Crying over the carbon footprint of spilt milk

From the University of Edinburgh via Eurekalert, just scratching the surface of this press release suggests something’s gone sour, the numbers they cite don’t make for much concern in the larger context of things. See below.


Milk poured down Britain’s kitchen sinks each year creates a carbon footprint equivalent to thousands of car exhaust emissions, research shows

Scientists say the 360,000 tonnes of milk wasted in the UK each year creates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 100,000 tonnes of CO2. The study by the University of Edinburgh says this is the same as is emitted by about 20,000 cars annually.

The research identifies ways that consumers could also help curb greenhouse gas emissions – by reducing the amount of food they buy, serve and waste. They also suggest the food industry could reduce emissions by seeking more efficient ways to use fertilisers.

Researchers also say halving the amount of chicken consumed in the UK and other developed countries to levels eaten in Japan could cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road.

Figures show that if average chicken consumption in developed countries fell from the current level of 26kg each per year to the Japanese average of about 12kg each by 2020, global emissions from poultry would fall below current levels, despite increased output from the developing world. This would cut the predicted global output of nitrous oxide, a key greenhouse gas, from this source by almost 20 per cent, based on current growth rates.

Demand for food, particularly meat, is expected to increase over the next few decades as the world’s population continues to grow and emerging countries consume more.

Agriculture is the biggest source of nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas that is emitted by soil and fertilisers. Producing meat produces more emissions than growing crops, as large amounts of cereals are grown to feed livestock.

Researchers arrived at their findings by examining data for global agricultural production of greenhouse gases together with consumption of food in various regions of the world. The study, carried out in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen and partners in Europe and the US, was published in Nature Climate Change.

Dr David Reay of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said: “Eating less meat and wasting less food can play a big part in helping to keep a lid on greenhouse gas emissions as the world’s population increases.”

###

Well, wasting food is never a good thing, I agree with that, but is this a big problem or not? I decided to have a look at the numbers.

From DairyCo Datum in the UK, here’s a table of worldwide milk production based on FAO data, highlight mine:

The 360,000 tonnes of milk said to be wasted in the press release seems like a huge number, but when compared to 13.96 million tonnes of milk produced in the UK in 2010, it is literally a drop in the milk bucket. It works out to about 2.6%, which given such a perishable product, isn’t a bad number at all. I expected it to be much higher, like 25% the way the article was written.

And since they are concerned about global warming, the comparison globally:

Even if the UK stopped wasting all milk, the impact against the global milk carbon footprint is nil.

And while they bemoan the waste in the press release, they offer no solution. What are citizens supposed to do with spoiled milk? Drink it? I’ll bet this will go over well in UK schools like this program: Climate Craziness of the Week – let the kids freeze, all I want for Christmas is a zero carbon footprint

A headmaster at a British school decided a great lesson in sustainability would be to turn off the heat for a day. In December:

Pupils at Ansford Academy in Castle Cary, Somerset, were forced to grip their pens through thick gloves and wear their coats and hats in class as temperatures dropped to 1C. The school’s headmaster, Rob Benzie, shut down the radiators as an experiment to show students how the school could cut its carbon footprint.

The milk waste researchers also seem clueless about how the carbon cycle works, as if somehow that milk if consumed magically loses all of its carbon content via the other route that eventually ends up down the sewer.

Idiots.

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115 Responses to Crying over the carbon footprint of spilt milk

  1. Steve in SC says:

    Where are they going to get the fish?
    The Japanese exist primarily on fish and rice so if the UK cuts chicken consumption to Japan levels, then somebody is going to starve. “Brilliant!!!!”

  2. Alvin says:

    My reply to the U of E? Prove it. Prove that 360,000 tons of milk was wasted. You can’t. Only milk that is thrown away by schools or business (that is if it is actually counted) or destroyed at the source is provable. This is fiction to create an advocate position.

  3. Mike86 says:

    Imagine how low the carbon footprint would get if they could just get people to stop eating all together.

  4. Lancifer says:

    “Idiots.”

    That pretty much says it all.

    How much time and resources were wasted producing this “study”. Did these “scientists” receive public funds to come to there idiotic conclusions?

    Someday there will be a study that calculates the resources wasted on the non-problem of “climate change”.

    I am sure the numbers, unlike this bovine excrement, will be staggering.

  5. otter17 says:

    Quote from article:
    “The milk waste researchers also seem clueless about how the carbon cycle works, as if somehow that milk if consumed magically loses all of its carbon content via the other route that eventually ends up down the sewer.

    Idiots.”
    _________

    Isn’t the point that by wasting the milk, more would be consumed over a given period, and thus that is where the additional energy inputs and CO2 would come from in their study?

    In any case, the value of the paper seems more in a rigorous attempt at quantifying the life cycle emissions due to agricultural production, of milk it seems in this case. Life cycle analyses are useful for total cost and evaluation. I know from my engineering work that the US Navy does analyses on full life cost on their ships, including fuel consumption and taking into account GHG emissions as well.

  6. DaveG says:

    The UK has always been ahead of the pack – The lunatic fringe is live and well in a festering economy and a feeling of hopelessness has griped the population. I say this sadly as an ex-pat who saw the writing on the wall when I was a kid, I knew I would get out even then. The only problem the madness has spread throughout the western world.

