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Old Tue, Dec-11-18, 08:46
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Posts: 13,177
 
Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario
Default Misrepresentation of cattle, green house emissions

https://www.businessinsider.com/giv...c21a7rbRGwtEG7M

Quote:
Cows are getting a bad rap and it's time to set the record straight: Giving up meat won't save the planet


As the scale and impacts of climate change become increasingly alarming, meat is a popular target for action. Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. Some activists have called for taxing meat to reduce consumption of it.

A key claim underlying these arguments holds that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. However, this claim is demonstrably wrong, as I will show. And its persistence has led to false assumptions about the linkage between meat and climate change.



Okay, and the basis for his criticism;

Quote:
Why the misconception? In 2006 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published a study titled "Livestock's Long Shadow," which received widespread international attention. It stated that livestock produced a staggering 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

The agency drew a startling conclusion: Livestock was doing more to harm the climate than all modes of transportation combined.



Quote:
This latter claim was wrong, and has since been corrected by Henning Steinfeld, the report's senior author. The problem was that FAO analysts used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment to study the climate impact of livestock, but a different method when they analyzed transportation.
For livestock, they considered every factor associated with producing meat. This included emissions from fertilizer production, converting land from forests to pastures, growing feed, and direct emissions from animals (belching and manure) from birth to death.

However, when they looked at transportation's carbon footprint, they ignored impacts on the climate from manufacturing vehicle materials and parts, assembling vehicles and maintaining roads, bridges, and airports.

Instead, they only considered the exhaust emitted by finished cars, trucks, trains, and planes. As a result, the FAO's comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock to those from transportation was greatly distorted.


Quote:
Instead, they only considered the exhaust emitted by finished cars, trucks, trains, and planes. As a result, the FAO's comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock to those from transportation was greatly distorted.


Here the author loses me somewhat. The comparison is distorted. The actual contribution of meat production to greenhouse emissions is not.


Quote:
In its most recent assessment report, the FAO estimated that livestock produces 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. There is no comparable full life-cycle assessment for transportation.

However, as Steinfeld has pointed out, direct emissions from transportation versus livestock can be compared and amount to 14 versus 5%, respectively.


What, livestock only 5 percent? Fair comparison is one thing--fair attribution of greenhouse gas emissions to a sector is another. I don't see the problem here as being the contribution of meat to greenhouse gases is inflated--but more the underestimation of contribution from transport. Everything involved in getting beef to my table is still a genuine contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
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