ACS: going veggie won't impact global warming

IPCC’s Dr. Pachauri must be having a conniption fit about now, since he’s been an advocate of meat free global warming salvation.

From the American Chemical Society:

Eating less meat and dairy products won’t have major impact on global warming

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2010 — Cutting back on consumption of meat and dairy products will not have a major impact in combating global warming — despite repeated claims that link diets rich in animal products to production of greenhouse gases. That’s the conclusion of a report presented here today at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Air quality expert Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., who made the presentation, said that giving cows and pigs a bum rap is not only scientifically inaccurate, but also distracts society from embracing effective solutions to global climate change. He noted that the notion is becoming deeply rooted in efforts to curb global warming, citing campaigns for “meatless Mondays” and a European campaign, called “Less Meat = Less Heat,” launched late last year.

Reducing consumption of meat and dairy

products might not have a major impact in

combating global warming despite claims

that link diets rich in animal products to

production of greenhouse gases.

Credit: Wikimedia

(High-resolution version)

“We certainly can reduce our greenhouse-gas production, but not by consuming less meat and milk,” said Mitloehner, who is with the University of California-Davis. “Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.”

The focus of confronting climate change, he said, should be on smarter farming, not less farming. “The developed world should focus on increasing efficient meat production in developing countries where growing populations need more nutritious food. In developing countries, we should adopt more efficient, Western-style farming practices to make more food with less greenhouse gas production,” Mitloehner said.

Developed countries should reduce use of oil and coal for electricity, heating and vehicle fuels. Transportation creates an estimated 26 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., whereas raising cattle and pigs for food accounts for about 3 percent, he said.

Mitloehner says confusion over meat and milk’s role in climate change stems from a small section printed in the executive summary of a 2006 United Nations report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” It read: “The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). This is a higher share than transport.”

Mitloehner says there is no doubt that livestock are major producers of methane, one of the greenhouse gases. But he faults the methodology of “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” contending that numbers for the livestock sector were calculated differently from transportation. In the report, the livestock emissions included gases produced by growing animal feed; animals’ digestive emissions; and processing meat and milk into foods. But the transportation analysis factored in only emissions from fossil fuels burned while driving and not all other transport lifecycle related factors.

“This lopsided analysis is a classical apples-and-oranges analogy that truly confused the issue,” he said.

###

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140 thoughts on “ACS: going veggie won't impact global warming

  1. It needed to be researched? Animal (and plant) life cycles generally don’t add more carbon to the environment than they take out in the first place. In fact if a proper accounting is done I’m sure we’ll find that corals and cocolithophores (among others?) have been taking it out more or less permanently since they appeared on the earth and sequestered it as chalk and limestone.

  2. If we all ate more beans, wouldn’t that produce a whole bunch of methane? I think that could be measured.
    Also would we not need to turn all that grassland for cattle into edible crops, to compensate for the loss of protein?
    That is tough, some of the range land that farm animals graze, is not fit for food crops. In my mind, that would mean we would have to cut into the ethanol production. That would mean more use of gasoline…
    In the end we would not achive more than a hill of beans. These scientist seem to be grasping for straws. They should watch out, they might get bitten by a cow.

  3. Plus a good NY Strip tastes really good. The day I eat no meat is the day I wilt away and die.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  4. I keep hoping for some warming, but yet another six inches of snow is forecast for tomorrow – the second big storm this week. Good day for a nice juicy steak.

  5. Good point Jan, how does a cow produce Carbond Dioxide without first eating some Carbon and breathing some Oxygen. I’ve heard of something called a carbon cycle.

  6. Going veggie sounds great if you live in an area like California or Florida where things grow year-round. The problem is that it takes enormous infrastructure in order to provide people in the rest of the country with a year-round supply of fresh fruits and veggies. In most of the country, have a look at your produce section and see where that stuff is coming from and think about how much energy it took to get it to you.
    That infrastructure is also fragile. The loss of a major port someplace or political instability in some country could cut off shipment of this produce from outside the US.
    Look at how human beings evolved. Humans had a very limited supply of produce. We had access only what was growing very close to us and only when it was “in season”. In winter we had no fresh veggies at all. Entire civilizations existed on little more than a meat-only diet.
    What these people don’t take into account is that I can place a lamp or a goat out to graze on stuff I can not eat, and it converts the protein to a form I CAN eat. Eating meat IS being veggie. It is conversion of inedible veggies into edible meat. Eating a cow or a sheep is eating grass. Eating a goat is eating darned near anything.
    Laplanders existed for thousands of years on nothing but meat and the occasional onion. When they began trading with other cultures, they traded hides for tallow candles … which they ate.
    I say it takes much LESS energy to live off meat than off veggies. I can go to a sale, buy a spring lamb, have the lamb graze on my yard until fall, slaughter the lamb and eat my summer grass that winter. I have not paid for fuel to mow the lawn, I have not had to import that protein from anywhere. The greatest energy consumption is in keeping it frozen and if I wanted to in most parts of the country, I could simply hang it in a shed from December to February.
    These people approach things from an urban mindset. They have no idea what they are really talking about. They have never lived on more than 10 acres of ground 100 miles from the nearest airport.

  7. “Developed countries should reduce use of oil and coal for electricity, heating and vehicle fuels. Transportation creates an estimated 26 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., whereas raising cattle and pigs for food accounts for about 3 percent, he said.”
    So he’s OK with developing countries eating meat like we do in first world countries but they should be discouraged from using the most abundant and cheapest resources to produce electricity and provide transportation?
    How does he suppose they are going to get the feed to those animals, transport them to slaughter and market, process and refrigerate the meat, bring it home and cooked it if not by ready access to cheap and abundant fuels for transportation and electricity?
    Does he imagine that people in Addis Ababa are going to install expensive and inefficient technologies like photo-voltaics and wind turbines on top of their tin roofed, dirt floor shacks to cook their meat?
    Sometimes the shear idiocy of even people that see one part of the picture is maddening. This guy understands that meat isn’t evil but still buys into the rest of the scam. I guess he doesn’t make his living from electrical generation or transportation so he is OK with those things being sacrificed.

  8. This is a complex issue and needs creative thought. In general, habitat destruction meant to provide feed for animals or ethanol production ought to be carefully examined. Conversely, animals can convert to food vegetative matter that cannot be used as food for humans and from places that will not be farmed for food crops. Some will argue against providing food in these ways. They should donate their time and money to organizations such as The Nature Conservancy.
    ““““““““““`
    Global warming?
    Cutting back on consumption of meat and dairy products will not have a major impact in combating global warming
    Nor global cooling, either.

  9. Mixed messages… That we have something to worry about, and that not doing some thing is doing nothing.
    And I don’t see that anyone needs to curb their use of oil and coal, especially poor countries. What they need is a truly free market to drive efficiency and prosperity so that they can some day afford to build things like hydro dams and nuclear power plants to service a larger base-load demand.
    Anyway, I’m surprised someone like Pachauri can even get his name right!

  10. Steve Goddard (22:36:01) : “I keep hoping for some warming, but yet another six inches of snow is forecast for tomorrow – the second big storm this week.”
    No way! That’s ridiculous, but… what can ya do? No snow, here, except a dusting over the weekend after a two week long drought. Heat is still on, most nights, but the day time is pretty spring-like.
    “Good day for a nice juicy steak.”
    A-1 (Amen)! 🙂

  11. “I have always had my suspicions about the methane emissions due to bean and lentil consumption.
    I am sure a study has been done already”
    It’s a myth! go to a diabetes management class and you’ll soon learn it’s high GI foods (white bread is a killer) that do it the legumes just lend it some flavour;-)

  12. Well, we might be okay as vegetarians if we avoid rice completely!
    From the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website:
    “Rice cultivation also releases methane . . . “Wetland” or “paddy” rice farming produces roughly one-fifth to one-quarter of global methane emissions from human activities. Accounting for over 90 percent of all rice production, wetland rice is grown in fields that are flooded or irrigated for much of the growing season. Bacteria and other micro-organisms in the soil of the flooded rice paddy decompose organic matter and produce methane.”
    http://unfccc.int/essential_background/background_publications_htmlpdf/climate_change_information_kit/items/293.php
    ONE-FIFTH TO ONE-QUARTER of global methane emissions??

  13. So somehow the rain that waters much of the grass and corn used to produce animal feed from sunlight and CO2 in the air is lost when it is used to grow things. And the compounds containing carbon produced by growing vegetable matter and feeding it directly or indirectly to animals are not returned to water and carbon dioxide after the cycle is complete? Nature has been doing this for a long time, and if the components were being consumed it appears that doing so would violate the laws of physics.

  14. So the UN produced a report (Livestock’s Long Shadow) that made a false comparison between transport and farming.
    I really should be very angry that public bodies seem to be incapable of doing anything at all with rigour(*), honesty and integrity.
    But now I have just come to expect obfuscation, spin and sloppiness. How can you tell when a climate scientist is lying? His lips move.
    Sad innit?
    (*)Yes, it is spelt with a ‘u’ in my country. Not a typo.