  7. Dave N says:

    There should be a study of how much carbon footprint all these pathetically useless studies generate.

  8. Roger says:

    Mainstream press does not realize that these type of articles are skeptics best friend, slowly erroding away at AGW belief. lets hope they keep churning them out…

  9. nimbunje says:

    [snip - too far off color -Anthony]

  10. dp says:

    Only one thing to do – drink the koolaide. Lets start with the believers. Cut their power, issue them ration cards, feed them CO2-free meals. 100% sustainable. Oh – no more toilets. They’re worse than bad milk.

  11. coconutdog says:

    Simple solution, ban kitchen sinks.

  12. Marian says:

    “Alvin says:
    May 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm
    My reply to the U of E? Prove it. Prove that 360,000 tons of milk was wasted. You can’t. Only milk that is thrown away by schools or business (that is if it is actually counted) or destroyed at the source is provable. This is fiction to create an advocate position.”

    Yeah it does smell of a load of cow crap to me.

    If you want real waste. The dairy industry here in NZ had to dump milk last year due to a gas pipeline leak.

    50m litres of milk dumped after gas leak

    http://www.independent.ie/farming/news-features/50m-litres-of-milk-dumped-after-gas-leak-2921734.html

    Maui gas leak: Farmer close to tears over spilt milk

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/agriculture/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=10761957

    Gee we may aswell blame the NZ dairy industry for having a milder Autumn this year then. It must be all the extra CO2 released from all that wasted milk :-)

  13. Bill Tuttle says:

    This would cut the predicted global output of nitrous oxide, a key greenhouse gas…

    Hold the phone. First CO2 was a key greenhouse gas, then water vapor was a key greenhouse gas, then methane was a key greenhouse gas, now nitrous oxide is a key greenhouse gas. What’s the next key greenhouse gas going to be — argon, maybe?

  14. Have these idiots looked seriously at the carbon footprint (which really doesn’t matter anyway) of the Japanese fishing fleet?

  15. Michael J says:

    It must be hard to be a researcher and have to produce evidence every year that you have been productive. For most of us, we can cite actual work that has been done — projects completed, products sold and such, but these researchers need to produce some nonsensical study to validate their existence.

    It’s a tough life. :-)

  16. Mike Jonas says:

    The carbon in ‘off’ milk came from cows.
    The carbon in milk in cows came from grass.
    The carbon in grass came from the atmosphere.
    The carbon in the atmosphere came from ‘off’ milk.

  17. Alex Heyworth says:

    Dr David Reay of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said: “Eating less meat and wasting less food can play a big part in helping to keep a lid on greenhouse gas emissions as the world’s population increases.”

    No it can’t. The (net) greenhouse gas emissions from all food production are insignificant compared with those associated with electricity production and transport.

  18. Gail Combs says:

    Bill Tuttle says:
    May 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    This would cut the predicted global output of nitrous oxide, a key greenhouse gas…

    Hold the phone. First CO2 was a key greenhouse gas, then water vapor was a key greenhouse gas, then methane was a key greenhouse gas, now nitrous oxide is a key greenhouse gas. What’s the next key greenhouse gas going to be — argon, maybe?
    ___________________________________
    No, NO, It is Radon cuz Radon is nukewler. So Radon is the one gas that rules them all.

  19. higley7 says:

    Next they will determine the carbon footprint of human waste and make equally useful suggestions what to do about it. Roughage is definitely just more carbon and constipation will be desirable. If we were eating right, there should be no waste; such would be the logic of the semi-brained. Exercise leads to more urine waste, so all are to aim for basal metabolic rates only.

    The bottom line is that there would be no carbon footprints if there were no people. Want to know the direction they are going? I think it was Stalin who said, “You have a man, you have a problem. No man, no problem.”

  20. littlepeaks says:

    Hmmm — I waste zero milk. I hate milk when it is too old and starts to go sour. Every morning, I have a big bowl of cereal and milk. So I buy a large box of powdered milk every few months. It never goes bad, and I use the entire box. Problem (if there is one) solved?

  21. Nerd says:

    Hmm…. Is that one of another lame excuse to be vegetarian? After having studied nutrition for a long time fighting that stupid dogma of saturated fat and cholesterol consumption causing heart disease, these liberals always seem to look for any excuse why we should be vegetarians because they “feel” that it’s wrong to kill animals for food despite the fact studies proved them otherwise.

    They’ve been known to leave a lot of things out… For example China Study…

    This person Denise Minger who only had a degree in English but obviously is very good with numbers. She pretty much destroyed Dr. Campbell of China Study like others did to Mann, Hansen, et al over global warming scare. http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/08/06/final-china-study-response-html/

    Plus milk is a decent fertilizer. Dump outside when it gets spoiled.

  22. rogerknights says:

    Maybe there could be a weekly household hints program that would suggest ways people could avoid spoilage, such as by “home-brewing” yogurt whenever a surplus of pre-sour milk develops. It’s simple–just drop in a dollop of store-bought yogurt and stir it in vigorously, then set aside for a couple of days.

  23. Jimmy Haigh says:

    As soon as anyone mentions the phrase “carbon footprint” I know they are full of BS.

