A brighter tomorrow

An interesting item appeared in the inbox this week. A newsletter from the European Milk Board shared an article by a professor of animal science and air quality extension specialist at the University of California, ‘Yes, eating meat affects the environment, but cows are not killing the climate.’ The author says that avoiding meat and meat products won’t fix climate change in the way we might think.

He states that livestock don’t emit the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions – 2016 data from the US Environmental Protection Agency showed that all of agriculture amounts to 9% of all emissions and less than half of this (3.9%) from animal agriculture. Meanwhile, the data showed the largest producers were in fact electricity production (28%), transportation (28%) and industry (22%).

I guess part of the drive for people is to do something about global warming. But I was quite heartened the continuing research is showing that livestock is not the terrible threat the vegetable brigade makes it out to be. It’s the production of all this nice electricity that powers the modern world that’s causing the problems.

Indeed, your mobile phone probably contributes more to global unrest and climate change by needing rare minerals from unstable African countries that are already suffering from the weather. But we like our phones, they need charging and how else will everyone Instagram their meals? And we’re willing to eat kale. We should probably eat it by candlelight.

Meanwhile, my son had an interesting perspective, where he opined that the world is more dangerous and basically pants than ever before. A typical youth. I reminded him that in 1901, he probably would have died from apoplexy, while I would have perished from measles, according to this neat website, Dive into the Dead Pool. We have antibiotics, vaccinations, basic health hygiene, central heating, and understand how germs work (mostly).

I guess the point is this: yes, some things are bad, but they’re not as bad as they used to be, and hopefully they are currently worse than they will be, when he is old enough to have died from measles in 1901. Which he is vaccinated against.

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