Pachauri’s at it again – shun meat, he says (but what about the buffalo?)

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Cow road sign 
Livestock production has a bigger climate impact than transport, the UN believes

 

People should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming, says the UN’s top climate scientist.

Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will make the call at a speech in London on Monday evening.


Pachuri

UN figures suggest that meat production puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than transport.

But a spokeswoman for the UK’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said methane emissions from farms were declining.

Dr Pachauri has just been re-appointed for a second six-year term as chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC, the body that collates and evaluates climate data for the world’s governments.

“The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” he told BBC News.

“So I want to highlight the fact that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider.”

More of the BBC article plus my response follows….

Climate of persuasion

The FAO figure of 18% includes greenhouse gases released in every part of the meat production cycle – clearing forested land, making and transporting fertiliser, burning fossil fuels in farm vehicles, and the front and rear end emissions of cattle and sheep.

The contributions of the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – are roughly equivalent, the FAO calculates.

Transport, by contrast, accounts for just 13% of humankind’s greenhouse gas footprint, according to the IPCC.

Dr Pachauri will be speaking at a meeting organised by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), whose main reason for suggesting people lower their consumption of meat is to reduce the number of animals in factory farms.

CIWF’s ambassador Joyce D’Silva said that thinking about climate change could spur people to change their habits.

“The climate change angle could be quite persuasive,” she said.

“Surveys show people are anxious about their personal carbon footprints and cutting back on car journeys and so on; but they may not realise that changing what’s on their plate could have an even bigger effect.”

 


You may recall where Pachauri recently labeled skeptics “flat earthers“.  He said then:
I’ve become a vegetarian. I try to minimize the use of cars. Where I’ve failed is my impact with regard to air travel. I tell people I was born a Hindu who believes in reincarnation. It will take me the next six lives to neutralize my carbon footprint. There’s no way I can do it in one lifetime.
It appears the good Dr. Pachauri is putting his religious views forward from his position as IPCC chair.
So now Pachauri says the cattle industry is bigger than transportation when it comes to GHG. One small detail here doc: buffalo. Pachuri may not be familiar with the history of the American West.

Many of you may recall this blog entry from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s Floor Speech on Global Warming. He touches on the UN claim of livestock and emissions:

A 2006 report entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow” to the United Nations mentions livestock emissions and grazing, and it places the blame for global warming squarely on the hind parts of cows. Livestock, the report claims, accounts for 18 percent of the gases that supposedly cause the global warming of our climate. Cows are greenhouse-emitting machines. Fuel for fertilizer and meat production and transportation, as well as clearing the fields for grazing, produce 9 percent of the global CO2 emissions, according to the report. And also, cows produce ammonia, causing acid rain, of course.

Now, if that’s not bad enough, all of these numbers are projected in this report to double by the year 2050. Well, not only are we then going to have to cut personal transportation, which will keep us at home, but when we stay at home, we can’t even have a bbq. And heck, they won’t even let us have a hamburger.

One of the most interesting paragraph’s refutes Pachuri’s claims quite well I think:

I would like to point out that before the introduction of cattle, millions upon millions of buffalo dominated the Great Plains of America. They were so thick you could not see where the herd started and where it ended. I can only assume that the anti-meat, manmade global warming crowd must believe that buffalo farts have more socially redeeming value than the same flatulence emitted by cattle. Yes, this is absurd, but the deeper one looks into this global warming juggernaut, the weirder this movement becomes and the more denial is evident.

What next from Pachuri? Stop bathing? Perhaps we should all mail him a bag of this:

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120 thoughts on “Pachauri’s at it again – shun meat, he says (but what about the buffalo?)

  1. Err, this is a bit unsavory, but has anybody calculated the amount of methane expelled by a human on a diet of beans and other “healthy” legumes? And lets not forget there are six billion of us soon to double.Off hand I do not think there will any “greenhouse” gas savings in the substitution.

    REPLY: Ok let me establish some ground rules for comments here:

    1- No video clips from the movie “Blazing Saddles”

    2- No video/audio clips from Howard Stern and his “super hero”

    3- No similiar gaseous humor – stick to the meat, err, beef of the issue.

    – Anthony

  2. I too have scratched my head when I heard the cattle fart argument coming from the AGW pulpit.

    I guess I have to assume that it was the herds of buffalo, wildebeests, and mastodons that ended the last ice age 10,000 years ago.

  3. Yeah, it seems that not only can global warming cause anything, it can be caused by anything. Thus it can be used as the blunt instrument that forwards any cause you can name or desire.

  4. Yet another attempt to control how we live for little reasoning.
    Every thing we do is bad
    We stop eating meat, and what next—- remember you can never satisfy a greenie they just move the doom and gloom onto the next thing

  5. Tony says no gaseous humor.
    I had a poem , oh woe.
    But I guess it wouldn’t hurt too much
    to mention some Beano

  6. The production of bio-fuels has already caused meat and foodstuffs, to increase in cost. So in a way Pachauri and U.N. and IPCC has fulfilled one of their “planetary emergency” goals. The poor and the middle classes have had to cut back on buying
    meat, and for the poorest cut down on eating period I.E. strarve.

    I really can’t give this guy a pass anymore he is insane and immoral.

  7. This has been on the news in the UK. Rajendra Pachauri is refered to as Professor Rajendra Pachauri. It doesn’t specify that he has a PhD in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Economics, might as well be a professor of English and History. It seems just about anyone can pass themselves of as an expert in climate science.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajendra_K._Pachauri

  8. Growing up (as far as I did) on farms I am thoroughly familiar with bovine excreta, having smelt it, trodden in it and indeed, fallen in it. In all my 60-odd years, however, I have never encountered so much bull**** in one dose before. For a start, why has nobody challenged that 18% figure? Are they all terminally innumerate?