  15. Cows are vegetarians. It’s so sad when one group of vegetarians attack another group of vegetarians.

  16. Steve Goddard (22:36:01)
    You just reminded me Steve! I took a nice tenderloin out of the freezer this morning.
    Couple of beers on the way home, then cut up some big chips (English style not those piddly French, thin, things!), some fresh garden peas and the end of another perfect day as I lounge back watching a DVD, thinking of the the damage I have just done to the planet!
    1 more hour at work and MMMMmmmmmmmmm!

  17. OT, but if you type “scientists” into the google toolbar or google itself, very near or even at the top, you get “scientists against global warming” as an option.
    😉

  18. If all humans turn veggie, there will be a huge IQ decline.
    Because a veggie allways has lower IQ than a carnivore.
    Why?
    Because it doesnt take much IQ to sneak up behind a grass straw.

  19. and the first link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
    it tells use the following:
    Global warming is not occurring
    Accuracy of IPCC climate projections is questionable
    Global warming is primarily caused by natural processes
    Cause of global warming is unknown
    Global warming will not be significantly negative
    has someone hijacked this and it will return to ‘the truth’ immediately?

  20. Perhaps all the greenies and do-gooders should get rid of their carbon dioxide belching pets … after all the average dog is supposed to has the carbon footprint of a Landrover.

  21. I think the point behind the veggie beliefs are that it takes 10 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of meat. This is not disputed. This is a real problem where they farm fish and use 10 kg of wild fish to get 1 kg of farmed salmon.
    When it comes to comparing meat and produce for human consumption its a little different. The most importand foods produced are grains, corn and rice. I dont know the waste/food ratio for these produces but I would’nt be suprised if it was close to 10:1 as well. Then its an even toss if you produce veggie food or feed for livestock.
    Someone else mentioned meat fed on grass that we cant eat. That is where the real savings come in. In norway lots of livestock graze in forrest areas and mountains where producing human food is simply not possible. It does not help anyone to eat veggie then.

  22. Going veggie is just daft. You have to eat tremendous volume of food just to meat daily requirements. And if you’re physically very active it gets worse.
    Some eco idiot at work was trying to sound like a nutritional expert the other day and said he ate lots of spinach for it’s protein, calcium and iron content. I had to shoot that one down. You would have to eat kilos worth of spinach just to meet your protein requirements and even then you would not receive all the essential amino acids. And then if you ate that much of it you would have so much oxalic acid that your body would become depleted of iron and calcium as it bonds to both and there inhibits absorption of these essential minerals.

  23. Sigh. This is just another idea from the PETA wing of AGW, isn’t it? Wouldn’t they be terribly shocked to find out what would happen to all those cows with their big soft eyes if ranchers were prevented from raising them for sale?
    Cattle, goats and sheep all live on land that is quite frankly, not farm-able with the most advanced methods available. How does one run a commercial combine harvester on a rock strewn 45 degree slope? While one could terrace a hill like that, it still wouldn’t be commercially feasible for the kind of large scale crop farming that’s done today. The huge effort that goes into modern commercial farming is beyond the ken of the AGW people, the soil conservation techniques, large scale fertilizing efforts (from pigs, cows, horses and artificial sources) and most of what’s done is done with, yes, gas powered farming equipment, whereas animal husbandry, cattle in particular, is done primarily on horseback, even today. Horses can go wherever cattle can……

  24. I run a 950 acre mixed farm in England, and have made it my personal crusade to point out to veggies (thus ruining countless dinner parties!) that wheat production involves far more cruelty to animals than livestock production. I invite them to come ploughing, and witness the carnage going on behing the tractor as the top six inches of soil are inverted. Rats rabbits, mice, worms – I even killed a seagull once as it dived in to get an exposed worm and got buried.
    I then offer to show them my agrochemical store, where I keep supplies of molluscicide – metaldehyde to kill slugs by slow, agonising dehydration. And then there’s the bottle of stuff I keen in store to kill the poor innocent orange blossom midge when it appears this June – that midge will ruin the Hagberg quality element of a bread wheat crop in just a couple of still summer evenings.
    If you want to save animal lives, i point out, eat more meat.
    So I’m thrilled that they’ve abandoned the ‘meat is cruel line’ and have switched to ‘meat causes MMGW’ – not least becauuse it maken them look even sillier.

  25. Dearie me, someone who actually worries about hunger in poorer countries rather that just socking the rich ones. What a novelty.

  26. This is one paper by one researcher and the result is counter-intuitive. True, farm animals in both developed and developing countries may utilize plants and plant products that humans cannot utilize and thus make use of land that cannot otherwise be used. If so the animals add to food production without consuming food that humans can consume. For example, beef cattle can turn grass into meat, but humans cannot eat grass.
    But what percentage of cattle food is grass or other source of food that humans cannot consume? Livestock owners usually feed animals grains. But animals do not use grain very efficiently. The pig is the most efficient, making a gain of one unit for every 4 units of feed. Other animals are less efficient.
    Thee are the losses that result at the time the animal carcass is prepared for consumption. Losses are less now because the food processing industry has found so many ways to recycle slaughter-house waste back into the food chain.
    We know that animals need energy to run their own lives and unless their feed cannot be utilized by humans, animal metabolism reduces the efficiency of livestock as food compared to with plants as food.
    Frank Mitloehner may be right. But the result is so unusual that we should suspend judgement until his results can be confirmed.
    His opinion regarding the welfare of people in the developing world do not seem to me to be worth much. I have worked as a development economist in Africa, Asia and Latin America for 40 years. In my experience, most people in most of the countries where I have worked get along very well mostly on plant protein, as I do.
    The foremost reason for malnutrition in these countries is misgovernment, which leads to underutilization of resources and poor distribution. The next reason is overpopulation relative to land and resources.
    Greater meat production in developing countries might very well increase malnutrition among the poor because the rich will eat most of the animal protein and the prices of plant food will rise.
    Nor do these rich seem to be getting much benefit, because the chronic diseases of the developing world seem to follow whenever Western diets replace traditional diets.
    I remain a climate skeptic and that includes being skeptical about the role of livestock in climate change. But I am not about to espouse the views of anyone who opposes my opponent.
    Frank Mitloehner may be right, but it seems like nonsense to me.

  27. Well, I believe going vegan would shrink the brains of the population – a necessary step in order to keep this AGW nonsense going.
    In fact, I propose we conduct a study to see if being vegan correlates with believing in the religion of global warming – an experimental test would be far too cruel I think.

  28. “Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.”
    So what? Since when has the welfare of those in “poor countries” been of even passing concern to the warmmongers?

  29. Wife and I have been strict vegetarians (almost vegans) for 26 years. It certainly means less packaging, so that’s a good thing – and I suppose I must mention that we’re both extraordinarily healthy! However, each to his or her own, we don’t preach it. I can understand the land use involved in meat production, which study after study has shown is more then is required for veggie food, might well mean that there’s an eco side there.

  30. Back in the 1970’s I used to eat veggie burgers before there were veggie burgers, by buying some fairly cheap textured vegetable protein which could be sliced into patties, fried up, then garnished. It was low in fat compared to even the leanest hamburger, maybe even 0%. I ate quite a lot of it and it was really pretty good, although it didn’t look very good right out of the can. But now it seems to have disappeared in favor of the higher priced, more pre-fabricated, better looking stuff.
    Likewise with a product called “Kellogg’s Concentrate” cereal. It contained about 30% protein, no added sugar or fat. Now it’s gone. But once I found an open box perhaps 20 years old still in one of my more remote, deep cupboards. It had remained stable. I ate it. I used to eat it as is, dry, and add it into “trail mix” with fruit and nuts. But no more!
    The above two products were completely “vegetarian”, great nutritionally and cheap. So where’s something comparable now?

  31. None of this will do any good, for there is no global warming to offset.
    Just Dry vs Wet cycles.

  32. I don’t know! You colonials are so lucky. Back here in the Peoples (not) Democratic (not) Republic of the EU, we actually pay with hard-pressed taxpayers money for half-wits (a euphemism) with PhDs to carry out studies like this to conclude the complete opposite. I suspect all they actually did was look up an old 1940s ration book & then make it up from there as they went along. Incidentally, those with said PhDs writing that (UK) crap were likely funded in their first degrees by taxpayers money, not from loans, etc! They have also most likely (95% probability) never actually had to fend for themselves outside academia!!!!!!!
    BTW, & OT, did you chaps (& chapesses) know that here in the PDREU we pay millions of taxpayers money to Greenpeace & WWF (among many others) to lobby……………………er the PDREU on climate change issues? Great innit! Can’t think of a better way to dissappear up one’s own………? Do your governments do likewise?

  33. Unless you catch a cow eating a lump of coal it, by definition, has to be carbon-neutral. Transporting the cow to your table, of course, is another thing, but then, that applies to every friggin’ thing you don’t grow in your backyard.
    I don’t know why people have trouble grasping this concept.