  24. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Now, I drink a whole lot of milk. More than most folks. And I do not remember pouring any milk at all down my kitchen sink in the last years … why would I do that?

    Meanwhile, according to the article, each average UK citizen, man, woman and child, is responsible for a gallon and a half of milk “poured down Britain’s kitchen sinks” … so for a family of four, they’re pouring six gallons, twenty-three liters, of milk down the sink every year.

    I fear I don’t understand what’s happening. Why are the Brits pouring their milk down the sink? My working hypothesis is that it’s spoiled milk from power interruptions to their refrigerators when the wind isn’t blowing … but heck, maybe it’s some kind of UK cultural thing, what do I know?

    w.

  25. Philip Bradley says:

    I don’t drink or otherwise consume milk. Where are my carbon credits?

  26. Truthseeker says:

    Littlepeaks, I just use Soy Milk. Do not have to mix anything …

  27. John Blake says:

    When better coprophagic proctocranials are made, the University of Edinburgh will make them.

  28. Lew Skannen says:

    Yes, I also see that my existence on this Earth should be totally dedicated to worrying about my ‘carbon footprint’ and nothing else. I am not really concerned by any event on the planet as long as the CO2 generated is minimal.
    If there is a bomb somewhere my first concern is whether it was made of bad old carbon based gunpowder or good new organic sustainably produced tofu-plastic explosive…
    /sarc

  29. don penman says:

    Well I don’t waste any milk because I have switched to using sterilised milk rather than pasteurized milk and it keeps longer.

  30. TomRude says:

    Perhaps if we stopped eating and drinking altogether… we may reach that paragon of greenhouse emission virtue that is North Korea…

  31. alan says:

    Compassionate, Utopian socialists just don’t want us to live as well as we do in the West!

  32. ken Methven says:

    I can understand some of this now. I was recently on a university website looking for someone and found I could search by keyword. The response from “climate change” went on for 12 pages!
    I don’t think anyone didn’t jump onto this bandwagon….and so they have to “research” SOMETHING about CC, or cry ‘uncle’?

  33. Ken Chapman says:

    If “Carbon” is short for gaseous carbon dioxide, then it is well nigh impossible to see a footprint made with it. (OK, it seems that extra-terrestrial warriors a.k.a. “Predators”, have some sort of LWIR enabled vision that can selectively scan for the spectral emissivity of carbon dioxide molecules which, I believe, was cloned by Hanson et. al CRU) I’ve never heard of anyone drinking carbonated milk. Is that some unique tradition at the U of E?

  34. trbixler says:

    So What!

  35. Next we will be told not to eat beans, as they cause the gut to produce methane, an even more important greenhouse gas. Sniff, sniff must be ripe BS.

  36. George says:

    To put this into perspective:

    The Coal Oil Point seep field offshore from Santa Barbara, California is a petroleum seep area of about three square kilometers adjacent to the Ellwood Oil Field, and releases about 40 tons per day of methane and about 19 tons of reactive organic gas (ethane, propane, butane and higher hydrocarbons), about twice the hydrocarbon air pollution released by all the cars and trucks in the county in 1990. The liquid petroleum produces a slick that is many kilometers long and when degraded by evaporation and weathering, produces tar balls which wash up on the beaches for miles around.

    This seep also releases on the order of 100 to 150 barrels (16 to 24 m3) of liquid petroleum per day. The field produces about 9 cubic meters of natural gas per barrel of petroleum.

    In other words, the milk that is poured down the drain is of absolutely no consequence to what nature pours down the drain every day, day in and day out, in just that one seep field. The seepage into the Gulf of Mexico is at least an order of magnitude larger.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_Oil_Point_seep_field

    California will not drill for oil or gas there but is perfectly happy with 40 tons a day of natural gas seepage. This isn’t REALLY about emissions or pollution. This is about destroying our economy using false “environmental” concerns as the vehicle.

  37. CodeTech says:

    Ok, this is a ridiculous thing to worry about.

    Fact: the vast majority of milk ends up at the sewage processing plant, whether it has gone through a human along the way or not.

    So, we have to assume that the problem here is that it is simply waste of energy in producing, processing and delivering the product that they’re worrying about. If you want to start tallying food waste, you’d best be including packaging. In many cases packaging is a far larger portion of energy and processing than the product itself. In fact, ban 4-color printing on any food products, just have a simple black stamp on the package indicating what’s inside.

    I’d continue, but… the entire topic is insanely retarded. It smells like someone just searching for something to worry about. Let’s worry about cigarettes, after all, we simply burn 5 cents worth of plant matter and the rest is filter, packaging, printing, wrapping, marketing, etc.

  38. Strangely enough the Japanese diet consists of a fair amount of fish and other seafood. Those freaks are trying to stop fishing as well. They just hate people, Gaia would be a better place if no humans existed..

  39. Dr. Dave says:

    Perhaps a minor quibble here, but what about tossing millions and millions of tons of feedstock into the folly venture of ethanol production? The fermentation alone has to produce a LOT of CO2 and then you have to factor in the “CO2 footprint” of growing all that corn or cane in the first place.

