Don't blame cows for climate change

Don't blame cows for climate change

There are 12 comments on the Daily Democrat story from Dec 9, 2009, titled Don't blame cows for climate change. In it, Daily Democrat reports that:

Even as world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen to debate just how to reduce greenhouse gases, a UC Davis professor and air quality expert is claiming that cows get a bum rap when it comes to global warming.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Daily Democrat.


Johnston, IA

#1 Dec 9, 2009
Since "global warming" is a complete and utter fraud anyway, the "cow issue" is nothing but more scam piled on to the main scam. This whole matter is a made-up joke from a stupid political hack and nothing more. Remember the "global cooling" scam back in the '70's that predicted we would be completely out of food by the year 2000!

United States

#2 Dec 9, 2009
If not for global warming we would all be living in Igloos due to the ICE AGE! HELLO!
John Mcdonalds

United States

#3 Dec 10, 2009
"Writing the synthesis was supported by a $26,000 research grant from the Beef Checkoff Program, which funds research and other activities, including promotion and consumer education, through fees on beef producers in the U.S." and "Since 2002, Mitloehner has received $5 million in research funding, with 5 percent of the total from agricultural commodities groups, such as beef producers."

WOW why I am not suprised by the conclusion of Dr. Frank Mitloehner's synthesis, the whole is bank rolled by the livestocks industry.

El Macero, CA

#4 Dec 11, 2009
all the facts are true presented in the article, there are major studies going on at uc davis and many other highly regarded universities using very high end equipment that have proven dr. mitloehners point. its science people.

Spokane, WA

#5 Dec 11, 2009
The last sentence says it all: this guy is funded by meat producers. His other paycheck comes from California's most ag-funded university. Follow the money.

There are plenty of good, environmentally sound ways to provide protein in the diet, but cattle are not one of them.
dont drink the koolaid

Eden Prairie, MN

#6 Dec 11, 2009
but I like beef.
Greg Shenaut

Davis, CA

#7 Dec 12, 2009
I don't get why getting people in industrialized countries to eat less meat would increase starvation in third world countries.

Also, this article had too much "he said" in it. Meat has been targeted as a resource hog for certain very specific reasons; it would have been useful to read what Mitlöhner's response to those specific charges were.(One example: the much greater acreage, energy, water, and fertilizers used to produce one calorie of beef versus one calorie of rice & beans.)

Well, admittedly since people tend to live longer when they eat less meat, and since overpopulation may contribute to climate change, I guess you can reason that eating meat actually helps, by reducing the average human lifespan. But to do that, you'd have to admit that anthropogenic climate change is real, so one doesn't hear that argument too often.

Washington, DC

#8 Dec 17, 2009
It is unclear whether Professor Mitloehner has read the World Watch article “Livestock and Climate Change” attributing at least 51% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions to the life cycle and supply chain of livestock products. But it seems fairly clear that he is unaware of the widely-accepted GHG protocol on how to count emissions in GHG inventories across all industries. According to this protocol, emissions counted on the site of an industry should be attributed directly to that industry as Scope 1 emissions. Emissions from energy purchased offsite should be attributed directly to that industry as Scope 2 emissions. Other emissions are counted optionally, and are called Scope 3 emissions.

Most emissions counted in both the FAO’s “Livestock’s Long Shadow” and World Watch’s “Livestock and Climate Change” would normally be considered as Scope 1 emissions. That’s because most emissions counted in both reports are attributable to feed production and to the physiology of livestock. Emissions attributable to the physiology of livestock are obviously Scope 1. In case it is less clear that emissions attributable to feed production are Scope 1: When assessing the livestock sector as a whole – rather than an individual livestock business – feed production would be considered an integral part of the livestock sector. Perhaps these emissions could arguably be considered as Scope 2, but certainly not as Scope 3.

Conversely, in the transportation sector, emissions from fossil fuels burned while driving would normally be considered as Scope 3. After all, almost none of the fuels burned in driving are purchased by any part of the transportation industry. So it would make sense if Professor Mitloehner proposed that comparing livestock and transportation industries requires attributing to the transportation industry all the emissions from steel production to car dealerships – as they are Scope 1 and Scope 2 – and perhaps require excluding Scope 3 emissions from fuels burned in driving. But then livestock wouldn’t seem as benign as he proposes.

It is essential to count emissions attributable to foregone carbon absorption on land set aside for livestock and feed production – as regenerating forest on such land is probably the only feasible way to absorb a large amount of today’s atmospheric carbon in the near term. The amount of these emissions is very large; yet it seems that Professor Mitloehner has neglected to consider them, along with other emissions attributable to the life cycle and supply chain of livestock products both within and outside the United States. Professor Mitloehner is remiss in considering livestock emissions only within U.S. borders, as livestock products and feed are global commodities – flown, shipped and trucked all over the world – and climate change is of course transboundary.

Since: Sep 09

United States

#9 Jan 9, 2010
Proven fact that co2 followa temperature, not the other way around. You will benefit from global warming if you stand to receive research money, grants, big paycheck from the goverment, lots of future jobs are counting on it, now on the other hand the small trucker has to pay the piper to dance with the EPA and all of the umbrella organazations like air resources board, just to name one, no shortings of money to them, they got overtime on christmas day to harrass people with fireplaces burning, youll will all be sorry that you stood by and let this happen, tried to keep this short, sorry
Mr Giblets

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#10 Jan 10, 2010
not all land can be given over to growing soya beans. The land here in Wales, which supports over 13 million sheep, cannot be used for anything else. It is steep hills and open moorland , a lot at over 800 ft. You can grow grass there, and pine trees. Nothing else. BUT no warmies have any kind of practical knowledge at all. Also, in some farming economies, cattle and sheep are moved to a different pasture, recycling the land and not exhausting it by over-cropping. But the hippies always know better.

Hellín, Spain

#11 Jan 10, 2010
Northie wrote:
The last sentence says it all: this guy is funded by meat producers. His other paycheck comes from California's most ag-funded university. Follow the money.
You got one part right, "Follow the money" to where your government (alone) spends $2 billion annually on GW research.

Kailua Kona, HI

#12 Jan 10, 2010
The ANPR, released early this year, would give the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gas for not only greenhouse gas from manmade sources like transportation and industry, but also “stationary” sources which would include livestock.

Indirectly it could be considered a cheeseburger tax, but one of the suggestions offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act is to levy a tax on livestock.

“The tax for dairy cows could be $175 per cow, and $87.50 per head of beef cattle. The tax on hogs would upwards of $20 per hog,” the release said.“Any operation with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs would have to obtain permits.”

Even the Department of Agriculture warned the EPA that smaller farms and ranches would have difficulty with limits as much as 100 tons annually on emissions:

“If GHG emissions from agricultural sources are regulated under the CAA, numerous farming operations that currently are not subject to the costly and time-consuming Title V permitting process would, for the first time, become covered entities. Even very small agricultural operations would meet a 100-tons-per-year emissions threshold. For example, dairy facilities with over 25 cows, beef cattle operations of over 50 cattle, swine operations with over 200 hogs, and farms with over 500 acres of corn may need to get a Title V permit. It is neither efficient nor practical to require permitting and reporting of GHG emissions from farms of this size. Excluding only the 200,000 largest commercial farms, our agricultural landscape is comprised of 1.9 million farms with an average value of production of $25,589 on 271 acres. These operations simply could not bear the regulatory compliance costs that would be involved.”

It is not like farmers have a tough time already? The small farmers will have to get out of the business or fire workers to make these "tax payments to the government".


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