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Humans’ beef with livestock: a warmer planet

The Christian Science Monitor – February 20, 2007

This is a very interesting article that continues the thought process that methane is the worst offender in the battle of the greenhouse gases. The article contends that the huge livestock populations produce waste which produces methane in quantities that the environment cannot handle. The solution is to change the diet of a large portion of the population so that we need less livestock and therefore less of their waste.

While this is an interesting proposition, I am not sure that the science is 100% sound and I also am not sure that the cost is worth the benefit. There is no explanation of how to provide the nutrients that are needed by the human population without livestock.

Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems,” Henning Steinfeld, senior author of the report, said when the FAO findings were released in November

Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent

Between 1970 and 2002, annual per capita meat consumption in developing countries rose from 11 kilograms (24 lbs.) to 29 kilograms (64 lbs.)

annual global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tons at the beginning of the decade to 465 million tons in 2050.

the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products,” writes Noam Mohr in a report for EarthSave International.

If you simply cut down from two burgers a week to one, you’ve already made a substantial difference.

Read the article here.

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