  34. David Thomas Bronzich (00:12:16) :
    “(…) The huge effort that goes into modern commercial farming is beyond the ken of the AGW people, the soil conservation techniques, large scale fertilizing efforts (from pigs, cows, horses and artificial sources) and most of what’s done is done with, yes, gas powered farming equipment, whereas animal husbandry, cattle in particular, is done primarily on horseback, even today. Horses can go wherever cattle can……”
    Artificial sources??! The very mention of that will give any veggie a blue apoplexy. Don’t forget that most of these people are not interested in the products of commercial farming either. They only want biologically produced foods without chemical input. And it never occurs to them that if we were all to to turn veggie overnight, we’d then be in competition with all these cuddly animals and have to kill them off and pretty quick too. Then what would we do with all the carcasses? Burn them? Dissolve them in acid? And where would animal “rights” come in here?
    Del (23:43:47) : My father was a butcher. and took me through this sort of thing when I was about thirteen and getting squeamish about seeing animals slaughtered. Adolescent fads some never get over, especially if they live in a suburban environment. Having said that, if someone decides to only eat vegetarian, it’s a personal choice to be respected and most veggies I know don’t foist it on others – although it can pour cold water on a convivial meal.
    – Animal husbandry done on horseback! I wish it still was, although I’d like to see a horse get where a sheep or goat can (he’d have to learn to climb trees in the latter case); that’s why you have sheepdogs or train the flock to follow you. But like the rest of us I’m sure, I’d like to have been a cowboy. Yippee-yi-yo.

  35. Why don’t we just use some of the money saved from NOT going in for Cap-and-Trade to buy MEAT for export to nutritionally stressed parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America (that’ll show em!)?

  36. “Every action has an equal, and opposite, reaction.”
    The issue tends to be that people who propose these idiocies as ‘solutions’ only look at it in isolation. If we simply eliminated cows I’m sure we’d eliminate a bit of greenhouse gasses. But just doing so has huge effects on the environment and economy which would pretty much offset any gains and put us right back where we started.

  37. @ David Q. (22:27:08) :
    ‘If we all ate more beans, wouldn’t that produce a whole bunch of methane?’
    Eating beans is sinful. How do I know?
    Because Pythagoras told me so…

  38. Worry not. Food is all chemical molecules and atoms. Your body guides you as to what to eat and when. The rest is mainly verbal propaganda, like eating liver is yucky.
    Try preaching global warming to a cow, even a school aged one.

  39. Did anyone notice??
    When “Global warming” was substituted with “climate change”?? And what “impact” of “climate change” are they reffering to?? The AGW languish becomes more and more bizarre!!
    No warming
    No floods
    No storms or hurricanes
    No increase in sealevels
    No melting at the poles
    What are they talkning about?????

  40. I find it significant that everybody, even those commenting here, focuses on meat, when the main culprit, if there is guilt to be found in cattle CO2, is milk. Look at the numbers (I’m French and speak about French numbers : please check for your country). A “modern” cow produces about 10 – 12 tons of milk per year (if of a breed selected for milk production. Breeds selected for meat production are a small % of the total herd here in France). If the farmer keeps a cow for 5 productive years, it will have produced about 50 tons of milk. 8 years equal 80 tons of milk. Very few if any milk producing cows are kept longer. When slaughtered, that cow will give about 3/4 ton of red meat (I didn’t check for precise statistics, but I’d be surprised if you fall very far). Of course, that cow will have produced about one calf per year, some slaughtered as calves, some allowed to grow until young beef, and it might be honest to add their meat in the ratio against milk. You might even scrap in the corners and add a tiny pro rata of bull meat. You still come to realize red meat is only a very small by-product of milk production. And if the cattle is “naturally” fed, ie grazing grass in pastures (hay in stable in winter) as opposed to processed soya, corn, molasses etc, recent research in Europe as well as in North America, reveals cattle/pasture is a carbon well : ecolo/organic farmers can raise cattle without remorse. Some have begun.
    Focusing on red meat means, imo, that neither those who criticise us meat-eaters nor us (we ?)address reality. Militant veggies are just highjacking the AGW bandwaggon and trying to steer it towards their intimate land of lunacy (I’m not criticising vegetarianism, I acknowledge it can be a healthy and reasonable diet, but those lunatics who want to impose it on me by flawed morals and political constraint).
    Sarcastically, i say if you haven’t witnessed pure hatred straight in your face, try and tell a mom/dad nowhence they’ll have to deprive their treasures of milk products 😉

  41. Duh …
    When I write that a slaughtered cow gives about 3/4 of a ton of red meat, I mean 3/4 of a thousand pounds … about 750 lbs …

  42. Good grief, how can you print this crap when you have so many other good stories on this site that are newsworthy. Expansion of agriculture is largely through cattle grazing in land formerly in tropical forests in South America. No meat diet linkage there I guess? Land use change is considered part of the alternative theory of what may be contributing to AGW. Loss of tropical forests creates loss of low level clouds.
    You are not going to solve the worlds protein problems by eating much more meat but you may denude it.

  43. I guess I am not surprised the american chemical industry that sells the world its fertilizers and pesticides would promulgate the idea that meat culture agriculture is bad for the planet. I am just surprised that wattsupwiththat would print their propoganda.

  44. “Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.” said Mitloehner..
    But THAT is the whole idea of The Climate Change Crusade: decimate the “human” population, open new land for Wildlife and Wilderness, and save oil and coal for the future (for more deserving people like themselves).
    Ref – savethesharks (22:32:41) :
    “Plus a good NY Strip tastes really good.”
    ____________________________
    It won’t be long before NYC pols force it off the menu. It’s just not “green” enough for them.

  45. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (00:09:50) :
    Any intelligent veggie knows you get protein from legumes, not spinach.
    Your opinion about going veggie being daft goes against some of the biggest health studies ever made. Try a search for “The China Study” and read up. To sum it up, consumption of animal products MAY be the cause of virtually every western lifestyle induced illness.
    That is a quite revolutionary thought. For example my father, who has a DHSc (a doctorate in health science) and is a physiotherapist, changed his diet totally after reading a book about the study.
    And: No, I’m not a veggie.

  46. One thing about greenie weenies is they mix truth with false claims. I can have my steer harvest grain and grass and bring carbs converted to protein to my dinner table. On the ethanol thread I posted how animals converted corn glucose sugars to protein amino acids. The worst place on the planet is India with sacred cows, monkees and rats. If we added pet dogs and cats in America, we have a lot of wasted food of course that we put into the fields and use for plant food. The organic veggies you luv, luv the cow manoo from the dairy. The plants just thrive on animal waste.
    On the Tyson meats web site, they share info on the efficiencies of animals in converting grain to protein. Chickens use less grain for a pound of meat than do hogs. Hogs do better than beef cattle.
    Some one did mention the massive tonnage of CH4 methane from rice paddies.
    It is racist to knock methane production. You know they won’t be politically correct and halt all sources of methane.
    Most of this ruling of the biosphere is based in urban legend. Dirty city dwelling lifestyles that claim they have superior knowledge on how to run the planet and feed the world.
    City folks and slackers are just jealous of rich farmers.

  47. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (00:09:50) :
    “Going veggie is just daft. You have to eat tremendous volume of food just to meat daily requirements. And if you’re physically very active it gets worse.”
    Simply not true. Vegetarian is fine. Have you ever seen a weak gorillia? I was a strict vegetarian throughout my senior year, I did well in wrestling and gymnastics.
    Eating habits are an individual choice, and like religion, should not be politicised.

  48. roger samson (04:31:10)
    But… BUT… deforestation causes global cooling ; )
    That the IPCC folks can say that with a straight face is really quite amazing.
    You do bring up a good point, some amount of meat consumed in the US comes from South America… of course, some U.S. produce (fruit) comes from Central and South America as well. I’d tend to think that both South/Central American meat and produce would have similar types of impacts (land use changes, transportation costs)

  49. The real news will be if it is discovered that any AGW movement claim holds up under scrutiny.

  50. Ugh – now they are forecasting a foot of snow today and more on the weekend. Make that two steaks.

  51. roger samson (04:36:55) :
    I guess I am not surprised the american chemical industry that sells the world its fertilizers and pesticides would promulgate the idea that meat culture agriculture is bad for the planet. I am just surprised that wattsupwiththat would print their propoganda.
    Oh, didn’t catch earlier that you’re a troll. lol – if anything this article is pro-meat, which according to the troll theory would be going against ACS’ evil overlord – Big Fertilizer

  52. I would say something about AGW being a has bean, but I will restrain myself, err, what the heck, AGW is a has bean.

  53. City folks are in trouble.
    We are running lets say 4,000 deaths per year from e-coli.
    ( it is prseumed the contamination was at the farm. It is most often in the distribution handling steps.)
    We run over 4,000 deaths per year from fatal asthma attacks.
    There are much lower rates of asthma, allergies and diabetes in consumers of RAW milk. Raw milk is illegal in many ways. Go figgure. Climate science is not the only science that has been hijacked by a doo good agenda.
    “Isn’t it curious that at this juncture in our culture’s evolution, we collectively believe Twinkies, Lucky Charms and Coca-Cola are safe foods, but compost-grown organic tomatoes and raw milk are not?”
    –from the forward, by Joel Salatin
    I am not a health food junkie. It is ironic that being raised in a farm community, I never ever saw a case of exzema untill I attended college.