    According to New Scientist comic – er, sorry, “magazine”, truest of True Believers (despite the fact that they transport tons of dead trees around every week while preaching that we are all doomed unless we take drastic action now), the natural output flux of CO2 is about 430Gt per year. This neatly balances the 430Gt that is naturally absorbed. (You might wish to ponder how those figures were obtained and to what accuracies, given the difficulty of working out how much even one acre of rain forest, desert or ocean emits or absorbs. One order of magnitude? At best?) By contrast, Homo sap. emits 26Gt, though this figure might be more precise since governments count and tax fossil fuels.

    That implies that man’s total GHG output is at most 6% that of the total flux. How then in the name of all that’s holy can man’s meat-raising output amount to 18% of the total?

    D-, and see me after class!

    Dishman:

    Is Dr. Pachauri a Hindu? If so, much is explained

  9. Whether the protozoa is in a ruminates gut or in the soil, the cellulose will be digested and unsavory gasses will be emitted. I would hate to imagine how the UN would fix that.

  10. A pedantic biological point.

    Cattle are ruminants, with four stomachs. Plant matter is fermented in the rumen by bacteria which produce methane which is belched out. Horses, rabbits, etc. keep their fermenting bacteria in the hind gut. You can work out the consequences, and allso mull over why horses are placed in front of carts, carriages and waggons!

  11. Anyone with access to BBC TV. Tonight 20:00hrs GMT
    “Earth: The Climate Wars (1/3)”
    “Dr Iain Stewart traces the history of climate change from its very beginning and examines just how the scientific community managed to get it so very wrong back in the Seventies.”

    “If scientists were so wrong, how can we be sure they got it right now?”

    The question is did the programme makers make their conclusions before they made the series?

  12. Can someone tell me how many Buffalo there were in North America (can you imagine the environmental devastation during their annual migration?!) before Man arrived? I’m just curious to know how it compares.

  13. This is pretty silly. It’s patent absurdity to suggest that we need to change our diets in order to fight global warming. I think this is one of a couple strong examples which support you skeptics’ argument that some people have hijacked AGW for other irrelevant political agendas.

    Don’t worry, though; the up-and-coming generation of climate scientists is a bit more grounded in reality than this guy. It’s disappointing that someone with such a ridiculous agenda will continue to lead the IPCC.

  14. By the way, for those not familiar with how Dr. Pachauri ended up as head of the IPCC, this happened because the Bush Administration, at the behest of Exxon-Mobil, refused to support the re-appointment of American atmospheric scientist Robert Watson to head the IPCC and instead supported Pachauri (see http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/020403.asp and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Watson_(scientist) and http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2002/2002-04-03-07.asp

    It is not clear if the Bush Administration backed Pachauri because they thought his views would be more sympathetic to theirs or because they thought it would be easier to marginalize his views given his educational background and being from India rather than an American.

  15. It’s useful to remember that Pachauri, when speaking of global warming, has publicly wondered whether ‘someone has got their sums wrong’. As an engineer, he understands the consequences of ‘getting the sums wrong’. I have hopes that eventually he will lead the IPCC out of the dead end they are stuck in. I may be hopelessly optimistic, too.
    ======================================

  16. Doug’s point (re Jerry’s pedantry) deserves restatement. It ain’t the cows; it’s the microbes. Even if cows were extirpated (extinctified), we would still have microbes digesting the grass.

    Need proof? If not for microbial digestion of vegetation your lawn would be 12 feet deep in thatch and you wouldn’t be able to get into (or out of) your house.

    I may be a Flat Earther (according to Raj), but I’m not a complete fool.

  17. By the way, Richard Black has accumulated quite a reputation with me. When ever I see that he has written something, I can almost guarantee without reading it that it is propaganda.
    =========================================

  18. Those who have fallen for the AGW message should realize that the life style “change” demanded of them does not end with driving small cars and paying carbon tax.

    Does this mean I can keep my comfortable sedan if I give up meat?

  19. I would recommend we quit the UN and use the money we would give to them to help our own people and the world more effectively than giving it to the world’s most corrupt and useless organization. Pachauri, whoever he is, is merely a straw man, but he ‘s setting a good example of what we can expect in the future, which will be more manipulation of the mass of society by the weapons of TV and corporate newsspeak, which is the drivel we get from the networks.
    From Eddie Bernays:
    The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society,” Bernays argued. “Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

  20. If we are in the mood to start cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, I wonder how the meat industry’s C02 footprint stack up with the needless global beauracrats’ C02 footprint. Surely the UN and all its committees and “military” missions puts out quite a large footprint. Perhaps we could concentrate on getting rid of that first before we do away with a nice New York Strip steak?

  21. Since methane is a more potent GHG than CO2, wouldn’t just fitting cows with catalytic converters help solve the problem?

  22. “The prize for economics is not a Nobel prize” Source, Nobel Prize site. He’s not really a Nobel prize winner and can keep his dietary preference to himself. As for “Fighting climate change”, maybe we could set him in a throne on a big empty beach somewhere. Alone.

    If I were one of the political elite who pollute the Nobel prize committees, I would nominate Anthony Watts for “services to Climate Reality”.

