Skip to comments.MEAT AND THE PLANET:Livestock are responsible for about 18 percent of the global warming effect
Posted on 12/28/2006 12:26:53 PM PST by InvisibleChurch
As the human population continues to multiply -- and our biological footprint on the planet becomes larger -- so do all the things associated with us, including our livestock, says the New York Times.
For example, according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:
At present, there are about 1.5 billion cattle and domestic buffalo and about 1.7 billion sheep and goats in the world. Global livestock grazing and feed production use 30 percent of the land surface of the planet. Livestock -- which consume more food than they yield -- also compete directly with humans for water. But what is even more striking, and alarming, are their effects on the environment:
Livestock are responsible for about 18 percent of the global warming effect, more than transportation's contribution. The culprits are methane -- the natural result of bovine digestion -- and the nitrogen emitted by manure. Deforestation adds to the effect; the drive to expand grazing land destroys more biologically sensitive terrain, rain forests especially, than anything else. There are no easy trade-offs when it comes to global warming -- such as cutting back on cattle to make room for cars, says the Times. The human passion for meat is certainly not about to end anytime soon. Our health and the health of the planet depend on pushing livestock production in more sustainable directions.
Source: Editorial, "Meat and the Planet," New York Times, December 27, 2006.
For full report:
For more on Environment Issues:
Not to mention my medium-rare New York Strip!
Something to really look forward to!
They're a bunch of commie-pinko-tofu eating bastards!
If we all become vegans, human methane output will offset the reduction from the livestock.
We're doomed either way, so I'd rather eat steak. Where's my ribeye?
yah,30acres oot of 100 are inhabited by domestic farm animals....you wouldn't be able to sleep for all the moo-ing and bah-ing.
This assumes that someone actually knows whether natural global climate change is warming or cooling. However, if we accept that assumption it is then fair, and also logical, to request a listing of all other things that are responsible. This logical request is based on another assumption; the assumption that the total must be known in order to know what makes up 18% of that total.
Slower, and better mannered, for the most part.
.eat TOFU or we are doomed.
And CO2; especially after they've fallen and begun to decompose.
The 2002 census of cattle and calves in the U.S. was 95,497,994. That isn't much higher than the estimated number of buffalo (60-80 million) that inhabited the plains of North America before the evil white man wiped them out. Buffalo are generally bigger than cattle, eat more and, naturally, fart more. So there is no significant net difference in ruminant produced methane. I expect the same could be said for Africa where fantastically large herds of animals roamed a century or two ago. If anything today's domestic livestock are a good deal fewer in number than the wild herds of old.
It's all those Mustangs, Pintos along with the Tauruii, not to menation the bears who cr@p in the woods and those devilish moose turds!
The methane comes mainly from the burps; farts are more likely to be hydrogen sulfide.
Those moose turds are especially evil.
Plants consume CO2 and give off O2. Animals consume O2 and give off CO2.
The real question is how much CO2 is created in the production of carbonated soft drinks and why haven't the Enviro Wackos marched on the headquarters of Coca Cola and Pepsi corps?
Does it ever scare you, Professor, that you know that?
No more than knowing my aglet from my anklet.
I ran the numbers and the besI could come up with was 8%.
I think they failed to include an allowance for herd animal decline on the North American plains and African plains. This decline reduces the number by 8.3%.
It also appears that they miscalculated the effect of kelp flowers and krill. Taken together thay make up the difference.
All in all, I think they did pretty shoddy work.
While stationed in Alaska I found some jewelry in the BX that was fashioned from Moose Turds! Goggle moose turds and you'll find my story from an earlier FreeRepublic post!
You really have an anklet?
Errr, is hydrogen sulfide flammable? Because if it isn't I can Google up some strange pics to argue the point with you. ;^)
Maybe we should start by killing off all the animals that don't help to sustain human life. (e.g. pandas, koalas, manatees, squirrels and other wildlife.)
It's hard to imagine that domestiaced animals are farting more than wild ones.
BTW, the smell gives it away, rotten eggs, methane is pretty much odorless.
The natural gas you have in your house averages about 80-85% methane in most of the country and the gas company adds an odorant to allow a leak to be readily detected.
As long as they arent fried in trans-fat.
The Sun is responsible for 100% of global warming.
Depends. During the day when the plant if in the photosynthetic mode, it takes in CO2 and exhales Oxygen. At night the process reverses and the plants respirate.
Looks like the U.S. is steadily reducing methane emissions. Apparently wetlands are responsible for 76% of all naturally produced methane. Sorry, duck hunters, for the good of the chirren we gotta dredge and drain.
Good thing we wiped out all the buffalo on the great plains. Imagine the warming carnage that would have ensued without our intervention.
To get back to the point of it; is there more domestic livestock than there used to be herds of wild ruminants? Do wild ruminants belch less?
The volume, frequency and duration of burps is determined by the feedstock and the size of the stock feeding.
No plant can grow unless it is a net consumer of CO2. Plants use Solar energy (through photosynthesis) to crack CO2. They incorporate the carbon into the plant material, and release most of the O2.
Animals get carbon, for growth, by eating plants (or things that eat plants). They also get energy by burning most of the hydrocarbons that they eat.
In other words, both plants and animals grow by taking in carbon (and many other elements). Plants use Solar energy to run the endothermic reaction when they break CO2 into C and O2. Animals run on chemical energy, combining C with O2, which is an exothermic reaction.
Maybe we could put Beano in their feed.
OOPS ... you're right ... and I should have and actually did know better. I guess I should have had that first cup of coffee before posting.
In any event, because these animals are ruminants, they are able to digest plants which humans cannot.
I can see the headline: "UN demands global vegetarianism."
They are still kinda hot.
"Cows are all t'way up at 18 percent!?? Well dadgum, Slim, ah'm goin' to do sumptin' bout that!"
Bullseye! That's exactly what I think of, whenever I see/hear the term "vegan", too. :-)
British researchers have apparently come up with a cattle feed that lowers bovine methane emissions by about 80 percent. Now, pass the A-1 sauce, please...
Break out the smoker and place bacon on top to prevent drying.
Wellll, OK. I just hope you can account for how much methane was released in order to provide you that cup of coffee. /s
Which is one of the main reasons (though far from the only one) I will continue to BBQ beef or buffalo for dinner and go lightly on the prairie grass.
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