  54. The fact is, humans are not healthy unless they eat meat. You can only get vitamin B12 from meat. Vitamin supplements are a waste of money because the body sends most of it right out of the body through in the urine. So the only way you can get your need nutrients is through food. You can most of your nutrients through vegetables, except vitamin B12. The key is to have a balanced diet.
    (Joke) I guess if these vegans “greenies” would eat more meat and get all their needed vitamins, they could think rationally and see how stupid the AGW theory really is and how stupid a meat-less diet really is too. (End joke)

  55. There is a theory that human ancestors did not start to increase brain size until they became meat eaters. Maybe if we all turned vegetarian our descendants would gradually get smaller and smaller brains until they reverted to apes. Maybe it’s already happening?

  56. If you want to understand the anti-meat movement, just think about where the majority of meat is produced and consumed – NH. What would success of the anti-meat movement accomplish – crippling of the agricultural industries in the NH. That in turn would hit the sector of the economies which produce agricultural implements – manufacturing. Feeding large numbers of people on a vegan only diet which is low in energy density would be problematic without high intensity farming – a lot of fertilizers. The drive to “organic” farming would require extremely large sections of land be tilled to make up the shortfall.
    All in all, most of the populous would have to go back to the farms and agrarian way of life – not bad if you’re trying to control a populous. Ask ol’ Joseph Stalin, he was good at it. The Ukraine has not too fond memories about that.
    What’s that I hear from those idiots about the good old days?

  57. The greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, N20 and CFCs.
    Pastureland is an efficient sink of CO2, especially compared to cultivated land which is net source of CO2.
    Lettuce and vegetables are transported from the farm just like meat products are.
    Methane levels are not really increasing in the atmosphere (latest from Barrow Alaska has Methane levels on the way down again). Cattle are contributing zero to the zero increase in Methane.
    There is very little nitrogen fertilizer (the primary source of N20) used on Pastureland and, hence, raising animals does not contribute N20 to the atmosphere.
    Cows do not produce CFCs. (At least, they are not since CFCs were removed from refrigerants but then frozen vegetables and frozen vegetarian foods should count in the same manner).
    So how exactly are animals contributing GHGs to the atmosphere. It is unscientific to conclude they are since the numbers probably point the other way.

  58. No comment on whether there is a AGW impact, but the enviro impact of meat production in the US is pretty obvious and can only be ignored by the gullible.
    We use roughly 1 calorie of energy to produce 1 calorie of grains in the US and we use on average about 10* calories of grains to produce 1 calorie of cow meat. Plus similar numbers for water, herbicides, use related erosion and soil degradation, etc.
    How can eating the cow have the same enviro impact as the eating the grain when 10* times as many resources are involved in the production?
    *This is a widely debated number, but nobody claims a value of less than 1 for meat production in the US. Maybe in Australia or New Zealand, where grazing is used instead of feedlots.

  59. Exactly how does producing less meat and dairy products cause greater starvation in poor countries? That is not just baseless it is wrong.
    While it’s almost certainly true that producing less meat and dairy won’t put a dent in global warming it’s not because the change would reduce greenhouse gas production (it certainly would) but because anthropogenic greenhouse gases aren’t a significant contributor to global warming.
    It is uninformed knee-jerk reactions such as those that dominate the comments in this thread that give AGW skeptics a bad name.
    There is a very valid claim that grazing animals produce human-edible food from inedible plants. The problem with that claim is that only a small percentage of the meat and dairy products are produced from free-range animals. Most meat and dairy production relies on feeding those animals with human-edible foods. Compare the price tags on meat and dairy produced by certified free-range animals. It’s quite a bit higher for the free-range products. That’s because of a basic market price rule called supply and demand. The demand for free-range products exceeds the supply at parity pricing so price rises in response in a free market. In Obama’s ideal world there would be rationing of the free range product so everyone gets a small but equal share, but I digress. Why is the supply so slim? Simple. There just isn’t enough cost-effective “free-range” land available to feed enough animals to meet the overall demand for meat and dairy.
    So what we end up with is arable land producing high food-value grains that are used as livestock feed. The nutritional value of the grains far exceeds the nutritional value of the resulting meat and dairy products. Ergo, reducing meat and dairy consumption means there would be more food for starving people in poor countries. We don’t try to help feed the starving by sending them burlap bags full of beef jerky. We send burlap bags of grains which store very well and, calorie for calorie, are much more efficiently produced.
    Disclosure: I’m not a vegetarian. My BBQ grill drippeth with animal fats and my fridge overfloweth with dairy. I’m just a well informed omnivore who doesn’t go into denial when confronted with inconvenient truths.

  60. Polar bears no longer endangered
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2010/2010-03-18-02.html
    A proposal from the United States would have banned the international commercial trade in polar bear parts and products. A majority of governments, led by Canada, rejected the proposal because they were not convinced about the conservation benefits of banning trade in a species already included in CITES Appendix II, which permits trade only under a strict permit system.

  61. Andy Scrase (22:45:35) :
    Yes, Google “brussel sprouts” and “global warming.” More “wipe your a$$ with a single-sheet” bullcrap.
    Charlie (00:31:38) :
    Maddox covered this issue a while back 😉
    http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=grill
    The Alarmists make stuff up. They don’t bother with demonstrable facts like the GHG emissions of wild marshland those Iowa corn acres replaced or the massive plume of moisture that comes off unconverted wooded land due to the taproots pumping deep soil water into the atmosphere. We can look at satellite images of the Amazon and see no soybean acres or soybean elevators or soybean crush plants because food/meat/ethanol doesn’t compete compete for soybeans, rather the current installed capital runs more efficiently and uses existing slack in the system. Ethanol is the best example as stupid people and liars think they can exploit unthinking alarm in order to make a point. If ethanol takes so much of the corn supply where is the starvation? Where are the 100s of millions of new acres coming from? Where are the millions of additional combines, silos, ag-trucking machinery required for this phantom economic expansion? They don’t exist!

  62. They make the argument against beef as a global warmer via methane production. Here’s the paper trying to justify taxes on beef to mitigate global warming:
    http://fixtheclimate.com/uploads/tx_templavoila/PP_Methane_Johansson_Hedenus_v.2.0.pdf
    And here is the “scientific paper” trying to make the case that methane from anthropogenic sources should be given more “weight” than methane from natural sources.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/4/044007/fulltext?ejredirect=migration
    To all of which I respond with the devastating rebuttal:
    Salad is what food EATS.

  63. crosspatch (22:58:46) :
    “Going veggie sounds great if you live in an area like California or Florida where things grow year-round”.
    With Florida and the right mix between passenger seats and cargo containers
    (think KLM fleet you can have fresh vegetables and fruits all year round.
    In the Netherlands, in summer the oranges, tomatoes come from Spain.
    In winter they have apples and kiwi’s from New Zealand, oranges from South Africa
    and all kinds of exotic fruits from Asia.
    Greenhouses produce fresh vegetables all year round.
    Diversification and trade and fast distribution have created an all year market for fresh foods.
    Greenhouse production at a big scale like the Netherlands still has to take of in the USA.
    Under normal circumstances there is no economic basis for greenhouses.
    Unless you have a winter like this and and Florida loses 90% of it’s tomato crop!
    http://www.allbusiness.com/agriculture-forestry/agriculture-crop-production/14055046-1.html
    But seriously, do you know how difficult it is to stay polite with these Green lunatics.
    In Europe we now have the CO2 information on the label of food products.
    Mango’s from Asia, apples and kiwi’s from New Zealand, fresh oranges from South Africa, all available in Dutch Supermarkets during the winter are now lited with their carbon foot print.
    The green lunatics are undermining our entire distribution system, our agriculture, our meat industry everything.
    And while we are winning the war on their propaganda, we see the Government rules and regulations popping up everywhere.
    No protests, nothing.
    We don’t know how vulnerable our society is. For every calorie of food we are spending 4 calories of oil.
    With the current plans to reduce carbon footprints we are destroying our businesses, our jobs, our distribution systems, our markets and the continuity in our food supplies.
    We live in a carbon world and we have build a fossil fuel based society.
    Any threat to this society should be considered as treason and a crime against humanity.
    Without our fossil fuels our modern civilization is dead.
    We should prepare for prosecution of those that threaten the very basis of our existence.
    At this moment in time we are winning the battles about the content of the Green Propaganda, but we are losing the war.
    It’s time for to change our mind set and look at the Green Movement and those behind it as a serious threat and do something about it.
    This is not funny anymore.