  23. I must defend a pest by most people’s defintion, but in its natural state serves its purpose well: the termite. Not to downplay land use changes, the so, oft missed impact of this wonderful creature to promoting its own habitat is so often neglected. By IPCC definition, when humans abuse forests, this lowly creature does its best to emit methane and ensure the warming and humidification of the environment such that it can do even more of this. Dryness and cold negatively impact termites. Obviously, we should quit raising cattle and start raising termites (to eat), and enjoy a warmer, more humid world :)

  24. Reporter: “What about the giant herds of Wildebeeste roaming the plains of Africa?”

    Pachauri: “That’s gnus to me.”

  25. I’ve little doubt, John F. Pittman, that when our ancestors foraged, the discovery of a rotting tree laced with termites was the call for a tribal feast.
    ========================================

  26. Re: Jerry (10:50:21 and10:57:46)

    I, too, grew up on a farm in ME with many cows, horses and sheep. I am also skeptical of the inference that these ruminants created so much mehtane.

    According to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane, of the 600Tg/a CO4 concentration in 1992 [(??) – I think Wikipedia mistakenly cited Houweling, et al, (1999) instead of Lelieveld, et al, (1998)], 270 Tg/a was due to natural emissions and 330Tg/a was due to antropogenic emissions. Of the 330 Tg/a, 115 Tg/a (19%) was due to emissions by ruminants. Wikipedia sates that ruminanting mammals include:
    “… cattle, goats, sheep, giraffes, American Bison, European bison, yaks, water buffalo, deer, camels, alpacas, llamas, wildebeest, antelope, and pronghorn.”

    In 2006, the cow population in ME was 36,900 but the deer population was estimated to be 218,700. The horse population was about 45,000. I have’t found an estimate of the moose population but know that it is several thousand.

    Wikipedia also states:

    “However animals “that put their energies into making gas are less efficient at producing milk and meat”. Early research has found a number of medical treatments and dietary adjustments that help limit the production of methane in ruminants.[6] [7] [8]”

    So … perhaps medical science can reduce the CO4 emitted by cows and sheep, and possibly horses, but I don’t know how one would go about adjusting the diets of the deer herds short of creating a new form of foliage and salad greens that suit them.

  27. You know a thought occurred to me, why hasn’t Pachuri called for a ban on yeast based products?

    After all, yeast makes CO2 is voluminous amounts in bread, wine, beer, cakes, etc. Yeasts have recently been used to generate electricity in microbial fuel cells, and produce ethanol for the biofuel industry.

    When yeast consume and metabolize sugar, they produce ethanol and carbon dioxide, CO2. Incidentally, when human beings metabolize sugars, we also produce CO2. The difference is, we exhale it.

    Yeast, yeah that’s the culprit. I think we should call for the UN to ban any yeast based consumption at all those catered events they go to. No more finger sandwhiches, beer, or wine.

  28. To deadwood

    The game plan is switching from AGW to BGW (Bovinogenic Global Warming) just as the move is on to Moose Stew. All food grains will be used for ethanol production and our eating habits will be corrected to a Pachauri approved salad of bean sprouts and water-cress, with a dash of lemon juice.

    The herds of 10,000 years ago sort of methaned themselves to death, I suppose.

    Last I heard was that India is exempt from the Kyoto scam and that their (Hindus) cows (and bulls?) are sacred. A good reason for being vegetarian. Is that all bull?

  29. It is past the time for scientists to cease practicing the science of politics and return to the science of Nature.

    A commonality among the control freaks is that they are suffering from various degrees of megalomania. For them, it is painful to know what is best for others and to have the others to not understand or to ignore their good intentions. Government control then becomes the answer to all their, and obviously our, problems.

  30. Ah, not quite, Ed. We could produce 150% of the “Corn” ethanol quota using Only the 34 Million Acres that we’re paying farmers Not to Plant.

  31. How much carbon is in the skeleton of a cow? Is that portion not sequestered either by a landfill or a dog after the bbq? We carnivores may be saving the earth.

    I am thinking ribs tonite…and beer.

  32. There was, prior to 1600, 70 Million Bison in the U.S.

    There are about 100 Million Cows, and calves, today. Looks like a “wash.”

    little known fact: Their range extended all the way to the East Coast.

  33. I figured it out: We’re all living in a giant Monty Python skit.

    A Hindu saying we should give up meat? Didn’t exactly take a genius to come up with that one. So where’s the canned laughter?

    With CO2 at about 380 ppm, I came up with around 2000GT of total CO2, and with a ten year lifetime, that means we put in roughly 200GT per year. And the Earth takes out about 200GT (slightly less, as CO2 levels slowly rise)

    But, according to those who know all, CO2 rose about 1.5 ppm per year from 1979 to 2000 and 2 ppm per year after. Since it has cooled off a wee bit since 2000, more CO2 must cause global cooling.

    Fire up the barbie!

  34. The path is clear: renewable energy; universal veganism; population control; and, free euthanasia for the old and/or infirm. IPCC is working on #1; PETA is gearing up for #2; China is already working #3; Oregon is testing #4.

    Clarity of vision is not always a comfortable thing! There are already too many of us to return to a hunter-gatherer society, unless we begin actively hunting each other. Watch your backs!

  35. The Indians have almost single handedly wiped out their vulture population by dosing the cattle with diclofenac for every ill and then leaving the dead bodies strewn about for the vultures to consume.

    So I don’t think he can lecture me about a damn thing.

  36. counters
    This is pretty silly. It’s patent absurdity to suggest that we need to change our diets in order to fight global warming. I think this is one of a couple strong examples which support you skeptics’ argument that some people have hijacked AGW for other irrelevant political agendas.
    Now you know how I feel about CO2 drives the climate theory and political agendas.