    Every day I smell desperation in the air. The BS pronouncements are becoming increasingly ridiculous (e.g. imaginary sea ice attenuation, an increase in extreme weather events, tipping points, diminishing finite resources). Now we have spilled milk. In the US a large scale milk spill (like say on a dairy farm) is classified as a toxic waste spill by the EPA due to the fat content in milk.

    Animal source protein is absolutely critical for human health. Sure…you can subsist on a vegan diet…but it ain’t easy. We can’t grow enough soy and the various other grains and legumes necessary to maintain health and provide essential amino acids to supplant animal protein in even 20% of the world’s population. Keep in mind that most “vegetarians” are not vegans. They consume eggs and dairy to provide essential amino acids. So we still gotta raise cattle and chickens.

  40. johanna says:

    How did they establish how much milk was poured down household sinks? Also, what about other milk users? For a start, food processors use large quantities of milk (usually milk solids) and presumably they discard some. Then what about cafes, hotels etc – where you get milk with your tea and coffee, and they are supposed to throw out any that is not used? It sounds like another guilt trip on ordinary punters to me.

    I have come across a few neurotic individuals who refuse to use yesterday’s milk, and throw it out. But these figures work out to about a pint a week per household, which seems unlikely. I would be struggling to throw out a pint a year.

    Apart from the whole carbon footprint thing being baloney, what they claim is economic and logical nonsense as well. Unused milk cannot be converted to or from motor cars by any physical or economic process. According to their logic, if everyone used every drop of milk purchased, the world would be a better place because there would be less CO2 emissions. If they can explain how that works, several Nobel Prizes await them.

  41. Mike Bryant says:

    Milk is mostly water, about 80-90 percent water. The rest is mostly composed of fat, protein, sugar, and other nutrients, but varies depending on if it’s whole milk, skim milk, etc.

    The study is ridiculous.

  42. davidmhoffer says:

    As alarmist papers go, this one seems… dairy say it?

    Vanilla.

  43. Hardly the cream of the crop, this research.

  44. Taphonomic says:

    dp says:
    “Only one thing to do – drink the koolaide.”

    God yes. It will probably be determined that disposing of it leads to global warming, obesity, and cancer.

  45. Phillip Bratby says:

    My tax is being spent on this garbage. And I don’t ever waste any milk. Who are these people pouring milk down the drain?

  46. Huth says:

    I reckon vegans wrote that article.

  47. Phillip Bratby says:

    My farming neighbour had to pour his milk production for a whole week down the drain because the milk tanker couldn’t get through to collect it due to a large dump of white global warming that our wonderful Met Office said wouldn’t happen. I blame most of the wasted milk on the Met Office.

  48. Brian says:

    This stuff is getting embarrassing. These people shoot themselves in the foot time and time again.

  49. Latimer Alder says:

    As a UK taxpayer I am increasingly convinced that acdemia is becoming little more than a job creation scheme for otherwise unemployables. And this study is a great further illustration of that sad fact.

  50. Jenn Oates says:

    I’m planning my first trip to England to visit my daughter, and I promise to not pour ANY milk down the sink while I am there.

  51. Doug UK says:

    whilst enjoying my milk laden cornflakes this morning and reading this – I found myself spluttering over the very point that Anthony makes in his last paragraph. Idiots indeed.. …. And I totally agree with the point Latimer Alder makes re the state of UK academia …but would add that it is not true of all academia – it has reached the point now where oher specialities cringe at yet another barmy headline from the climate numpties.
    I would suggest that this study is a carry over from the days when to get a grant it was best to add “and its effects on Climate Change” to whatever the study title.

  52. Marian says:

    “johanna says:
    May 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Apart from the whole carbon footprint thing being baloney, what they claim is economic and logical nonsense as well. Unused milk cannot be converted to or from motor cars by any physical or economic process. According to their logic, if everyone used every drop of milk purchased, the world would be a better place because there would be less CO2 emissions. If they can explain how that works, several Nobel Prizes await them.”

    There’s a battle of sorts going on over here in NZ between the dairy industry, the Greens and the NZ Govt. The Greens want the dairy industry and agriculture in general to pay their way re the ETS.

    Sarc:

    Well one way to reduce CO2 emissions re the dairy industry would be to get rid of the modern powered milking machines and go back to handmilking. It should please the Green Loons. I don’t think it would work all that well. Bugger milking between 400-800 cows by hand. twice a day. CO2 AGW is mainly BS anyway. :-)

  53. AB says:

    Zealots milking the gullible for all its worth – AGAIN.

  54. UK Sceptic says:

    I don’t waste milk because I don’t buy it in unnecessarily large quantities. What I’d like to know is how the University of Edinburgh obtained its figures. I don’t recall seeing any academic types out canvassing people’s milk disposal habits. It seems to me that the figures may well have been pulled from between a “researcher’s” nether cheeks.

  55. davidmhoffer says:

    I thought the paper was total bull until I remembered that milk comes from cows.

  56. Cold Englishman says:

    We still have daily deliveries from our milkman Les. From time to time it mounts up in the fridge, so my Missus makes milk puddings and rice puddings which go into the freezer, until my grandchildren visit. We grew up in wartime Britain – Waste milk? You have got to be kiddin or lyin!

    Twits, who funds this rubbish? Oh wait a minute, I think I do………………

  57. Espen says:

    I just hate how they make everything a greenhouse gas problem, it really distracts from the real issues (in this case, waste of food).