  64. The China Study
    Beyond vegetarianism
    http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-8e.shtml
    The China study is extensive and sloppy. Parts of it defeat it’s conclusion. Be very sceptical of science that is coupled with ideology. The experiments create hypothesis but really give at best cloudy conclusions.
    Fear of dying is a good motive to jump on a bandwagon that makes promises of living longer.

  65. One way to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by the nether ends of cows would be to allow them to keep one calf in an open field, which causes them to chew the cud a little less. But the resulting rise in the price of meat would make the price of battery-farmed produce more attractive; it’s never as simple as the ideologues complain…

  66. The CO2 numbers from cattle is only high because of the methane content (high CO2 equivalent). But, after 7 years, half of the methane is converted to CO2. If you consider this (or say 20 years later), then the cattle contribution of actual CO2 is 30 times smaller. Nitwits.

  67. Yes ACS is promeat because the agency is pro fertilizer and pesticides. The point is meat production as conventionally practiced has a huge footprint on land use, water use and is big consumer of chemical inputs. Any appreciable land base expansion for liquid biofuels or meat eating will destroy more forests. Its just a terrible idea to promote an appreciable expansion of the global meat industry.

  68. Goodness. Thanks so much for relieving me of undue stress related to eating meat and dairy products (she said while eating a homemade bacon buttermilk biscuit stuffed with fried egg, bologna, and cheese, washed down with an ice cold glass of buttermilk).

  69. In “Plows, plagues and petroleum” William F. Ruddiman makes a pretty good case for agriculturally generated methane as an important greenhouse gas.
    Ruddiman is not an alarmist, and he doesn’t advocate doing anything about
    the situation (he doesn’t characterize it as a problem), and I think he does
    add a valuable perspective. According to Ruddiman, by far the largest source of agricultural methane is the “swamp gas” produced in the standing water associated with irrigation. I figure this never gets any press due to the fact
    that politicians haven’t figured out a way to tax standing water.
    On a separate note, I wonder if the ACS analysis takes into account the high degree to which fertilizer production is tied to petroleum refining. Most
    ammonia fertilizer, for example, is made within a short piping distance of
    an oil refinery.

  70. The statement in the post here seems irrelevant and distracting. The issue is not “meat production as compared to transportation” because the two are different things, and one is used for the other. It’s not like you can give up eating to travel more, because travel uses less CO2.
    The issue is, within food production, how does one type of food compare to others? Does one take less land, less fertilizer, and less total CO2 to produce than the other? Is meat better than corn, or corn better than wheat, or wheat better than orchards? I’m sure it’s a complex question, which requires an apples to apples (not apples to tires) comparison.
    This article seems to simply distract people from the real issue by purposely misrepresenting the problem.

  71. Normally I’d shy away from directing people to Pravda UK, aka The Guardian, but the irony of their front (online) page hosting a weepy appeal from Greenpeace for Asian companies to stop planting palm oil for biofuel purposes is too good to miss.
    Stopping global warming through replacing fossil fuels is apparently wiping out the few remaining orang-utans through destruction of their habitat, a consequence regrettably unforeseen by the AGW crowd.

  72. If global warmers succeed, you will surely become ROOTS-EATERS, and you won´t have to worry about climate anymore: You will have to worry about what to eat in the next 24 hours: That is the positive result of, already tested in third world countries, progressive social policies.

  73. Funny how one can be right for the wrong reasons – since there is no such thing as global warming, then of course nothing that you can possibly do personally can have any effect on global warming – whether it’s eat meat or eat veggies or get on top of a billboard next to a freeway and dance naked, as a man in downtown Dallas did yesterday.
    The veggies are desperate to think that Their Actions Matter in some cosmic sense. Grow up, except in the manner in which you treat other people, they don’t.

  74. David A (05:19:40) :
    Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (00:09:50) :
    “Going veggie is just daft. You have to eat tremendous volume of food just to meat daily requirements. And if you’re physically very active it gets worse.”
    Simply not true. Vegetarian is fine. Have you ever seen a weak gorillia?
    I was a strict vegetarian throughout my senior year, I did well in wrestling and gymnastics.
    Eating habits are an individual choice, and like religion, should not be politicised.

    but that is probably a myth too, just because someone hasn’t caught them in the act, does not prove that gorillas do not eat meat. Remember the chimps??
    New finding on gorillas eating meat: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/03/100305-first-proof-gorillas-eat-monkeys-mammals-feces-dna/

  75. They’re just clearing out the veggie kooks for the Cap-N-Trade
    push. Middle East problems and security will be the next
    boogeyman. So predicts “ZOLTAR”…..Now give me more
    coins or de planet will explode.

  76. We DO NOT have to do anything about “greenhouse gases”. PERIOD! OR “climate change”. PERIOD! Except to KEEP WARM!

  77. OT:
    “The carbon tax will not be implemented in France on 1 July, as the government had assured the
    Tuesday’s announcement by the president of the UMP group in the Assembly, Mr. Cope.
    Asked if what Mr Fillon said that the fee should be at the European level to avoid “sealing the competitiveness” of French companies, meant that this mechanism could not be applied to the said date, he replied “You have well said”
    “If there is no European agreement before 1 July, it will happen later,” he said at a press conference after a meeting of UMP deputies to the Assembly.
    At that meeting, the Prime Minister said that “we must not adopt reforms, because the French do not ask us. “Focus on growth, employment, competitiveness, the fight against the deficit,” he said, adding he had “complete the reform of local and make the pension.
    If the Secretary of State for Ecology, Chantal Jouanno, said she was “desperate for this decline,” the president of MEDEF, Laurence Parisot, said to be “relieved” by the abandonment of national this tax.
    In an interview Figaro Magazine on the eve of the first round of regional President Nicolas Sarkozy had foreshadowed a change of schedule on the carbon tax whose first draft has been readjusted by the Constitutional Council: “We will not impose our industrial constraints if, in Meanwhile, we allow imports from countries that do not comply with environmental regulations to flood our markets, “said the head of state.
    The conclusion of a European agreement on the introduction of an EU tax is deemed unrealistic by the diplomats.”
    ====
    How about the ridiculous BC Carbon Tax in Canada?

  78. Always suspect of those who love pets and eat only veggies. One of the most famous was the known author of the book “Mein Kampf”. It seems that the lack of some animal proteins change the behaviour in not very pleasant ways.

  79. save massive amounts of water – 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water for every pound of beef you avoid,
    Before a cow is slaughtered, she will eat 25 pounds of corn a day; by the time she is slaughtered she will weigh more than 1,200 pounds. In her lifetime she will have consumed, in effect, 284 gallons of oil. Today’s factory-raised cow is not a solar-powered ruminant but another fossil fuel machine.

    http://www.earthsave.org/environment/foodchoices.htm
    One of the most dishonest sites I have ever visited.
    He is a political scientist. I think of a 100,000 head feed lot. According to the liar, they consume 28.4 million gallons of oil if you trace back the calving in Texas, grazing in the Flint Hills and finishing in Western Kansas. A 100,000 head herd finish yield at 1,000 pounds and using his 5,000 gallons per pound of meat, we are seeing trillions of gallons supporting a single feed lot. They can add 3-4 zeros to their numbers and no one says anything.

  80. Many of the comments here are missing important points.
    First, D.r Mitloehner did NOT say that going veggie won’t impact global warming, as the WUWT title implies. He said it won’t have as big an impact as the IPCC claims, and that it’s not as big as automobiles. Mitloehner is a warmist, just like Pachauri, Mann, Jones, Gore, etc. The only difference is, his paycheck depends on the meat industry, so he’s trying to protect it, and his income, by putting the blame on other sources of global warming. Mitloehner should be condemned along with everyone else that has fallen for this hoax.
    Second,as do all members of the animal kingdom, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens put more carbon dioxide into the environment than they take out. It’s called “respiration”. True, the carbon dioxide they’re exhaling started out in the atmosphere, then was consumed by grass or grain crops, converted to sugars, starches, and other carbon compounds, which were consumed by the animals, then returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. But, if the animals didn’t eat those plants and their products, some percentage of them would have made it down into the soil where it would have been sequestered for some period of time rather than released to the atmosphere. Not that I care, because I don’t believe carbon dioxide causes significant warming. I just hate to see people saying wrong things.
    Third, the carbon dioxide directly exhaled by animals isn’t the main concern anyway. The 2 main concerns are 1) forest land cleared for grazing, and 2) methane production by farm animals. Forest land, supposedly, sequesters CO2 (though, in unmanaged forests, like the Amazon Rain Forest) the net carbon sequestration is zero). And methane is 30 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2. Again, neither of these are of great concern to me. But you guys just got it all wrong.
    Fourth, most of the livestock that humans eat (at least in the US) are fed GRAINS, not grass. Mostly corn, in fact. They may spend a year or so after weaning on pasture, but after that, they go to a feedlot where they eat grains exclusively. Most humans in the (at least in the US) have never eaten grass-fed beef, and wouldn’t like it at all if they did. So forget about this “cattle convert inedible grass to edible meat” theory. The grains that most of them are eating are, in fact, edible by humans. True, it takes a certain amount of processing. But that corn that the cattle are eating would, for the most part, be feeding humans if the cattle weren’t eating it. And livestock (cattle in particular) are, in fact, quite inefficient (at least in on an pound-for-pound basis) at converting grains to meat.
    Regards,
    Trevor