  37. To statePoet 1775,

    The New Zealanders are advanced in the art of methane (CH4) sequestering by inaugurating a “bag it” program. I am not sure if they have advanced to the catalytic converter stage at this time.

  38. To Bobby Lane,

    Dr. Packauri has apologized for his unavoidable carbon foot-print. In order to meet his lecture commitments in spreading religion, er, “scientific” facts, he finds himself constantly flying to points world-wide. Such a sacrifice is necessary, you see, for the good of all.

  39. First they want to shut down fossil fuels, they really don’t want nuclear power and now they want to keep us from eating beef?
    Ok UN, Texas doesn’t want to play with you anymore. I think you lost Tennessee too.
    You better be careful Mr P. when Al Gore hears about this beef thing, he just might become a sceptic.
    You try to take a hamburger or a nice barbecue sandwich away from Al, you’ll pull back a bloody stump.

  40. There were never 60 million bison on the Plains. Human beings have been the keystone predator in the Americas for at least 13,500 years. Optimal foraging strategies led pre-Columbian residents to keep large ungulate populations at 10 percent of carrying capacity or less. Bison were not food-limited because they were predator-limited by people. See Kay, C. E., and R. T. Simmons, Editors. 2002. Wilderness and political ecology: Aboriginal influences and the original state of nature. University of Utah Press; Geist, V. 1996. Buffalo nation: History and legend of the North American Bison. Voyageur Press; Shaw, J. H. 1995. How many bison originally populated western
    rangelands? Rangelands 17: 148-150; and many others.

    Human beings also modified the environments of the Americas with anthropogenic fire. As much as 30 percent of the total landscape was incinerated every year for millennia. The annual volume of biomass pyrolysis byproducts injected into the atmosphere by human beings vastly exceeded modern emissions, including those of fossil fuel combustion. It does not take many people to fire a landscape, but in any case the human population of the Americas in 1491 was 43 to 65 million people or more. See Denevan, William. 1992. The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492. Annals of the American Association of Geographers v. 82 n. 3 (Sept. 1992), pp. 369-385.

    History is not only a fascinating subject, but it has important lessons for moderns, one of which is that we are not the first humans to modify the environments of Planet Earth.

  41. Pachauri is coming over here telling us what to eat. Mark Twain said, “Sacred cows make the best hamburger.”
    Is MacDonald’s big in India now?
    Just wondering,
    Mike

  42. Speaking about changing diets, how about banning irrigation and
    watering lawns? John Christy pointed out that irrigation the
    central valley has a significant effect on California’s climate.

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/68739.pdf

    Of course, if it was no longer irrigated, it would go back to desert and scrub brush, which would be unsuitable for anything except
    raising cattle

  43. Why does it seem that most of what the greens want us to stop doing to end climate change are the same things that other leftists groups have tried to get us to stop doing?

  44. Anthony, I know and approve of the line in the virtual sand, but…. Can you please find a more flattering photo of Dr Pachauri? Preferably one where he isn’t looking straight at me….

  45. I don’t usually eat beef but I’m happy to report that I had two steaks within the last week.

    BTW I think Mr. Pachuri should be promoted to head of the IFS (International Fruitcake Society)

  46. Just another facet of the anti-Western {anti-technology} lifestyle movement. In the West can be found abundant and cheap power and a diet that’s rich and varied. Instead of using that as an example to raise the health and wealth of the rest of the planet, this movement seems intent on destroying soaring Western-style success.

    For those AGW proponents who are feeling guilty of such riches, don’t preach. Quit calling for sacrifices. Practice what you preach – live in sod/stone huts w/o electricity and only live on what you can forage from the surrounding environment; go vegetarian. Let’s see Pachauri, Gore, Hansen, WWF, Greenpeace, et al quit their climate controlled offices/homes and live the life they advocate. Come on folks – practice what you preach.

  47. Leon Brozyna says: “Practice what you preach – live in sod/stone huts w/o electricity and only live on what you can forage from the surrounding environment; go vegetarian.”

    Can you tell me exactly who is preaching that we do this?

    As for Pachauri, he said that people should consider eating less meat. That doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a vegetarian. Look, I like a good steak as much as the next carnivore (hell, I’ll even eat it raw…Go to an Ethiopian restaurant and check out “gored gored”…yum!)…but what I have been trying to do is have my meat in smaller serving sizes with more and larger servings of vegetables and fruits, especially locally-grown ones. It is probably better for me and better for the environment.

  48. Dr Pachauri said: “I’ve become a vegetarian. I try to minimize the use of cars. Where I’ve failed is my impact with regard to air travel. I tell people I was born a Hindu who believes in reincarnation. It will take me the next six lives to neutralize my carbon footprint.”

    Having sais that, what happens if he comes back as a cow, or a buffalo, or as an elephant?

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  49. “I’ve become a vegetarian. I try to minimize the use of cars. Where I’ve failed is my impact with regard to air travel”

    Claiming a need to fly in order to be able to spread the word about global warming is akin to one having to eat meat in order to stay alive to tell us not to eat meat.

  50. @Mike Dubrasich

    For more evidence on how the Native Americans modified the continent for their benefit see:

    This week in Science Magazine: The Case of the Vanishing Oaks: http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/905/1

    My two sentence take: “Lack of fire in Eastern forests is causing oaks to decline. Native Americans also set the eastern forest ablaze.”

    As the leaves drop from the trees this fall, note, for example, how the leaves of oak trees curl up as they dry out. This is especially prominent in the oak savanna natives (ungulates = elk, not bison) such as Bur Oak. Compare with the leaves of bottomland dwellers such as silver maple and basswood.

