Environmentalist alarmism – when will it end?

25 03 2010

Over the last two days I’ve noticed a couple of articles disputing the idea that meat eating causes more CO2 emissions than non-meat eating. 
Before I continue, I should state my position – I really don’t care too much if eating meat increases CO2 emissions because I am against socialistic controls on the economy and fascist controls on human behaviour (this is what the climate change issue is really all about).  While I strongly doubt increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 will be a threat to humanity, if they in fact are, then a free market economy will deal with the alleged problem far more efficiently than government controls.   

Anyway continuing on with my post.  It comes as no surprise to me to see enviro-nazis calling for meat eating reduction.  This fits in nicely with the nihilistic ideology of these people.  Essentially, many environmentalists regard human action as unnatural even though it is actually perfectly natural and normal.  Human life is not the primary value of their ethical considerations, Gaia is. 
I think it’s no coincidence that many hippies are vegetarians.  In addition various fallacies about vegetarianism have been spread for at least 50 years apart from the climate change hysteria.  One eg/ I’ve heard vegetarians make claims that raising cattle is inefficient compared to growing grain in terms of food production.  However cattle are often raised on land unsuitable for agriculture. 

So, now we are witnessing the meshing of vegetarianism with climate change alarmism.  The most recent high profile activism along these lines occurred on the 3rd December 2009 when the European Parliament hosted a major event on global warming and food policy:  “Global Warming and Food Policy: Less Meat = Less Heat”
The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri and environmental activist Sir Paul McCartney urged legislators and experts to focus on what an individual can do to fight climate change, for example by eating less meat.  The “Global Warming and Food Policy: Less Meat = Less Heat”

Enter, UC Davis Associate Professor and Air Quality Specialist Frank Mitloehner:  See article “Don’t blame cows for climate change

“Despite oft-repeated claims by sources ranging from the United Nations to music star Paul McCartney, it is simply not true that consuming less meat and dairy products will help stop climate change, says a University of California authority on farming and greenhouse gases.”

“Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.”Mitloehner traces much of the public confusion over meat and milk’s role in climate change to two sentences in a 2006 United Nations report, titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” Printed only in the report’s executive summary and nowhere in the body of the report, the sentences 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.”

These statements are not accurate, yet their wide distribution through news media have put us on the wrong path toward solutions, Mitloehner says.  (emphasis added)

So once again, an outlandish claim made by the IPCC  has been discredited.  We can now add “meat eaters are naughty sinners” to the list along with the amazon forests, the Himalayan’s and the polar bears.

Certain environmentalist are making false claims:  eg/

“If your primary concern is to curb emissions, you shouldn’t be eating beef,” says Nathan Pelletier, an ecological economist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S.,”

Lisa Abend’s article from the Times (USA) explains why this is crapola:

“It works like this: grass is a perennial. Rotate cattle and other ruminants across pastures full of it, and the animals’ grazing will cut the blades — which spurs new growth — while their trampling helps work manure and other decaying organic matter into the soil, turning it into rich humus. The plant’s roots also help maintain soil health by retaining water and microbes. And healthy soil keeps carbon dioxide underground and out of the atmosphere.”

Funnily enough, I personally prefer grass fed cattle anyway.  I suspect grain feeding disrupts the fatty acid ratios in the cow’s fatty tissues but admittedly, I haven’t looked into this in any great detail.

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