  58. Manfred says:

    Given the fact that total atmospheric CO2 is approximately 3000 gigatonnes (3.16×10^15 kg) it is truly impossible to comprehend the disparity in this value compared with the amount of CO2 created by the spilled milk (100,000 kg). If my recollection of indices serves me correctly this translates to an amount of utterly meaningless insignificance: namely an additional fraction = 1/1×10^10.

    This is nothing more than intellectual positioning for grant cash. It is of absolutely no scientific merit whatsoever.

  59. Tenuk says:

    Looks to me like this paper supports the proponents of ‘extreme breast feeding’ – it is a crime against nature to waste all that nasty CO2 producing mothers milk…

    http://www.hollywoodlife.com/2012/05/10/time-cover-mombreastfeed-son/

    Perhaps one day the climate debate will get back to sanity?

  60. Samurai says:

    Hmmm. The article suggests the UK should cut poultry per capita consumption to Japanese levels, however, what they fail to understand is that in lieu of poultry, Japan eats a HUGE amount of fish; about 70kg per capita compared to about 20kg in the UK (the US is also about the 20kg).

    So, crying over spilled milk and moving to Japan’s gastronomical food culture of fish, would simply move from an imaginary “udder” disaster… to a very real problem of depleting the ocean’s fish stocks.

    I guess we could always eat raw tofu, but then you’ve got the whole agricultural petrochemical footprint problem… Oh, dear, those dirty polluting soybean farmers….

    To-fu or not to-fu, that is the question.
    For is it nobler in the minds of men to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous BS….

    I think the enviro-wakos just want to remove human footprints from the entire face of the planet and be done with it….

    Methinks the lads doth protest too much…..

  61. davidmhoffer says:

    So when we grow crops that are processed into food, and some of the food spoils, returning the carbon to the atmosphere, it contributes to our carbon footprint. But when we grow crops that are processed into fuel and burn it in our cars, returning the carbon to the atmosphere, it is carbon neutral.

    New math, meet new chemistry.

  62. Ally E. says:

    WHAT waste of food? They’re making it up. Yes, spoilage happens, but coming up with an absolute figure of this waste is very much plucking it out of the air.

    They want vegetarians. You know, placid people who are easy to manipulate. Later, because of flatulence, they won’t want vegetarians either (but they’ll save that bit of news until later when it’s time to cull human beings. Don’t worry, vegetarians out there, meat eaters will be culled first, right after sceptics).

    I’m sure for every person who reads such an idiotic report and accepts it, there must be thousands turned right off. A lot of those might be on the fence, so I guess we should hope for a continuation because more and more readers will be throwing the whole carbon footprint nonsense in the bin where it belongs.

    It’s carbon it’s carbon it’s carbon. Is there ANYTHING – raw, cooked, eaten, stored or wasted – that isn’t carbon-based? What do they want??? Yeah, yeah, I know, global domination followed by systematic destruction of civilization and anything left that might just set us above or separate from other animals. Including thought.

    These greenies make me want to puke – except of course that would be a carbon emission, no doubt soon to be made illegal, along with life itself.

  63. ilma630 says:

    Waste milk? Never! If there’s more than needed, we cook something with it. Even the half cup of coffee with the dash of milk gets reheated in the microwave, so not wasted. This can only be commercial milk where exactly matching supply to demand is near impossible. Anyway, it gets recycled even when poured down the drain, as it goes back into the ecosystem.

    All this article proves is how stupid many of our current generation of ‘scientists’ are, to trump up such useless research all in the name of ‘climate change’, which is just a bogus excuse to get additional funding. I bet if they hadn’t of used the words ‘climate change’ in their research, no one would have funded it, and quite rightly. If the point was to highlight food waste, they needn’t have bothered, the recession will naturally cause people to waste less, and companies are very concious of wastage anyway as it affects their profitability.

  64. malcolm says:

    If the nitrous oxide is such a major threat to Gaia, why are whipped cream dispensers still legal? N20 + a milk product can’t be good!
    This is just a sideshow. Why not start an attack on the evil brewing-industry-funded Marmite deniers?. (yeast=Co2=we’re all going to die)

  65. marchesarosa says:

    I know the CO2 cultists believe the world would be a better place if we were all vegetarians but Willis (I think) has already adequately explained elsewhere that animals CONVERTplant matter that humans cannot digest into valuable protein stuff that they can. Cows convert grass into meat and milk, chickens convert grass and worms and bugs into eggs and meat. Goats! Well, goats can convert just about anything into milk and meat. Pigs are pretty omnivorous, too and can easily hoover up all food waste including milk! Any people dependent upon subsistence agriculture know that their nutrition is enhanced at a stroke by raising chickens and goats etc.

    Humans did not grow their big brain eating vegetables!

  66. mfo says:

    The only genuine concern about waste milk is that it shouldn’t get into rivers and other water sources without being properly treated like other sewage.

    There seems to be a lot of willy waving these days whereby scientists are competing to produce as many papers as possible that mention global warming regardless of the credibility of their research.

    This paper is another example of why there is a need for a new untarnished journal for scientific papers with a new kind of review process.