    Or for evidence on how native peoples modified the Amazon in South America see from last week’s issue of Science: Heckenberger et al (2008) Science 321. p. 1214

    Apparently there was an agricultural civilization in this part of the Amazon in pre-Columbian times. I think someone else posted a few days ago about the human impacted terra preta soil developed by these civilizations.

  51. If this guy was an Evangelist preaching end of days. He’d be criticized and rejected in an official capacity. Or if he was a Catholic, Muslim or Jew using his religion to influence Politics, he would be likewise rejected…..

    However this Hindu guy is somehow different. I find it strange that a Religious zealot has been allowed to instill his religious policies into the Political framework of the IPCC. He practices vegetarianism because of his religion. His ideas of the environment come about because of his religion…..

    There is a separation of religion and politics… that needs to include Buddhists and Hindus etc.

  52. He is a handsome fellow.

    I totally agree with him about meat, but tying it to global warming destroys the credibility of the argument. The massive waste of water and crops in the beef industry is not disputed.

    Make an intelligent argument professor, and perhaps someone will listen.

  53. Unless I’m missing something, this business about blaming livestock for greenhouse gas emissions is nonsense. It’s true that livestock do emit CO2 and/or methane (CH4) – but that’s only part of the story. From where does the carbon come that comprises that CO2 or CH4? From the food that the livestock eat. That is, plants, which extract CO2 from the atmosphere. So animals don’t generate carbon products – they simply recycle them. In short, livestock are already carbon neutral. In fact, while an animal is growing, it is sequestering carbon in its body. Likewise, so are humans (as far as our eating, burping and farting goes) – we eat either carbon neutral animals, or plants.

    In fact if the vegetarians claim livestock are bad with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, then becoming vegetarian makes themselves no better than those animals, because livestock are vegetarians, too! Or, in other words, vegetarians are animals!

  54. Here is another one from the BBC today.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7603257.stm

    Sir David King wants to stop funding science and put the money into climate change dogma.
    Also he mentions what its really all about,
    “He says population growth and poverty in Africa also demand attention”
    tackeling poverty we are all for but population control!!!!!!!
    I think people who hate people must not be too happy with themselves.

  55. Drew, the list of anthropologists, landscape geographers, ethno-ecologists and other scientist/historians who have found evidence of significant and substantial ancient human impact is long and growing. The New Paradigm in environmental science and ecology holds that human beings have played a key role in nature for a very long time. Check out my website for more info about this subject.

    An interesting corollary question is, if people modified vegetation and animal populations so profoundly, did they (we) also modify ancient climates? Has our interglacial Holocene hung on longer than previous interglacials because of anthropogenic influences?

    My personal conclusion/hypothesis is that historical human impact on terrestrial vegetation and animal populations has been huge, but the climate is an environmental phenomenon too vast for humans to affect, then or now. However, I also wonder how so many AGW believers can at the same time be so dim and unaware of historical anthropogenic influences on terrestrial landscapes. If you accept the former (AGW), how can you possibly deny the latter (ancient anthropogenic fire and predation)?

  56. O.K. So what’s the solution to the supposed problem highlighted by Pachauri ?
    Mass slaughter of all domestic animals, and while we’re at it, let’s go the whole hog and slaughter other wildlife !! All for a theory, and it is just a theory about the causes of global warming.
    Can we please get the lunatics back into the asylum!

  57. If that is a photo of the high lord of climate change, ( Pachieri ) I ask, for someone who [snip – ad hominem removed], his comments must be taken as technical inexactitudes, no wonder that Europeans never discovered America before C/ Columbus, if was uninhabitable, How many millions of Buffalo ?

    How a person appears should not be an indicator of the worth of their opinions – Anne (the new moderator)

  58. To paraphrase the secondhand car salesman epithet levelled against Nixon, would you buy meat substitutes from someone who pedals AGW falsehodods and [snip – ad hominem removed]? How say you Patrick Henry?

    See above – Anne

  59. So, the carbon footprint for raising cattle includes transportation and fertilization. How does that compare to the transportation and fertilization footprint of raising crops? I’m guessing that no type of farming is carbon-negative or even carbon-neutral. That only leaves the animals’ emissions, which as others have pointed out, are going to be offset by whatever other organisms consume that vegetable matter.

    By the way, as I only have one lifetime to reduce my carbon footprint, should I look into buying carbon-offsets from those who have multiple incarnations to work it off?

  60. richard (23:37:24) :

    Here is another one from the BBC today.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7603257.stm

    Sir David King wants to stop funding science and put the money into climate change dogma.

    Linked from that page is http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7603257.stm

    Poverty fears over wind power

    Half a million people could be pushed into fuel poverty by the UK’s drive for wind power, the government’s former chief scientific adviser has said.

    Sir David King said: “If we overdo wind we are going to put up the price of electricity and that means more people will fall into the fuel poverty trap.”

    However Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of British Wind Energy Association countered: “We don’t have to pay for wind power it just comes to us naturally and is totally sustainable.

    Sigh.

  61. Anne,

    The eyes are the mirror of the soul; have you heard that? Look again at the picture of Pachauri and then you tell us what you see. IMO, those are the eyes of a stone cold killer who would have billions starve to death in pursuit of his religious AGW visions. You may not like it, but humans are animals and we all react viscerally to sights our brains and our bodies are programmed to fear and fight. What you see is what you get, in this case. It is not prejudice, it is knowing the enemy and he is absolutely my enemy.