  81. Steven Chu – Secretary of Energy in today’s WSJ – is still very much concerned about carbon and climate change. His solution: generate interest in nuclear power by TAXING fossil fuels.
    Of course he doesn’t mention this goal until the last paragraph – and he NEVER uses the word TAX. No, amid the whirl of words denoting good intentions and wonderful abundant clean energy is the line: ‘put a price on carbon’. Stunning.
    They’re taking this country apart – brick by brick, regulation by regulation, tax by tax.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704231304575092130239999278.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTSecond

  82. Biofuels = less cropland for food = higher food prices = more poor hungry people
    Less meat production = higher food prices = more poor hungry people
    Cap and trade = higher prices for everything = more poor and hungry people
    Is there a pattern here? Maybe its what they want?
    For the solution to the CO2 problem (converting it to a non-problem and plant food) read The Saturated Greenhouse Effect Theory () by Zagoni describing Ferenc Miskolczi’s recent and defining work on heat-trapping gases. It’s the water vapor, silly!

  83. I have been a vegetarian for over forty years and consequently can assume an air of pious moral superiority when talking to the green brigade, but shall adopt an ‘it doesn’t really make any difference’ attitude when conversing with other sceptics. 🙂
    Tonyb

  84. I eat meat because I have canines and eating meat is what nature intended for them. Our closest cousines in the animal kingdom, chimps, are also omnivores. These guys want us to get closer to nature so why don’t they do what nature intended and eat meat?
    One of the disadvantages of vegetarianism is that some vegetarians experience “brain fog,” memory loss, tiredness, moodiness due to blood sugar highs and lows, lack of motivation, and poor performance at work or during exercise. The other is that they produce more faeces [BS].
    More disadvantages:
    http://holistic-nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/disadvantages_of_going_veg
    http://www.oldandsold.com/articles30/health-and-diet-65.shtml

  85. wsbriggs (06:13:55) :
    “All in all, most of the populous would have to go back to the farms and agrarian way of life – not bad if you’re trying to control a populous. Ask ol’ Joseph Stalin, he was good at it. The Ukraine has not too fond memories about that.”
    Dont forget Pol Pot. He studied at Sorbonne.
    I’ll bet he was good at Post Normal Science.

  86. Alex Heyworth (06:06:49) :
    There is a theory that human ancestors did not start to increase brain size until they became meat eaters. Maybe if we all turned vegetarian our descendants would gradually get smaller and smaller brains until they reverted to apes. Maybe it’s already happening?

    Every ounce of organ tissue consumes some energy. Eating meat allowed our guts to shrink. The extra energy no longer being used by gut tissue, became available for brain tissue. AThe rib cages of apes curve outward at the waist. Human rib cages curve inwards at the waist. That’s the attractive thin waist of humans. Our small guts are small because we eat meat.
    The thing about being a vegetarian or a vegan is, it is a long term health issue. A few years of malnutrition is fine for anyone. But wind the clock forward 20 or 40 years, and you’re talking about the possible causes of depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, colitis, osteoporosis, and so on.
    These are all serious long term conditions where the root causes are debatable. So it is about being open to the idea. It is about starting from scratch, as an individual, and asking basic questions, and experimenting with diet.
    People who say they feel fine on a “healthy” rice and veg diet don’t know how they would feel if they’d been on a very low carb paleo diet. So there are many many unknowns. Even the whole premise of vegetarianism being ethical is questionable (See The Vegetarian Myth, written by a long term feminist vegan who eventually questioned her health and her assumptions).

  87. Joachim (05:13:30) :
    The operative word here being quite correct, is “MAY” & it is ALL relative! Which belongs to all those other definitive positive words such as might, could, & likely, etc:-))
    Increases in CO2 MAY cause additional warming. Increases in CH4 “MAY” cause additional warming. Sea-levels “MAY” rise! Global Cooling “MAY” occur. Hymalayan Glacia melt “MAY” increase. Eating too much red meat “MAY” lead to intestinal disorders, ill health generally, obesity etc. Eating too many vegetables “MAY” cause as yet unknown health scares (there’s another avenue to frighten us with)! Writing too many comments on WUWT “MAY” cause RSI. If I met you in the flesh I “MAY” buy you a pint, then again I “MAY” not! When I see a study report conclusion that states emphatically that something definitely does do something or other, I will eat my hat, provided of course it is thoroughly washed & cleaned prior to consumption & I’ve read the inner label where it states “NOT SUITABLE FOR EATING”! What’s the betting that your quoted report states somewhere toward the end, “however, further research is needed to draw firm conclusions”! I came to the conclusion years ago that health scare stories are for the most part just that -scarey stories! I would suggest therefore that the main cause of ill health in developed western democracies, is we’re living longer because we’re healthier, but more likely to succumbe to diseases of old age, which we do & are! In days of yore if man or indeed woman reached the age of 35/40 he/she would be doing rather well & considered old! That’s why many of us as we age, will have the delights to look forward to of either going gaga or being razor sharp but crippled with failing bodies, I see it every time I visit my mother in her care home! Let’s here it for modern medicines & science. Oh & just for the fun of it, pop ovre to Number Watch & read up on the complete causes of cancer, you wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning once read!

  88. The entire AGW movement is a long planned attack at our civilization.
    It’s worse than Communism and it will kill more people if we fail to stop it.
    Our current civilization would not have been possible without carbon fuels and we won’t be able to maintain it without it.
    Everything will stop.
    We need 4 calories of oil to produce one calorie of food.
    The Greens undermine our entire civilization.
    The entire plan is nothing more but a crime against humanity.
    This is the most evil doctrine that ever faced the world and we have to ERADICATE it.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

  89. Trevor (08:41:39) :
    Many of the comments here are missing important points.
    Beef cattle are frequently raise on pasture and hay (dead grass) and then briefly fed higher quality meals to “fatten” or bring them to market weight with the correct distribution of lean mass to body fat.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5757057_feed-longhorn-cattle-market-weight.html
    The following document suggests that nothing is simple in this age of large scale advanced agricultural production. Farming families often send one to law school, one to ag school, and one to business school – and diversify from there as the number of siblings and marriages increase the size of the family.
    http://agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/ExEx5032.pdf

  90. Cathy (08:42:30) :
    They’re taking this country apart – brick by brick, regulation by regulation, tax by tax
    I think they are positively increasing their productivity, now it is not brick by brick but wall by wall and all taxes together, that’s progress….iveness ☺.

  91. “AdderW (08:10:32) :
    Have you ever seen a weak gorillia? ”
    Gorillas can’t curl a 50 pound dumbbell. Humans can.

  92. Re: CRS, Dr.P.H. (23:27:21)
    In rice production, the fields are flooded, which leads to things decaying under the water thus methane is produced. And this accounts for 1/5 to 1/4 of human-caused methane emissions.
    Well, previously the helpful Army Corps of Engineers helped drain off nearly all of the Florida Everglades, as well as numerous other swamp reclamation and similar wetlands draining programs.
    Now in our more environmentally-aware times, we are either refilling these formerly wet areas or simply letting Nature drown them again.
    Which will undoubtedly lead to greater methane generation than if the areas were allowed to remain dry. And methane is a Dangerous Potent Greenhouse Gas.
    So how does all this sum up in the Green Logic World? We have to destroy the planet to save the planet?

  93. Gee. The reality of turning billions of hectares into fields for grain and vegetables finally hits someone in the face. What a bunch of dolts.

  94. Henry chance (07:13:25) :
    Didn’t know much about the actual study. Good to see that site, thanks.

  95. I just saw a cartoon in Funny Times where an angry-looking diner with a full plate said, “I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate vegetables.”

  96. Perhaps some digging around on the farm will yield another ‘Gate’…
    “Mitloehner says confusion over meat and milk’s role in climate change stems from a small section printed in the executive summary of a 2006 United Nations report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” It read: “The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). This is a higher share than transport.”
    Mitloehner says there is no doubt that livestock are major producers of methane, one of the greenhouse gases. But he faults the methodology of “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” contending that numbers for the livestock sector were calculated differently from transportation. In the report, the livestock emissions included gases produced by growing animal feed; animals’ digestive emissions; and processing meat and milk into foods. But the transportation analysis factored in only emissions from fossil fuels burned while driving and not all other transport lifecycle related factors.
    “This lopsided analysis is a classical apples-and-oranges analogy that truly confused the issue,” he said.

    Farmgate anyone???