  67. ntesdorf says:

    The insanity never ends! We drink Soy milk as it is better for us. This sort of nonsense is enough to send us bck to Cows’ milk and to set us off pouring a fair percentage down the drain just to see if we can warm the winter up a bit!

  68. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Gail Combs says:

    May 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Hold the phone. First CO2 was a key greenhouse gas, then water vapor was a key greenhouse gas, then methane was a key greenhouse gas, now nitrous oxide is a key greenhouse gas. What’s the next key greenhouse gas going to be — argon, maybe?

    All gasses in the atmosphere are greenhouse gasses. They all absorb heat and that heat takes time to dissipate.

  69. tonyb says:

    Willis said;

    “I fear I don’t understand what’s happening. Why are the Brits pouring their milk down the sink? My working hypothesis is that it’s spoiled milk from power interruptions to their refrigerators when the wind isn’t blowing … but heck, maybe it’s some kind of UK cultural thing, what do I know?”

    I suspect this research came from the same people that calculated that Britons wasted billions of gallons of water (oft quoted in the media) by letting water pour down the sink through allowing the taps to be left on fiull spate for three minutes three times a day as we brush our teeth. The reality is extrapolated from a minimal number of unrealistic case studies.

    In these straitended times it looks like there are lots of research grants that could be severely pruned without anyone else noticing.
    tonyb

  70. tonyb says:

    Anthony

    Can you give davidmhoffer a weeks time out for his terrible puns?
    tonyb

  71. DaveF says:

    I reckon that the headmaster who turned off the school’s heating for the day was doing the right thing. Now the kids know what life would be like if the Greens had their way.

  72. EternalOptimist says:

    Fracking in the UK can proceed only if the Frackers can develop a carbon sink. We should thank the team in Edinburgh and milk it for all it’s worth.

  73. gringojay says:

    New job creation category called Little Miss Muffet is being mandated by EPA for cheese processors. Job applicants must be willing to eat drained whey. Pay scale depends on how much internalized recycling one does. Good earning potential for those who like to sit on a tuffet while work.

  74. Sparks says:

    Have they factored in the percentage of the UK’s population who are pet owners? Wouldn’t people give the out of date milk or any waste milk to them instead of pouring it down the sink?

  75. Urederra says:

    Last time I checked, “car exhaust emissions” wasn’t a scientific unit of measurement.

    Must be postmodern science then.

  76. Chris Wright says:

    Each person on the Earth breathes out about a third of a tonne of CO2 every year. This means that all of us in the UK breathe out around 20 million tonnes a year. This obviously dwarves the figures quoted here. What utter nonsense.
    It can only be a matter of time before these morons seriously suggest that we stop breathing in order to cut our carbon footprint.
    Chris

  77. Ade says:

    drink cola or soda pop.CO2 is released at once……..

  78. imdying says:

    Eating less meat will increase global warming. The amount of residual heat on earth depends on the amount of energy received from the sun less the energy reimmitted and the amount consumed growth movement and cell repair. Cut out the cow out of the cycle will result in additional residual energy as it cannot consume the grass which does not require additional energy to repair itself. Very similar to Keynsian economics.

    As for the fish the UK can start a scientific whale hunting expetition to see the effect of climate change on whales that will put fish on the table and they can use the blubber for heating. Nothing is wrong with it Considering scientist have been catching and tagging penguins. At the end of the research they concluded that the penguins are doing fine despite all the alarmism of global warming except for the legions that was tagged. As the ugly tag decreased their chance to find a breeding partner and less aerodynamic in the water so less likely to escape predators.

  79. mfo says:

    tonyb says:
    May 14, 2012 at 1:25 am
    “……..three times a day as we brush our teeth….”
    ***************************************************************
    It’s well known in the US that we Britons only clean our teeth once a month. :o[]

  80. Alan the Brit says:

    “Researchers arrived at their findings by examining data for global agricultural production of greenhouse gases together with consumption of food in various regions of the world. The study, carried out in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen and partners in Europe and the US, was published in Nature Climate Change.”

    Says it all really! The anti-meat eaters don’t like something. They’ve done tobacco (with some faked numbers & creating accounting), they’re working on alcohol (with some fake numbers as usual), now it’s meat. What’s next folks? The trick is to always move on to the next subjeyc before anyone can get to grips with the previous one!

  81. MattN says:

    I would say that these people have finally “lost their mind” but that happened a long time ago.

  82. Steve Keohane says:

    Mike86 says: May 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Imagine how low the carbon footprint would get if they could just get people to stop eating all together.
    The obvious ‘correct’ solution.
    Before even reading the article, it was obvious this “concern” could be the equivalent of consuming the milk and the resulting GHG production both internal and external to the body. Only had to read to the first line of he second paragraph to get all the information I needed.
    The research identifies ways that consumers could also help curb greenhouse gas emissions – by reducing the amount of food they buy, serve and waste.

  83. Latitude says:

    Researchers also say halving the amount of chicken consumed in the UK and other developed countries to levels eaten in Japan could cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road.
    ======================================
    Didn’t work for Japan……Japan produces almost 3 times the CO2 as the UK

  84. DaveS says:

    Maybe they used a survey of students to derive their estimates of milk wastage. Anyone who remembers the delights of the shared fridge in a communal students’ kitchen will surely recall discovering cartons of ancient milk…

  85. Alan Watt says:

    Old joke:

    Q: Why do the British drink their beer warm?
    A: Because their refrigerators are made by Lucas.