    Reply –
    There is a difference between knowing one’s enemy and needlessly taking jabs at them. Your comment did nothing to declare Pachauri as your enemy but only appeared to demean him by holding him up as an object of ridicule due to his appearance. Skeptics need to rise above that behavior at all times, IMHO. Let the warmers call us names, we don’t need to stoop to their level. – Anne

  62. The Head of the IPCC has the science completely wrong.

    First, Methane concentrations have stabilized. Cows are contributing Zero to the Zero increase in Methane. Methane is one of the success stories in the global warming fight (probably the oil and gas industry changing its practises).

    Second, Pasture is CO2 sink. Each acre of Pasture sinks about 0.3 tonnes of CO2e per year.

    Third, Pasture is not fertilized with Nitrogen nearly as much as other agricultural land. Consequently, the N2O emissions (the second most important GHG) are far, far less than any other agricultural land.

    It is very distressing that the head of the IPCC has not even heard the message which would have been delivered by the scientists who contibute to the IPCC. It just reinforces that this is a political organization.

  63. Anne,
    Welcome to your new job.

    Reply – Thanks! With all the good work that Anthony is doing here, I am happy to pitch in and lend a hand keeping all you rowdy skeptics out of trouble. – Anne.

  64. I’m not surprised by Dr Pachauri’s statement, he is according to Wiki (if it’s accurate), a strict vegetarian. He is a strict vegetarian, partly due to his beliefs as a Hindu, and partly because of the impact of meat-production on the environment.

  65. Will Dr Pachauri’s next suggestion be that we should drink our own urine in order to safe water? The former Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, is supposed to have done this every day.

  66. Did anybody see the following in some of the other articles on this same subject?

    However, he also stressed other changes in lifestyle would help to combat climate change. ‘That’s what I want to emphasise: we really have to bring about reductions in every sector of the economy.’

    This reaffirms my suspicions that the UN is using AGW as a means to equalize the economies of all nations because Kyoto gives developing countries a pass to emit CO2, it requires developed countries to pay wealth (i.e. eco-reparations) to developing countries, and now Pachauri is saying we have to live with a smaller economy and changes to our lifestyles.

    Doesn’t anybody else see what’s going on here?

  67. “No more wonderful days on the farm. Cool mornings, warm cow-pies to mush between the toes…”

    We preferred to blow them up with firecrackers.

  68. Final reflection on blowing stepping in / blowing up cowpies:

    ‘A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.’

    How’s that for a non-sequitur?

  69. I think the IPCC is actually an arm of Mad Magazine. This Pachuri is a relative of Alfred Neuman:

    The asymmetry of the eyes is remarkable…mirror images, if you will…difference in the cheekbones, true…but….

    Splendid “Madness”…has to be part of Mad’s incredible plan…

  70. WRT Pacharui’s carbon load.

    Reincarnation provides interesting possibilities for alleviating an oversized carbon footprint during this lifetime.

    “I tell people I was born a Hindu who believes in reincarnation. It will take me the next six lives to neutralize my carbon footprint. There’s no way I can do it in one lifetime…”

    But must he take stock of his transgressions in previous lives? Are the cycles endless, and if so, isn’t the biomass accretion of previous lives also endless? Or perhaps this constant rebirthing is a mere redistribution, rather than a net accumulation of biomass, assuming one takes on additional living forms in each successive incarnation.

    Or, if one lives a moral life, does one get “better and better” with age? I.e., closer to one’s penultimate avatar, prior to becoming a Brahman – or a Brahma bull? The devout Hindu / AGW believer must be on the horns of a real dilemma.

  71. Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of British Wind Energy Association countered:“We don’t have to pay for wind power it just comes to us naturally and is totally sustainable. ”

    Wow! Free windmills. No maintenance. I want some.

    Perhaps Pachauris believes the old Russian fable: A genie appears to a poor farmer, granting one wish. Farmer says: “My neighbor has a cow. I do not. Kill my neighbor’s cow.”

    Art Buchwald said it was hard to write satire, as reality was so strange.

  72. The statement by Pachauri is great.

    The AGW bandwagon can only continue to roll while the public takes it seriously. From the papers and the broadcast media, the world’s top scientists are all agreed and that’s why the governments have to act with unpopular measures such as higher taxes. Most members of the public aren’t in a position to question the world’s top scientists but increasingly, they’re starting to believe it’s a tax raising scam and generally something to make life less pleasant and more regimented.

    Now, when the Chief of the World’s Top Scientists comes out with an obvious load of nonsense like this, lights start coming on and other things may be looked at, such as spending a lot of money on windmills, every extreme event being interpreted as caused by AGW and the green propaganda we are paying to be bombarded with. If people at large refuse to take it seriously and complain it will stop.

  73. The top article today shows the earths temperatures dipping yet again and continuing an overal downward trend going back the best part of a decade.
    The sun is virtually free of sunspots and subject to ongoing discussions may have been free of sunspots altogether the week before last – the first time this has happened since 1913.

    Also we understand that the Aqua satellite has compromised the Climate Computer Models…they are up the creek. But we are not supposed to know.

    What do we get?…this pillock trying to tell us we are under threat from Global “Warming”……hahahahahahahah.

    Try Global “Cooling”!……err 20 years of it at -2C average from where we are today according to the real experts.

    James,

  74. Leaving aside the issue of Pachauri’s Hindu beliefs and the sanctity of cows in Hinduism, one needs to consider that totally switching to a vegetarian diet, would require lot more vegetables and lentils to be grown for the growing population of the world. Lots and lots more veg, as meat provides sustenance in a more efficient manner then vegetables. Besides, cattle can feed in pastures not suitable for industrial agriculture, thus converting a poor food – grass, into a highly efficient food for humans – meat and milk.