  97. I am glad someone is trying to set the record straight, I have been shocked at the stone wall silence from scientists when claims about cows causing global warming first surfaced – its utter garbbage!
    Cows are part of the contemporary carbon cycle, they do not remove co2 reserves locked away underground, burn them and it new co2 to the cycle, they merely act as part of the contemporary cycle by recycling co2. You grow food for the cow, it absorbs co2, cow eats food and releases it as co2 (methane changes to co2 in the atmosphere). At last some one is setting the idiots straight – even though it is very basic science!!!
    This is a perfect example of how “Greenies” jumped on the AGW band wagon to promote their own views i.e. we should all be vegan / vegetarian. That winds me up, I am vegetarian, but I would never try and force my way of life onto someone else, people are welcome to eat animals as much as they want!

  98. How does he suppose they are going to get the feed to those animals, transport them to slaughter and market, process and refrigerate the meat, bring it home and cooked it if not by ready access to cheap and abundant fuels for transportation and electricity?

    In a third world country? They don’t need to do that. Slaughter near the barn. Cook, salt, and/or dry the meat.

  99. Lance (23:05:37) :
    “Does he imagine that people in Addis Ababa are going to install expensive and inefficient technologies like photo-voltaics and wind turbines”
    The fundamental problem with wind turbines in the ‘developed world’ is social acceptance of intermittent power. Hence wind power is expensive because we demand a backup generator for then the wind isn’t blowing.
    In ‘electricity deprived’ places, intermittent electricity is a huge improvement over no electricity. People will just schedule their electricity consuming tasks for when the wind blows.
    Things like propane refrigerators used to be quite common in rural areas of the US that didn’t have reliable electricity. Natural gas heat, hot water and stoves are still quite common.

  100. On diet: After many years of production machine work, which could be 10-hour aerobics sessions, I was still very large on a regular diet, about 280 lbs at the lowest. Later I went Atkins, very low carbs with a Centrum-equivalent daily vitamin/mineral supplement. At the time I was going back to college, not exercising, in what seemed like no time I was down to under 190, a weight I probably hadn’t seen since middle school, and definitely felt to be in the best health of my life, with little appetite yet lots of energy. Then I took up doing the cooking for the old folks, ate like them. And slowly, disgustingly, it came back to where I was nearly my heaviest ever. Now I shun carbs, don’t quibble about the fat intake, and the weight is slowly coming off.
    On Atkins, your carb intake is so low that it is insufficient to maintain the blood glucose level, so your liver takes up generating glucose from fat, and the fat can be in your diet or hanging on your bones, wherever it can get it. A calorie is not a calorie, as it takes energy to make the conversion thus more calories are needed to generate a given amount of glucose than if you had consumed carbohydrates. It is also a proven treatment for diabetes, as you are simply not eating enough carbs to spike your glucose levels thus do not need insulin anyway.
    I have come to believe humans have “winter” and “summer” metabolisms, which makes sense given my Northern European heritage as it would lead to increased survival rates. In the warm times when the plants yielded their tasty bits that gatherers could find, humans would eat them, gorge if possible, and put on weight as the insulin from the pancreas caused the excess carbs to be stored as fat. Then in the cold times, the “lean” times, without the tasty plant bits the body would switch over to fat burning, and people survive just fine on only meat.
    I know people will say you must eat plant products for certain nutrients, however… Our tastes have changed, we stick to the skeletal meat, and have been told how awful the organ meats are since they are fatty. Yet as our ancestors knew and the meat-eating animals know, there is a good deal of nutrition in the organ meats. Cats, as I have seen, might only eat the innards of a small rodent and leave the rest. If we are not worried about fat in the diet, since fat is fuel, then there is no great reason to not eat the organs, except perhaps the taste. Once you get used to eating practically all of the critter, you get practically all the nutrition you need to survive, and prosper.
    Some of us are just better off living as primarily carnivores, with the occasional eating of plant matter. Perhaps far more of us than the PETA people would ever dare to consider there being.

  101. Someone at Fox News mst be reading WUWT – they just covered this story , albeit briefly . They also covered the scentless flower story last night . At the end of the story , they cited Roy Spencer as having said something to the effect that the researchers must have mixed some mushrooms with the flowers .

  102. I can honestly say that of all the reasons I went veggie less greenhouse gases was not even on the list. If they keep this BS up I might just go out for a bunch of ribs! 🙂

  103. Vegetarians with an agenda want us to think that vegetarian is natural… They like us to believe that the diet of the Native Americans were a good example but..
    The diet of the Native Americain consisted mostly of guts and grease:
    http://www.westonaprice.org/Guts-and-Grease-The-Diet-of-Native-Americans.html
    All of the foods considered important for reproduction and all of the foods considered sacred were animal foods, rich in fat. According to Beverly Hungry Wolf, pemmican made with berries “was used by the Horns Society for their sacred meal of communion.” Boiled tongue was an ancient delicacy, served as the food of communion at the Sun Dance. A blood soup, made from a mixture of blood and corn flour cooked in broth, was used as a sacred meal during the nighttime Holy Smoke ceremonies.19
    Bear was another sacred food-altars of bear bones have been found at many Paleolithic sites. Cabeza de Vaca reports that the Indians of Texas kept the skin of the bear and ate the fat, but threw the rest away. Other groups ate the entire animal, including the head, but recognized the fat as the most valuable part.
    Modern food writers who assure us we can enjoy the superb health of the American Indian by eating low fat foods and canned fruits have done the public a great disservice. The basis of the Indian diet was guts and grease, not waffles and skimmed milk.

  104. Having been veggie now for close to 2 years I must say in all honesty I don’t miss meat. There is also a lot of bad veggie advice out there. Being told I’m not “really vegetarian” because I eat whey and egg whites (protein) is kind of funny. They are the 2 best sources of protein (high PDCAAS, low-no fat) and I consider essential. Add in low glycemic load veggies, berries and fruits along with mono-unsaturated fat and you have an excellent diet for human health.
    I make exceptions for B12 and purified fish oil because the plant based EPA is all short chain and needs to be converted to long chain in the body (9 step process? not very efficient or reliable). Both are essential for human health and hard to get in a veggie diet.
    If you do try the veggie diet out (and yes I recommend it) be practical and keep your health first in mind not the agenda someone wants to impose on you. The AWG bandwagon is just the latest in a long list of ways people try to manipulate others into doing what they want on a lot of issues. In the end they do themselves a great disservice and lose all credibility. That is too bad because resource efficiency and veggie diet can stand on their own IMHO.

  105. I did earnestly try a vegetarian diet because my former husband was vegetarian. I became quite ill from it. Apparently too much grain is not good for me. He did very well on it.
    My thinking got quite fogged, I got rashes and I gain quite a bit of weight. Vegetarianism is not for every one.
    I had to laugh when my daughter, at one point thought that she wanted to be a vegetarian. She changed her mind when she realized that she would have to actually eat vegetables. She thought she was going to eat only cupcakes and ice-cream.
    I do like vegetables, but mostly I like meat with my meat.

  106. I also have to laugh a little when I am shown those videos of pasty white flabby chickens raised in factories. How they are kept in climate controlled houses with automatic sanitation and little room to spread their wings…
    I do feel sorry for them, but I laugh because most PEOPLE I know CHOOSE to live that way!

  107. An interesting article, Anthony, but I’m afraid your headline:

    ACS: Going veggie won’t impact global warming

    is way overstated. A paper presented at the ACS and the ACS are not the same thing. A more accurate, but still catchy, title would be:

    Chemist:: Going veggie won’t impact global warming

  108. Charles Higley (08:56:11) :
    Actually, it goes like this.
    Biofuels = soybean meal + corn protein + biodiesel + ethanol + yummy steaks, eggs and chicken wings.

  109. Stefan (09:21:31) :
    “But wind the clock forward 20 or 40 years, and you’re talking about the possible causes of depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, colitis, osteoporosis, and so on.”
    Can we change that to ‘highly probable’ and get a law passed?

  110. kadaka (11:56:22) :
    “In the warm times when the plants yielded their tasty bits that gatherers could find, humans would eat them, gorge if possible, and put on weight as the insulin from the pancreas caused the excess carbs to be stored as fat.”
    Fructose is actually a messenger molecule switching on glycogenesis and lipogenesis. Makes sense as an associative adaptation to high-carb intake. Linus Pauling is a top source for the story of fructose. Very little can be metabolised by the human body directly hence the disease-of-affluence that gets everybody in a tizzy over high-fructose corn syrup.

  111. Well now we are getting them all into one basket: biologists, botanist-sylvaculturists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, railway engineers(??), and now vegetarians. This hateful crowd is actually against the human race.

  112. Meat production at current levels wouldn’t be sustainable if it weren’t for government intervention. Wake up, sheeple.