    (New answer: Because their power comes from offshore wind).

    Next we need a study on how much British “carbon footprint” could be reduced if they simply made pancakes with their sour milk instead of putting it down the sink.

  86. ozspeaksup says:

    i buy milk , I dont use much of it before its off,
    so?
    I use it for controlling powdery mildew in the garden, for chickens and for dogs..
    however you americans will find that spilt milk is considered an enviro hazard, see EPA
    and then
    in Aus the companies are using whey cheese waste adding it back to milk to save disposal costs and thereby making 2x the profit by watering milk down and saving disposal costs.
    exposed recently on MSM.
    a lot of us have been saying the milk isnt what we used to drink, and ,,,we were right, it sure is not.
    this is supermarket brands but also big name processor labels and the flavoured sugary goo.

    ps soy milk should be made at home not bought, simply add a cup of soy flour to a litre of water bring to near boil and let sit=milk…..

  87. JohnWho says:

    Mike Jonas says:

    May 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    The carbon in ‘off’ milk came from cows.
    The carbon in milk in cows came from grass.
    The carbon in grass came from the atmosphere.
    The carbon in the atmosphere came from ‘off’ milk.

    Are you implying some sort of “carbon cycle”?

    If, instead of pouring the milk down the drain, they sprayed it on the grass or added it to a cows food, would this upset the cycle balance?

    More study, more grant money…

    :)

  88. beng says:

    The new catch phrase:

    Got carbon?

  89. Chuck says:

    Looks like the page at the Daily Mail has vanished. The link regarding the school headmaster turning off the heat. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070496/Staff-parents-fury-head-turns-schools-heating-save-planet.html

  90. Don Bennett says:

    A whole bunch more milk and other perishables will go bad when their windmills stop turning.

  91. G. Karst says:

    This is the problem when one accepts the CO2 causes catastrophic warming. Since almost all natural and anthropological activity creates CO2 emissions, we are engaging in warfare against life itself. It becomes a collective form of suicide. How did we become so addled and why can only a few, see what we are doing?? GK

  92. Luther Wu says:

    Mike86 says:
    May 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Imagine how low the carbon footprint would get if they could just get people to stop eating all together.
    ________________________
    That’s the plan.
    Listen to a committed “Green” and they’ll eventually tell you how the planet would be so much better off without people.
    Those greenies are often people with deep psychological issues and they serve as tools of a handful of elites with power and money who have the same plan- reduce humanity and leave all the wide open spaces for a privileged few.

  93. Garry Stotel says:

    Has anyone come up with an idea of Carbon Capture for the farting cows?? As the cows emit the “key greenhouse gas” methane which causes the Global Warming, someone has to think of the children, and offer to collect the cows farts.
    May I suggest the Uni of Edinburgh as a fitting scientific establishment to carry out a feasibility study?

  94. Mike M says:

    Mike86 says: Imagine how low the carbon footprint would get if they could just get people to stop eating all together.

    Imagine how much no one would care about carbon foot prints at all if only we could convince people afflicted with ‘carbon madness’ to stop eating altogether?

  95. dave ward says:

    This isn’t the only lunacy going round the UK at moment.
    “Join the Caravan for Climate Jobs: 12th – 25th May 2012

    Fighting for a million new jobs
    Fighting the threat of catastrophic climate change”

    http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/caravan

    I intend to pay them a visit – perhaps I should take some rancid old milk along, and accidentally spill it?

  96. I had to tweet Mike Jonas’s great round .

  97. D.M. says:

    Willis says
    “I fear I don’t understand what’s happening. Why are the Brits pouring their milk down the sink? My working hypothesis is that it’s spoiled milk from power interruptions to their refrigerators when the wind isn’t blowing … but heck, maybe it’s some kind of UK cultural thing, what do I know?”

    No it isn’t that Willis. We have “use by” dates printed on most foodstuffs in the UK. The younger indoctrinated ones stick rigidly to these dates. If it is past the printed date then it is disposed of. Not just milk but many other foods also.

    We older people have some “now uncommon sense”, and if it still smells good we use it! Not good for supermarket sales though! It will rely on a real catastrophe to change this mindset!

  98. jayhd says:

    Well obviously, at least around the University of Edinburgh, the atmospheric nitrous oxide level has to be high (no pun intended). The researchers had to have been high on laughing gas (nitrous oxide) or something to come up with this BS.

    Jay Davis

  99. DirkH says:

    dave ward says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:45 am

    This isn’t the only lunacy going round the UK at moment.
    “Join the Caravan for Climate Jobs: 12th – 25th May 2012

    Fighting for a million new jobs
    Fighting the threat of catastrophic climate change”

    http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/caravan

    I intend to pay them a visit – perhaps I should take some rancid old milk along, and accidentally spill it?