    One sure way to reduce energy consumption, is for bureacrats, politicians, and hundreds of their advisors and hangerson, in the UN, the EU, and other government agencies, to stop flying around the world – to nice resorts such as Bali. I realise this is a small bit, but if they can just stop this, then they will not need to waste so much energy as well as mountains of paper, as there is no freebie at the end.

  75. james griffin

    As you wrote, global cooling is the real threat. This will lead to a shorter growing season, and thus a shortfall in food. Global cooling will also lead to much more use of fuel for domestic heating. But the politicians need the money now, and AGW is the vehicle they have created for this. They are not concerned about the problems in 20 years, for they will be out office by then. They want to raid public wallets NOW.

  76. Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of British Wind Energy Association countered:“We don’t have to pay for wind power it just comes to us naturally and is totally sustainable. ”

    In engineering there is the dictum, that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Wind energy is diffuse, thus requiring lots of land area to be devoted to its harnessing. In a small island such as Britain, land is money. If that was all, it might still be worth considering, but its not. The wind is not a stable source of power. Its extreme variability leads to a lot of problems, such as load factor, frequency, and the resulting connection problems. Further, its unreliability requires, that a reliable backup energy source is built, thus negating whatever little that wind energy has going for it. All these problems, lead to a running cost. They cannot be “fixed”, as they are fundamental to the problem of harnessing wind as a stable source of energy.

    But I suppose Maria McCaffery, is a fully qualified electrical engineer – how else could she occupy the exalted position she does.

    Wind farms though are efficient producers of profit for the operators, as they are heavily subsidised.

  77. There always been Revolution over food in past history. I see one more coming if they try dictate what we can eat.

    BACON!

  78. Isn’t there a distinct flaw in his logic? If cows are causing global warming then shouldn’t his battle cry be: “Stop global warming -Eat a cow!”

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  80. This is crazy, what kind of a proposal is this. Here’s a proposal with teeth:

    Recent satellite data showing rapidly declining temperatures in the tropical troposphere (that part of the atmosphere most affected by CO2) are leading some misinformed scientists to question the Truth about global warming. Weak and undisciplined minds are now openly questioning the computer models that show that man is responsible for climate change. Wild and fantastic theories, like those suggesting that cyclical variations in sun spot activity are a major cause of climate variability, are sweeping across the internet, promoted by unauthorized scientist. If this cooling trend continues, it could undermine the political will necessary to save the planet from global warming. Therefore, urgent action is required while there is still time.

    I propose that we enact five simple, clear thinking steps to ensure that those of us who put our planet first gain the tools needed to combat climate change.

    First, since man is responsible for global warming it is necessary to careful regulate our population. Therefore, a strict prohibition, limiting families to no more than one child, must be enacted.

    Second, since transportation is a chief producer of greenhouse gases, restrictions on travel must be implemented. Common people wishing to travel beyond the boundaries of their assigned home towns must apply for and receive travel permits. Similarly, passports shall be surrendered to the authorities. International travel will be approved on a case by case basis and only for those approved scientist, government officials and thought leaders (like me) attending climate change symposia, conducting field research or otherwise engaging in the business of saving the planet.

    Third, strict curbs on private property must be enacted. In particular, the government shall confiscate all private homes (a major contributor the green house gases) and redistribute housing to ensure proper habitation density based on need. Generous housing limits of 250 square feet per person will be applied. Large existing homes will be reassigned for occupation by multiple families. Exceptions shall be granted for government officials, approved scientist or thought leaders, who require more space to host after-hours meetings on urgent climate change topics. All private automobiles will be outlawed (except for those needed by government officials, approved scientists and though leaders) to ensure that the common people use more efficient public transportation.

    Additionally, all private enterprise must be federalized. Climate Economists observe that private corporations produce “externalities”, i.e., climate impacts that, while difficult to measure or observe, are known to exist by approved climatologist. Corporate taxes are insufficient to pay for environmental remediation of such externalities. Only our government can properly manage the complexities of today’s businesses and their impacts on the environment. Officers and executives of the formerly private companies will be jailed and subjected to Nierenberg-style tribunals for crimes against the planet.

    Forth, strict regulation on information must be enforced. Internet access will be limited to only government officials, approved scientists and thought leaders. This is necessary to ensure that the common people, who do not possess the intellect needed to interpret information in today’s complex world, are not subjected to Falsehoods that could lead them to non-aligned conclusions.

    Fifth, the two party political system must be outlawed. This will ensure that unauthorized thinking can no longer interfere with the important work of saving the planet.

    Climate scientists now know, with absolute certainty, how the climate works. Unlike other physical systems, our climate is driven entirely by a causality agent of barely detectable intensity (in this case, anthropogenic CO2) and for which the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause. Under such circumstances, it is foolish to insist on “evidence” that anthropogenic CO2 is causing climate change, as some lesser scientists are now demanding. Such evidence, naturally, lies well below the current level of measurability. And if we wait until its impact is measurable, it will be too late. Instead, climate scientists properly rely on computer models which are known by the elite climate scientist to be more accurate than observed reality. This is why the satellite data must be rejected – it does not match the computer models and therefore, is wrong. Only those possessing sophisticated knowledge of climate science can understand this.

    The ideas that I outline are not new. Nor are they my own – enlightened environmentalists have been discussing these concepts for many years. We in the environmental community have been making incremental progress in enacting this agenda. But, given the magnitude of the problem and the erosion of the political will, it is necessary to accelerate the implementation of this plan. Please join me in enacting this urgent plan before it is too late.