  113. “Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.”
    I’m not sure how that could possibly be. If you free-range graze a cow, it takes about 5 acres per cow. You can grow feed corn, sure, but their digestive systems aren’t geared toward corn so you’re going to get a LOT of diarrhea, so they’re going to need a LOT of water. They take a lot of water anyway. Back to free-range cows, you’re going to get about 500 pounds of meat for 5 acres of grass. By comparison, you’ll get 750 bushels of soybeans out of 5 acres, or 45,000 pounds. I’d figure up the amount of protein and calories on that, but nutritional information tends to be given in cooked volume rather than weight. Even if you got a tenth of the protein in soybeans as opposed to eating beef, it’d still be close. Nevertheless, a cup of whole cooked soybeans and a cup of whole cooked beef is roughly the same.
    C’mon, y’all haven’t so completely eschewed science that you can’t see the issue here, have you? For every step in the process of growing and processing food, you introduce inefficiency. With a vegetable crop, you go from giving the crop sun, rain, and fertilizer, then you harvest and process it, then you have it ready for human consumption. With livestock, you have the process of growing acreage solely for animal consumption, and of course as others have pointed out livestock tends to take a lot of food and water to be fit for consumption.
    And as for the gas question: I’ve replaced a good deal of my meat intake with beans because my weight, my cholesterol, and BP are all out of control and I’ve decided I sort of like being alive. One thing I’ve found is that if you’ll start the beans on a “quick soak” (boil them, then cover them) then leave the beans overnight, they’ll be more easily digestible, which means less gas.
    Now having said all that, I still eat animal products. We’re omnivorous creatures, after all. Once my cholesterol is under control I’ll go back to eating eggs, and I still eat some cheese, chicken, and pork (but low-salt because, sadly, salt is the main factor in my high BP.) For now, I’ve sworn off of beef almost completely–doctors have been warning us about the dangers of red meat for ages, so it just makes sense.
    I suppose if I have a point it’s that a more vegetarian-oriented diet COULD mean more food for everyone, but that the real problem here in the west isn’t that we’re not vegetarian, but rather that we just eat too dadgum much and have an unbalanced diet partially thanks to government subsidies making meat artificially cheap (and again, think about the process of growing wheat or beans vs. growing a cow to understand why ground beef SHOULD, in a free market society, be more expensive than a pack of soyburgers.)

  114. My family is from St. Thomas and St. Barts, so this I know,
    They raise goats and sheep because the soil is rocky and the hills are steep. It is a heck of a lot of work to grow anything there except maybe bananas. Even bananas have to be watered in the dry season and water comes from a cistern. When your cistern runs dry, you are stuck.
    Sheep and goats are easier. Welcome to the real world.

  115. If you want to lower your cholesterol, stop eating sugar.
    Your liver MAKES cholesterol from fructose.
    I eat eggs everyday and have low cholesterol. I don’t eat sugar.

  116. Re AdderW (08:10:32) :
    It is best to read the article you link to before concluding that gorillas “probably” eat meat. Many observers have spent thousands of hours watching gorillas, and this is not observed. Just because they found a little dna in some gorilla scatt means very little, the article actually said this…Ker Than
    for National Geographic News
    Published March 5, 2010
    Like the vegetarian who can’t resist the occasional burger, the otherwise herbivorous gorilla might succumb to cravings for its evolutionary cousins, a new study hints.
    While some zoo specimens are known to eat meat, wild gorillas eat only plants and fruit, along with the odd insect—as far as scientists know (see video of wild gorillas feasting on figs).
    But a recent study found DNA from monkeys and small forest antelopes called duikers in the feces of wild African western lowland gorillas in Loango National Park in Gabon.
    The discovery raises the possibility that gorillas might have a secret meat habit—scavenging or hunting discretely.
    (See gorilla pictures.)
    Gorillas Eating Insects That Eat Mammals?
    There may well be more mundane explanations for the surprising finding—explanations that’d have to be ruled out before gorillas could be reclassified as meat-eaters, said study co-author Grit Schubert, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
    For example, gorillas are known to eat ants that scavenge the carcasses and bones of monkeys and other mammals. When gorillas eat the ants, they may also be ingesting—and later expelling—the mammal DNA in the ants’ digestive tracts, the study authors speculate.
    Another possibility is that the mammal DNA came from live monkeys or duikers that had been probing the gorilla feces for edible seeds or other leftover plant bits.
    Or the mammals “might have just licked it, sniffed it, or peed on it,” Schubert said.
    “There’s plenty of opportunities” for adding mammal DNA to gorilla scat after the fact, Schubert said. “I don’t really think they’re eating meat.”
    As to this… Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (09:54:10) :
    “AdderW (08:10:32) :
    Have you ever seen a weak gorillia? ”
    Gorillas can’t curl a 50 pound dumbbell. Humans can.”
    Did a climate scientist do this study?

  117. Commercial soy beans are grown from plants that have been genetically modified to withstand high doses of the weed killer Round Up.
    It follows that there is lots of weed killer used on commercial soy beans.
    Soy beans have estrogen like chemicals in them. It will feminize you if you are a male. What an excess of estrogens do to a female, I am not sure, but I don’t want my daughters or myself to be guinea pigs.
    I have not seen a single study done that differentiates between fresh red meat and cured meats like cold cuts and hot dogs.

  118. And by the way, my aunts goats and sheep don’t eat feed corn. They eat the underbrush of the jungle.

  119. Re: regeya (20:06:26)
    I’ve replaced a good deal of my meat intake with beans because my weight, my cholesterol, and BP are all out of control and I’ve decided I sort of like being alive.
    Study from Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published 2007, first study I could Google up although there are others. It got to the point where the paradigm could change, and low-carb diets couldn’t be merely dismissed out of hand as “fad diet” quackery, and official scientific studies were and are getting done. Atkins is very successful at doing the main thing doctors recommend, getting the weight off. And the other important benefits come along with it.
    From the Introduction: (brackets added around references, formatting issue)

    Several recent trials compared low-carbohydrate vs traditional low-fat, high-carbohydrate weight-loss diets. [12-16] A meta-analysis that pooled the results of these early trials concluded that low-carbohydrate, non–energy-restricted diets were at least as effective as low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets in inducing weight loss for up to 1 year. [17] However, most of these trials were limited by combinations of small sample sizes, high rates of attrition, short durations, or limited diet assessment.
    For the A TO Z (Atkins, Traditional, Ornish, Zone) Weight Loss Study, we selected 4 diets—3 popular and substantially different diets and 1 diet based on national guidelines—representing a spectrum of carbohydrate intake: Atkins [8] (very low in carbohydrate), Zone [9] (low in carbohydrate), LEARN [18] (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships, and Nutrition; low in fat, high in carbohydrate, based on national guidelines), and Ornish [19] (very high in carbohydrate). The primary study objective was to examine the effects of diets and gradations of carbohydrate intake on weight loss and related metabolic variables in overweight and obese premenopausal women.

    From the Comment section:

    Many concerns have been expressed that low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets, high in total and saturated fat, will adversely affect blood lipid levels and cardiovascular risk. [34-36] These concerns have not been substantiated in recent weight-loss diet trials. The recent trials, like the current study, have consistently reported that triglycerides, HDL-C, blood pressure, and measures of insulin resistance either were not significantly different or were more favorable for the very-low-carbohydrate groups. [12-16]

    What convinced me to try it was reading Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. A practicing physician reporting case after case of his approach working. Triglycerides were dramatically lowered, and they are an important indicator of potential heart attack risk. Cholesterol profile improved. Diabetics had to work carefully with their primary physician, as their medication needs dropped off. They could go from needing insulin to just medication to no medication. The last part really irritated me, as here is a treatment that works, yet as it’s not “accepted” diabetics are strung out along a path of increasing insulin resistance going to runaway glucose levels and death. So many lives could be saved and improved if doctors could admit that, yes, their advice has been wrong for decades. Shouldn’t the health of a patient take precedence over a doctor’s pride?
    It’s tough to cut through the internet “noise” dismissing Atkins as a fad. Well, here is one study, linked to other trials, that shows it works. You can buy the book, read up on it. Then there was the research method I used, I tried it and it worked. First diet that ever did work for me.
    And yes, you can have carbs, and veggies, and certain fruits. Primary thing is not spiking the blood sugar levels with foods that readily convert to glucose thus provoking an insulin release. There are adjustments, such as diabetics are likely aware of, for things that take awhile to digest thus don’t produce a spike.
    And to address it in case it comes up, Dr. Atkins was not “morbidly obese” when he died. He suffered a massive head wound, grey matter visible. Then came days of IV fluids going in faster than fluid was going out, leading to a large fluid thus large weight gain, over 60 lbs, then multiple organ failures. Snopes covered it, you can make up your own mind about the matter.

  120. Even those cute little pandas eat meat.
    I’ve seen videos from National Geographic of Pandas catching bamboo rats and eating them.
    The pandas in the national zoo were given fresh insect-free bamboo. The pandas were not doing well. The zoologists realized that pandas in the wild usually eat INSECTS with their bamboo to get a little extra protein and other nutrients.

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