    From the website:

    We would also like to thank Sound Vs Systems for helping us by providing the PA systems for the vans:

    Sound Vs Systems is a non profit tech collective, who’s aim is to assist grass roots and activist groups in raising awareness and effecting social change.
    Creating sound systems out of recycled and reclaimed materials, powering them using 12v sustainable energy and provide excellent sound quality from waste that would otherwise be landfill. http://www.soundvsystems.org

    Photos of their “PA’s”:

    http://www.soundvsystems.org/cat_list.html

    When visiting an event, make sure they don’t run the “PA” from the car’s engine, as that would not be sustainable.

  100. klem says:

    Wow they actually counted the milk and the carbon.

    Now I know how many will fill the Albert Hall.

  101. Anthea Collins says:

    When I still used full cream milk (now have to use semi-skimmed ) on the odd occasion it started to “go off” I made cottage cheese, very easy and my children loved it!

    Anthea

  102. sep says:

    It’s actually ZERO carbon “footprint”– because milk taken from farm animals (cows etc) represents the carbon that the animals eat in the form of plants– those plants produced the carbon themselves by absorbing it from the earth– pouring the milk down the drain is simply returning said carbon back to its SOURCE…….these freaking globalist eugenicists posing as environmental experts are annoying, and STUPID.

  103. Aunty Freeze says:

    Milk never lasts long enough to be wasted here with a farmer husband, 2 teenage boys and a 9 year old girl having a major growth spurt.

    dave ward says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:45 am

    This isn’t the only lunacy going round the UK at moment.
    “Join the Caravan for Climate Jobs: 12th – 25th May 2012

    Fighting for a million new jobs
    Fighting the threat of catastrophic climate change”

    http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/caravan

    I intend to pay them a visit – perhaps I should take some rancid old milk along, and accidentally spill it?

    If they were visiting near me I could have some fun. last week I thought I was going to when I saw the wwf out after people’s cash in town. Everyone was crossing the road to avoid them but I decided not to, waiting for them to approach me. I’m not sure whether I looked like I had no money or I had a ‘f off’ look on my face but the girl backed away! My husband reckons that my photo has been sent around with a warning to avoid me at all costs :)

  104. “those plants produced the carbon themselves by absorbing it from the earth” .

    No ! They take it from those 4 molecules of CO2 in every 10,000 of air . They take H2O and some minerals and nitrates from the earth .

    All life is more than 90% CO2 from the air combined with H2O by sunlight .

  105. sep says:

    Bob Armstrong, blow it out your rear end– I said THE EARTH– I DID NOT SAY WHAT PART– air or ground– now go back to your Tinker Toys.

  106. Sean says:

    Here’s an earth day challenge for the green cult: man’s global carbon footprint could be cut in half if all of the green cult members sacrificed themselves in a mass Jonestown style suicide day. But of course this will require a real demonstration of their faith unlike the impotent turn your lights off for an hour circus. Are they up to a real challenge or do they only want to make meaningless gestures?

    I for one have no plans to live a paleolithic lifestyle, decline to make any sacrifices to their god Gaia and will resist any attempts by them to impose their religious beliefs on me. If they want carbon reduction they will have to do it all themselves and only by changing their own carbon footprints.

  107. Bruce Cobb says:

    They sure know how to milk an issue.

  108. @sep ,
    My apologies . Given the level of ignorance I run into on so many blogs , I lost track of which I was replying on .

  109. Mr Lynn says:

    Tenuk says:
    May 14, 2012 at 12:17 am

    . . . Perhaps one day the climate debate will get back to sanity?

    Unhappily, not until the proponents of the idea that so-called ‘greenhouse gases’ produced by man are causing dangerous ‘climate change’ either retire, die, or are just kicked out of office. When they are replaced by sane people who know how ludicrous that idea is, the ‘debate’ will be over—but not, I fear, until then.

    /Mr Lynn

  110. Richard of NZ says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    May 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    “so for a family of four, they’re pouring six gallons, twenty-three liters, of milk down the sink every year.”

    Um, Willis, you do remember that the British use the Imperial gallon which is 4.55 litres? They are therefore wasting 6×4.55 which comes to err carry 1 plus um 4 oh 27.6 litres per family per year. OMG its nearly 20% worse than you thought.

  111. SionedL says:

    Why would the Brits dump milk down the drain? Rolling blackouts, windmills that don’t run, sun that doesn’t shine. Didn’t some one over there say that the Brits must get used to the idea that when they flip the light switch, there may not always be electricity on the other end? First thing I thought was what about your frig/freezer if there is no consistent flow current.

  112. Joe Public says:

    Maybe consumers heeded the dire warnings from Edinburgh’s (relatively) near-neighbour – Robert Gordon University – and threw away only full-cream milk?

  113. Tom in Worcester says:

    This “study” is a perfect example of why they are mocked..

    This HAS to be taking the piss.

    Honestly.

  114. Jean Demesure says:

    Make the people poor and they’ll waste no milk.

  115. John T says:

    “They also suggest the food industry could reduce emissions by seeking more efficient ways to use fertilisers.”

    That could only be written by someone who doesn’t know much about farming. Farmers are always looking for more efficient ways to use fertilizers for the simple reason that it saves them money.

    “halving the amount of chicken consumed in the UK and other developed countries to levels eaten in Japan could cut greenhouse gas emissions ”

    Cluelessness incarnate. You know what else would cut GHG emissions? If we cut our wheat consumption to the same level as Japan too.

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