  81. The ideas that I outline are not new. Nor are they my own – enlightened environmentalists have been discussing these concepts for many years. We in the environmental community have been making incremental progress in enacting this agenda. But, given the magnitude of the problem and the erosion of the political will, it is necessary to accelerate the implementation of this plan. Please join me in enacting this urgent plan before it is too late.

    You first.

    My proposal, rid the planet of environmentalists.

  82. I’d write more about this IPCC clown but I’m all fat and lazy from the brauts I just ate and am going to take a nap.

  83. This is a windfall for the cork industry! Usually relegated to topping bottles of wine, they now have the unenviable job of plugging up the tailpipes of millions of these dangerous methane-emitting creatures. Obviously this is a tough task that will take some ingenuity as these creatures are much trickier than your average glass bottle. They have a double whammy of also attempting to cork the voluminous amounts of CO2 these creatures emit too.

    No, not cows! I speak of trans-national beauracrats (aka tranzis) of course. We could really save the planet by stopping up both ends of those people!

  84. Ed Scott

    [insert grave nod here} Ahh, I see. Thank you.

    Well, he did also say it would take him 6 lifetimes to reduce his carbon footprint to what it should be. An interesting thought that. I wonder if he will come back as some kind of plant. I can’t see him coming back as another tranzi beauracrat and having any hope whatsoever of reducing his CO2 footprint. But I wish him luck. Hopefully he’ll get started on his next life soon so we can all see if it works.

    I don’t believe in reincarnation myself, so I guess I am stuck with the bad karma of having an oversized footprint. *sigh* Oh well.

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  86. Is MacDonald’s big in India now?

    Yes, but it’s big hit is muttonburgers. (Yech!)

    OTOH, I avoid fast food in general and McD. in particular. (But that’s my choice.)

  87. Sy Dogood: About your point 4. May I suggest that Internet access be free for all–we must get the word out. But POSTING PRIVILEGES should be limited as you suggest . . .

    Also point 5: Might I suggest the Karl Radek solution: “Of course I support the multiparty system. One party in power, the other parties in jail.”

  88. Evanjones, excellent suggestions. As you correctly point out, we don’t want to restrict people from reading, we just want to make sure that what they read comes from proper authority. I will accept your friendly amendment.

  89. I have a problem with Dr. Pachauri being identified as a “Climate Scientist” – he is an economist. Perhaps someone has pointed it out here but Pachauri’s suggestion we stop eating beef to reduce cattle numbers strikes me as odd since India has an enormous cattle herd that is not there fore food.

    Something is not right here.

  90. OK, I’ll stop eating beef. I think, though, I’ll have to take up eating IPCC members to reduce the amount of global warming caused by their endless jibber-jabber.

  91. Regarding the buffalo, there were millions of buffalo, but each year there are billions of animals slaughtered for food. We artificially inseminate them and raise them using intense factory farming methods. Even range-fed beef is artificially inseminated so that we get large herds at relatively lower cost. I know, my parents run a large grass-fed beef operations. So the magnitude today is far greater.

    Also with regards to the methane emitted by humans vs ruminants like cattle, there was a show on BBC called “Ethical Man Goes Vegan” where the reporter went vegan for a month. As part of the show, he interviewed an expert on the matter who was studying how to bring down methane in cattle. The man assured him cattle give off about 500 ml of methane each day, whereas the average human gives off about 0.5.

    We also have to consider water. Across the globe scientists are predicting massive droughts. Here in the west, they are predicting lake mead and lake powell are liklye to be dry by 2021 and that the Colorado River which feeds them will not have enough water to meet its contractual obligations by 2012. This could tip off a resource war like we see in third world countries. On my parents ranch, my brother has already been chased by a man (a nieghbor) weilding a pitch fork when my brother found him syphoning water off the hay meadows. And my brother tells me that it takes up to 12 times their water rights to grow the hay for their “sustainably grown, grass fed cattle.” And they have — relatively speaking — excellent water rights.

    “Saving Water from Field to Fork” tells us that 70 percent of water use is agriculture and vegetarian diets are far more efficient. Univ of Calif at Davis report called Water Inputs to California Agriculture made to the Water Education Board found that one serving of beef uses 1200 gallons of water to grow, one serving of chicken used 330, and one complete, nutritionally balanced vegan meal of grains, beans and two vegetables used only 98 gallons of water.

    And if that is not enough to convince you you need to start cutting back on the meat, consider that according to the UN FAO, of the 2 billion tons of grains being grown during the 2008 season, 1 billion will be fed directly to humans, 100 million (5%) will be used for biofuel, and 760 million tons will be fed to animals. Since it takes around pounds of grains (more or less depending upon climate) to grow one pound of beef, 5 pounds for one pound of pork/ham and 2 to grown one pound of chicken, it is highly inefficient to feed the food to animals when there are people starving in the world.

    30 years ago we thought if we wanted to smoke, it was our right, our choice. Today we realize that one individual’s right to smoke ends and another individuals right to health and right to avoid second hand smoke.

    I believe we are at the place where our right to eat meat needs to end — where it puts competitive prices on grains so that the poor cannot afford to compete for grain with the rich who feed the grain to their animals, and where it takes away from society’s ability to have clean water and where it threatens to destroy our ability to live on the planet. That time is now.

  92. “one serving of beef uses 1200 gallons of water to grow”
    Over how many years? Where does this water come from and where does it end up? Is any of this water “lost” in the process?

  93. It is interesting to see how many people don’t get (or don’t want to get) the whole point of it.
    Cows, like other livestock consume tons of grain and water. They are related to destruction of forests, water pollution and loss in biodiversity. That’s what makes it unstustainable in a future (40years from now) where population will be 9.1billion, and consumption of meat will double (China and India…).

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