Link between beef production and global warming sparks denialist outburst

Fri, 2007-09-14 13:30Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Link between beef production and global warming sparks denialist outburst

The article in the Vancouver Province, written by Jay Ambrose of Scripps Howard News Service, refers to a 400-page United Nations report saying the world’s 1.5 billion cattle and other livestock account for 18 per cent of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Ambrose then goes on to berate former Vice-President Al Gore for his “meat-aided chubbiness,” and assert that reducing livestock emissions could ruin farmers and cause food shortages. “And the consequent cutback in greenhouse gases would still fall far short of what Gore-ilk worriers say is required to save the Earth from eventual devastation.”

The day before Ambrose’s missive appeared, an article in The Lancet medical journal said reducing global red-meat consumption by only 10 per cent would reduce animal gases that contribute to global warming. With world demand increasing, however, experts fear more methane and nitrous oxide heating up the planet.

Two months earlier, a Japanese study found producing 2.2 pounds of beef generates more carbon dioxide than an average car does every 160 miles. And producing those 2.2 pounds consumed nearly 170 megajoules of energy, mostly for raising and transporting feed – the same energy a 100-watt light bulb would consume if left on for 20 days.

Ambrose made no mention of either study, nor did he give details of the UN report. So either he’s not doing sufficient research or he’s ignoring his findings. Maybe both.

Previous Comments

It is interesting to read the amount of carbon dioxide generated in producing 1 kg of beef versus driving a car for 160 miles.

I was also surprised to learn that producing the same amount of beef requires the same amount of energy to run a 100 watt lightbulb for 20 days.

However, it then occured to me that I can’t eat a car, any more than I can drive a slab of roast beef 160 miles. And although someone may argue that lightbulbs have no cholesterol, they may be a little hard on the digestion.

Maybe the significance of these bizarre non sequitur comparisons is lost on me because, as Ian Forrester would (and likely will) say: I obviously don’t understand science!

… called putting things in perspective

But please excuse me, I have to drive my roast beef to the supermarket and pick up some 100 watt lightbulbs for dinner.

To put it very simply, energy is used to do different things, such as raising cattle, lighting light bulbs, and driving cars. Just like money, which you spend to buy beef, to pay for your electricity, and to buy gas to put in your car. And just as we do with money, we need to decide what is the best way to use the energy we have, since it is a limited resource. We have to stop wasting it.

Thanks for patiently explaining that, VJ. Luckily, as a reward for turning in a counter-revolutionary thought-criminal to the state security police, the Central Planning Committee has granted me extra ration cards for meat and electricity. So, hurray! I can have both!

but please voluntarily use less of each.

Here we go again. My advice is consider the source and ignore him. Maybe he’ll go play somewhere else if nobody pays attention.

He’s such a bore. So is this post of yours going to survive, Femack?

I think the glitch was with that one particular thread. No problems lately.

To put it rather plainly meat is fucking destroying the enviroment. No matter what way you put it. The Beef industry is responsible for 18% of green house gasses resulting in global warming. Cars only cause roughly 14%.

When you put things into perspective changing to a smartcar might help the enviroment but going vegan woulb be an even more massive change. You also get better health benefits and guess what? You even get lower rates for health insurance because your less likely to get cancer or heart desease because you aren’t clogging your arteries with steroids animal priones and shit.

You save money. Meat costs a hell of alot more than veggies.

Did any of you know that in addition to saving at least 96 animal lives per year, being vegetarian cuts down on greenhouse gases than driving a smart car? If everyone in the world veg*n then greenhouse gas emissions would be leveled to almost nothing.
Go to www.myspace.com/VEtrill for more information. READ ALL THE BLOGS!!

-Proud Veg*n

I went to Vetrill and it rocked my sox! Gold star for the makers!

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