely important that we restrict livestock as soon as possible.

Other gases from a (factory) farm include ammonia, which is at the same time also toxic. This one is mixed with other waste products, as well as nitrous oxide. The problem is that this gas is even more effective at warming the atmosphere, and it is 300 times more troublesome and dangerous in our atmosphere. Likewise, in this case we would reduce the quantity of this gas by reduction of livestock breeding.

A subsequent gas, which also arises in the field of livestock breeding, is H2S (hydrogen sulfide). This is a gas which is toxic in very small quantities. Of course it also springs up from industry, however also from livestock breeding. Even this one contributes a very negative impact on the atmosphere, above all on the health of local residents.

Methane dissipates from the air after about 12 years, whereas carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas, stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Lessening the production of human-caused methane and other shorter-lived greenhouse gases can help rapidly cool our planet. To reduce the methane in our atmosphere, and prevent runaway climate change, a worldwide shift to the organic vegan diet needs to occur now.

Some parts of the world, let’s say in India are on that path from the beginning. We need to copy their concept. That is the so-called vegetarian diet. The vegetarian diet has been proved by many expert-established indicators to be a healthier form of nutrition. Not only is it healthier, but also a human can experience more years (of life), can be active several more years, and contribute more with his own work.

This benefit is also indicated in the acquisition of land, which previously had livestock, and is now available for growing harvests for human consumption. And also water resources are significantly increased if the livestock lessens. Quite soon, it is necessary to convene an international meeting and agree on the reduction of livestock breeding.

In Europe we have some initiatives in this direction. In Ghent, Belgium, they initiated one day without meat. Also in Bremen, Germany and also in Slovenia, we know organizations that have already advocated it in their municipality that we also should initiate a day without meat.

To conclude today’s program, sustainable use of our Earth’s resources, particularly through organic vegan farming and following a plant-based lifestyle, is absolutely critical at a time where our planet has been pushed to the brink of existence by human activities destroying the environment.

Our sincere thanks Mr. Tomaž Ogrin for increasing public awareness about the ecological devastation caused by animal agriculture and the need to transition to sustainable energy. May your exemplary ideals for the care of our planet be known throughout Slovenia and beyond.

For more details on the Institute of Jožef Stefan, please visit

Blessed viewers, thank you for joining us on today’s episode Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment after Noteworthy News. May all lives be filled with peace and grace from Heaven.